There has been a significant cultural change within law firms in recent times. With Mental Health Awareness Week commencing last week, there has been a renewed focus on employee mental health and work-life balance. Conversations on how firms can support employees, lower stress levels with fairer workloads and improve staff satisfaction are again ripe in the industry.
Stephenson Harwood is one firm that has embraced the changing environment and further supports its personnel. This leading law firm has implemented a structured work allocation model that supports lawyers to receive a fair distribution of work, reducing employees becoming over-stretched and working above capacity. The firm has facilitated this by recruiting a resource allocation manager and implementing the BigHand Resource Management solution.
The project, which led to over 90% of staff agreeing work was being allocated more fairly, involved developing a skills matrix whereby the new Resource Management team could easily view which associates had skills that would be transferable across the division and which associates had expressed an interest in skills they were keen to develop. This promoted career progression and gave visibility to who could be supported with workload reductions and who might have the capacity for more.
With this in place, matters could be allocated to associates more effectively and strategically, and associates could register interest in the type of work they wanted to undertake regardless of where they were based, without the risk of any potential unconscious bias.
Taryn Barker, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP, explains, “We now had increased visibility on matter allocation and team capacity. This, combined with anecdotal evidence that associates were happier with the way work was being allocated, led us to expand it into the finance, commercial litigation, and MIT practice groups, where we were also able to extend the system to trainees and paralegals.”
“Ultimately, this project is helping to drive and increase collaboration, equity, and inclusion and is fundamental to how we support and develop our staff optimally as a business,” she concludes.Follow the link to discover more about how Stephenson Harwood supports their personnel.
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