Five Ways to Evaluate Partners

Woman conducting evaluationBONUS: Two forms you can use.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Why do firms conduct performance evaluations of partners?

  • To clarify what is expected of the partner
  • To improve performance
  • To provide management with information to use in allocating partner income, which should be linked to performance

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Five types of partner evaluations

  1. Self-evaluation
  2. Upward evaluations of the partners by the staff
  3. Client satisfaction and loyalty surveys
  4. Peer evaluations
  5. Traditional one-on-one appraisal sessions, same as for staff

Larger firms use evaluations more than smaller firms. This is because larger firms tend to have more sophisticated management practices, including partner accountability, which is one of several techniques for managing partner behavior and conduct. Smaller firms often avoid partner evaluations because they struggle with partner accountability. That’s not good, but that’s the life they lead.