Evolving Expectations

02/03/23 published by Job Legal Board

How to keep up with changing employee expectations

In a world where uncertainty and change seem to be the only things we can be sure of – it’s hard to know what to do to satisfy the changing needs of your workforce.

Even so, your business wants to attract and retain top legal talent. So you need to be able to adapt and incorporate the latest changes in technologies and work styles, or risk getting left behind.

Here are some simple ways to keep staff engaged despite changing conditions.


  1. Don’t limit yourselves to a single place of work.


Hybrid models that combine the option of office and home working are now essential for any business wanting to compete in the talent market today. In our age of distributed teams and tech enabled systems – work can usually be done remotely.

This mitigates risk because you (and your clients) will know that work can still get done if we experience another lockdown, or dramatic weather, or public transport strikes, or something else. Remote work systems also create opportunities to explore the talent market in other cities, or even countries, and could even lead to you setting up shop in new locations.

But with the continuous shift towards remote work, here comes a new set of concerns for HR leaders and talent teams.

  • How can you foster an inclusive culture when some employees aren’t even in the same building?
  • How do you ensure that your team members are being productive and staying connected?
  • How do you minimise information security risks?

It’s clear that business leaders now need to provide a variety of tools and resources that cater to both remote and in-office employees.

You need to have the right technology, confidence in your culture, top security, and company programs that are inclusive and accessible – so that both on and off site teams are kept engaged, motivated, and productive.


  1. Encourage your people to work together


Collaboration is about more than brainstorming.

Your employees want to connect easily with one another. And they’re more effective at work when they can share information at a moment’s notice, both internally and externally.

According to HubSpot, “72% of B2B buyers say they would give a company a lower rating if they didn’t receive prompt and accurate responses from their vendor’s sales team.” And a recent McKinsey Global Survey suggests that the new generation of business communication tools are contributing to surges in staff productivity – something any busy legal firm can get on board with.

To keep track, you can make good use of collaborative technology channels like Slack, Trello and Asana that are designed to bring teams together and boost productivity.


  1. Understand your company culture


Culture is a bit like charisma – you haven’t really got it unless you can make it look effortless.

Nevertheless, culture is a HR hot button, with companies working hard to show the world why theirs is the one to watch. Because talented lawyers want to work for firms who seem to have a great culture.

One ‘effortless’ way to improve company culture is through developing great channels for communication and collaboration. When people effectively work together, they become invested in each other’s success.

If you can get your people united around a single purpose and on the same page when it comes to company values and goals, then you’ll be well on your way to creating an enviable culture.

It may help to ask your people to express who they are and what they stand for, as these insights can further clarify your mission and help each person see how they fit into the bigger picture.


  1. Set up adaptable workplace systems


There are countless cloud-based solutions that you can lease to access everything you need to run your business.

That means securing your hardware, software, cloud services, financing and support though one easy single package. This is easier to budget for than trying to create all these systems yourself, and gives you greater flexibility.

This approach means you can focus on the ‘growth’ related areas of business and channel your efforts into attracting and retaining the talent who can give you a competitive edge.

And because these systems are versatile and flexible, they can be set up to cater to a range of different working styles and adapt to new and changing expectations – so your workplace systems work for more people.


  1. Tap into underrepresented talent


A diverse workforce can help firms gain access to a broader range of talent and unlock ideas and perspectives that lead to more innovative products, services, and processes.

The idea that ‘representation matters’ is not simply an ideal for greater inclusion – though that’s something everyone should be aiming for. It means your firm will better understand a broader range of client profiles because you’ll have people within your business with similar experiences and backgrounds. 

Catering to everyone requires the workspace to be accessible, considerate of physical and sensory needs, and supportive of different thinking styles and preferences. Getting this right will ensure your employees feel engaged, included, and able to make their unique contribution.

The bottom line

You can’t control the tide – but you can make certain choices that will put you in a better position to handle whatever the waves wash up next.

When your workplace can offer flexible, resilient, and inclusive systems, your employees can feel centred around something they universally need. A sense of stability.

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