How to Create and Maintain Your Dream Firm Culture
As important as discussing important issues is, taking action is even more important. It is through the actions they take that law firms can affect change. It is also through taking action that we create and establish a culture in our firm.
So today we are going to talk about values and how to understand what your firm believes and supports. From there, we’re going to discuss company culture and how important it is to running a business. Finally, we’re going to teach you specific things you can do to reinforce the culture you want in your firm.
First and foremost, you have to understand your own personal values. If it’s your business, people are going to look to you to set the tone. This provides an incredible opportunity to step back and think about what you and your firm believe in.
Ask yourself, “What do I support?” Then turn it around and ask, “What do I stand against?” It’s not just about what you’re for but about what really bugs you. Make sure you’re working around both of those things.
From there, you can start to work on your firm culture. This doesn’t have to include your stances on political issues. It could just be things like work/life balance, charity, or giving back to your community. It could be things you believe in or just the way you approach work. In sum, show up as your authentic self and that will lead you to your culture.
One caution here is to be proactive against the life experiences and work baggage you bring in. Based on your history, you may have certain things ingrained in you and in how you work. Make sure you are on guard against these tendencies and constantly reinforcing the life and firm culture that you actually want.
Clarity is King
One of the biggest ways you can maintain your dream firm culture is by being clear. Have a very clear culture and make sure that your team knows what that culture is. This will help your team all be on the same page and rowing in the same direction.
This will also eliminate the waste that can be produced when team members are spending resources on things that either contradict each other or just don’t fall in line with the team’s goals. The more our teams know about our firm culture, the more they will embrace that culture and do things that support that culture.
What Actions Should I Take to Support My Culture?
One of the first things to do to support your culture is to brainstorm with your team. Talk through the type of things you can do to support your company’s values and support your culture. This confirms that everyone knows, understands, and has some buy-in with the company culture.
Another action you should take is to back up your values with integrity. For example, if work/life balance is a value in your firm, live that out with your team. This may include allowing your team to have flexible hours that allow for nontraditional working time. Allow them to work in a way that fits their schedule.
Another thing you could do to support work/life balance is implement communication tools. Many of these tools allow you to put up a lot of messages in one place where everyone can see them and use the information when it’s their time to work.
This makes working from home much easier. You may even consider implementing a hybrid model where people can work from home when they need to.
Regardless of what actions you take, don’t forget the bottom line: your values and your culture. Always align your actions with both your values and your firm culture and you will maintain it for the life of your firm.
If you want to learn more about firm culture and affecting change, check out Episode 012: Taking Action to Be the Change You Want to See.