While a competitive salary is still a top priority for most legal professionals, there are other perks such as flexibility, performance-related incentives, and opportunities for career growth that can motivate your employees to go above and beyond – not to mention be engaged and fulfilled in their work.
The legal industry is known for long hours and high pressure. Professionals understand this but want to be a part of a firm or legal department that understands this and doesn’t neglect employee mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your employee’s mental health is important. Studies have shown that employee happiness is linked to productivity and creativity as well as increased loyalty to your organization.
Important Incentives Your Employee Want
To keep your employees happy, you can implement small perks and incentives to show them that you value them and acknowledge all they do for your firm. Here are some top incentives employees look for.
1. Flexibility with schedules
Working in the legal field requires dedication and a lot of time. With so many deadlines and research to be done, the work can be very time-consuming. While this comes with the job, many individuals are recognizing that they want to be able to have time with their families and for personal matters. More and more legal professionals are interested in working for an organization that offers flexible schedules.
When it comes to working at a law firm or in a legal department, legal professionals want to know that their efforts are appreciated. Professionals want to be at a company that gives credit to their employees and associates especially when a big case is successfully accomplished. Beyond monetary bonuses, recognition can come in a company-wide shout out, an award, or acknowledgment of the person’s involvement in delivering a successful project.
3. Wellness programs
With the impact of the pandemic felt worldwide, more individuals are prioritizing their own physical and mental health. Legal professionals in particular are subject to an abundance of job-related stress. Employers can offer wellness apps for free, wellness days during the year, and encourage employees to focus on their mental wellbeing by taking time off when needed.
4. Vacation time
Legal professionals often get caught up in working all the time and forget to take time off because they get too busy or don’t want to miss out on any important events that may come up. Now more than ever, though, people are needing to take a break and unwind. This time for mental and physical rest renews their energy and they return to the office with better focus. Offering a good paid-time-off plan, whether vacation time or unlimited PTO, is a top incentive for employees when looking to join an organization.
5. Performance-related bonuses
Along with a salary, an employee looks for performance-related bonuses or a bonus structure that will reward them for their accomplishments. Professionals are often working long hours due to the nature of their work. Additionally, bringing in new clients benefits the organization as a whole, making it only fair to give the employee an added bonus to recognize their contributions to the firm.
6. Ongoing education and training
The legal industry is constantly evolving and legal professionals need to be up to date in order to grow in their career. Additionally, professionals want to know that they can expand their areas of expertise as well as continue learning to grow at the firm. Offering training and opportunities to expand one’s practice area of expertise benefit your firm as well as the associate.
7. Firm values
No matter what the practice area, legal professionals want to know they are part of a larger effort at doing good things for their clients and society as a whole. Defining and communicating your organization’s core values can help motivate the team at all levels. Commit to giving back for the greater good, whether it’s taking on worthy pro bono cases, or partnering with a non-profit to give back and volunteer. Associates are also concerned about diverse representation in the legal industry. The time is now to define your organization’s stance on this issue and plan for the future.
Happy Employees are Loyal, Motivated and Productive
Every firm is different and will offer different perks to their employees. The legal employment market is especially active right now – legal professionals at all levels are re-assessing their employment options and can move to an organization that offers what they seek. Law firms need to proactively understand what employees are looking for and how they can be engaged in the long run.