A report from the Corporate Executive Board identifies 38 attributes in what it calls the Employment Value Proposition (EVP). Out of 38 EVP attributes of an organization, they found two to be the top drivers of commitment: “Manager Quality” and “Collegial Work Environment.” Manager Quality is a vast topic, barely plumbed on this blog. Collegiality I have addressed (See my post of Oct. 19, 2009: a collegiality index and benchmark for legal departments.).
Three other drivers are critical to improve both the quantity of employees attracted and the quality of their commitment: “Development Opportunities,” “Future Career Opportunities,” and “Respect.”
Since few in-house lawyers can be promoted more than once or twice in a department, “Development Opportunities” turns on giving people interesting assignments that let them grow and investing in CLE for additional training. “Future Career Opportunities” within a law department (aka career path) is an intractable problem; no general counsel wants to consciously groom lawyers to leave the department (See my post of May 4, 2009: in-house counsel career paths with 15 references.).
Fundamentally and finally, every general counsel can show genuine and frequent respect for the work done by each member of the department.