Retreat Empowers Management and Improves Morale

A law firm in the northeast was experiencing many of the growing pains that closely-held, family-run law firms often experience. While very profitable, the firm was loosely managed.  There were not standards of acceptable behavior or accountability for inappropriate actions. There was a perception of favoritism among certain staff within the firm.  Most prevalent, staff were not getting along or working well together.  This led to inefficiencies within the firm and extremely low morale.

The firm turned to Altman Weil for solutions to these issues.  We suggested that they engage in a firm-wide retreat focused on improving working relationships, defining what professionalism in the law firm should entail, and developing standard values and acceptable behavior.

Prior to the retreat, Altman Weil conducted individual interviews with every person in the firm. As a result, we identified the main issues that led to the low morale, poor communication and lack of organization.

Altman Weil then facilitated a full day retreat with the entire firm to candidly and objectively disclose the issues in a non-confrontational manner, develop solutions, and help the firm to realize that a level of professionalism was critical to its success. The retreat also resulted in specific ideas for how firm management could improve morale and make the firm environment more pleasant.

By the end of the retreat, there was 100% agreement that the standards established during the retreat should be upheld and all should be accountable. Most importantly, all agreed to give firm management the latitude and authority to enforce the established values and standards of behavior. 

Since then, the firm has seen a noticeable change in behavior and attitude.  Because of the buy-in established during the retreat, the firm has been able to enforce measures to ensure adherence to its values and standards for behavior.  And firm management has gained additional respect for its commitment to the best interests of the firm.

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