When it comes to lawyer well-being at the organizational level, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Let’s break it down.

The Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers by Anne Brafford for the ABA is your go-to resource for making positive and lasting changes to improve wellness in your organization. On page 8, it defines a Healthy Workplace:

A healthy workplace is one in which all organizational members collaborate to continually improve processes to protect and promote member well-being and organizational success. All seek alignment of organizational and member goals and needs so that they can grow and thrive together.

What would it take to make your organization a more healthy workplace?

Creating well-being in a legal workplace can feel like a tall order. It can be hard to visualize something you may never have actually seen before.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter so much where you start. Just get the conversation going. With a few high-quality, inclusive, and substantive conversations, your team can start identifying priorities.

Aim for small wins so that you can practice communicating and start enjoying some results. Once your team feels truly seen, heard, and understood, you’ll come together to build a well-being structure that fits your team.

Karen Kranbuehl, JD, MSW, CEO of SAY IT Solutions

Want more of a breakdown on what the Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers says about organizations?

It starts by laying out and explaining the 13 aspects of workplace wellness and each step of a suggested action plan, both provided below:

  • Organizational culture
  • Psychological support
  • Clear leadership & expectations
  • Civility & respect
  • Psychological competencies & requirements
  • Growth & development
  • Recognition & reward
  • Involvement & influence
  • Workload management
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Psychological protection
  • Protection of physical safety

Policies and practices are laid out next, with a variety of opportunities to improve wellness, including diversity and inclusion, compensation and vacation, and on-boarding.

Training your leadership to guide these changes is also important. A few of the Toolkit’s workbook pages speak directly to developing positive leadership and maintaining self-care for managers. Find more resources to help you at the individual level.

Of course, this is a whole new world for most legal organizations. Consider bringing in a facilitator or trainer, like SAY IT CEO, Karen Kranbuehl, JD, MSW, to get you started.