Prior to pursuing a career in law, Rebecca Mitich spent seven years working in education and nonprofits, including a year abroad teaching English in Poland. Now as an attorney and office managing partner for Husch Blackwell’s Milwaukee office, Mitich works to support the next generation of lawyers and strengthen the company’s talent, having previously served as firm-wide hiring lead overseeing the hiring committees of all 25 offices nationwide. When it comes to attraction and retention, she says, creative engagement is key.
“Engagement is a word commonly used by those who study such things. The more engaged an employee is in the workplace, the more likely that employee is to stay. During our work-from-home period of the pandemic, I pictured our associates as helium balloons, floating out there on increasingly longer strings. As leaders committed to their future with the firm, it was our job to pull them in closer. We did so through creative engagement: Zoom mentoring sessions and phone check-ins, surprise deliveries and a virtual retreat.
“I am happy to say engagement is happening in person these days, and it feels great. But we would be making a huge mistake if we thought the time for creative engagement had ended. The challenges of retaining talent remain acute, and our efforts to engage that talent must continue to evolve. In our Milwaukee office, we’re focused on welcoming each person’s authentic self, fostering a culture of inclusion, facilitating connections among peers, generous mentoring, and supporting and encouraging community involvement.
“Now is not the time to fall back into old routines. Now is the time to channel the creativity the pandemic required and engage better.”