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  1. Building Higher Performance in Tomorrow’s Law Firm: The Role of the 360 Degree Appraisal Peter Scott Peter Scott Consulting PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. In particular…. • Do people management skills in law firms need to be developed? • Do they ever ask their people what they think?

  6. 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

  7. Why 360 degree feedback? • More constructive • Better received • More effective to enhance performance or change behaviour than downward feedback alone PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  8. Why better? Who better to give feedback on peoples’ performance and their people management skills than their peers and staff? PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  9. 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

  10. The 360° process PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

  17. Who should provide feedback? • All other partners? • Only nominated partners? • Nominated staff? • Randomly selected staff? PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  18. 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

  19. Methods of feedback • Face to face meetings • Telephone interviews • Confidential questionnaires • A combination of the above PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  20. The feedback itself? • Best if there are comments as well as quantitative and qualitative feedback • Can be very revealing! PETER SCOTT CONSULTING

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. Any questions? PETER SCOTT CONSULTING