Avoid turnover by creating enjoyable work environment

Creating an enjoyable work environment and keeping lines of communication open are two ways to avoid an excessive amount of associate turnover in law firms, Greater Toronto-area family lawyer Andrew Feldstein tells Lawyers Weekly.

“You have to create an environment that people enjoy working in,” Feldstein, of Feldstein Family Law Group, tells the legal trade publication. “If people are happy where they are, then they are less likely to look for somewhere else to work. Usually, when people are happy with their work environment they stay.”

High turnover rates can be costly in terms of lost productivity and the amount of time it takes to recruit and train new hires, says the report, noting retainment efforts are underway at many firms.

“Once a month we have a lunch with myself and the lawyers. That way we can all talk and hear their thoughts and ideas. Once every two months we have a staff meeting with the clerks. It’s important to have the lines of communication open,” says Feldstein.

“Every so often, if I think it needs it, I’ll take one or two lawyers for lunch and say, ‘How’s it going? How are things working out for you here?’ Sometimes they have good ideas that add value that I may not have thought of.”

It’s important, says Feldstein, that principals of a firm create a genuine connection with their associates.

“People need to feel part of a team, and to be happy somewhere and be part of a team they have to be heard, even if you don’t agree with what they say,” he tells Lawyers Weekly.

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