Today's Wills and Probate Podcast

The importance of performance management over appraisals

Hamza Hafesji, Group Product Manager at Advanced Legal, joins the latest Today’s Wills and Probate podcast to discuss the importance of implementing a culture of performance management in a business.

For years the only time most employees receive any sort of constructive feedback has been in an annual appraisal. For Hamza, something has to fundamentally change and feedback must be much more of an ongoing process

He cites research from PWC, LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters and their own client surveys which point to the challenges that face law firms from an HR point of view. Indeed 3 in 5 law firms are concerned about talent and shortage and churn, and are consider it a barrier to their success.

He discusses organisations described as “Stay Firms” and “Go Firms” – firms who retain, and lose, talent. While acknowledging that remuneration plays a part in the success “Stay Firms,” the focus on their broader value proposition sees them not only retain staff, but makes them more efficient with higher billable hours and better staff mental health and wellbeing.

And lawyers themselves are more vocal about what they want from work. A staggering 44% of lawyers measure their stress levels at between 8-10 out of 10 in an Advanced Legal survey. That, and a lack of progression and professional development is often the cause of staff leaving.

“When we drill into this, we’re looking at a lack of mentorship and career guidance, a lack of promotion opportunities and the desire for greater on the job assistance. All of which can be described as performance management,” says Hamza.

This discussion covers a lot of ground around the value and importance of creating a culture of performance, normalising goal setting and providing a constant feedback loop between employees and managers. For Hamza, part of the success of implementing such a cultural change is in the adoption of technology to drive through the change and support managers to ask the right questions and enable those types of conversations.

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