Unfortunately, at some law firms, legal support professionals can feel overshadowed by their lawyer colleagues and not properly recognised for the good work they do and the value they bring.
Disparities in working conditions, irregular salary reviews, and their perceived lack of value can impact morale amongst legal support staff and ultimately the efficiency and profitability of the entire law firm. Recognising and addressing the contributions of support staff is crucial for creating a positive work environment and fostering a collaborative culture within the firm.
In this article, Jenny Vickerstaff, our specialist in the recruitment of legal support professionals explains how law firms ensure that legal secretaries, PAs and admin assistants feel rewarded, engaged and motivated within their roles.
Embrace flexible work arrangements
Recognise the benefits of hybrid work models for support staff, allowing them to work in a way that accommodates their needs and promotes a healthy work-life balance.
Carry out salary reviews across the board
Ensure that support staff are considered for annual salary reviews on par with fee earners. Recognise that both roles contribute to the overall success of the firm.
Address concerns about treatment and value through open and transparent communication. Regularly check in with support staff to understand their needs and address any issues promptly.
Offer professional development opportunities
Offer professional development opportunities for support staff to upskill and contribute more effectively to the firm’s goals. This might include training programmes, mentorship, and opportunities for advancement.
Make bonus schemes inclusive
Include support staff in annual bonus schemes to recognise and reward their hard work and dedication.
Ensure that support staff salaries are competitive within the industry, considering factors such as experience, skills, and market standards.
Provide clear career paths
Even if professional growth opportunities are limited, provide clear career pathways or alternative ways for support staff to grow and advance in their careers.
Implement fair notice periods
Review and rationalise notice periods for support staff to ensure fairness and consistency across different roles within the firm.
Carry out regular performance reviews
Conduct regular performance reviews for support staff, providing constructive feedback and acknowledging their contributions to the firm’s success.
Introduce forward-thinking policies
Implement policies that demonstrate a commitment to fairness and employee satisfaction, such as timely salary reviews and realistic probationary periods.
Ultimately, recognising the value of support staff is not just about employee satisfaction; it’s about creating a workplace culture that fosters collaboration, productivity, and long-term success for the entire firm. Firms that invest in their support staff are likely to attract and retain top talent, giving them a competitive edge in the legal industry.
If you’d like to learn more or if you’d benefit from tailored advice on how to improve your attraction, recruitment and retention strategy, give Jenny a call on 03300 245 606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.