As anyone in the legal profession will likely tell you the industry can be demanding, with long hours and stressful work. Some end up feeling burnt out as they try to maintain work-life balance, especially given all the added stress of the pandemic. It’s no wonder that mental and physical health has become an increased focus among employees in the legal industry.
In any firm, associates are the most important asset. Investing in employee wellbeing at your law firm should be a priority to ensure overall healthy employees as well as motivated ones. According to a study conducted by The ABA Profile of the Profession, lawyers have always been susceptible to higher rates of depression, addiction, and suicide compared to the general population. Prioritizing your associates’ health is and should always be a priority to ensure they are happy, healthy and continue to be motivated to work at your law firm.
Importance of Investing in Employee Wellbeing
Here’s why it’s important to focus on your employee’s wellbeing and ensure a balanced environment.
It’s a good thing to do!
Legal professionals spend a lot of time at work. Your employees are helping your firm thrive and, therefore, they are the most important people to you! To avoid burn out and help your employees achieve a good work-life balance, it’s crucial for your firm to support them. Having programs that encourage your employees to focus on their health and wellness is the right thing to do.
As mentioned, burn out affects everyone. When an employee reaches the stage of being extremely stressed because of work, their productivity can start to diminish because they are exhausted and not taking breaks to recharge. By focusing on mental wellness, people will feel balanced and will continue to stay motivated and productive.
Overall satisfaction and growth
When employees see that their company leaders encourage them to focus on their own wellness and provide resources to do it, they feel cared for which boosts engagement. Satisfied employees will continue to give back to the firm and want to help the firm grow and thrive. Additionally, these employees will see the benefits of working at the firm and will want to refer them to their friends and possibly even other potential candidates to join them.
As employees start taking care of themselves and feel the support from their leaders, they are incentivized to stay at the firm and deliver great results. Seeing that the firm cares about everyone’s wellbeing is a great morale booster and will bring everyone together to collaborate and be productive.
Allows for a healthier outlet
It’s normal to feel stressed when working long hours or on challenging projects. With wellness programs, you create a healthy outlet to allow for your employees to relieve their stress and take a moment to recharge before heading back into the project. This is also an extremely beneficial way to avoid burn-out and other unhealthy ways of coping with stress.
Tips to Build a Wellness Program
Some helpful tips to incorporate a wellness program in your law firm.
A great way to have everyone focus on their wellness is to organize consistent events for your employees to participate in. These could be fun activities for the day, yoga and meditation programs or other company-wide wellness initiatives that will bring everyone together to take a break from work and focus on their own wellbeing. If planned right, your employees will start looking forward to these events, making it another incentive for them to continue working at the firm.
Team building activities
Collaboration is important for every firm’s success. Bringing employees together is a great way to understand each other better and build on each other’s strengths. Team building activities will give employees a chance to see how people work and understand everyone’s personalities on a deeper level which has proven to be successful for business success.
Quick stretching and exercise
Providing stretching tips and techniques can help employees to take breaks during the day and boost circulation. Sitting for long hours has proven to be bad for your body, so encouraging your employees to follow some “at desk” exercises and stretches will help promote overall wellness.
Access to other outlets
To further encourage employees to invest in their wellness, give them opportunities such as gym discounts, mental health benefits and other wellness opportunities for minimal or no cost. By offering these incentives, employees will most likely want to participate and will be encouraged to make time for themselves to do what makes them feel happy.
Managing a healthy diet and preparing meals is often hard with a busy work schedule. It could be a good idea to offer meal plans they can sign up for or partner with nutrition experts to offer tips for employees to easily follow that can make their lives easier when it comes to preparing meals.
Your Employees’ Health is Crucial
Investing in your employees’ health and wellness will go a long way in keeping them happy and engaged. This will also help to increase their morale and productivity. Companies who encourage and support wellness create a healthy work environment and loyal employees.