Let’s talk about company culture. What makes a great company culture? Why have you stayed with your firm for an extended amount of time? Or what do you wish your company did better?

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Compensation, I can be paid enough to put up with just about anything

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Lol, don't let anyone at your company know that.

Why I Stay (which are also the reasons why I’ve left all my previous firms because they did not provide these things): Treating me like an actual professional, giving me autonomy on my cases, asking for my opinion and input on things, not micromanaging me, not talking down to me/treating me poorly/making lots of passive aggressive comments/encouraging drama, actually caring about work life balance and showing a genuine interest in me and my interests/life outside of the office (ie: they respect my family time, the fact that I’m in a band and perform outside of biz hours, they’re excited and helpful/accommodating with me purchasing my first home/moving). They do this AND pay me more than I’ve ever made in multiple various areas of law.

(For reference: female attorney, almost 8 years of experience, recently made switch from complex civil litigation defense to family/employment/cannabis law).

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Respectful colleagues that are also willing to help each other grow is important. It is also worth noting that having good relationship with everyone in the office helps improve your overall mood and disposition for work. And lastly, a decent compensation.

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Don’t promise things. For instance, don’t say things like “if you stay with us and work like a partner then at some point you will likely get equity in some way.”

I walked away from a firm because of this type of indefinite, vague promise. If you want me to start working like an owner then let’s write down what that means, how I can attain it, what the timeline is, when I would best and under what circumstances, whether I will get sweat equity, need to buy in, etc.

I will work like a work horse if the situation is fair, but it’s demoralizing to feel a vague sense of potentially being taken advantage of. I realize the risk to an owner of setting this type of information out, but it gives key employees a sense of ownership in their effort so they feel like they are contributing to their own future success. If you aren’t ready to take that step then that’s ok. Let them be worker bees and don’t make promises for the future until you are ready.

I started my own firm after that because I was so wary of walking into another situation where I end up working many years on the basis of moving goal posts and vague promises.

Also, small firms need succession plans. High ranking employees can get nervous when there is no written plan or contingency for what happens if a solo owner with employees gets sick, dies, etc.

Or, maybe I am the minority, but I like to have plans in place.

On the positive side, it feels great to work on projects on an equal footing or near equal footing with the owner. It’s a great way to build camaraderie. Make sure your employees have the tools they need to succeed and take time to ask their opinions on both cases and business matters.

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Honestly, trust. Trust that your seniors trust you, and that you're supported. Trust that if you do have a struggle, you'll have people to help you out. I think as you progress in that career, it's that + WLB that makes the difference

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But the trust has to be backed up by actions from the firm (and from you as part of the firm). If you trust and then that trust is not corroborated then that becomes an issue if it occurs repeatedly without satisfactory reasons for the failure.

I like a company culture that prioritizes teamwork, inclusiveness, and concern fir employees.

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I love how everyone in our firm is respectful of the others' time. Nobody bothers you with the cases beyond office hours.

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Compensation, support and appreciation. These are the three things that will make me stay longer.

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