Leading law firm revolutionises employee wellness strategy to prevent burnout

May 20, 2021

Top-ranked Chambers and Legal 500 law firm, Stone King LLP, has transformed its employee wellness strategy to prevent employee burnout and mental health issues within the firm, supported by workplace wellbeing experts at Wrkit.

The Mindful Business Charter member organisation, which has always emphasised the importance of mental health, has expanded its focus on wellness through appointing wellbeing champions, earmarking May as “Mental Health Month”, giving everyone an extra day of paid leave on SK Appreciation Day (4 May) and implementing a holistic employee benefits package.

Stone King’s benefits offering is complemented by healthy workplace advocate, Wrkit. The platform gives employees financial perks, mental health and workplace wellbeing courses, and the chance to win prizes. The platform also allows Stone King’s HR department to analyse data on how employees are using it to gain an overall indication of wellness within the firm.

Since introducing Wrkit in July 2020, Stone King has seen a 100 per cent uptake of employee benefits with the lifestyle savings, wellbeing and recognition offerings proving most popular.

Throughout the pandemic, the law firm has worked to assist its 250-strong workforce with increased communication, and heads of teams are regularly advised on how they should be supporting team members in both professional and personal capacities. As a result, more than eight in 10 employees (83%) agree that leadership has been strong and visible throughout the pandemic.

Stone King has offered regular social virtual events, such as quizzes, craft classes, ‘Tea & Talk’ sessions, HIIT classes and a drag artist-hosted bingo night to prevent employees from becoming too isolated. This was done with a no pressure to join approach to respect staff’s downtime as mandated by the Mindful Business Charter.

The annual engagement survey proves the value of Stone King’s focus on employee wellness, with 96 per cent of employees saying they believe they make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation and one employee saying: “[Stone King LLP has] a strong sense of culture, understanding and community. It feels like the values promoted really flow throughout the business, whereas with other companies it feels like the cultural values are afterthoughts.”

Tassy Vincent, HR Director at Stone King LLP, said: “A culture that normalises long hours and pressure, eventually leading to mental health issues and burnout, is all too common in the legal industry, but that is just not us.

“The lawyers at Stone King do people-focused work – charity, social enterprise, education, business and private clients, so we wanted to keep this idea of social responsibility at the heart of our values and ensure it includes our own employees. When we joined the Mindful Business Charter, we began to tackle these issues, but as we have placed more emphasis on a holistic employee wellness strategy, we have seen real results within the firm.

“Our collaboration with Wrkit has been an important part of revitalising our benefits offering. In our Feel Good Friday weekly post we take the opportunity to promote the benefits; from money-saving perks through to practical online wellbeing exercises, such as Pilates and meditation.  Our people have been given the tools to choose what elements they need to support their own wellbeing and personal development. The recognition module is gaining traction, encouraging peer to peer recognition in line with our Core Values. Wrkit has made an excellent partner as our two companies share very similar values relating to employee wellbeing, recognition and support.

“The drive for wellness awareness has proved so popular with employees that we have extended our Mental Health Awareness Week activities to span across the whole of May. We have wellbeing champions and engagement representatives who will be helping to inform us on what support our people need and want from the HR team as we take our Agile Working approach further to more fully incorporate hybrid working, which will be really useful.”

Jason Brennan, author and Director of Wellness and Leadership at Wrkit, said: “There’s a stereotype that lawyers have to work themselves day and night until they are keeling over with exhaustion, so it has been incredibly refreshing to work with a firm that is challenging this idea.

“Creating a healthy, positive working environment is the first step in creating a happy, healthy and motivated workforce and it takes more than simply a gym membership, for example, to achieve this. The incredibly impressive, fully rounded strategy devised by Stone King should be regarded as an example for the wider industry and we are proud to play a part in it.”