A Innovative Approach to your Incentive Compensation Program

I have tackled this challenge before with my clients and believe I have come up with a unique approach to tracking the marketing and revenue generating activities of professional staff in a way that educates and motivates.  In a nutshell, it is an on-going program for all staff that is geared around traditional goals:  billable hours, meeting deadlines, realization rates, etc., the non-traditional goals:  marketing, business development, client relationship management/retention and then there are the non-tangible values:  integrity, professionalism, honesty, quality of relationships, trust, etc.

Professionals are “graded” using a report card approach to their efforts in the traditional and non-traditional categories – using a tiered scoring mechanism that clearly outlines/describes the following grades – Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Outstanding – and there are points associated with each.  As an example, there are sub-categories under “Marketing” and one might be authorship and the grade around defining a person’s performance might range from blogging sloppily with typos, blogging 3-5 times /year, creating an outline for an article, writing an article for a target publication, writing 3 articles …etc.

There are also Witness Weeks 2-3 times throughout the year where professionals are encouraged to provide testimony where they have witnessed others at the firm conduct themselves in a way that meets the defined criteria of the core values of the firm.  Professionals who witness as well as those who are witnessed each get points.  Folks are allowed to submit 100 words or less on the subject matter. 

The idea of points associated with each of the tracking mechanisms promotes a well-rounded professional but also can award a very narrowly focused person’s efforts;  it also deters favoritism, which has often reared its head during the evaluation process – inadvertently – due to human nature. 

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