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, because 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, but psychologists maintain 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, therefore more productive. 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 and trusted. If employers ensure positivity and put trust in their employees to do a good job, employees will want to work harder and prove themselves even more. Their motivation should come 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 working in a positive environment than getting 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 productivity, saving them time and money.
Culture Comes from the Top
It’s important to remember that people have a desire to do well. No one wants to find a job they hate, work with a manger that’s unfair, or fail in their role. Therefore, creating a positive work environment doesn’t need to be that difficult.
Making employees feel valued, trusted and respected is at the root of it. 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.