Learming Hub

Triona Ferriter, Chief People Officer, Arthur Cox

 

“As with many other organisations, Arthur Cox had to very quickly pivot to new ways of working in the past 18 months – which gave us the opportunity to fully leverage our strengths as a firm while also highlighting opportunities for us to improve and accelerate change. Arthur Cox’s purpose is to represent all round excellence in the law firm experience for our clients and our people. Our lawyers and support colleagues have typically worked in a high pressured environment, ensuring best in class service delivery with domestic and international clients often against tough deadlines – which has engendered a culture of resilience. The past 18 months however, brought a whole new dimension which required our people to maintain this strong client focus but in a more challenging work, personal and societal environment.

Effective communication became a core tenant to supporting colleagues through this time – regular updates via email and video from our Managing Partner, weekly team meetings to keep a sense of connection and alignment, and informal one to one check-ins – from peer buddy calls to ‘virtual open door’ sessions with partners to support more junior colleagues. Core to this effective communication was ensuring a tone of transparency and empathy – there were many restriction phases along the way, and the multiple lock downs drove ‘virtual meeting fatigue’, a sense of disconnection and isolation for some colleagues as well as challenges for us all in managing our boundaries. Focusing on mental and physical wellbeing was an ongoing theme – creative social events and initiatives such as our ‘Fit4Feb’ event earlier in the year where teams came together virtually to join in weekly fun fitness challenges throughout the month of February was one such example that supported us through a particularly tough period. We know that working through tough and stressful times builds resilience but it is crucial that we learn from those experiences.  The successful implementation of our newly shaped Hybrid Working policy, allowing colleagues to work up to 50% of their time remotely, in addition to a focus on refreshed guidance on best practice for team communications will be key aspects of our People strategy going forward – allowing us to continue to build on our resilience muscles as a firm.”