Dechert is committed to cultivating creativity through a healthy and happy workforce. The firm’s core values are built on respecting and valuing the diversity of voices within the firm and creating an environment where everyone can thrive. That’s why Dechert created an environment where people are devoted, dependable, and empowered to excel.
Building that sense of community is Dechert’s key to success. “We want everyone to continue to seek out new tools and opportunities,” says a Dechert spokesperson. “To work at Dechert is to be part of a community where one is cared for and supported.”
To accomplish their mission to foster a happier, healthier, creative work environment, during Well-Being Week, Dechert launched the Thrive@Dechert Framework — a collection of well-rounded well-being initiatives focused on matters ranging from financial security, physical and emotional health, and continuing education, to benefits for parents, caregivers for the elderly, and even pet owners. “Well-Being Week highlights the vast array of resources we make available to our people to maintain and improve their well-being,” the spokesperson says. “We take a holistic approach to wellness with our Thrive@Dechert Framework.”
As part of Dechert’s second annual Well-Being Week event, the firm created a well-being tool kit to provide employees with a broad selection of resources. Those resources range from podcasts and apps to articles, books, and movies on the topics of building hope, resilience, and overall well-being. According to the spokesperson, “The tool kit includes offerings from our employee assistance program and organizations such as Peerfit, Journey meditation, and Virgin Pulse, as well as healthy recipes from our very own Dechert cookbook.” The firm encourages open communication and feedback on company discussion boards.
Employees also get emails on a near-weekly basis from CEO Henry Nassau and Chair Andy Levander. Their messages offer company updates, accolades for group and individual achievements, and reminders of the firm’s dedication to self-care. “We understand that people need a break, and we are committed to making sure each of you has an opportunity to disconnect, spend time with friends and family, and otherwise recharge,” notes the spokesperson.
As part of this effort, Dechert recommitted to the American Bar Association’s Well-Being Pledge, which recognizes the high level of mental health challenges within the legal profession and the compounding effect of the pandemic.
Research shows that meditation can successfully reduce anxiety and stress and improve memory and focus, which is why Dechert launched Meditation Mondays and a new Journey Live: Mental Wellbeing app. For those who prefer cardio and cross-training, the company offers Peerfit and Virgin Pulse Challenges. “Members can choose from thousands of virtual on-demand or live workouts,” says the spokesperson. ”With Thrive@Dechert, powered by Virgin Pulse, you can track steps as well as other activities and workouts so that all your fitness achievements are in one place.”
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, access to doctors and medical advice has never been more necessary. Dechert offers Teladoc medical health services and Teladoc behavioral health services to make the process quick and convenient for employees. According to the spokesperson, “Members can speak to a U.S. board-certified doctor over the phone or by online video 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Teladoc doctors can diagnose and even prescribe medication, if necessary, for many conditions. We have enhanced our telemedicine assistance to include behavioral/emotional support. The Teladoc membership now lets employees establish an ongoing relationship with a licensed therapist from wherever they are most comfortable. They can get support for anxiety, depression, grief, and more.”
Through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Dechert provides members 24-hour access to licensed mental health specialists via CareBridge, offering free webinars on coping with the pandemic and virtual support groups facilitated by professional counselors. Also, in partnership with Aetna for medical members, Dechert offers an eight-week program designed to help them cope with overwhelming life changes, such as the diagnosis of a chronic condition, grief and loss, and caregiving stress. “The program connects you with a therapist as well as a behavioral coach weekly to address emotional challenges and help develop an action plan. That’s two sessions a week for eight weeks to get employees on a path to feeling in control of their condition or life change,” explains the spokesperson.
Dechert has even reduced the inconvenience of dealing with insurance providers by offering personal health advocate access. “They can help you and your family navigate the complex health care system, resolve claim issues, find specialists, schedule appointments, and provide cost estimates for medical procedures,” the spokesperson says.
