What Happens When You’re Not Clear About Advancement Opportunities [video]

What are the consequences when you don’t communicate with the people in your firm about what it takes to move to the next level?

In my last video in this series on retaining your best employees, I talked about being transparent about what it takes for them to get to the next level.

Today, I’d like to tell you a story that illustrates what happens when you aren’t transparent.

A law firm managing partner recently approached me and told me that one of the senior lawyers in the firm had approached him about becoming an equity partner in the firm. But during the conversation, it became apparent that the lawyer who was asking for equity partnership didn’t really understand what equity partnership meant.

They didn’t have any money to make a capital contribution

They hadn’t brought in business to the firm and weren’t actively engaged in trying to bring in business

They weren’t actively involved in any management activities within the firm and expressed no interest in helping to run the firm

They didn’t have a great grasp of the financial operations of the firm

So what made this lawyer think they should be an equity partner? Simply – longevity. They had been at the firm a number of years and believed that as a result, they should just be made an equity partner. The managing partner was flabbergasted, and had no interest in making this lawyer an equity partner – a co-owner of the business he built. But now he was facing a dilemma – the lawyer, who did great legal work – might leave the firm.

It was clear to me that there had never been a conversation about what it would take to become an equity partner in the firm, what equity partnership entailed, or why this lawyer wanted to be an equity partner, particularly without a capital contribution – or even whether the partners were open to take on additional equity partners at the firm.

Don’t wait until you’re in this situation to talk to the people in your firm about advancement and what responsibilities it carries with it.

Learn more about working with your employees and retaining the best: