There are many organizational structures in today’s knowledge-intensive, high-tech economy. Faced with disruptive business models and transformative technologies, forward-looking managers are looking beyond the pay cheque for effective ways to recruit, retain and engage workers.
“Effective management is about more than keeping employees happy,” says Jeremy Diamond, a plaintiff personal injury litigator and Managing Lawyer for Diamond and Diamond Lawyers. ”It’s about being kind to people on many levels, engaging them in a shared mission, and letting them see that they have an impact.”
Jeremy Diamond has a history of fighting for his clients, so it’s no surprise that he places a high value on creating and maintaining a positive company culture. As the face of Ontario’s fastest growing personal injury law firm, Jeremy Diamond also sees the value in articulating a corporate vision and using it to motivate staff members and lawyers to take Diamond and Diamond Lawyers to the next level.
“We’re well known and widely respected,” Diamond says. “Our name, and reputation for righting wrongs attracts talented lawyers and staff who want to work for a top injury law firm. After that, it’s up to us to retain them. At Diamond and Diamond Lawyers, we pride ourselves on creating a culture that gets people excited and makes them want to stick around.”
The “getting people excited” part of the equation is easy for Jeremy Diamond, a passionate advocate for the importance of personal injury litigation. In both his words and his actions, he conveys an absolute certainty that his work changes lives for the better. Couple that with a David and Goliath-style commitment to helping individuals who have been wronged by large corporations, and the firm attracts employees who believe in fighting for just causes and making the world a better place.
They also want to stick around—the second half of a five-pronged retention strategy based on employee appreciation, support for personal growth, respect, healthy workplace initiatives, and involved leadership.
There’s more to a positive work environment than Dress-Down Fridays and Staff Breakfasts, but a little appreciation goes a long way. In addition to monetary rewards in the form of promotions, pay raises, and gift cards, at Diamond and Diamond Lawyers created a special recognition program that encourages employees to come forward and let the administration know when one of their colleagues has done something remarkable for the firm or contributed in a special way. Diamond and Diamond also hosts events, brings in various lunches and off-site teambuilding exercises.
“It’s critical to acknowledge employees who go above and beyond,” says Diamond. “We can’t provide excellent legal counsel and representation in the courtroom if we don’t have the best staff. The people who work for Diamond and Diamond make the firm what it is.”
Support personal growth
If employees can’t grow within an organization, they will likely look outside for opportunities for personal and professional growth. At Diamond and Diamond Lawyers, there is plenty of room for both within the firm. There is also a system in place to bolster the ambitions of staff and encourage them to pursue their passions. The pay-off for employees is a sense that the company cares about them as individuals; the pay off for the firm is a cadre of loyal employees who communicate their enthusiasm for the company to the clients they serve. “We let employees know that we support them in their life paths,” says Diamond. “The goal is to let our staff and lawyers know that they have choices and that the firm is here to help them.”
Give respect to get respect
According to Jeremy Diamond, the key to instilling an organizational ethos of respect is treating employees respectfully. “Respect their time and the effort they put into building the business,” he says. “Respect what they value and get to know them as people—not just as employees. It can start with something as simple as learning their names and taking the time to exchange a few words.”
Pay attention to health and well-being
Partners at Diamond and Diamond Lawyers devote many hours to discussing how to best care for and energize their staff and lawyers. “We’re essentially a large family,” says Jeremy Diamond. “We care for each other and support one another.” In addition to promoting a culture of health and wellness, the firm’s support system translates to increased employee satisfaction and a more positive approach when interacting with clients.
Lead by Example
The old expression, “Do as I say, not as I do”, doesn’t carry much weight when it comes to motivating employees and encouraging their loyalty. On the other hand, there’s endless inspiration in an employer who works as hard as, or harder than, the rest of the staff.
With offices all over Ontario, and repeated wins in the “Personal Injury Lawyers” category of the Consumer Choice Awards, there’s a clear benefit in getting people excited and making them want to stick around. “Diamond and Diamond Lawyers is on a very public upward spiral that gets people excited about our potential,” says Jeremy Diamond. “People feel good about themselves when they’re part of a success story, and they feel even better when they can see the positive impact of their involvement. That’s what we offer our employees and that’s why we’re the leaders in personal injury litigation.