Law Firm Hogan Lovells Eliminates Performance Reviews

As professional services companies look to retain and engage their workforces, more and more are eliminating the annual review. We’ve seen Accenture and Deloitte jump on this trend and now law firms are increasingly looking to modernize performance management.

Hogan Lovells, a 2,600-lawyer firm, announced it is eliminating the annual review. The company spent 18 months testing performance management methods across the global workforce before landing on real-time feedback as the new strategy.

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“When it came time to make important decisions — who should be advanced, who should become a partner — we never went back and read the reports because they were in a sense detached from the process of managing development,” said Steve Immelt, CEO, told law.com.

“We thought the system we had was broken in a number of respects and not really delivering what our people needed and wanted.”

The new system utilizes a concept called flash feedback, which requires associates to go get three pieces of feedback from co-workers every four months.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s Shift From Performance Ratings

Eventually we hope this will shift the culture of feedback throughout the firm, enhance recruitment efforts, and improve client service.

“This forward-looking process meets the changing expectations of people joining the legal profession – they’re focused on getting feedback regularly and feeling empowered to consistently develop their professional skill set, said Katie Hunter, global head of talent management.

“Eventually we hope this will shift the culture of feedback throughout the firm, enhance recruitment efforts, and improve client service.”

Hogan Lovells is not the first law firm to disrupt its annual review. According to various sources, Reed Smith tested a real-time feedback app for associates last year, and Drinker Biddle runs quarterly check-ins. Meanwhile, U.K. firm Slaughter and May replaced ratings with ongoing feedback, and Baker McKenzie eliminated annual appraisals and performance ratings.

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