Tip for Establishing KPI's (Key Performance Indicators)


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Are you a law firm owner who needs help measuring the success of your firm? In this podcast episode, Tyson delves into the creation and implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for law firms. 

Establishing KPIs for law firms are important because they show how a firm is progressing and what needs to be done to further drive success. Setting up and maintaining KPIs can be difficult, but Tyson provides a few tips on how to customize KPIs and ensure they are working for the firm. It is important to ensure that KPIs are tailored to different roles. Staff within law firms have different tasks and roles and there will be different KPIs needed to measure them. For example, a KPI might be used to measure how many files a case manager reviews every week. But for a receptionist, a KPI could be an average call time or how many calls are being taken a day.

Tyson shares the importance of reviewing your KPIs and adjusting them as the firm grows.  KPIs also need to be adjusted with individual performance. Job tasks will change over time as people take on more responsibility or change the way they are doing their work. KPIs will need to change alongside this as they will reflect new ways of working. Make sure to communicate these KPIs to staff and let them know when and why they are being adjusted.

Take a listen!

Episode Highlights:

  • 2:05 Tips for customizing KPIs to align with the unique objectives
  • 4:41 Setting KPIs that are challenging and attainable for team members.
  • 6:27 Importance of reviewing and adjusting KPIs to align with evolving needs
  • 8:13 Tips for effectively communicating the purpose and importance of KPIs


Transcripts: Tip for Establishing KPI's (Key Performance Indicators)

Tyson (00:01.494)
Hey, it's Dyson and this week I am back with another Saturday episode and I'm going to be talking about tips for establishing KPIs. Those are key performance indicators for those of you that don't know what KPIs mean. They're an extremely useful tool for measuring and driving success for your firm and for really any company. I was listening to a podcast the other day with Jeff Bezos and he was talking about KPIs.

the largest companies use them, the smallest companies should be using them. They're really, really important. Um, before I get to this episode though, just as a reminder, if you are interested in joining the guild, go to maxlawguild.com. It's a wonderful community of amazing attorneys where they share, you know, their, their just best advice, best tips, uh, collaboration. And it's just an, it's just amazing group of people.

We have quarterly events where like we're going to be in Arizona soon. We'll be in Scottsdale. We're in Miami last year. We'll be in Vegas coming up. There's just a lot of cool places, just a lot of great people. And so if you're interested, go to maxolgill.com would love to have you, but let's get into the show. And we're going to talk some more about KPIs. So we just went through and we had our leadership meeting last week where we were talking a little bit about.

Revising the KPIs and we went through all of them and created new scorecards for everyone not new scorecards, but we edited the scorecards that we had for everyone and I fear this would be a really good episode to talk about KPIs because it's something that you do have to give it some Thought and it's not the easiest thing in the world. It's a it's a really challenging thing But it's something that once you have it it's a tool that allows you to make sure everyone's rowing in the same direction and that everyone is

is rowing just as hard as everyone else. And that may be, it's something that's really, really challenging to get just right. And we by no means have it just right, but it's something that we're constantly working on and we're striving to make sure that we're getting better at it. But let me give you some of the tips for getting KPIs in place. So here we go.

Tyson (02:21.35)
Let's first though talk a little bit about just the importance of KPIs. They are…

Tyson (02:37.475)
I'm not gonna I'm not gonna do that, but let me let me redo that All right, so let's jump in a little bit more with damn it

All right, so let me jump in with some tips on getting your KPI set up. They're something that they're really going to help you align your team members, the actions that they're doing to the overall objectives of the firm. So number one, make sure that you tailor the KPIs to the individual roles. Each position in your firm. So it's not like you can just take a KPI and just slap it on everybody. It just doesn't work that way.

Each position in your firm, it's going to have its own set of unique KPIs because each role has its own unique purpose, right? A case manager role is going to be completely different than a receptionist role. You've got different objectives for those positions, so you got to make sure that the KPIs help reflect that. So for example, a case manager's KPIs might focus more on

Okay, how do we make sure that the cases are moving forward, we're getting the progress, but we're also having clients that are happy, that wanna refer us cases, okay? Compare that to, let's say, a receptionist, right? The receptionist's role is to make sure that, you know, they're the voice of the firm, that when people call, they're getting questions answered, or they're getting routed to the right place, and they're not missing phone calls. You, there's, they're completely different objectives. So,

