stock wellness walk

Relaxation and rejuvenation can be contributing factors to a person’s wellness. Several law firms recognize this and, therefore, provide amenities for their attorneys to help them avoid burnout.

Caytie Matti, director of human resources and talent success at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC in Cleveland, Akron and Canton, discussed the importance of providing wellness outlets for employees at law firms.

“We have a big push for wellness at our firm, and I think it’s more important, really, than anything else because if people aren’t taking care of themselves, they can’t ultimately do anything for the employer,” Matti said.

Employees may be able to perform well in the short term without taking care of their wellness but, in the long term, employers want their workers to be healthy, happy and have well-rounded lives, she said.

It is important for a mentality that embraces wellness to start at the top of an organization, she said.

“Our managing partner exercises every day and he does not work himself into sickness,” she said.

A leader exemplifying qualities such as getting sufficient sleep and not checking their work communications past a certain time each day will impart the same values on employees and encourage them to practice a healthy work-life balance, she said.

“When your leader has that mindset, everybody else can’t help to have that, as well,” she said.

Firms may cover the costs for an employee, and sometimes their spouse, to join a fitness center, take fitness classes, receive holistic treatment such as acupuncture or enroll in a weight-loss program, so long as they provide proof of participance, she said.

Social outings, such as parties, dinners and recreational activities, create a sense of bonding among employees and give them an opportunity to get to know each other in more casual settings, she said.

“When we had summer associates in, it was interesting because I tried to get feedback from them on things that they would like during their experiences and they actually wanted to spend time with all the more senior attorneys,” she said.

Happy hours and holiday luncheons at offices can also help bring employees together and interact with each other, she said.

It is important for employees to see that their firms are invested in their wellness, she pointed out. She said firms want to keep their employees around for a long time and, in order to retain them, relaxation and rejuvenation must be factors that they place at high importance. They should strive to see their employees last at the company and prioritize their growth, Matti said.

Newer associates, in particular, should be able to see that their firm has their best interests in mind, she said. They need to know that their employer is invested in their success and also feel taken care of by the more senior attorneys.

“There’s nothing more important than taking care of yourself. If you’re not healthy, you’re not going to be able to perform your job well,” Matti said. “You don’t have to give your soul to be successful.”

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