At Baker McKenzie I’m the department manager of the IP group in London. I love my job. Not least because it comes with the responsibility (I would say privilege) of taking care of the wellbeing and performance of the 50+ people in my team. I take that responsibility very seriously. Not only because it’s the right thing to do (which it is), but also because it makes good business sense. Our talented people are what drive our business forward, and if every member of my team isn’t able to perform at their best, then the service we provide to our clients suffers. It’s also much more fun to work in a team where most of us are working at the very top of our game on most days!
I personally think people perform at their best when they’re well supported physically, mentally and emotionally. When they have a good balance between work and non-work. When they understand their role clearly and how they contribute to the purpose of the Firm. And when they’re able to really feel comfortable being themselves in the office.
It’s a constant learning curve for me, trying to work out how best to create those conditions for my team. I don’t get it right all of the time and everyone’s circumstances are different. I can try to guess what environment and assistance will work for my team members, but it’s much easier if they tell me. That’s why we encourage our people to be open and to talk to us about anything which might get in the way of them thriving at work. Whether that be a physical disability, mental health challenge, difficult short or long-term personal circumstances, anything. We’re all human, we all have a back-story, I know I have mine. My role is to do whatever I can to create a supportive environment, for each and everyone in the team.