For Global Company Culture Day, Fraud paralegal, Demi Thomas writes about the importance of a company’s culture and CEL’s unique approach to maintaining inclusion.
What is Company Culture?
Company culture describes the shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that make up an organisation. Aspects such as working environment, company policies and employee behaviour can all contribute to a company’s culture.
Why is Company Culture Important?
It has been reported that the average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over the span of their career. The importance of enjoying yourself at work should therefore be a priority. When you feel a sense of belonging in the workplace, you in turn have more purpose, drive, and ambition.
Those who work in the legal field know that law is not the easiest of careers. It is imperative to have support during challenging times and to feel safe in the workplace.
At CEL Solicitors, we believe that providing a positive culture for our staff is just as important as the service that we provide to our clients. An engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated workforce attracts likeminded, high-value employees.
Jessica Hampson, CEL’s Chairwoman, said that culture “is one of the most important things to get right in a law firm”, during her attendance on the Legally Speaking Podcast. She further expanded on this by stating that it is important to create an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute to.
James Crossley, a Fraud Paralegal at CEL Solicitors, explained why he thinks company culture is important:
“As a gay man, it has always been important to me to work for an employer who puts culture first. At CEL, I have been able to write a blog about the AIDS epidemic of the 80s and have led the firms Pride Month celebrations. I feel valued, heard, and appreciated as an individual and as an employee”.
How Does CEL Solicitors Instill Company Culture?
CEL Solicitors does not think or look like your regular law firm. Everything is different; the attitude of the staff, the leadership of managers, how we operate as a team; it makes you feel good about yourself.
We try to embrace culture from the very core of the company. You can see it in our values, namely:
- People Before Profits – Happy staff makes happy clients, which makes happy profits.
- Celebrating Excellence in Law – We only hire the best of the best, striving for excellence and provide an excellence service to our clients.
- Gratitude is Our Attitude – We are grateful for our staff and our clients; going above and beyond for everyone involved.
CEL applies these values everywhere possible. Most notably, once a month our Chairwoman, Jessica hosts a Culture Club where employees can spend time discussing their ideas on how to improve the culture, what works, and what can be improved.
In the most recent Culture Club, we agreed that the focus would return to mental health and stress, ensuring everyone has the tools to cope with the demands of a high intensity career. As a result, meditation sessions empowerment sessions, and PT classes have been routinely booked.
Culture Club is not the only way for our team to connect outside of their roles. Staff will regularly get involved with fundraising events ran by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee or develop inclusivity initiatives in our Diversity Committee, or staff may attend our after-hours Book Club.
On a Friday, we down tools at 3:30PM, the bar opens, and we have guest speakers visit the firm to speak about a diverse range of topics. This is such a rewarding time to de-stress, unwind and socialise with your colleagues. If we do not have a guest speaker, other activities are arranged such as a quiz, a game of bingo, pool, or even karaoke!
Alexander Jenkinson, a Fraud Paralegal at CEL Solicitors, stated that he enjoys these Fridays as “it adds to the inclusion of all departments, allowing colleagues to mix and interact”.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of our company culture is the genuine care for employees from management. Monthly 1-2-1’s occur which include mental health check-ins. We also have an anonymous suggestion box where employees can leave comments if they do not wish to speak openly. CEL values transparency, and staff are always kept updated about decisions being made.
At CEL Solicitors we pride ourselves on the fact the company is completely unique, and so are the people. This should be celebrated on Global Company Culture Day, so perhaps take some time to think about company culture at your place of work and whether any changes could be implemented to make a greater impact on staff and clients alike.