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Cyril Amarchand to start 360 degree appraisals for everyone: Will affect pay & promos

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas will integrate a so-called 360 degree feedback mechanism into the appraisals, and therefore the remuneration of all partners and associates, managing partner Cyril Shroff told Legally India in an interview last week when talking about the management structures of his new firm.

“Another very big piece is an institutionalised performance management system,” he said. “We had a decent (system) but (we are) carrying it to different level.”

“(There will be an) expectation of how partners are performing, including a 360 degree review of everyone, including me. I've already done one last year. That was done - without consequences so to speak,” said Shroff. “Now it will be 360 with consequences. It was outsourced to a third party, it was anonymous, and I don't know who commented what. We got some very interesting results that were helpful, very helpful.”

A 360 degree appraisal system will see all fee-earners at the firm get appraised by everyone else at the firm, to varying degrees. Typically this would mean that associates would fill in anonymous feedback forms on any partners’ performance, which would get evaluated by an independent agency and compiled into an anonymous feedback report.

“It helped each of the partners immensely,” said Shroff and joked: “At first there were a lot of grumpy faces, they (partners) thought each of their teams loved them much more than they actually did. But I can see an improvement, because they're now making an effort to show more empathy and be much more mindful of views of other people. But I must say, in credit to my firm, the firm was mature enough to take it.”

The system will affect remuneration at both partner and associate level, though Shroff admitted that “realistically people will say it won't apply to me”.

“But every single person will get be subject to that (review),” he added. “It's a big HR cost but I think it will generally enable growth, which is something that people will take seriously. It will affect promotion, salary and equity and all of that.

“The remuneration committee and the promotions committee will look at it – going forward partner admissions would handle that. Normal promotions would be handled by me, but there would be a screening committee.”

The final staffing of all internal management and administrative committees, which would include partners from both the Delhi and Mumbai regions, would be announced by the end of June, said Shroff.

Khaitan & Co has also had a 360 degree appraisal system in place for several years now.

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