Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Well-being Tips for Conveyancers
The conveyancing events and stresses of the last 12 months are taking their toll on many conveyancers and those in the property industry. With 30% more transactions over the last 12 months, the effect of the lockdowns and working from home, as well as the series of SDLT deadlines throughout the course of the year, many in the property industry are struggling with the pressures.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Lloyd, who has 130 members of staff, revealed some top tips for managing the deadlines and ensuring staff welfare:
Capacities – managing the number of transactions that conveyancers receive is critical at this time. Too much work or too many transactions lead to stress and a lack of effective service, which is very difficult for professionals who take pride in their work. Timelines have also increased from 16 to 20 weeks in some cases and so business leaders will need to take this into account until they clear the backlog.
Increased salaries and bonus payments – Most conveyancers would rather have less work and more time with their clients but, when they are working exceptionally hard, financial recompense is perhaps the only tonic available to reward hard work. Business owners may consider short term bonus payments or overtime, as opposed to longer term salary increase, or perhaps all three!
Flexibility – Acknowledging the strains of working at home, often with children around them, and providing the flexibility to work at different times can be important – so long as client service and requirements are met.
Training – Training and offering training to further professional careers is critical to staff wellbeing and retention. Knowing that things will get better and that you have the support of your legal practice to help you achieve your professional goals can be very important to young professionals. Training conveyancers on how to manage their clients’ expectations is also critical: managing the time they spend on the phone with clients, keeping conversations short and professional, how to end conversations etc.
Communication with Clients and Introducers – We are living in different times. The pressures and conveyancing normality has changed. Clients and everyone involved in the conveyancing process need to be made aware of these facts. Business leaders can assist by letting clients and introducers they work with know the score through central email communication or messages on their websites.
Teamwork – Knowing that you have help around you and that you are in the same situation as your colleagues, helping each other at key times and working together towards common goals are all critical components of teamwork which can have a brilliant impact on staff wellbeing if nurtured and deployed effectively.
Thank you – Saying thank you is so very important. Thanking a work colleague for helping you with a client or a pat on the back from the boss every once and a while can have a huge impact.
Focus on the positive – It is easy to look at the negative client comments or complaints and become overwhelmed by them – such is our nature – we often focus on the poor and forget the good! Celebrate the successes and acknowledge the difficult situation that we are in and allow your colleagues some slack – we are not operating in normal times.
Counselling and pastoral care – Offering counselling and providing pastoral care at key times can be critical. We underplay the stresses of conveyancing and counselling professionals can have a significant impact. I would advocate that every legal practice should have complimentary access to a counsellor who can help when individuals are struggling.
Be Kind We Care – Conveyancers and property professionals want to do a good job for all of their clients – being kind and professional with each other at this time is critical to individual wellbeing. For additional advice and tools on the Be Kind We Care wellbeing initiative please visit www.conveyancingfoundation.com.