AADVO – Law Office
Case study delivered by Mrs. Alina Ailenei, the owner
Law office operating in:
- Corporate & commercial (including arbitration and dispute resolution);
- Employment & labor law;
- Tax, fiscal & banking;
- EU law & environmental (including authorizations & permits obtaining);
- IT&C law;
- Real estate & construction.
Core team – 11 lawyers & experts collaborators.
Main reasons and motives for the decision to implement the age management measures
One of the first motives that come into my mind is a personal one, emotionally origined. At the beginning of my career, I was first an employee. And unfortunately, all my bosses were time abusive and highly demanding without considering me as a person and my needs, my health. Situations like daily working extra hours without being paid, of course, never recognizing personal efforts of the employee and always blaming him/her, no vision on the teamwork and the role of a leader, made me promise myself that if ever getting in the same shoes I’ll never do the same to my own employees.
So as an entrepreneur, when I considered making my team of lawyers and experts, I spent a lot of time thinking on the aspects related with their needs as workers and how should I approach this personnel management in a way that will make them more confident, productive and – why not – happy and pleased with their work and their working place.
The second important reason is my personal view on how a community should function. Every individual has his own needs and ignoring them or just simply placing them outside my work perspective would be selfish and unproductive on the long term. If you want a nice and feel good environment you need to take care of each element, starting with the people and not the business purpose or focusing on achieving mainly results (financials).
The measures taken for my office are not considering only the age as important but they are addressing the wider age range and the needs – they aim all the people we are getting in contact with!
Age management dimensions (measures taken)
- Learning, training and lifelong learning
- Flexible worktime practices
- Health protection&promotion
- Recruiting retired people
The internal program & policy is named AdvoCare. The main aim for the program was to create a real protection and sustainment for the employees in order to increase their:
1. Expertise and proficiency;
2. Loyalty to the firm;
3. Personal and professional wellbeing.
Strengths and weaknesses of the chosen approaches
Flexible working hours
- Strengths: increased productivity, increased teambounds (they need to syncronise, they talk to each other more, they rely on each other), increased personal confidence and engagement in the working time
- Weaknesses: lack of predictability for mid and long term activities in the office (but this does not affect the overall tasks because they always depend on each other)
- Strengths: they work as they were trained and they completely understand the working process approached by the office, increased efficiency, increased independency to fulfill complete jobs for specific clients (they only need supervision in exceptional cases)
- Weaknesses: it takes a long time to achieve a complete training process (in our case, minimum 1 year); there is no guarantee that an employee, once trained won’t leave and you will not also benefit from the long training period.
- Strengths: healthier and happier employees, loyalty
- Weaknesses: costs that are not reflected directly in the work
Hiring retired persons
- Strengths: these persons are already trained and have a huge experience. The company benefits from it directly without actually making investments. Also, these employees are valuable for the company as they bring diversity and inclusion. There are other personal benefits for them, at personal level, which makes us really proud and happy as a company.
- Weaknesses: you cannot rely on extended years of work for them, so you constantly need to have a backup solution.
“Aha” moments experienced during the process
How is our initiative sustained?
The AdvoCare is sustained first by me as owner and initiator of the policy and second by the team itself. We successfully implemented the flexible program with the shared contribution of everybody and now this is self-sustained. The in-office training is also a permanent approach in the company, as the things are constantly changing and the issues for the clients are wide and sometimes complex, requiring people to team-up and work together. Also, it become a natural specialisation within the team that certain people handle certain clients and thus, they become experts in the issues related with that client. Each time another member of the team needs advice and counselling for a similar issue, they directly address to the expert.
The private health insurances are sustained from the profits of the company and I consider definitely keeping them in the long run as they bring a significant benefit for the employees’ satisfaction, loyalty and wellbeing.
Monitoring system of the effects
In the early years of the implementation for AdvoCare program, observing each day the way things were at the office and between employees, helped me consider the first effects in my approach. Direct feed-back of the team concerning the flexible working time or in-office training was also the main monitoring tool. Therefore, we got the habit of speaking up our issues, fears, problems, issues as early as possible, in order to understand and find appropriate solutions.
Beneficial effects of the measures
First of all, I can say that I am surrounded by happier and satisfied people at work, which is a huge gain and a great comfort for me, as an employer. They are not like that only at professional level, but also at personal level.
We have our weekly informal meetings where we just talk about ourselves and how we are generally with life and I am sure that my employees, at this time, are happy with working here and with how they are integrated in this office.
I know that it sounds a cliché, but truly, when employees feel good at work, than be sure that their productivity and their quality of work increases.
Also I can rely on them, I am not worried at any time that they would leave the company and I am sure about the team and the way we organised our team is highly functional and harmonious.