Our firm is meeting later this month to discuss year end bonuses and raises for our staff personnel. Due to the economy we did not give raises and bonuses last year. While we have been holding our own with the present economy we have been trying to watch our overhead very closely. However, we want to be fair to our staff and we don't want to lose key employees to our competitors. We are a five attorney firm and have four staff members that have been with us for many years. Do you have any ideas for us?
Your situation sounds quite familiar. Many law firms deferred raises and bonuses last year and are wondering what to do this year. Here is what we are seeing:
We are recommending to many of our clients that they use 2010 raises and bonuses to launch new performance base systems for 2011. They are awarding traditional raises and holiday bonuses for 2010 to clear-the-deck – and advising staff of new programs going into effect January 1, 2011 consisting of goal achievement bonuses where specific firm and personal goals are established at the beginning of the year for each staff member and annual performance reviews.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC