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Treating Others How They Wish To Be Treated: A Winning HR Approach

Having recently been awarded the Gold accreditation from Investors in People for its great workplace culture, Gillian Nash-Kennell, HR director at top 150 national law firm Roythornes Solicitors, explains the link between the firm’s winning culture and its ability to attract and retain talent.

‘Treat others how you wish to be treated’ is the common saying, but at Roythornes we champion the approach of treating everyone how they wish to be treated. This approach is reflected in the way our solicitors work with their clients, as well as in our company culture that guides how we treat one another.

There is an endless list of elements that create a winning culture, but individual freedom and recognition should be at the front. This is one of the reasons we currently have 10 members of staff with us that have returned following a period elsewhere, and more than 100 new faces that have joined us in the last 18 months.

Where some firms focus too heavily on financials and suffer from working in silos, our commitment to flexibility allows individuals to work most effectively, meet their desired work-life balance and reap the benefits of collaboration. Most solicitors will agree that there are multiple solutions to most problems and the law is open to interpretation, so the workplace is often improved by access to a range of resources. Making sure this is reality all starts with culture.

We make everything accessible – whether it’s our competency framework created to aid performance reviews and provide a roadmap for professional progression or it’s the two annual company-wide events that bring all five offices together. Our Investors in People award revealed that 94% of our people agree that their role enables them to work well with others, which we believe to be the result of various initiatives put in place to ensure every individual can reach their potential.

Our culture plays a role from day one, but our belief that one size does not fit all means that the goal posts are constantly changing. Yes, we have values – which 94% of our people also state that they know – however as the world that we live in changes, so do the expectations of how we move forward.

As the company grows, it becomes a bigger task to maintain understanding and consistency. This is where the value of ownership becomes imperative. If what we have is understood to be universally shared, it becomes everyone’s responsibility to play their role in protecting it.

We believe we strike the balance of individuality and commonality. If we provide the opportunities for people to collaborate on things that mean the most to them, like sustainability or wellbeing, then the surrounding environment will be supported.

Our initiatives are recognised externally and the communities in which we work are reflected in our commitments. People in the legal profession are familiar with the value of long-term relationships, so we make sure that people involved in our journey are looked after in the same way that we look after each other.

Everyone is unique, but we believe in simply respecting and embracing our differences.