Welcome to the first article in our series for Liftoff, an annual event featuring thought leaders, pioneers, and rebels that are making the world of work better. In this series, we discuss the future of work and organizational culture with these leaders and dive deeper into the evolution of culture, communication and engagement in the workplace.
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP is a leading, independent Canadian law firm of over 115 lawyers with a reputation for providing premier legal service in all areas of business law, most notably in banking, corporate law, real estate, employment and labour, energy, insolvency and restructuring, technology, securities, and tax. The firm is also widely recognized for its skill in all areas of litigation at every level of Canadian court and is a leader in the field of international commercial arbitration.
We spoke with BD&P about leadership, workplace culture and their thoughts on the future of work! Read on to learn more.
What are your predictions for the future of work (remote work, workplace culture, or management models, etc)?
As technology continues to make it easier for employees to work remotely, it will be up to organizational leaders to make an increasing effort on engagement so that a spread-out workforce does not lose touch with company values and workplace culture. With more and more employees working off-site, the opportunities for employees to convene and establish relationships diminishes. To protect workplace culture, a multi-faceted approach to engagement will be crucial. Utilizing different forms of communication, establishing teams and workplace collaboration, and the occasional on-site event or meeting will help preserve workplace culture against a physically dispersed workforce.
How do you encourage personal and professional growth of your teams and top talent?
Take the time to learn about the career aspirations and motivations of each member of your team, and support them in their goals.
What’s one key thing you feel leaders can do better to exemplify the values and behaviours they’d like to see in their teams?
As a leader, it’s important to meet with your team to define what the desired values and behaviours mean to them. For instance, if you value teamwork and collaboration, members of your team may interpret and demonstrate that value differently. One member may exemplify collaboration by sharing resources across the organization while another may focus on sharing ideas. By understanding what these values mean to the members of your team, you can then clarify your expectation of the behaviours, and if applicable, incorporate their interpretation of the values in the way you demonstrate the behaviours.
What is your best piece of advice for those looking to improve their workplace culture and employee relationships?
Engagement. Give employees a voice and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to the workplace in a meaningful way. At BDP we established Communities of Practice: a cross-section of employees who work together to achieve workplace goals improvements. Empowering employees and making them part of the solution instantly creates buy-in, and helps to build trust and communication.