Posted 2 years ago by aequitaslegal in
Aequitas Legal are excited to announce that they have been awarded the Gold Standard accreditation from Investors in People! With only 18% of businesses in the North of England to have been awarded this level and that percentage reducing further if solely based on only law firms, this is a great achievement for the company. Since being awarded Silver on last assessment, they have continued to push out innovative ideas and bring in continuous improvement across the business.
One of the main areas of change has been the introduction of a happiness, wellness and performance project which has grown over the years and led by one of the business leaders, Rachel Bird. It was initially recognised that there was no one size fits all approach when it comes to staff wellbeing and happiness so it was down to deciding which areas to work on to have the biggest impact.
One of the aims was to increase staff engagement by encouraging ideas and feedback so that they feel more involved in developing change. Another was to strengthen the communication between the staff and the business leaders to show that they are listened to and that their ideas are valuable, if not essential, for the business to grow. Finding new ways to give each employee a better sense of purpose, know where they fit into the bigger picture and leave each Staff Wellness and Performance project contributes to Aequitas Legal Gold Standard day knowing that they have made a difference and contributed. With the introduction of more holistic ideas on general health, nutrition and exercise they aimed to provide staff with the tools to make more informed choices relating to their general wellbeing. Staff have seen everything from pop up spa day massages, lunchtime walks referred to as “taking lunch alfresco not el-desko” along with inclusive challenges such as the Virgin Challenge.
With the work on performance (productivity) which is a notoriously tricky area to introduce, they have seen a considerable upturn in productivity across the business which includes all support staff who otherwise would not have been included in KPI type performance measures. Investors in People confirmed that during interviews the staff felt this has actually helped them with reaching their goals and objectives without any negative impact.
The management feels there will be many benefits to come from achieving Gold standard. One of which is the retention of current staff whilst increasing their attractiveness to new hires which will be important factors as the current plans are to expand their teams in the coming year.
Rachel commented “It’s been overwhelming to see some of changes and feedback from the staff across the board. This accreditation confirms that we have put as much time, effort and investment into our people management as we have our clients which has always been an important factor for us. As part of personal development and improvement, I have undergone training this year with the Growth Hub on their Leading Well Programme.
The programme was designed to meet the increasing needs within leadership and management teams to support wellbeing issues and develop their confidence and capability in supporting people effectively. I have found this incredibly useful and have been able to implement this directly back into my work in this area. I have felt there has been a definite shift change in what started out as a project” to becoming more an embedded part of our culture which also compliments the core values of the business.”
Senior Partner, Sucheet Amin said, “to have achieved Gold Status is an incredible achievement for the firm. Three years hard work has made that possible and the feedback we had from the assessor was overwhelming giving us confidence to strive further with our plans and our people.
“On the whole it’s been a very positive experience and a great end to the year. Come January and our eyes firmly on the Platinum Award, we will be looking at new ideas from management and staff to see areas which we can improve further.”