Three Ways to Improve Voting in Your Law Firm
What you need to know:
- From mergers and acquisitions, to equity partner promotions and retirement; law firms have a great need to hold meetings with secure, official votes.
- Making voting convenient is even more important now that partners and shareholders are distributed around the world.
- Communication and careful planning are key to successful votes.
Most law firms run on consensus, and the number of secure, official votes needed are surprisingly plentiful. These meetings and votes can directly affect a firm’s overall performance and strength, so it’s important to make them as streamlined, efficient and effective as possible.
These votes, however, can be accompanied by delays as partners and shareholders – sometimes significant numbers of them – communicate and cast their votes. Using inefficient processes and dated tactics can mean lost opportunities and discouraged voters.
Some of the vital partner and shareholder votes include:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Committee membership and issues
- Compensation decisions
- Retirement decisions
- Equity partner candidate votes
- Board of directors
As veteran administrators of thousands of member elections over the course of three decades, SBS has these three tips for law firms hoping improve their internal voting processes:
Make voting convenient
Many law firms have traditional ways they conduct votes, but equally as many now have shareholders and partners distributed around the world. When the people voting are no longer just a few floors away in an office tower, firms need to maximize the opportunities for shareholders and partners to vote and make it convenient to do so.
Paper ballots, online voting, in person voting, a hybrid combination – all valid options to collect votes from wherever a partner or shareholder is at the moment.
Make meetings count
Partners and committee members need to be able to securely and anonymously vote on motions and agenda items, so how can that happen when meetings are virtual?
As tempting as it can be to use free polling software, it’s not secure and it also does not have the professional functionality to adequately serve a firm’s needs. SBS saw this dilemma and created Real-Time Voting Software – the customizable voting software built specifically for highly secure virtual meetings.
Real-Time Voting Software can be utilized with any online meeting software (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, etc.) and the tool provides credentialed access only to verified participants. Participants can attend a meeting from anywhere and vote using any device with internet access. Meeting hosts can utilize pre-set motions and make changes in real time and add new motions as they arise.
Communication is key
One of the most important elements in getting people to vote is communication – everyone should be aware that an upcoming vote will be taking place and understand how they can participate.
Clear and simple communications that happen across multiple platforms are necessary to announce the vote, explain the procedure and set forth any deadlines.
Initial announcements should be made approximately three to four months prior to the vote. Any voting deadlines should be included in all announcements. Choose your timing wisely to avoid holding important votes during typical vacation periods and leave a block of time for a “voting window” during which partners and shareholders are allowed to vote. Send timely reminders halfway through the voting window to encourage people to vote, if they haven’t already.
The nature of how we do work is changing, and law firms are not immune to this transformation. SBS is proud to offer Real-Time Voting Software to law firms as a dependable enterprise solution to host secure, confidential votes and communicate with partners, shareholders and other stakeholders when voting or official approval is necessary.