For Bruce Humphrys, retaining good people provides the firm’s clients with continuity
For HopgoodGanim Lawyers, people are the firm’s greatest asset, and retention “has always been a priority,” managing partner Bruce Humphrys says.
“The current employment market within the legal industry and beyond is putting a heightened focus on retention strategies,” he explains to Australasian Lawyer. “We intend to keep talking to our people about what matters to them most in their workplace.”
Staff retention is one of HopgoodGanim’s fundamental goals, and the firm has worked hard to keep that focus front of mind throughout COVID-19. Over the past year, HopgoodGanim introduced a complimentary week of annual leave, invested heavily in pro bono and philanthropic initiatives, and invested in new technology to support flexible work. These initiatives demonstrate that the firm’s commitment to its staff has only intensified throughout the duration of the pandemic.
“There are many reasons why we have always had a focus on retaining good people, not least of which is being able to provide our clients with continuity of the team they work with and the obvious benefits that a long-lasting and deep relationship between client and legal advisor provides,” Humphrys says.
Over the last 18 months, HopgoodGanim has looked to stay in touch with its people and to be flexible in its approach to managing staff workloads and wellbeing. The firm recognised that COVID-19 struck each person differently, creating a need to diversify expectations surrounding productivity.
“For some of our staff, remaining very busy with client work was an important part of their wellbeing during otherwise very uncertain times, while for others, the pressures of various lockdowns and other restrictions made it very difficult to maintain the same pace of work that they had previously,” Humphrys explains.
“Our approach was to keep communicating with our people about how they were coping and to provide enough flexibility in our work practices to ensure that no member of our team felt any unnecessary additional pressure on top of that which already existed as a result of the pandemic.”
In addition, HopgoodGanim beefed up its L&D team to serve as a “great learning house” to employees. The firm also sought out frank conversations with staff and improved on its employee value proposition.
Among these improvements was the formalisation of the firm’s flexible working arrangements. HopgoodGanim centred its approach around striking a balance for all of its stakeholders.
“We think our current flexibility arrangements are achieving the right balance between the ‘flex’ and the needs of the business in terms of teams collaborating face to face, culture building activities (both formal and informal), learning and development opportunities and of course, the needs of our clients for our teams to be available and accessible,” Humphrys says.
Moreover, HopgoodGanim introduced key ESG initiatives, including the election of a new leader to its pro bono program. The firm also presented a generous financial donation to two of its charity partners, The Salvation Army and Lifeline WA, as part of its staff COVID-19 vaccine initiative.
"Like our competitors, our firm’s success is directly linked to the quality of our people,” Humphrys explains. “We know, from speaking to our people that the aspects of their workplace they value the most are the chance to engage in authentic conversations, our spirited and caring culture, and being rewarded and recognised appropriately. These remain our priority.”
HopgoodGanim Lawyers was named among the 2021 Employer of Choice awardees.