International firm Hogan Lovells is to ditch its annual performance review model for associates, insisting the process is ‘outdated and irrelevant’. The US-headquartered firm is to instead run a ‘pathways’ approach by which associates will be encouraged to seek continuous feedback from their seniors.

Chief executive Steve Immelt said the time had come to break the ‘outdated and irrelevant’ mould of performance reviews and move on to provide the information that ‘people really need to hear’.

The firm said ‘hundreds’ of its lawyers reported that they were not receiving meaningful or timely feedback in their annual review, and that the process was ‘time intensive and energy draining’.

IDEO, a global design company, was enlisted to help design a new programme. The firm declined to reveal how much it paid the company for its services.

According to the firm, Pathways implements a variety of ‘customised resources and tools’, associates are able to take real-time feedback and apply it to their career goals. It was piloted in various offices last year, including London. It will be expanded to cover employees in business services in 2019.

Katie Hunter, the firm’s global head of talent management, said: ‘This forward-looking process meets the changing expectations of people joining the legal profession – they’re focused on getting feedback regularly and feeling empowered to consistently develop their professional skillset. Eventually we hope this will shift the culture of feedback throughout the firm, enhance recruitment efforts, and improve client service.’