One of the KPIs for our case managers is to the certain number of file reviews that they have to do every single week. And that's to make sure that the files are moving forward and as a part of the file review, they have to make sure that the client has been communicated with. And when they do the file review, they're supposed to update the client as well. There's a lot that goes with it. So that is one of the KPIs. You've got to do so many of those a week. When it comes to a receptionist, one of the KPIs is the average call time. Okay, you don't want the receptionist

Tyson (04:44.934)
on the phone for a really long time, she needs to get that call to the right person, the right person, and if you have them on the phone too long, that means that you're probably not getting them to the right people in a timely fashion, okay? So that's just a couple examples of the KPIs that we have. We have, you know, I'll get to this in a little bit, but you wanna kinda limit it to three. You don't wanna go any more than three. Some of ours have two, some of our people have one.

Many have three, but you don't want to do it. You don't want to have more than three. All right. The next tip is you're going to want to make sure you're balancing aspirational and achievable KPIs. And that's something that can be tough because you want people really hitting the ball out of the park, but you have to also make sure that it's reasonable. If you set KPIs are just.

never going to be achieved. People take them seriously and they'll get discouraged and they're not going to work for you. Okay, that's a big problem. So you got to make sure that you that they can actually attain these kpis because they're going to be rated on these Okay as a part of your job scorecards. This is how they're going to be evaluated on a regular basis And if your team consistently hits their targets without effort though You're going to raise the bar because if they're always hitting it, it's just too easy. You need to you need to push them a little bit more but

You're gonna be aiming for that continual growth that way you don't have that complacency and you know That's obviously the opposite of the those unattainable goals because if you do that, they're just gonna get discouraged and they're It's gonna really demoralize them. So you don't want them to disengage So invest that effort in finding the balance that you need and it's gonna take some time You're not gonna get it right the first time most likely It's gonna take some time for you to really figure out what that balance is

Third tip is consider perception and motivation. Understand how team members, they're gonna perceive their roles and their contributions to the firm. The KPIs, they should not only reflect their responsibilities but they should also resonate with each team member and that in each position, that way they can value the work that they're doing. Make sure that you're having some KPIs.

Tyson (07:08.342)
that really do get to the core values of the firm, the values of the individual, and that way you've got this alignment that boosts motivation and also job satisfaction. So take that into consideration as well. Tip number four, regular reviews and then adjustments. Okay, so KPIs are not this thing that you just set it and forget it and that they're always there. It's not like a core value, okay? Core value, those are gonna be set in stone, you're not gonna be changing those. Those are gonna be there forever.

KPIs are going to change. They're probably going to change, I wouldn't say regularly, but they are going to be things that are going to change. So regularly review them in the context of both the individual performance and then also the firm's evolving needs. I talked about Jeff Bezos, but Jeff Bezos talks about making sure that you're not, you don't have these KPIs that people are using for years and years and they…

there have been several people that have changed over time. And by the time that 10 years after that KPI is created, no one knows why it freaking exists, right? You don't want that to happen. So you're gonna, because sometimes the KPIs aren't necessary anymore. What was necessary 10 years ago is no longer necessary. Your firm is probably completely different. So make sure that you are constantly, I would say least yearly, looking at your firm needs and see if the KPIs.

fit those firm needs. That's a really, really important part of this. And then the last tip I want to get to is just clear communication and support. Whenever you are introducing these KPIs, you're going to want to make sure that you're communicating clearly why you're using KPIs, why they're important, how they contribute to the firm's success. Having this communication to the team, instead of just dumping them on them and saying, do these things.

it's gonna go a long way to get buy-in. And that's one of the things that's gonna be the most challenging part of this too, is getting that buy-in. And I can tell you, you're gonna have some people that are not gonna like it. I'm just gonna tell you, we went through the whole top grading changeover and many of the employees that don't like accountability, they really struggle with KPIs. So just keep that in mind. You're gonna get a lot of, well, I like the way things used to be. Too bad.

Tyson (09:28.822)
Okay, you're gonna have to get past that and they're gonna have to get past that. It's something that's gonna be necessary for your firm to grow to take you to that next level. And it's also gonna be very rewarding for you and for the employees because they're gonna see the progress that you and the firm are gonna make in overtime. All right, that's enough with KPIs for now. As a reminder, if you have something you want me to cover on the Saturday episode, shoot me a text. Just text me 314-501-9260. I would love to hear from you.

Until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

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