(CHICAGO) Katten today highlighted a number of benefits and programs offered to attorneys and business professionals designed to enhance career progression, workplace culture and employee well-being — key factors that influence overall job satisfaction, which was assessed in a recent workplace survey.

The firm scored high marks in the recent Law360 Pulse Lawyer Satisfaction Survey of more than 1,100 attorneys at various firms regarding job satisfaction and firm culture, including work-life balance and opportunities for advancement. Based on the responses to the survey, conducted in the spring of 2021, Katten placed sixth on a list of 45 firms that keep their attorneys happy.

"I believe the job satisfaction has as much to do with the cutting-edge work our attorneys are handling for clients as it does with the inclusive and collaborative culture we've created at Katten and the many opportunities we extend for both professional and personal growth," said Katten Chairman Roger P. Furey.

"While we place paramount importance on client service," Furey added, "we also truly care about the well-being of our attorneys and business professionals as demonstrated by Katten's ongoing investment in significant resources to support our teams. We fully recognize that our profession can be a stressful one and even more so during a pandemic."

Over the past year, Katten has introduced programs, implemented initiatives and hosted activities designed to empower attorneys and business professionals so they can be successful at work and in their personal lives.

When the pandemic hit, Katten seamlessly transitioned to a remote work environment, offering a $500 stipend in 2020 and again in 2021 to all employees for any necessary office furnishings and technology equipment to support the more extensive use of home offices and to improve productivity while working remotely.

Due to the success of the firm's remote work environment, firm leaders recently announced KattenFlex, the firm's return-to-office initiative, which does not require a set number of days in the office after Labor Day yet places the utmost priority on client service. The initiative leaves it to both attorneys and business professionals and their team leaders to decide if and when to come into the office, depending on client needs and provided that the delivery of client service or firm culture is not adversely impacted. 

This year, Katten rolled out a pilot sponsorship program called Kattalyst, focused on retaining and advancing underrepresented attorneys with high potential by offering training and coaching opportunities to help enhance their leadership and business development skills. The protégés are paired with senior-level partners as their sponsors, who use their insights and business relationships to open more doors to opportunities.

The firm also recently launched an informal Mentoring MeetUp program that brings together associates and partners virtually to discuss interests, career goals, relationship building and networking, among other topics.

Throughout the year, firm leaders addressed the emotional and physical health of employees by offering a series aligned with the Katten Well-Being 360 initiative aimed at reducing stress and anxiety and teaching team members how to better manage it. Katten employees have been offered sessions focused on mindful meditation and mental health awareness in the workplace, webinars on effective goal-setting skills, prioritizing self-care and ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Katten also offered a $40 stipend to all employees to use toward fitness trackers, meditation apps, gym equipment or other self-care activities and items.

Other offerings include expanded parental leave benefits for both attorneys and business professionals that provide a 12-week, gender-neutral paid leave, and an extension of 8 more weeks for a total of up to 20 weeks for birth mothers and those who have exceptional circumstances, such as adoptive and surrogate parents.

Katten created a Parents Affinity Group as a resource and support network for working parents at the firm to connect and discuss managing the challenges of parenting in a pandemic, specifically balancing work, childcare and homeschooling. Complementing that, the firm has offered career coaching to potentially enhance productivity and reduce stress, as well as access to a series of webinars from Katten's backup care provider Bright Horizons on topics including preparing to go back to school, strategies to reduce working parent guilt, and saving for college.