By Karen Luu
People often ask me why I left a large international business to take up a role in a law firm. And the truth is, I wanted be part of something refreshingly different, where I could be proud to lend my name, use my real skills and thrive with others.
I joined FCW Lawyers as their Chief Operating Officer, during the start-up phase and was there to develop our purpose, philosophy and values. It was an exciting time and continues to be. With a blank canvas and a few guiding rules, we’ve built a successful business supported by deep values, smart infrastructure and a bright team. The way we work is underpinned by our team’s commitment to each other and the business, rather than what’s prescribed in a policy.
I’m proud of who we are, and what we provide FCW employees, which is based on a number of beliefs:
To give their best, our people must be at their best. We commit to employees’ growth and development in three key areas – personal wellbeing, professional development and business coaching. We communicate openly and share willingly to honour our values, better each other and our business, everyday.
Get it right it for the client, every time. We do this by deeply understanding the client – who they are, what they do, and the needs through their eyes and language. We seek brutally honest and regular feedback on our performance, because our clients’ satisfaction is critical to our business brand and success as a team of professionals.
Focus on the right things.We don’t believe in the old measures and practices of law firms that undermine talent development, capability growth and career progression. Our flexibility model, variable remuneration program, employee wellbeing and development offering, business and IT infrastructure provide a different work and life experience. Our measures of success is driven by team delivery, not individual billed hours. We’re not interested in competing against each other to be the biggest biller.
You can have work-life balance. We recognise that work-life balance is a very individual thing. Diverse and flexible work arrangements, and being part of a dynamic and high-capability team, means the demands and complexities of our life and work are met, without sacrifice to our clients. As a mother of 3 pre-school aged kids, the flexible arrangements enable me to manage my time in line with my life priorities and maximise my personal productivity. More than ever, I feel better and more effective as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and member of the community, and of course, I am happier now, than I have ever been.
Stay challenged. Our people do clever and engaging work every day, because we make it easy and free for clients to complete simple work on their own. Our website provides anyone who needs it, access to training events, tools and tips to advance their people and business capability.
It’s an amazing feeling to be around great people who care about you, and not just the output of your job. When you’re encouraged to grow at work, supported to excel and there is positive investment to protect your health and wellbeing, its easy to love where you work, and the work you do.