Baker McKenzie, Wellbeing at Work | Business in the Community NI

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie established Global Services Belfast (GSB) in late 2014, as a 'hub' for innovation, integrating legal and business services within a centre of excellence to deliver for clients all over the world. It now employs almost 300 people in 31 legal and support functions.


Its interest in wellbeing is strongly underpinned by its value of kindness. It has created a culture that encourages, facilitates and rewards kindness amongst employees. In creating a wellness strategy, its aim has been to be kind to its employees and to enable them to be kind to themselves.

What Baker McKenzie did

Baker McKenzie recognises that the legal environment can often be pressured and demanding. By raising awareness of this, and providing ideas for maintaining physical and mental wellbeing, it aimed to create a positive and supportive environment that helps everyone to build successful careers without sacrificing their wellbeing in the process.

The company’s bWell global approach to promoting holistic wellness incorporates local office wellness initiatives underpinned by global communications from firm leaders and a dedicated intranet site. The site provides access to cutting-edge research, as well as resources to aid in areas such as improving wellbeing through mindfulness, learning to manage stress and developing resilience in both professional and personal lives.

From mental health master classes that encourage conversations to physio sessions and nutrition workshops, Baker McKenzie ensures that wellbeing is at the forefront of people’s minds and that they have the knowledge and support to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

From flexible and agile working arrangements to enablement to exercise on an ad hoc basis, through to private medical insurance, ongoing health checks, bespoke advice and sound manager training to help its people, the company tries to meet the needs of all employees.

It’s ‘Back to Business’ programme is designed to support mothers returning to work and provide an external network, ongoing coaching sessions and access to a range of key speakers. These, along with the option of phased return and the use of a wellness room to express and refrigerate milk help staff feel supported.

A ‘Lean In Circle’ allows men and women at all levels to share experiences and challenges in their professional and personal life journeys and benefit from peer-to-peer support

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 94% of staff utilise the company’s health benefit scheme, with 12% choosing to extend the benefits to their families
  • A recent mental health campaign saw several employees come forwards with their own personal stories and the response and support from the general workforce was overwhelming
  • 29% of new hires last year were recruited via referrals from existing employees
  • Attrition rate was just 8.5%, greatly reducing recruitment costs
  • During Wellness Week, 226 Facebook users actively clicked on Baker McKenzie’s Belfast page, with the most popular post seen by 1,100 people

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