Dechert Provides Assistance for Pets and Parents
Seventy percent of households in the United States had at least one pet in 2020. Dechert understands the need to keep furry or feathered family members healthy, so the firm added pet insurance to its plan. The firm also recognizes the needs of working parents and employees tasked with caring for aging parents, so it provides access to the United States-based child care and family solution provider Bright Horizons. “Bright Horizons provides high-quality regular and emergency child care, adult/elder care as well as tutoring, test prep, and homework help,” says the spokesperson. “All employees with a newborn or a newly adopted child are eligible for a minimum of 12 weeks of paid parental leave for bonding.”
Dechert aims to aid employees with their money and security matters. The firm offers student loan refinancing, which can help shave thousands of dollars off student loan debt. According to the spokesperson, “Dechert is proud to announce its new partnership with Citizens Bank, dedicated to helping you and your family manage student loan debt with access to exclusive offers and expert financial advice. Whether you and your family are planning to pay for college or manage student loan payments, choose from flexible repayment options, low, competitive rates, and get up to $1,000 principal credit reduction on new loans.”
In 2021, Dechert launched Allstate’s Identity Protection Pro Plus (AIP) benefit to help employees safeguard their online privacy and security. “AIP provides unique tools and proactive monitoring to help manage and protect personal data,” says the spokesperson. AIP is available to employees and anyone they register as a family member under the family coverage.
Employees can get special deals on banking services and mortgages with the preferred mortgage and banking program benefit. The flexible spending account/healthcare savings account allows them to set aside pretax dollars for dependent care expenses during an open enrollment period.
The firm empowers employees with lifelong learning via the Dechert Learning Center, which “offers access to over 2,400 online courses on topics ranging from technical skills to wellness. Employees can take them whenever they want, wherever they want,” says the spokesperson. Popular topics include “Stress Resiliency & Peak Performance in Law Firms,” “Dr. Rao Life Strategies Series,” “Best Practices for Managing Time in a Virtual Environment,” and” When Work, School and Home Converge: Parenting in Unprecedented Times.”
Learning and growth are the driving forces behind the Dechert Stars program, which celebrates employees who excel at sharing new skills and insights with their colleagues. “We put a priority on teaching and learning at Dechert, where everyone is proactively encouraged to keep building their skills and share what they know with those around them,” says Regina Fico, director of U.S. human resources. “Encouraging individuals to share their knowledge and support their colleagues in their professional development is part of our efforts to foster a more integrated and committed community of employees.
“Through Dechert Stars, employees nominated by their co-workers can be honored in one of three award categories: Exceptional Teachers, who consistently support the learning and development of Dechert people; Diversity Champions, who serve as role models for the inclusive, open culture we value; and Legal Innovators, who help improve and enhance the way we work or serve our clients by generating and supporting new ideas.”
Honorees in the three categories are announced live during Dechert’s annual State of the Firm, hosted by Chair Andy Levander and CEO Henry Nassau. Each winner is awarded a commemorative plaque and a $10,000 cash bonus.
“I am proud to have a role in educating colleagues and creating new peer educators,” says Alison Kfuri, associate director of talent strategy, an Exceptional Teacher winner. “To be honored in this way shows the priority our firm gives to empowering others with new skills and knowledge.”
According to the spokesperson, Dechert will continue to evolve based on employee feedback, saying, “We continue to actively seek opportunities for improvement, inviting feedback from our employees so we can continue to evolve. We respond to all suggestions, from adding almond milk in our coffee stations for those sensitive to dairy to developing Financial Planning 101 webinars for employees to learn skills for budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and more. Whatever the suggestion, we are grateful for the employee engagement and seek to be responsive. With a history reaching back more than 145 years, giving back to those less fortunate and taking care of our community is in the Dechert DNA, and this tradition will carry us into the future. Whatever changes in global health, technology, political landscape, or other areas that come our way, Dechert will remain a great place to work.”