Recently there have been a lot of staff lay-offs in the world of law firms.  I know several people personally who have been downsized or restructured out of long-time positions that probably felt pretty secure, even during these trying economic times.

When I was approached last week by a friend and colleague to serve on a panel at the upcoming SEALL Conference, I had to think long and hard about whether or not I was really the best person for the job, in my own opinion.

I’ve been out of the law firm world for nearly a year now.  Working as an independent consultant with a strong legal background is my gig.  However, after discussing this opportunity with friends and trusted advisors I felt that I could offer some useful advise on the topic at hand.  As I learn more details about the other panelists and their message, I hope to add to the wisdom being offered with some out-of-the box observations.

One thing that always amazes me about ecomic crunches is that people are willing to sacrifice some of the golden rule incentives in order to have the assurance of a job.  This post really hits home the idea that managers have a responsibility to be sensitive to the economic issues and the challenges surfacing in this new era of work.  Making work less miserable despite the challenge of doing more with less is the manager’s responsibility.

Managing well goes a long way in retention of talented workers.  This very well may be one of the observations and/or discussion points in my SEALL panel presentation.  The above referenced post certainly gave me strong food for thought.

I must say that work teams are affected in both directions bottom-up and top-down.  Working through that phenomenon is a challenge indeed.

Constance Ard February 22, 2009