What is a positive workplace culture?
A positive workplace culture is an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and supported. It is a culture where employees are motivated to do their best work, feel a sense of belonging, and have a clear understanding of the organisation’s mission, values, and goals. Positive workplace culture also includes open communication, trust, and collaboration among employees, as well as a sense of accountability and a focus on achieving common goals. A positive culture can lead to increased employee satisfaction, loyalty, and motivation, which can contribute to success for the organisation.
How to create a positive workplace culture
According to the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority), a positive workplace culture is essential for the well-being and effectiveness of solicitors and their firms. The new guidance that the SRA has published on how firms can promote a positive workplace culture includes doing the following:
Encouraging a respectful and inclusive environment
Firms should aim to create a culture where everyone feels valued, respected and able to contribute. This includes promoting diversity and inclusion, and addressing any instances of discrimination or harassment.
Firms should support the well-being of their employees by providing resources and support for mental health, physical health, and work-life balance.
Providing opportunities for development
Firms should provide opportunities for employees to learn and grow, such as through training and development programs, mentoring, and promotion.
Encouraging open communication
Firms should encourage open communication and encourage employees to speak up if they have concerns or ideas. This includes having a clear and accessible process for raising issues and addressing any issues that arise.
Managing workloads effectively
Firms should manage workloads effectively to ensure that employees are not overworked or stressed, and that they have the support and resources they need to succeed.
How might the SRA respond to reports of poor behaviour under the new regulations?
Under the new rules, victims of (and witnesses to) bullying, harassment and discrimination are encouraged to make a report directly to the SRA. While the SRA acknowledges that legal practice can be stressful at times, and have expressed that they are unlikely to take action in one-off situations of poor management, they have stated that they will take regulatory action where it is clear that workplace culture has contributed to unethical behaviour and/or poor outcomes for clients.
How VinciWorks can help
VinciWorks’ SRA training suite helps all staff working in the legal profession to develop an understanding of the relevant regulations which apply to their specific role in the law firm. We update the courses in our suite regularly to reflect any changes that the SRA makes to its standards and regulations.
Our SRA Compliance Management Suite, powered by our Omnitrack tool, allows firms to collect data efficiently and securely into one centralised location. Firms could use these tools to take proactive measures to improve workplace culture. For example, firms can use Omnitrack to help measure wellbeing across the firm with culture surveys and audits and reporting forms.
In addition, COLPs and COFAs can seamlessly review all completions, aggregate data via a centralised dashboard and monitor, track, alert and follow up on progress updates to the standards. These systems will also be amended to reflect any changes to the regulations.
How Compliance Office can help comply with the new guidance
Founder and CEO Andy Donovan, a former SRA legal policy advisor, and the staff at Compliance Office keep their pulse on the latest SRA compliance news and updates. Compliance Office’s team of consultants draws on years of experience and a proprietary set of tools and templates to help law firms meet their compliance needs. Along with our partners at VinciWorks, we offer a full range of compliance training, software, and consultancy services. Compliance Office has many years of expertise in SRA conduct, money laundering and accounts rules, and keeps its pulse on the latest AML and SRA rules and requirements.
Book a free consultation with us today for guidance on anything SRA-related.