“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
One thing our 2011–2012 Performance Management and Compensation Survey showed us was that owners are not being formally evaluated in firms. In this chapter, we make the case for a formal owner review process. We will show that the owner review process is more than just setting billable hours and other production-oriented goals. It goes a step further to get owners more aligned with the strategic direction the firm is taking.
We will examine the various skills and personal characteristics needed in a partner today and recommend eight criteria when evaluating an owner. The chapter ends with a discussion on individual owner performance plans and a sample plan template.
A trend we have noticed over the past few years is the increase in the number of firms that penalize owners for poor performance, often failing to retain those who do not help the firm grow, improve profitability, increase employee satisfaction, or develop others. In a recent webinar August conducted, 47 percent of participants indicated that the firm has let a partner go. Why? Because these same firms, in reacting to the economic downturn of the preceding years, likely reduced the number of staff members in order to maintain profitability. These firms have reduced nonperforming employees and cut expenses wherever possible. Quite frankly, there is nowhere for ...