Teaching Inclusive Management Skills to Your Law Firm’s Leaders

Image shows a diverse team working together. It accompanies a story on inclusive management training for law firms.

According to a recent report from Gallup, only 32% of full- and part-time employees working for organizations report feeling engaged, while 18% report being actively disengaged. If your law firm’s employees feel disengaged, it directly impacts their work quality and productivity levels, which directly impacts your firm’s profits and future. The good news is that, with a little inclusive management training, your firm’s leaders can reverse this trend.

Employees Are Feeling Disengaged

Employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade from 2020 to 2021, decreasing from 36% of employees feeling engaged in their work in 2020 to 34% in 2021. “Active disengagement” increased by 2% from 2021 and 4% from 2020. 

This research shows that the decline began in late 2021 with the following areas dropping the most percentage points: 

  • clarity of expectations 
  • connection to the mission or purpose of the company 
  • opportunities to learn and grow 
  • opportunities to do what employees do best 
  • feeling cared about at work   

Inclusive Management Training Dramatically Changes the Picture 

Gallup says the good news is that, while only 32% of U.S. employees overall were engaged in 2022, there are organizations that have more than doubled this percentage. Gallup’s 2022 Exceptional Workplace Award winners averaged 70% employee engagement even during highly disruptive times. 

How did they do it? 

In a nutshell, these organizations maintained employee engagement by weaving their organizational culture and values into business decisions, embracing flexible work schedules while maintaining strong connections between inclusive managers and employees, and keeping employee mental health at the center of how work gets done. Most importantly, Gallup says these organizations equipped their managers with the skills and tools to have ongoing meaningful conversations with employees.  

These tactics may sound a little “squishy” to old-school law firms where more value has traditionally been placed on burning through hours than on creating positive cultures. But there is proof that these so-called “soft skills” directly contribute to productivity.

Research featured in Harvard Business Review shows that inclusive management can directly enhance performance. Inclusive team leaders are “17% more likely to report that they are high performing, 20% more likely to say they make high-quality decisions, and 29% more likely to report behaving collaboratively.” What’s more, they “found that a 10% improvement in perceptions of inclusion increases work attendance by almost 1 day a year per employee, reducing the cost of absenteeism.”

Work Arrangements Are Beginning to Settle 

Overall, Gallup’s data indicates that organizations are just now beginning to settle into their “new normal” of the hybrid work setting. For example, only 21% of employees reported to be working fully on-site, while 53% of employees have some form of a hybrid work arrangement, and 26% are fully remote.  

The fact that these new working arrangements are stabilizing in a more permanent way means that organizations are able to predict the future of their work setting through a more educated lens—and hopefully, raise the bar on the need for a human-centric culture.  

Teaching Inclusive Management Skills to Your Law Firm’s Leaders

If you would like to discuss the value of inclusive management training for your law firm, contact Savvy today. We are a proud partner with Kantola, which creates engaging, innovative training solutions that achieve compliance, and elevate culture. Most important to our law firm friends: Kantola collaborates with Littler, the world’s largest labor and employment practice, to create its training products. Book a brief demo today!


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