Thompsons Solicitors is the most experienced personal injury law firm in the UK, and has a network of 24 offices nationwide. It has now undertaken three staff surveys through The Survey Initiative. The most recent, in January 2009, went to all staff and partners, a total of 993 recipients. Of these, over 80 per cent responded. This was the firm’s best response to date and ensured that the findings were representative.
The survey comprised 74 standard questions for all staff, and a further set of questions for a specific group which had recently transferred to the firm, allowing it to gain feedback on the transfer and integration process. The areas assessed fell into a number of broad headings, linked to the IIP standards, including leadership, teamwork, how caring the organisation was, induction, managing performance, recognition and reward, loyalty and commitment.
Frances Longmore of Thompsons takes up the story. “Following the survey we had a number of reports produced by The Survey Initiative for various audiences and to enable broad analysis to be done. These included a firm-wide summary, individual branch reports, and reports by grade and function.
“We were pleased by the very positive overall set of results and commentary. The survey results, including the high response rate, suggest that the survey is now embedded as a process, people feel that their opinion matters and that action will be taken as a result of their feedback. We were also pleased once again with the service from The Survey Initiative. They responded to our queries rapidly; the reports were clear and well presented; and they listened to our requirements and did everything they could to meet these. They also offered suggestions and advice along the way.
“We take the survey results very seriously. Results are shared with staff, managers, partners and the staff union. Part of the analysis is about identifying our areas of strength and where improvements are needed, both nationally and locally. Each branch has to identify priority action points arising from the results. Changes implemented as a result of the survey include a review of our induction programme to ensure a better and more consistent approach, earmarking specific expenditure for improving physical work environments, and reviewing elements of the integration programme for future acquisitions which result in staff having their employment transferred to Thompsons.
“We are undertaking a further survey this year because we believe that it is a valuable way to engage with staff: and also because it will help us prepare for our IIP re-assessment which is due in 2011. The survey will give us clear indicators of the areas where we are doing well and will also identify areas that need further attention before the re-assessment.”
It was nice to have personal attention from people who understood why and how we would use the survey...
Vineeta Kaura, Head of HR, Thompsons Solicitors