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Building Higher Performance in Tomorrow’s Law Firm: The Role of the 360 Degree Appraisal Peter Scott Peter Scott Consulting www.peterscottconsult.co.uk. PETER SCOTT CONSULTING. What is a 360 degree appraisal ?. Involves Feedback from those you report to Feedback from your peers

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slide1
Building Higher Performance in Tomorrow’s

Law Firm: The Role of the 360 Degree

Appraisal

Peter Scott

Peter Scott Consulting

www.peterscottconsult.co.uk

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

what is a 360 degree appraisal
What is a 360 degree appraisal?

Involves

  • Feedback from those you report to
  • Feedback from your peers
  • Feedback from staff who report to you

to provide an all-round perspective of

performance.

For what purpose?

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

for law firms in the future
For law firms in the future…

Achieving higher performance is likely to

matter as never before, if they are to -

  • become competitive
  • exploit market opportunities

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

to do this law firms will need to focus on
To do this law firms will need to focus on…

Getting the best performance from their people

Helping people to maximise their potential

How skilled are law firms at getting the

best from their people?

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

in particular
In particular….
  • Do people management skills in law firms need to be developed?
  • Do they ever ask their people what they think?
obtaining feedback from colleagues can be an essential stage
Obtaining feedback from colleagues can be an essential stage…
  • to build on peoples’ strengths and to reinforce what they are already doing well
  • to identify what they could do better

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

why 360 degree feedback
Why 360 degree feedback?
  • More constructive
  • Better received
  • More effective to enhance performance or change behaviour

than downward feedback alone

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

why better
Why better?

Who better to give feedback on

peoples’ performance and their people

management skills than their peers and

staff?

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

feedback from staff
Feedback from staff?
  • Natural for partners to feel apprehensive
  • Involving partners in the process helps to allay fears and show them the benefits

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

the 360 process
The 360° process

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

how to introduce 360 feedback into a law firm partnership
How to introduce 360° feedback into a law firm partnership?
  • Do not seek to impose it on partners
  • Partners must fully support the process if they are to take feedback to heart and change as a result
  • The process must not be seen as threatening

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

developing a 360 appraisal
Developing a 360° appraisal
  • Involve partners in the development of the process
  • Explain

- purpose

- benefits

- how it will work

  • Tailor the process to their firm and its needs

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

assessment criteria
Assessment criteria
  • Involve partners in clarifying criteria to define ‘high performance’
  • Partners will then feel they ‘own’ the process
  • Will provide greater transparency for future partners

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

some examples of performance criteria
Some examples of performance criteria
  • Client relationships
  • Technical ability
  • Commercial / financial awareness
  • Business development
  • Management
  • Relationships with colleagues
  • Personal attributes

“What will it take to succeed at our firm in the future?”

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

the 360 process1
The 360° process
  • No single best way to do this
  • Which way best suits your firm
  • Must be a process to which partners are willing to commit

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

for example
For example….
  • Integrated into appraisals as part of annual performance management cycle
  • Used to support a particular development programme

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

who should provide feedback
Who should provide feedback?
  • All other partners?
  • Only nominated partners?
  • Nominated staff?
  • Randomly selected staff?

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

an independent external facilitator to obtain feedback
An independent external facilitator to obtain feedback?
  • Anonymity assured for full and frank feedback
  • Feedback can be reviewed to ensure it is constructive
  • Can provide objective input and so can create confidence in the process
  • Can be crucial for the debriefing sessions

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

methods of feedback
Methods of feedback
  • Face to face meetings
  • Telephone interviews
  • Confidential questionnaires
  • A combination of the above

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

the feedback itself
The feedback itself?
  • Best if there are comments as well as quantitative and qualitative feedback
  • Can be very revealing!

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

the debriefing process
The debriefing process
  • Success depends on a positive and motivational debrief with each partner
  • Partners need to see any less than positive comments

- not as criticisms

- but as constructive comments to help

improve performance or change behaviour

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

who should carry out the debrief
Who should carry out the debrief?

Internal or external facilitator?

  • If to be internally carried out – training may be needed
  • If badly implemented, 360° feedback can be damaging

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

what happens next
What happens next?
  • Needs to be part of an ongoing performance management process
  • Should aim to provide each partner with an agreed and actionable performance development plan

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

benefits
Benefits?

Some client quotes –

  • “I think partners believe it has improved internal relationships as well as value to clients”
  • “People throughout the firm can feed back about partners and the partners can feed back on each other more honestly, anonymously and in a non-emotive way – that’s why it has improved internal relationships.”
  • “We wanted to improve efficiency of the firm and value to clients – and this is a good way of contributing to that”

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

some more client quotes
Some more client quotes
  • “All partners took on board the results which came out of the process and accepted that it was a valuable learning experience.”
  • “The process assisted in the development of self-awareness, a clear factor in improving leadership and people management skills. This in turn improves performance”
  • “I believe the process was an important step towards achieving our goals”

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

any questions
Any questions?

PETER SCOTT CONSULTING