As administrators, we strive to continue to improve the quality of life within our firms. To do that, we need to continue to come up with new and innovative suggestions for the partners to vote on and accept as policy. One way we are able to do this is through networking. While you are at Annual Conference, be sure to spend time getting ideas from people you meet during your day. If you have a particular issue that you would like help solving, ask the people sitting next to you at meals, the people you meet in sessions or at one of the many idea exchanges offered during the week. Our fellow members are filled with ideas of what their firm is doing, how it has worked for them, what they would do differently if they had to do it over again and what they have learned since they established a new policy or procedure. One topic that is frequently discussed and where administrators are looking to set their firm apart is with benefits. For example:
I learned of an IT company in North Carolina (SAS) that has amazing benefits and was voted #2 on the 2013 and 2014 Fortune list of Best Companies to work for in the United States. SAS is able to offer each employee their own office with no cubicles on the campus, no set hours, unlimited sick days (and yet their employees average four sick days per year), on-site daycare, an on-site health care center with pharmacy, an on-site gym with a pool, live music in the lobby, four company cafes, and the list goes on. SAS receives 60,000 resumes from people wanting to be on their team. Unfortunately, most of them are not able to be hired because they have a 3% turnover rate.
I learned from the March 2014 Law Office Administrators newsletter that there is a law firm in Atlanta that has interesting add-on benefits, such as an on-site concierge for the employees. What a wonderful selling point for recruiting to be able to tell candidates that they will not have to go pick up their dry cleaning or purchase their groceries.
What are we able to learn from these two examples? What can we learn from our fellow ALA members at conference if we just ask? What new and cutting edge benefits are we able to offer our employees to keep them happy but still remain profitable? Be sure to use networking at this year’s Annual Conference to learn the answers to these questions and to share with others the unique and innovative ideas that have helped your firm become a better place to work!
Clara Onderdonk is Office Manager at Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP in Rochester, New York. She is a member of the 2014 Annual Conference Committee, a past member of the 2013 Annual Conference Committee and a member of the ALA Rochester Chapter. In May, she will be joining the Region One Team as a Regional Representative.