What's the Best Hope for Improving Associate-Partner Relations?
With heavy associate attrition rates, one would think that firms would have incentive to do all they can to make life better for associates. But in reality, though firms should have this incentive, they don't, a topic that's explored by Arnie Herz in this post, Nurturing the partner- associate business relation. Citing a post by Tom Collins, Why Partners Hoard Work, Herz explains that partners have no incentive to delegate or train their underlings because their compensation is based on "individual production." Herz adds that both Collins and David Maister, in this post Don't Compromise, Take Turns, offer advice on improving associate partner relations, such as occasionally making an employee the focus of the company's attention or basing compensation on factors that would provide incentive for partners to help associates along.
On a related note, Bruce MacEwen has a lengthy post on the pros and cons of lock step versus "eat what you kill" compensation. EWYK was apparently intended to give partners incentive to generate more income. But apparently, some firms have realized that lockstep compensation can increase profits by improving collegiality within the firm. MacEwen does not discuss whether either lockstep or EWYK would help improve partner/associate relations, but maybe that's a factor that firms should consider when they examine these different compensation schemes.
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 31, 2006 at 05:16 PM | Permalink
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