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Keebles helps companies to future proof their businesses at Doncaster Chamber event

Insights on boosting retention: Michele Wightman, head of Keebles’ Private Client department.

Michele Wightman, who heads Keebles’ Private Client department, has equipped companies with insights on how to build a 21st Century business and drive growth.

Helping business owners to future proof their organisations, her presentation at a Doncaster Chamber event outlined how the firm’s staff turnover has been boosted through initiatives including flexible working practices and apprenticeship programmes which have attracted more recruits from black and ethnic minorities (BAME).

Michele, a partner at Keebles, said it is vital that businesses keep a flexible mindset and recommended that they review and overhaul their existing policies.

She said: “At Keebles we conducted an independent and anonymous employee survey to address some long-standing challenges and find out how staff really felt about the firm. The results were invaluable, outlining key areas for improvement – the most pressing of which was introducing ‘agile working’.

“The important ‘learns’ from the survey highlighted how going above and beyond statutory minimums, for example with maternity leave, acts as a magnet to attract good staff and sets firms apart from their competitors.”

Listening to what employees wanted and implementing changes for the better resulted in a 25% reduction in staff turnover within a 12 month period. It also saw Keebles achieving ambitious growth targets and brought wide-ranging benefits including an increased willingness for employees to recommend the practice to their colleagues and families.

Added Michele: “Being open minded and flexible when it comes to how staff work requires an element of trust as many employees’ responsibilities outside work extend to children and sometimes elderly relatives.

“Introducing initiatives like ‘hot desking’ and dress down schemes and investing in technology such as laptops and phones to promote flexible working within reason will go a long way to attract and retain the Millennial generation. Depending upon the nature of the business, a good question for companies to ask themselves is ‘do we really need staff to work rigid office hours to be productive?”

Michele received positive feedback from the presentation which took place at Wheatley Golf Club in Doncaster.

A people champion committed to developing the next generation of lawyers, Keebles is a multi-award winning firm with offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster.