Corrs Chambers Westgarth has been recognised as Gold Employer of Choice 2011 in the Australasian Legal Business (ALB) annual survey. Corrs was the only large law firm to earn this recognition and “finished significantly ahead of the nearest rivals” in the large national law firm category, according to ALB.

Respondents were asked to rate firms by six criteria: quality of work and clients; professional development and training; work/life balance; knowledge management and IT; compensation and benefits; and strongest employment brand.

Corrs Partner and CEO John Denton said: “Being an employer of choice is important to us because we take it as a big tick from our people that they like the direction we are heading. We spend a lot of time listening to our people and making changes as a consequence of what we hear. We conduct staff satisfaction surveys twice a year, which give us insights on how our people feel about the firm and information on what they need to do their jobs well. We use that information to build programs that support our people, their careers and how they want to work.

One example of this is our new flexible work practices program. We conducted surveys, focus groups and one-on-one interviews with our people to make sure we met their needs. Many other programs at Corrs started in the same way, like our Scholarship program, which has now sent many of our people to courses at prestigious institutions in Australia and internationally, our performance incentive program that is open to all permanent staff – legal and non-legal, and our international internships that allow people to work with our friends at other leading international law firms.

People really want to have their say and know that their efforts are being recognised. They also want to be paid fairly, have a strong career, know their work makes a meaningful contribution, and work with great people. If we consult with them about the right way to fulfil these needs, we know we have a healthy, happy and more effective workplace”.

Other current Corrs initiatives include:

18 weeks paid parental leave for employees who are the primary care giver

Flexibility@Work program, which offers flexible working options to accommodate the individual circumstances of employees

Participating in Melbourne Business School’s Gender Equality study – a three year training, research and intervention program to identify and remove barriers to gender equity

Executive coaching program designed to assist women to maximise their career potential.

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