Partner Compensation System – What Drives Satisfaction (and Dissatisfaction)?

by Sterling on February 6, 2014

As noted at the outset of this year, Sterling Strategies has partnered with the Managing Partner Forum and TheRemsenGroup for a series of monthly mini-surveys of managing partners on topics of strategic importance to law firms and their leaders.  It bears strong similarities to our 2012 “strategy question of the month” series – with the added benefit of a partnership with the Managing Partner Forum.

Our first topic – for the January 2014 mini-survey – was the drivers of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with partner compensation systems.  The survey drew nearly 140 responses and the findings are informative.

  • Subjective systems, informed by objective data are the most common approach to setting partner compensation.
  • The overwhelming majority of systems are fully open (i.e., both performance data and compensation results are open to all partners).
  • The smallest firms encounter the highest levels of dissatisfaction.

See the full analysis of the partner compensation satisfaction survey at the Managing Partner Forum web site.  The results of these monthly surveys will be published under the “Leadership Matters” tab on the MPF web site.  We hope you find the results interesting and useful in your own firm.

Our topic for February 2014 is practice group management – and the approaches that lead to more effective (and less effective) practice management.  The survey is open to all managing partners (we recognize many of our readers hold other leadership roles – we need to find a good way to tap the collective wisdom of law firm leaders who are not lawyers by training).  If you are a managing partner and have two-minutes to share your experiences with practice group management, click here to be taken directly to the survey.

We welcome your feedback on the survey results and your ideas for capturing and sharing the collective insights and experiences of all law firm leaders.  Improving law firm management and leadership is the primary purpose of this blog and we are always open to your ideas.

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