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Weathering the Change

Nyemaster Workplace Culture

October 24, 2022

All of us were thrown into disarray in March of 2020 when the Nyemaster Goode offices closed on March 17 and remained closed until June 1st. While we closed again briefly in the fall of 2020, we have been open for business since that time.

Changes at Nyemaster Since the Pandemic

Managing the organizational changes forced on us by the pandemic, on top of the many changes the legal industry has seen over the past four to five years, was a significant challenge for the law firm. The uncertainty and the effects the pandemic had on both the attorneys and staff were profound. A large concern was the emotional and mental health of our attorneys and staff caused by the pandemic, and we have made this one of our main focuses over the past 30 months. With the rapid changes and the stress brought on by both work and the fear the pandemic caused, employee burnout also became a significant concern. We have modeled our Wellness Program to help address the stress we have all felt and to improve the overall mental health of our organization, along with improving the morale and culture of the Firm. For example, we have organized an ice cream social, a patio party, a chili cook-off, a pet-a-pooch day, bi-monthly coffee events and a weekly team building activity including stair climbs, just to name a few activities. We also have made more of an effort since the pandemic to recognize employees who have made substantial contributions to the Firm. We want our employees to enjoy coming to work and to feel appreciated.

We made a very successful transition to a hybrid working model that has been important in retaining staff and alleviating some of the burnout issues our attorneys and staff have experienced. While the pandemic was very disruptive to all of us, it did force most organizations, including our law firm, to make necessary changes that would not have been considered as quickly prior to the pandemic.

As we begin moving past the effects of the pandemic, it is important we do not lose focus on the health and well-being of both the organization and the people within the organization. While our workloads continue and, in fact, seem to increase, and we get busy and absorbed in our work, we need to allocate the necessary time to look internally in our organizations for improvements and make sure we all take the personal time needed to keep us refreshed. The people in our organization are our most valuable assets and we need to invest our time and resources in creating a positive environment in which to work and to take care of their emotional well-being.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership created the Workforce Trends and Occupancy Study (WTOS) Playbook in response to Greater Des Moines (DSM) workforce trends research that was conducted in partnership with Baton Global. The WTOS Playbook features insights related to the future of work in DSM, workforce suggestions for businesses in the region and local case study examples.  

Tim Severson

Since 2008, Tim Severson has been the Chief Administrative Officer at the Nyemaster Goode, P.C. Law Firm. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has been in Legal Management for over 25 years, managing all the administrative functions of law firms.