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A Critical Review of Appraisal Systems

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Written By: Dr. M. Amr Sadik

Edited & Published By: Mariham Magdy

I am not fond of applying new methodologies, trends or theories without digging deep and doing a thorough investigation and examination about them, to ensure if they can apply as is at workplace or modifications ought to be done to them first.

Years ago in one of the HR summits that I attended on Performance Management System, I proclaimed that 360-degree evaluation system is not adequate for the Arab countries!

My arguments was, that we are emotionally and religiously driven, as well as positive or negative work relationships can heavily affect the evaluation, then the results may be inappropriate and misleading.

Therefore, I was able to persuade my French CEO in a telecommunication company that it is futile to use this system and instead we will be developing our own system.

Performance appraisal is potentially a key tool for organizations to make the outmost of their human resources and the use of the appraisal is widespread. However, during my employment tenure with various organizations in several industries, here and there, for more than 30 years, I came across very few organizations that they conducted the Performance Appraisal System (PAS) appropriately and adequately.

There are some indisputable facts around the PAS:

  1. Generally, managers and employees do not really like performance management.
  2. Managers do not do it regularly.
  3. Paradoxically, many who did not like it or did not do it thought that it was a great idea in principle (but they still did not do it).
  4. No relation between the use of performance management and organizational success. Use of traditional performance management system did not guarantee success, and some organizations that did not have much of it at all seemed just fine.

Anyway, and regardless of all the systems that organizations adopt: Critical Incident, MBOs’, 360 degree, Essay, and/or Forced Ranking, the PAS is often perceived simply as a technique of Personnel Administration.

And when it is utilized for administrative purposes it becomes part of a managerial strategy, the implicit logic of which is that in order to get people to direct their efforts toward organizational objectives, management must tell them what to do, judge how well they have done, and reward or punish them accordingly.

So, what is the purpose of appraisal, and how is it used?

The key objective of appraisal is to provide employees with feedback on their performance provided by the direct manager, and thus there are three critical questions for quality of feedback:

  1. What and how observations on performance are made?
  2. Why and how they are discussed?
  3. What determines the level of performance in the job?

Based on the above, the process cannot be performed effectively, unless the direct manager has the interpersonal interviewing skills to provide such feedback to people being appraised. We call it ‘‘Bradford Approach’’, that places a high priority on appraisal skills development. This approach identifies the relations between involving, developing, rewarding and valuing people at work.

However, we can explicitly state that PAS has three major purposes:

Each and every performance system has its own advantage and disadvantage, and unfortunately, I can go on and on in critically reviewing those systems and anyone can argue that, but my point is that each organization has to develop its own system, regardless the contemporary performance appraisal systems available, as I have stated in my previous article “Triumph over Tragedy“.

The evaluation process is a detailed and precise one, and unless the organization has defined the usage of the system and how the inputs will be gathered and how the outcomes will be used, it will be useless to apply the system.

It was reported that a number of firms in USA suspended the forced distribution system, in the annual performance appraisal as they have realized that it damages the internal co-operation which is so vital to innovative businesses.

Many companies have budgeting processes which also follow annual cycles, and which of course involve one-on-one reviews and interviews. No respectable managing director or HR practitioner would have anything against such approach, because communication is rarely harmful—especially between managers and employees.

Too often, we see performance appraisals being introduced so that managers can finally speak more with their staff.

However, the question is not whether such talks are good; it is whether the system is suitable for achieving the relevant goals with the judgements and decisions stipulated within it.

Another vital point is that where there is a system, there is a system owner, an authority responsible for its design, setup and operation. This authority is almost and always the HR department.

Managers of course speak with their employees when there is no HR department expressly expecting this. These talks are sometimes conducted in a structured, professional manner, if this is what is desired and practiced by the respective managers.

Nevertheless, a standard, company-wide annual performance appraisal format, which follows set rules, requires someone to monitor this uniformity and the rules, and indeed set them. This implies that annual performance appraisals are inconceivable without HR: if there is no HR, there is no performance appraisal.

We can already agree that annual performance appraisals, at least in their classic form, require a strong HR element. Without this, a functional performance appraisal system is deemed completely impossible.

The traditional methods based on past notions of what fetches success, are still with us, despite the changes made. They are so deep-seated in all of us that we have difficulty in formulating alternative ways of seeing work and the workplace.

Good luck.

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Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here: https://fowinsights.com/

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021

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The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

www.decodinghrevent.com

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers: www.decodinghrevent.com/speakers

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings: www.decodinghrevent.com        Contact:
marketing@wisdom.events   #WSDM_BI
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