Building trust in firm boosts job satisfaction

PUTTING IN WORK: Partridge Snow & Hahn legal secretaries, 
from left: Rosa Almeida, Bernice Sousa and 
Ana Saccota.

PBN PHOTO/ 
RUPERT WHITELY /
PUTTING IN WORK: Partridge Snow & Hahn legal secretaries, from left: Rosa Almeida, Bernice Sousa and Ana Saccota. PBN PHOTO/ RUPERT WHITELY /

Partridge Snow & Hahn’s David M. Gilden says it’s easy managing a law firm or any business, for the matter, during good times. The real test comes when facing extreme challenges.
The attorney, who has managed the Providence firm for 10 years, believes the company’s leadership not only passed that test during the recent recession but made it a defining moment in their company’s history.
“There were no surprises, which was comforting to employees,” Gilden said.
The company offers a smorgasbord of benefits and perks, including bonuses, a staff-recognition program, 401(k) match, telecommuting options, on-site fitness center and a wellness initiative.
However, Gilden said the firm’s benefits have always been appreciated. He said it was the trust that the firm earned from employees during the bad economy that enhanced job satisfaction. It nurtured the feeling that if my company is honest and transparent during the worst of times, it can surely be relied on all the time.
“We didn’t plan on layoffs and we communicated that all along,” Gilden said. As important as reassuring job security, Gilden said staff felt a genuine empathy from their employer.
“We know when they come to work it is impossible to leave what is going on in their lives behind,” he said.
It also helped to be honest about the financial state of the firm as well as the firm’s clients. Whether it’s during companywide meeting or in regular e-mails, sharing financials is a practice that occurs regardless of the economic landscape.
Gilden said there was no hiding staff appreciation at the end of last year when – contrary to industry trends – the firm wrapped up a strong financial year. The announcement came with a companywide bonus. &#8226

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