With law firms facing new external challenges all the time, such as increases in technology, more demanding clients, and pressure to lower rates, it’s important to do whatever possible to keep the internal cogs of the firm running smoothly.

This means making sure productivity is high and turnover is low. A lag in efficiency and can hinder the firm’s performance.

You may ask if this is really such an important factor to productivity, but a negative work environment can have a huge impact on employees’ states of mind. The mentality of high pressure, cut-throat workplaces is still being upheld by some companies. Psychologists, however, maintain that it’s not the best way to get results because employees either burn out or end up leaving.

Mental health professionals and organizational psychologists say that if employees feel good in the workplace, they’re happier and more creative, and therefore, they increase productivity. On the same token, receiving support when stressed or unwell provides the same positive feeling.

This doesn’t mean employers should coddle employees or refrain from critiquing their work. But when employees are punished harshly or are afraid of their superiors, the results are actually counterproductive. These situations will make employees feel stressed, which leads back to working inefficiently.

This really boils down to not feeling valued or trusted. When employers ensure positivity and put trust in their employees to do a good job, employees work harder and prove themselves even more. Their motivation comes from a place of confidence and encouragement, rather than fear or money or a “this will look good on my résumé” outlook.

Stopping the Turnover

The process of looking for a job, going through multiple interviews, and the demand of learning a new company/position is like a job itself. So, when multiple people from the same company are willing to go through that, it’s important to ask why.

There is evidence in reports that indicate employees often care more about work environment than making more money. If one wakes up in the morning and dreads going to work to the point that they’d rather call in sick, productivity slows down, thereby profitability drops.

High turnover rates also cost companies a lot more than most people think. It involves:

  • Advertising the position
  • Onboarding the new employee, including training
  • Loss of productivity while the new employee learns the role
  • Potential loss of productivity from other employees when they see a high rate of turnover and may disengage from their own responsibilities

Rather take the time (and sometimes money) now to ensure employee happiness than pay for it down the line.

Related post: Read our case studies to see how our clients improved their law firm’s productivity, saving them time and money.

Culture Comes from the Top

It’s essential to remember that people have a desire to do well. No one wants to find a job they hate, work with a manager that’s unfair, or fail in their role. Therefore, creating a positive work environment doesn’t need to be that difficult.

A positive work atmosphere comes from making employees feel valued, trusted and respected. Examples include firm outings, team lunches, extra personal days, “good job” rewards, etc.

There is a balance between being harsh and being too easy-going, but it’s the key to happy employees.

For more information on how to increase productivity via technology, check out our software solutions.