Performance Evaluations for Members of Law Firm Staff

12:18:47 14-08-2014

To be truly effective, evaluations should go way beyond those tried and true, but nevertheless tired old principles, such as having measurable standards.  The process should never be treated as a perfunctory exercise, but rather as opportunities: first, to value the person being evaluated; and second, to share and engage the employee in the firm’s vision and goals.

People are valuable; a reputation for competent and timely work can also make rain.  In many of my 30 years managing organizations, I have observed a reduction in overall operating costs by investing money and time in the people who are producing the ‘product;” in their salaries, benefits, and training.  See the concluding discussion on where best to make that investment.

Some of my thoughts:

When essential duties (technical competence) and values (attitude) are placed on horizontal and vertical axes, a quadrant is created that results in four categories.

Thoughtfully conducting a performance evaluation does not have to be unnecessarily time consuming, but doing it well has far-reaching benefit.  It just makes sense, especially in professions that are people-oriented.  A law firm does not robotically produce widgets and it exists not just to produce documents; it is about people.  Take care of those taking care of your clients.

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