Communicating Firm Goals

Kathy Fortin
Nov 29, 2016

Advice we provide to our clients often involves the practice of setting goals.  Creating revenues goals, for instance, involves both firm goals and individual goals.  While setting goals is important to achieving success, communicating it to those helping you succeed is critical. Often, we find the communication piece is not taken seriously enough. Communication is an essential tool in getting the entire firm to work together to improve revenues (and hopefully provide rewards for everyone).  

In one small firm we worked with, the partners established revenue goals and held a firm meeting to cover the topic.  In setting the goals the firm had looked at how they had done in past years and what was realistic for the upcoming year.  The process was not a matter of picking a number but rather taking into consideration the practices in place, and mainly preserving the firm culture.  Of course, the process highlighted issues the firm needed to work on that would improve efficiency and productivity.  By communicating to all members that the firm desired to do better and sending the message that it would take everyone’s participation made a difference in everyone’s attitude.  They began to pay attention to the firm’s success.  The partners found that paralegals inquiring how the firm was doing towards reaching its goal.  (This served as an important reminder that once you open up communication you have to continue it, in order to keep everyone in the game and maintain credibility.)  As a result of everyone’s’ efforts, the firm reached its goals and recognized and rewarded its paralegals and lawyers with bonuses.