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Supporting Employee Health & Wellness at Your Firm
Poor mental health, stress, and anxiety are affecting more and more people every day, especially those in the legal industry who face demanding routines and high-stake situations on a daily basis.
Poor mental health, stress, and anxiety are affecting more and more people every day, especially those in the legal industry who face demanding routines and high-stake situations on a daily basis. It is imperative that every organization takes the necessary steps to promote employee mental health and wellbeing from the top-down if we want to create positive change and erase the stigma surrounding mental health for good.
By empowering your firm’s employees to be the best versions of themselves for their friends, family, clients, and most importantly themselves, you’ll have a happier, healthier firm and happier clients. Who doesn’t want that?
Especially during and post-pandemic, it’s more important than ever to build a work culture that values employees’ mental health as a priority. Keep reading for some ways your firm can uplift its employees and support their mental wellness.
Establish employee wellness as a core company value
At its root, our values are what guide our actions. Every organization has its values, and making them public and formal holds your firm accountable to ensure their actions are promoting those values. They also serve as a consistent reminder to look back on your values and develop new, creative ways to integrate them into various facets of your organization.
Listing employee wellness as a core company value also builds relationships with your employees on trust right off the bat. Company values are often one of the first things people look at when applying to jobs, and incorporating wellness into your values tells employees the kind of company culture they can expect.
Listen to your employees
To promote an employee-first culture, the first step is understanding the needs, concerns, questions, and wants of your employees. Having open communication about mental health sets the precedent that every individual at your firm is equally valued, heard, and supported.
A great way to open this conversation is through conducting anonymous surveys. You can ask questions like if they feel supported at your firm, what wellness resources would be beneficial for them, changes they would like to see in the organization, etc. This allows employees to play a key role in shaping the culture of the firm and ensures their needs are being met.
Encourage time off/lead by example
No matter how much you put into your work, everyone needs an opportunity to reset. As a leader, encouraging time off sends the message that you understand employees have lives outside of work that are just as important. Leading through example by taking time off yourself also actively demonstrates to your employees that it is okay to take time off and no one should ever feel hesitant to treat themselves to a well-deserved and necessary break.
Provide readily available and accessible mental health resources
Behind closed doors, you can never know what anyone is going through in their personal lives. One of the best things you can do to ensure your employees always feel supported is to provide them with readily available and accessible mental health resources.
National Helpline resources like SAMHSA and online therapy resources like BetterHelp are great options, however, there are hundreds of other resources out there. The National Institute of Mental Health is also a great place to refer to for resources on a variety of topics relating to mental health.
Provide a monthly fitness stipend
Exercise is scientifically proven to improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression, improving sleep, increasing energy, and so much more. Providing a monthly fitness stipend to your employees creates an incentive to take care of their mental health while alleviating any financial burden that might be a factor.
Have a dedicated ‘wellness’ day
At CASEpeer, one way we promote employee wellness is through a dedicated ‘wellness day’ once a month. The beauty of this is it can look different for every individual, but encourages each employee to do something, whatever that might be, that serves their mental health and wellness.
When we get into the flow of everyday tasks and responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to think of yourself, especially for personal injury attorneys who are constantly focusing on their clients. By dedicating a specific day to promoting wellness, it’s marked on your calendars so it can’t go unnoticed - and we know how much attorneys love having things in writing.
Use legal software to automate tasks and limit tedious work
Adopting practice management software, like CASEpeer, can significantly reduce employee stress and support mental health by streamlining task management and automating busy work. Attorneys have a million things to do on a day-to-day basis, and the more you’re able to optimize your time management, the more time you’ll have to focus on your priorities, including your mental health.
For example, CASEpeer automatically generates commonly used legal documents through templates, so attorneys can save time from having to re-enter the same information for each individual client. Just making small changes like this in your firm’s processes can prove to make a major impact on your team’s mental health.
While May is Mental Health Awareness Month, every day is a chance to show your employees how much they are appreciated and that you value their wellbeing. We hope these tips give you some inspiration as you go into this month, and far into the future.