06 March 2023

Business feedback: a tool for law firm management

When people are affected by external stimuli, the human organism automatically generates a response known as feedback. This concept is also extrapolated beyond the functioning of the human body, specifically to the business sector when a company's employees receive a message about the work actions they have performed.

For a company's performance to improve, it is necessary for employees to receive constructive feedback, from their superiors or peers, about the work they have done. Good communication will bring important benefits: detecting and correcting faults, being more competitive in the market, and will help to build customer loyalty and win new ones. 

In this line, creating a culture of feedback in law firms is fundamental to improve the benefits for lawyers, clients and the firm itself. If employees feel comfortable sharing, asking for and receiving feedback on their performance, it will change the way the office works.

For proper feedback to exist, it is necessary that not only one person participates, but that information is exchanged among several people with the objective that this shared information helps to achieve a professional and business improvement.


Advantages of the feedback process

There are several reasons why it is useful for employees to receive negative comments about their attitude or work when the tasks performed are not 100% correct. The truth is that many employees appreciate constructive comments, even if they are sometimes uncomfortable. 

One of the main reasons why it is necessary to give feedback to the employees of a company is because it generates a relationship of trust between the lawyers and the law firm and, at the same time, improves the business integration of the employees. The exchange of feedback is based on sincerity so, it favors transparency within the firm and helps to foster the feeling of being part of the firm. In addition, if managers are concerned about following in detail the work and professional growth of employees, it shows the firm's concern for the lawyer to improve and grow personally and professionally.

On the other hand, it helps to increase employee motivation. The advice that lawyers receive is based on their professional performance, so these comments will help them feel more confident when performing their tasks and, at the same time, increase productivity and performance.

In addition, it should be noted that feedback serves to enhance people's personal and professional growth. Thanks to the communication of strengths and weaknesses, the employee can evolve and improve his or her capabilities, since the advice received at the professional level can be extrapolated to the personal field.


Negative comments also help

In the communication process, employees may receive positive comments that highlight their successes and strengths so that they can continue to focus on them and make the most of them; or negative comments about mistakes made and weaknesses that exist and should be avoided. Although recommendations are always made with good intentions, sometimes the recipients of this information may take it negatively.

Forbes magazine published an article in 2022 on the importance of feedback at work, highlighting the statement by Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School, "People tend to walk away from those who give them a more negative opinion than they have of themselves. They don't listen to their advice and prefer to stop interacting with them altogether. It seems that people tend to strengthen their bonds with people who only see their positive qualities".

Giving and receiving feedback is a necessary process for the correct business management in law firms, although sometimes it can be complicated, especially when the feedback is negative. The truth is that criticism or negative comments influence people more than you think, demotivating them at work and even having the opposite effect that you want to achieve. However, employees who know how to deal with negative feedback will use these corrections as an opportunity to learn and improve their work. 

Lawyers in a law firm should be clear that the negative comments received are constructive and are based on professional work. The purpose of this feedback is not to belittle the work of employees, but rather the opposite: to highlight actions that need to be modified to improve their productivity and performance.

Copyright © The Impact Lawyers. All rights reserved. This information or any part of it may not be copied or disseminated in any way or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of The Impact Lawyers. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of The Impact Lawyers.

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