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Empowering colleagues and our communities

Friendship

As a future focused business, we continue to embrace flexible and agile ways of hybrid working to sustain a high performing, inclusive workplace.

Our approach

Our colleagues bring our purpose to life and so we remain committed to recruiting and developing top talent, investing in their development and wellbeing, advancing social mobility and increasing engagement through values led behaviour to achieve higher levels of job satisfaction. We are listening to understand how we can do better and will work harder to foster a culture of recognition and appreciation throughout DWF.

Our colleagues continue to be the driving force behind our community engagement efforts. To support their work, we will empower more colleagues to use their talent, skills and insight to strengthen our communities through volunteering and global pro bono support.

Our commitments

DWF Life

In 2021, we launched our employee value proposition (EVP) to position DWF an employer of choice in a competitive labour market, and to make our brand accessible to new talent. DWF Life brings together all of the essential elements of what it means to be a part of DWF, ensuring that together all of our colleagues continue to make DWF a great place to work.

Colleague Heath & Wellbeing

In delivering on our purpose, our wellbeing strategy aims to create and sustain a healthy working environment where everyone at DWF feels supported and comfortable to speak openly about their wellbeing. Our four pillars if activity are; Physical, Mental, Lifestyle and Working Environment.

Training & Support

Our Wellbeing Hub offers five channels of tailored content such as videos, books, and audio books on Mindfulness at Work, Stress Management, Physical, Mental and Financial Wellbeing. The DWF Academy provides access to over 20 wellbeing modules including Healthy Living, Positive Thinking, Life Balance, Resilience and Relaxation. We also adapt "Wellbeing Wednesdays" which includes regular content and updates and communicated to the business weekly.

Mental Health First Aiders

In 2021, we formalised the role of the Mental Health First Aider to help spot the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide preliminary support and reassurance, and guide an individual to seek the professional assistance they may require.  Our Mental Health First Aiders complete a two-day course - Adult Mental Health First Aid.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Workplace Options, our EAP is one of our core benefits and is automatically available to everyone from the day that they start work at DWF. It is a completely confidential helpline and is there to support through difficult times, which may be impacting on a person's mental health which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Benefits & Pensions

Through our flexible reward and benefits platform, Reward Plus, we provide a number of core company-funded benefits, whilst providing colleagues and their families with a range of benefits designed to meet the needs of our diverse workforce and help to protect and enhance the well-being, work and personal life balance, and financial security of our colleagues and their families.

Ways of working

Designed to help staff work flexibly – whether at home, travelling or working from a hot desk in a different location, digital transformation ensures our colleagues have the tools, support, guidance and advocacy to work effectively regardless of where they work.

Learning & Development

Through DWF Academy, we offer colleagues three programmes of training - Foundations, Essentials and Leadership. Each programme designed with a target audience in mind to equip colleagues with the skills they need to excel in their current role and prepare them for progression. Key topics are mandatory for all colleagues.

Performance & Career Development

Every employee has an annual performance review. The routes we take to promote our colleagues is in one of two ways;  the annual process which is driven by an individual business case or vacancy driven, dependent on business need and managed through our internal resourcing route. During 2021, the annual promotion process positively impacted 224 colleagues.

Emerging Talent

In the UK, we continue to use contextual assessment of graduate recruitment in a bid to attract a more diverse talent pool and increase social mobility. We are reviewing our law fair attendance and selecting a group of more diverse universities to provide access to a greater number of non-Russell Group students.

Apprenticeships

We use the apprenticeship levy allowance to future proof our skills pipeline, and attract a diverse range of talent into the business. The programmes we offer range from level 3 Paralegal, through to level 7 Solicitor's master's degree apprenticeships. Since 2016, DWF has placed 180 employees on apprenticeships. 

Fundraising, Volunteering & Pro Bono

Our community investment is primarily targeted at making a positive impact on the communities we operate in. Colleagues remain the driving force behind our community engagement efforts. To support their work, we are empowering colleagues to use their talent, skills and insight to strengthen our communities through volunteering and global pro bono support. Each colleague receives two days a year to allow them to get involved in community work. In the last financial year, colleagues invested 8,287 volunteering hours to support their local communities and 1,850 hours in pro bono support.

DWF Foundation

The DWF Foundation is an independent charity registered in England & Wales (CC No. 1191347) and founded by DWF. It has the sole aim of providing funds, resources and mentoring support to help individuals, groups and communities to achieve their full potential. Since the Foundation launched on 1 December 2015, a total amount of £897,852 has been awarded through 416 grants.

Community Education Programmes

Since 2012, our award winning flagship community education programme, 5 STAR Futures has helped aspirational young people to unlock their potential by developing their confidence and employability skills to become more work ready.  The aim of the programme is to increase the numbers of young people from low income and diverse backgrounds, build a strong and positive link between schools and the world of work and to develop a variety of opportunities for young people to increase their confidence. Additionally, other community education programmes include; Law Factor, Inspiring Girls and Prime.

Recognition

We use a digital platform to recognise and celebrate colleagues who live our values and help shape our culture through their performance and the contributions they make to DWF. Last financial year, on average, around 1,500 recognitions are made monthly. Managers can ‘boost’ someone else’s recognition and award extra points, with 2,675 boosts being made.

Our targets and priorities

  • Targets
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    Our colleagues & communities targets

    • Achieve & maintain an overall global colleague engagement score of 80+.
    • 100% of DWF employees globally earn a living wage according to jurisdiction.
    • Raise sufficient funds for the Foundation to enable donations made to reach £1 million in support of registered charities globally by the end of FY23.
    • Continue to advance social mobility within our talent pipelines.
    • Deliver 25,000 hours in volunteering hours to our communities, or through pro bono work across the next three years to 2025.
  • Priorities
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    Our colleagues & communities priorities

    • Our colleagues are encouraged to access information and pledge their support to fundraising and volunteer activity via our CSR online platform.
    • We evaluate the impact of our efforts to advance social mobility through our annual participation in the Social Mobility Index. In 2021, we ranked 51st in the Top 75 Employers List.
    • We carry out a bi-annual global "Pulse Survey" as a key measure of engagement, to find out directly from our colleagues how they feel about working at DWF.
    • We recognise and celebrate colleagues who live our values and help shape our culture through their performance and the contributions they make to DWF via a digital platform called "Achievers".
    • We have an annual award ceremony that recognises our colleagues across the globe who have made a significant contribution during the last financial year – The Rubie Awards.