Insights (Blog) - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Action Step –
What’s Your Plan? 7 Steps to
Creating a Leadership Development Strategy

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

 

Organizations are responsible for creating opportunities for their talent to grow professionally and providing equitable access to those paths forward. It is up to individual professionals, however, to be ready to seize those opportunities. Beyond developing technical expertise, being ready starts with getting clear about what one wants for his or her career and having a plan for getting it. Whether one wants to move into formal leadership roles and/or expand her or his knowledge and capabilities, the following seven steps provide a framework to create a leadership development plan that prompts professionals to work on their careers, not just in them.

  1. Create a Vision: Mapping out a leadership development plan starts with envisioning where you want to go. Specifically, look at where you want to be one year from now and three years from now, as research shows that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a one year but underestimate what they can get done in three. Accordingly, focusing on both points in time can bring you to a more realistic view of what you can accomplish. In addition, take the time to define what success means to you, and consider what success looks like for those who have an impact on your career as well as within your organization.

 

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5 Ways Our Benchmarking Survey
Benefits Your Firm

Today we are launching our 4th Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey and we are hopeful a significant number of AmLaw 200 firms will participate. Our survey serves as a unique opportunity for law firms to gain valuable information and insights into the effectiveness of their flexible work policies, the biases that may be present and how they compare to the rest of the industry. Our goal is to help improve individual firm’s flex policies and help to change the culture of the industry as a whole.

Five ways you’ll benefit from participating in our Benchmarking Survey:

  1. An Opportunity for Self-Assessment

By completing the survey, you will, in essence, be performing a self-assessment of your firm’s flexibility policy. The questions on the survey were designed to determine holistic flexible work usage (including reduced hours, telecommuting, flexible start/end times, annualized hours and job sharing) by attorney or staff member position, gender, race and sexual orientation. By evaluating your firm’s answers you’ll have a glimpse into the successes as well as the gaps in your policy and its usage.

  1. It’s a Small Investment of Time for Large Benefits

This year’s survey has been streamlined and modified to reduce the number of questions related to usage data and attrition. The policy-related questions focus on information that is readily available to most flexibility program managers. It is our hope that those completing the survey will be able to do so in a shorter amount of time thereby making it well worth the effort for the critical data gained.

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Action Step –
Taking the Pulse of Your Workforce

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

TAKING THE PULSE OF YOUR WORKFORCE

Before launching any initiative to promote or improve diversity or flexibility within an organization, it’s important to ensure you’re solving for the right problem. That is, rather than rushing to apply the latest industry best practice, the initiative should be tailored to address the particular needs of your organization with input from those who will be impacted. In addition to tracking a variety of workforce metrics, the Alliance recommends seeking that input in a systematic and meaningful way by engaging in one or more of the following three information gathering processes.

Surveys: Conducting engagement or climate surveys can provide a rich set of data points to understand the perception of a variety of diversity, flexibility, and/or other cultural issues within an organization, including what’s going well. These surveys typically take the form of an online questionnaire featuring a series of multiple choice questions for quantitative analysis, as well as a few open-ended questions to allow participants to comment about a specific topic or a range of topics covered by the survey. When developing the questionnaire, the organization should limit inquiry to areas it is prepared to address. Surveying without follow-up action can contribute to low participation in future surveys and even increased frustration among employees due to skepticism about the organization’s commitment to addressing the issues about which it asks…

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