Fostering a positive and inclusive work environment
WHAT IS IT?
A positive work environment in a legal setting can mean many different things. Typical indicators of an overall work atmosphere are members’ confidence that their voice will be heard, employee retention, and overall satisfaction with being a part of the practice.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
A positive team climate fosters loyalty and commitment from employees. In fact, much of success is driven by the climate of the organization. A beneficial team climate allows for more creativity and innovation from the team and increases overall satisfaction. Furthermore, clients can often sense team climate when interacting with your work space. Just as a positive climate will leave them with a sense of trust and reliability, a negative culture could leave a dubious or discouraging impression.
- Work to Inspire a Shared Vision
First, either lay out for your team what the firm is trying to accomplish, or open up a conversation about exactly what your objectives are. There should be clearly set goals as well as a vision of the impact the team can have if they accomplish what they set out to achieve. If everyone is working towards the same end, the team will function better as a whole.
- Create Participatory Safety
It is up to the leader to create an environment of support and trust. Employees should feel free to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions without fear of being dismissed or chastised. Be sure to support and encourage all thoughts and ideas and do not tolerate team members who try to shoot down others’ contributions.
- Monitor Your Mood
As a more senior member of your firm, be attentive to how your mood can affect the overall work environment. Your mood – positive or negative, tired or upbeat – can be a strong indicator for how the overall team climate will mature. As well as you can, think optimistically, be pleasant with others, and operate with humor.