horwich farrelly

Horwich Farrelly shortlisted at HR in Law Awards

April, 5, 2017

Horwich Farrelly has been shortlisted at the HR in Law Awards 2017. The nomination – in the category of Excellence in Talent Management – recognises the firm’s recent overhaul of its appraisal process, made in response to employee feedback.

Manager and employee taking part in a check in meeting

The awards are designed to recognise HR excellence across the legal world by identifying innovation and achievement across the whole spectrum of people management — from recruitment and development to diversity and employee engagement.

Last year Horwich Farrelly’s HR team was tasked with reinventing the firm’s performance management process after a number of employees surveyed felt the existing system – of one off, annual-appraisals – was no longer fit for purpose.

Feedback from those canvassed was that the process was too long, too complicated seen by many as a ‘tick box’ exercise rather than a worthwhile task to motivate and engage employees. This was evidenced by the fact that only 53% of employees had an appraisal meeting with their manager in 2015.

Following extensive academic research into current best practice, and further collaboration with the firm’s partners and other internal stakeholders, a unique, two-strand process called ‘My Career Passport’ was launched in autumn 2016.

The first element, a quarterly ‘Check-in’ meeting between an employee and their manager, provides an informal opportunity to discuss current performance, employee wellbeing and any areas for potential improvement. This is followed by an optional annual Career Development meeting.

Since the launch of the initiative, employee engagement in this area has increased by 80%.

Liz Partington, Director of HR, said “The business has experienced phenomenal growth, increasing from 506 employees in January 2015 to 732 employees in February 2017. However, this rapid growth has presented a number of challenges which have required us to review a number of our procedures, including our employee appraisal process.

Liz Partington, Director of HR

“We recognize that great working relationships between employees and their line managers aren’t developed by asking a list of set questions. We want to develop a feedback-rich culture and encourage people to talk about performance regularly, and we believe My Career Passport is the way to achieve this.

“We’re delighted with the initial success of the new process and to be nominated at these prestigious awards caps off a remarkable six months for the HR team.”

The winners will be announced in London on 4 May.

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