In today’s high-turnover job market, investing in your team is crucial for long-term success. We recently sat down with the highly experienced Caroline Fremont, LIHDC’s new Director of Lawyer and Client Services, to chat about this very topic. Caroline stressed the importance of well-being and human connection in the legal industry and shared ways in which businesses of all sizes can invest in and engage their employees and clients.
In her new role with LIHDC, Caroline aims to bring humanity and genuine connection into the field of law, which is often criticized for lacking such qualities.
Above all, she states, “My role as the Director of Client and Lawyer Services reflects the societal and generational changes that have allowed for people to prioritize themselves and each other while still operating a successful business. I want to serve as a conduit between lawyers and clients, fostering a strong partnership that enables both parties to thrive.”
Traditionally, many professions, especially the legal profession, have placed a higher emphasis on success and output, often overlooking the well-being of workers. This has resulted in high rates of burnout and “quiet quitting,” where employees disengage from their work and eventually leave the company without any outward signs of dissatisfaction.
A study by analytics and consulting firm Gallup shows that two-thirds of Canadian workers were quiet quitting, and 13 percent were actually quitting. They found that this decline began in 2021 and was related to a growing disconnect between employees and their employers.
This trend of quiet quitting and low employee engagement isn’t just bad for morale; in the U.S, it leads to a loss of $450-550 billion in productivity annually.
As someone who has worked in the Alternative Legal Services sector for more than half of her career, Caroline isn’t surprised by these numbers. In fact, to Caroline, these numbers signify something greater – that workers are desperately longing for something different, something that really makes them feel connected to themselves, to their coworkers, and to the business’ goals.
The Power of Happy and Engaged Employees
In Caroline’s career, she has noticed first-hand how happy and engaged employees have higher productivity levels, which leads to more profit for a business and happier customers and clients. Low levels of mental stress can also affect employee productivity, especially for minority populations like people of color, women, people with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI people, and more. Even more, high employee engagement has a stronger effect on organizational performance during a tough economy. This shows that investing in people not only benefits the business, but it also has a positive impact on society.
Implementing Ways to Invest in and Engage People
Caroline provides advice to businesses, regardless of their size, on how to invest in and involve their team members. The advice includes:
- Creating a positive work culture that values employees by offering flexible schedules, providing a comfortable work environment, and offering employee recognition programs.
- Offering mental health support such as employee assistance programs, counseling, and stress management workshops.
- Providing diversity and inclusion training to create a more inclusive work environment.
- Creating a culture of open communication by encouraging feedback and transparency.
- Offering opportunities for professional development such as training, coaching, and mentorship programs.
Caroline also suggests that your clients should be engaged in a similar manner, “They deserve to feel like they matter as people. At the end of the day, they want to do business with people they like”. She recommends checking in with them to see how they feel about the products or services they receive from you. “Genuine conversations can go a long way versus an automated survey email”, Caroline shares.
Ultimately, you want to build an environment for your team and your clients where they feel secure to voice their needs, receive support, and grow together.
We hope this conversation with Caroline Fremont has inspired you to invest in people in your business. If you’re interested in learning more about how our Client and Lawyer Services, contact us at LIHDC. Together, we can create a sustainable and successful business model that values the well-being of all involved in your business.