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Case studies:

Fish & Richardson: Building an Employee Survey Blueprint

fish, People Insight

Fish’s Headline Stats


engagement score


above the Professional Services sector benchmark


would recommend Fish as a great place to work

Who is Fish & Richardson?

Fish & Richardson, or simply “Fish”, are a renowned intellectual property law firm boasting a rich legacy dating back to the 19th century. Fast forward to today, and Fish has grown into a global player with 350+ attorneys and 1100+ total staff across 13 offices worldwide.

Introducing Employee Surveys

Employee engagement isn’t a new concept at Fish & Richardson; it’s part of their DNA. However, their previous path was less formalised, with no employee survey programme in place — until now.

Seeking to reinforce their standing not only as leaders in intellectual property law but also as standout employers, Fish set sail on its inaugural employee survey. This initiative followed the COVID-19 pandemic and Fish’s subsequent transition to a hybrid work environment, prompting an evaluation into the pulse of their workforce.



“In the wake of our transition to a more hybrid-focused environment, we knew it was critically important to objectively measure employee satisfaction. The survey from People Insight helped to translate what we had heard anecdotally into fact, and then use that information as a baseline to build upon”

Kristine McKinney, Chief Operating Officer

Finding People Insight

Fish embarked on a search for a partner that could ensure the survey felt authentic to Fish rather than appearing generic or detached. People Insight emerged as a frontrunner, bringing a powerful platform and experienced consultants to support Fish throughout the pre-survey and post-survey phases of their inaugural survey programme.

In particular, our dashboard, transforming raw data into digestible results, emerged as a key feature in determining Fish’s selection. They saw value in its accessibility, which would allow Fish’s managers to navigate this data landscape. Data would no longer be confined to HR; managers could wield the dashboard and apply their nuanced understanding of their teams to extract deeper insights.

Pre-Survey Workshops

In a strategic move, Fish joined forces with People Insight to shape the survey’s foundation in pre-survey workshops. In designing the survey’s question set, Fish leveraged our bespoke PEARL model while subtly tailoring questions to resonate with firm members by using Fish’s internal language.

Crucially, Fish’s senior leadership, including the President and COO, endorsed the survey programme from the outset. With top-level support already confirmed, pre-survey workshops could focus on other key areas such as training department heads on the art of harnessing the People Insight dashboard effectively.


“People Insight was really easy to work with, guiding us toward meaningful questions while allowing customisation based on our culture”

Brandy Wolf, Director of Human Resources

The Launch

Fish orchestrated a robust communication plan that blended People Insight’s comms templates with pre-existing communication channels. Aligning with the rhythm of the company, the President’s weekly emails set the stage, generating anticipation. The COO also contributed an email just before the survey was live, creating a cohesive launch narrative. This was followed by targeted post-launch reminders, a strategic nudge for those yet to share their insights.

The excitement was palpable as Fish personnel embraced the opportunity to formally voice their perspectives. Recognising the diverse composition of their workforce, including attorneys, scientists and engineers, as well as operations and administrative staff, variations in response rates across departments were anticipated. Yet, the overarching aim remained clear: create a culture where everyone felt free to speak honestly, knowing their input would lead to real action. The results? A solid 74% response rate, but this was just the beginning — what did the data uncover?

The Results

Fish didn’t just participate; they excelled. A staggering 90% engagement score, a feat that soared 13% above the professional services benchmark, marked their resounding success. This stellar performance didn’t go unnoticed — Fish clinched People Insight’s Outstanding Workplace Award, an accolade reserved for those residing in the top quartile of engagement across all sectors.

Fish showcased particular prowess in Recognition and Reward, Career Development, and Confidence (i.e. employees’ confidence in their roles). These results affirmed that Fish’s dedication to employee wellbeing was well-received, validating what was previously sensed but now objectively confirmed.

The survey also highlighted some avenues for nurturing, to strengthen their already outstanding workplace culture.



“Because we did not have any previous Fish data to compare against, the professional services benchmark was key to providing perspective on what our employees were feeling and experiencing as compared to peers in the market. This gave us another lens to review our results through and helped shape the action items we took away from the survey”

Megan Stanley, Chief Human Resources Officer

From Data to Action

After the survey, Kate Pritchard, Head of Consultancy at People Insight, delivered a results presentation to Fish’s President and COO. Subsequently, the Chief HR Officer shared the same results with the broader management committee.

In line with their commitment to transparency, Fish then orchestrated a firmwide webinar to announce the results, leaving no themes hidden. The record-breaking attendance to this webinar signalled the importance this survey held within the Fish family.

Department heads and legal leaders sat down with HR, unpacking the results and crafting action plans. It’s not just about the next few months; these moves will shape the narrative well into 2024 and beyond.

What’s Next?

Moving forward, Fish envisions embracing annual surveys as a regular practice, interweaving brief pulse surveys to monitor progress and sustain momentum — an acknowledgment of the enduring impact of engagement initiatives.

A special nod to Kate and Lizzie from the People Insight team for their dedication in orchestrating this success!

Enjoyed this backstage pass to working with People Insight? Get in touch to join the engagement party — your ticket to enhanced employee engagement is just a survey away!