For any small business owner, hiring and retaining staff is critical. It may be, in fact, more important than ever: according to data from the Pew Research Center, the US saw a 20-year high in the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs as part of the more significant phenomenon commonly referred to as the Great Resignation. Immigration law firms are no exception.
Many who’ve left their jobs voluntarily in the last few years did so due to, in part, unsatisfactory benefits and lack of flexibility in their work arrangements. So it’s essential to consider what benefits your immigration firm offers new and existing team members and whether or not they elevate the quality of your work environment overall.
This article dives into common benefits your immigration law firm should have as well as other, more modern, benefits that you can consider providing as well, as a way to attract and retain talent in 2023 and beyond.
Salary isn’t the only thing that matters to an employee considering your law firm for the next step in their career; employee benefits are just as significant. Some benefits have become standard practice in compensation packages, so let’s explore those first.
The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the need for comprehensive healthcare for many families; however, healthcare, along with competitive pay, is one of the most important benefits a potential employee looks at when thinking about a great place to work. Small firms typically will only be able to offer one or two plan options; whatever you can offer, try to select plans that provide comprehensive coverage options that are clear to employees. If you’re concerned about how much this will cost, consider business health insurance options created through the Affordable Care Act or compare private insurance options to get the best price.
Sometimes, you can add these to your general health insurance package, but there are also individualized dental and vision plans you can offer. While adding more expensive options to a health insurance package may seem counterintuitive, dental and eye treatments can be costly yet unavoidable in some cases (for example, for an employee that wears prescription glasses). When you, as an employer, provide as many ways as possible to eliminate barriers to maintaining physical health, your employees can stay engaged in their work, which results in better outcomes for your firm and your clients.
Offering a retirement plan to your employees shows you are invested in their future, especially if you offer a company match. In addition, tax benefits are available to small businesses that provide retirement plans thanks to an expanded tax credit for small businesses that offer retirement plans. To help your employees maximize their retirement, you can offer financial advising sessions to help them plan for their future. Many companies that offer retirement accounts have online financial education and planning webinars, planning calculators, and other tools accessible to your employees from anywhere. To review retirement options for small businesses, check out some resources provided by the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
Paid time off (PTO) refers to vacation days or other instances where employees get paid while out of the office, such as bereavement leave. In recent years, unlimited paid time off has become more prevalent in different industries. However, in reality, most companies don’t give blanket total time off but provide flexibility on taking time off as work permits. Whatever route you choose, when employees have the flexibility to step out as needed and build a better work-life balance, as long as it doesn’t harm the business, that may actually help to increase their productivity and develop a sense of trust among everyone at the firm. Transparency is key to a successful PTO policy so ensure employees understand your time off policy and how to request time off.
Going beyond the traditional employee benefits shows that you care about your employees’ well-being and invest in them as professionals and people. The return on investment of retaining employees through a robust benefits package also reflects Value on Investment (VOI), which goes beyond ROI regarding cases completed and fees collected. It looks at how satisfied your employees are at their jobs, how productive they are, and to what extent they avoid serious health issues, burnout, and other situations that ultimately cause not just their well-being, but law firm productivity as well, to suffer.
Here are some of the benefits that have emerged in recent years that are attractive and beneficial to employees.
These benefits have become more prevalent in workplaces nationwide as part of different diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. These benefits could include financial support in fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which can cost thousands of dollars, paid leave time after a miscarriage, or legal and financial support for people, singles or otherwise, looking to adopt a child. The level to which these benefits are becoming more commonplace speaks to how much employees appreciate them and how companies’ understanding of healthcare expands to include how people engage in family planning.
These may include supporting both physical and mental health. Physical wellness benefits may consist of discounted gym memberships, meal planning services, etc. By contrast, mental health support may include access to therapy, counseling services, and other forms of support so that employees can take care of themselves.
It’s important to note that expanding these benefits requires a company culture that supports employee well-being, including an environment where employees feel safe discussing any possible issues and trust and empathy between employees and management.
When volunteering decreases in society, it increases in the workplace. Developing employee volunteer programs engages employees in causes that matter to them and meets a company’s charitable goals by matching employee donations. Volunteer opportunities can also allow you to see your employees develop skills like leadership and collaborative problem-solving. Like with other benefits, getting feedback from your staff on volunteer opportunities they would appreciate helps develop firm culture, which in turn strengthens employee retention and makes hiring individuals who align with that culture easier.
These may include choosing where employees work, how many days they’re required to come into the office or whether they can work remotely full-time. Indeed, studies are finding that employees seek alternative employment if their current employers don’t offer flexible work options. Flexible work arrangements increase productivity, employee engagement, career longevity, and retention. Moreover when employees have a say in their schedules and work arrangements this helps build a sense of belonging and empowerment at work.
As your firm grows and your benefits become more robust, your firm will need tech that can keep up.
So if you're looking for a modern, cloud-based, and flexible immigration case management and client relationship management (CRM) platform to help you run your immigration law firm, Docketwise is here for you.
Our CRM, easy-to-use client questionnaires, and industry-leading API integrations, Docketwise lets you stay current on all your cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your law firm.