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Episode 2 - An associate's appraisal


An associate’s appraisal

The scene - merger discussions rumble on, but life continues. It's Tuesday morning and Jordan is sitting at his desk at FFS and looking pensive

Jordan is due to have his appraisal with Rob tomorrow afternoon.  This would be his second appraisal since he joined the firm eighteen months ago from Pillar Book (280 partners, 1,200 lawyers, 6 offices around the world).

The first appraisal had been a bit of a non-event – only twenty minutes instead of the planned one hour, no agreed agenda and Rob obviously and embarrassingly underprepared.  Rob had apologised a couple of days later – “Sorry Jordan, I bet they did things a lot more professionally at Pillar Book”.  Jordan had reflected for a moment on some of the appraisal horror stories he had heard at PB, but remained silent.  If FFS were in misplaced awe at how amazingly efficient everything had been at PB maybe that suited him. 

Today he is most concerned about whether tomorrow would be the right time and place to mention that “substantial salary and benefits hike” that had been promised (or was it only hinted at)?

And then there was of course the whole question of the merger.  If pro and anti camps were forming in the firm – as seemed to be the case – which side should he be on?

Meanwhile Rob puts his phone down with a sinking feeling - when he should be elated.  Xenon Publishing had said they wanted him to come in and talk about an impending transaction.  At last!  After all those seminars they had attended and white wine and nibbles that had been thrust upon them.  But when their MD had said “2.30 …. or in fact any time tomorrow afternoon” his (still) puppyish enthusiasm had got the better of him and even as he looked at his screen and saw Jordan’s appraisal clearly fixed for 2.15, had said “Yes, of course, 2.30 is fine”.  Jordan had explained he would be out from 3.30 tomorrow. 

Rob decides to have a coffee to give himself a few moments thinking time over his diary car crash, but then he needs to pick up the phone and tell someone that the meeting needs to be changed.

Have your say

Episode 2 - Poll (1)

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Appraisal Poll

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Please select either existing option or enter your own, however not both.
Please select minimum 0 answer(s) and maximum 2 answer(s).
[{"id":"22","title":"Jordan should bring up the salary issue at the appraisal \u2013 that\u2019s an obvious time and place","votes":"17","type":"x","order":"1","pct":73.909999999999996589394868351519107818603515625,"resources":[]},{"id":"23","title":"Jordan should leave the salary issue for a separate conversation \u2013 the appraisal should focus on his performance and future development at the firm. Talking about money will get in the way of that.","votes":"6","type":"x","order":"2","pct":26.089999999999999857891452847979962825775146484375,"resources":[]}] ["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"] ["rgba(255,91,0,0.7)","rgba(74,192,242,0.7)","rgba(184,0,40,0.7)","rgba(238,246,108,0.7)","rgba(96,187,34,0.7)","rgba(185,106,154,0.7)","rgba(98,194,204,0.7)"] 350
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Do you have any good - or not so good - experiences of appraisals or reviews?

You can choose to add your name and any contact details - otherwise comments will be anonymous.  Up to you.


# Lise Seager 2016-11-16 11:36
Of course he should rearrange the client meeting and do the appraisal as planned.
-1 # Simon McCall 2016-11-16 11:38
I was always told "the client comes first", but I think I agree!
# Kevin Poulter 2016-11-21 16:00
It's always difficult discussing money, from both sides. However, someone has to grab the nettle and it's unlikely to be the partner. An appraisal is the perfect time to sell your strengths and seek increased recompense on the back of it. If you have no positives, this may be more difficult, however.
# Simon McCall 2016-11-23 15:56
Yes most partners I know don't like doing appraisals and will do just about anything to make it as short and painless (for them) as possible.
+1 # Lise Seager 2016-12-06 16:36
My supervisor postponed my annual review three times and eventually it was fitted in very much at the last minute as HR were pressing for the paperwork. I found it a very miserable experience as my supervisor wasn't really engaged in the process and did all the talking. I presume others have had similar experiences - any tips to make sure I don't have a repeat for the mid year review gratefully received.
# Mac Mackay 2017-01-23 15:56
Appraisal Guide: Focus on job, not salary!
Money is important to individuals and needs ultimately to be linked with performance management. However, the discussion of performance should be separated from any discussion concerning salary by as much time as possible.
This allows:
• Full concentration on job performance and what will enhance it.
• No distraction for the appraisee of waiting to hear, at the end of the discussion, what adjustment will be made to their salary.
• No clouding of a positive appraisal by pay gripes.
Discussions concerning salary, when they take place later, will obviously have to refer to performance but the two discussions should be as separate in time as possible
# Simon McCall 2017-01-23 16:34
Lawstory here ...
Many thanks for that last comment - and also see our Resources section

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