“It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love….”
– The Christmas Waltz

It’s also that time of year when performance evaluations are the focus of law firms and legal departments. Great effort is focused on the process of reporting and completing forms to cover the past year’s efforts – both the successes and more likely the mistakes and shortcomings.

The origination of performance evaluations goes back to the industrial age, when it made good sense as a tool for measuring and documenting employee contribution.  The original evaluation was created as a mechanism to examine production successes, evaluations were done once a year to punish poor performance and examine effectiveness.

Fast forward to current times, and our workforce is knowledge-based, with competitive intelligence as the differentiator in the industry. We rely on enhanced legal skillsets, evolving technology requirements, and growing interpersonal skills. Yet our performance evaluation process remains the same.  Reflective. Critical. Often linked to compensation.

Factor in the addition of technology, and the desire for information to be instantaneous, and now we can see how performance evaluations seem archaic and not helpful in employee engagement or performance management.

What if our feedback process was feedforward? Looking at how we enhance skills and expand knowledge for greater success among our workforce. What if we created a path to quarterly (or dare I say monthly) performance conversations?  What would change in your firm? In your culture? In your levels of engagement?

“Ev’ry song you hear seems to say ‘Merry Christmas, may your New Year dreams come true’”

Dreaming about 2016 initiatives? I hope you’ll consider your performance evaluations as one possible initiative.

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About Judy Hissong

Judy Hissong is the President of Nesso Strategies. A former law firm Chief Operating Officer, she helps firms become more profitable by developing leaders. Her mission is “world domination for Good.” By creating actionable, lightbulb moments that leaders want to share and spread, she intends to improve the world one person at a time.

Judy Hissong