In 2019 firms continue to vie for top talent, and the competition shows no signs of slowing down. But attracting talent is only half the battle – the other half is retention. If your firm doesn’t prioritise for employee retention, you’re losing out in more ways than you might think:
The bottom line
In financial terms, it’s simple. Retaining employees leads to greater profit. Literature shows it can cost three times a lawyer’s salary to replace them. There’s the loss of intellectual property, time, client relationships and recruitment/on boarding costs for the lawyer’s replacement. It is always more effective to invest time and money into developing retention strategies than to continually replace key people.
Just as important (but not as apparent) is the impact of retention on your firm’s reputation. We’ve blogged before about the “Power of the Terrace” – put simply, if something is happening within your firm (good or bad), then it is safe to assume that your people are talking to their colleagues on the Terrace about it. The Power of the Terrace means that your employees can be your most important advocates (and most damning critics).
In WA’s legal market, rapid turnover and lateral recruitment is the norm. If you can retain your employees (especially your leaders), your firm will stand out. This will be reflected in what your employees say to their colleagues. The message spread will be that your firm is such a great place to work that with myriad job offers, your employees choose to stay. The Power of the Terrace will do the rest – boosting your firm’s brand, reputation and desirability.
But how do I retain my star performers?
It’s not just a matter of money. Past a certain salary point, the non-financial rewards start to matter more. To retain your employees, we would encourage dedication to factors like mentoring, genuine flexibility, time off following particularly busy periods, attending conferences and personalised thank-yous. These rewards will also gain more traction on the Terrace than salary alone.
We also can’t stress the importance of culture enough. For example, data collected by Tinypulse showed that employees who:
This means that a benefits package can mean less to employees than a good cultural fit (which comes as no surprise).
Get your employees – and the Terrace – buzzing about your firm. You’ll never enjoy a more cost-effective marketing strategy.