Develop a Plan
Developing an attorney well-being plan can seem overwhelming, but let’s break it down into a few smaller tasks to take some of the stress away.
Follow these simple steps to start crafting your plan.
Collect information on the programs and services that your firm already offers. Think about this question broadly and include HR, Recruiting, Professional Development, Business development, Practice groups, affinity groups, and any other department or group that might be sponsoring programs or activities.
Dig a little bit deeper to find out more about the services and support that the firm’s benefits package already offers. As one of my clients recently told me “law firms are not great at highlighting the amazing benefits that are already available to attorneys and staff.” Consider the inventory process as a cost-free way of including great benefits in your attorney well-being program!
2. ASK QUESTIONS
Once you know what you have, you can consider what else you need. Whether you find this information out by small-group discussions, specific requests or formal surveys or employees, you are going to be asking questions about what else attorneys need to feel supported in their well-being journey.
This type of information gathering can be done by consultants using sophisticated survey tools or you can undertake this job on by yourself (the CDC has a guide on workplace wellness surveying). Make sure to ask the questions in multiple different ways so that you can get a full sense of what your attorneys need.
3. SET TARGETS
Use the goals you set to develop specific targets for your plan. These targets can be specific or more general. If your goal is to increase physical activity among attorneys, your plan might set a target to “increase in the number of attorneys getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week by 25%." The target can also be more general. For example, if your firm has a goal of supporting attorneys diverse well-being needs, your target might be based on increasing the rate of positive responses to the survey question “does your firm support your wellness goals?”
4. SELL IT!
A big part of your plan should include the steps you will take to sell it to attorneys. As I wrote in a prior blog post: attorney well-being programs are a bit like getting your children to eat vegetables – you have to keep putting them on the plate. The same applies to well-being programs. Market everything. Help attorneys understand what programs and services are offered as well as the importance and ease of participating. In addition to email, utilize newsletters, posters, signage, and maybe even a well-being portal. For example, one of my clients posted funny and colorful signs near the elevator bank highlighting the benefits of taking the stairs. Remember, the more times your well-being program “touches” your attorneys the more likely they are to participate.
A well-planned program does not need to be expensive to be successful, but it does have to be well-planned!
Tune in next week for Part 3: Implement Your Plan