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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.

Articles

How did studying a CIPD qualification with ICS Learn change my career?

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Journalism: Mariham Magdy

“Choosing ICS Learn has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

I personally struggled for nearly two years trying to kickstart a career in HR and as we all know, HR is one tough industry to crack. “After choosing ICS Learn, I had a number of recruiters contacting me for HR roles and I couldn’t believe it! The level of attraction I received once putting the words ‘Studying towards CIPD’ on my CV was immense.

“I finally managed to gain an HR Administrator role in one of the best companies and couldn’t have been more pleased with being offered such a fantastic opportunity.”

Anika Parmar, CIPD LEVEL 3 & LEVEL 7 STUDENT
HTTPS://WWW.ICSLEARN.CO.UK/BLOG/POSTS/2017/JANUARY/ICS-REAL-STORIES-MEET-ANIKA/

” Other course providers did not offer upfront information about how support would be given and by whom. ICS Learn proudly promotes the tutors and high levels of expertise. This gave me confidence that I would be in good hands.
Just one month after enrolling with ICS Learn for my CIPD course, I landed my first HR role and am over the moon!”

Nikki Long, CIPD Level 3 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/november/ics-real-stories-nikki-cipd-level-3-review/

“I really wanted to break into HR/Learning and Development roles, but the jobs I was applying for required a CIPD qualification, so I then took the leap and started with ICS Learn. “From not being able to get an interview for roles I started getting offers as soon as I mentioned CIPD on my CV.”

Nin Sandhu, CIPD Level 3 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/august/ics-real-stories-nin-online-cipd-level-3-review/

“As a recent student of ICS Learn, I have completed my Level 5 Diploma. Prior to starting the course, I didn’t work in an HR role, so after shopping around and a lot of Google searching, I got into contact with a student advisor at ICS Learn.

The gentleman I spoke to was very endearing and friendly, as I didn’t work in an HR role and had no HR qualifications I was looking to start the CIPD Level 3 qualification, however, the advisor suggested I started with Level 5 as I had a university degree. “This was possibly the best choice I made as it has helped me become more recognised academically and I was able to get my first HR role in Alstom within 2 months of starting my course.”

Rukhsaar Hussain, CIPD Level 5 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2021/april/cipd-student-stories-rukhsaar-hussain-cipd-level-5-review/

“I have been able to use my studies in making decisions at work and able to relate the practical way of my work to my academic studies. “The tutors on my modules are friendly and approachable which has made me feel very supported throughout the course.”

Bernadette Aquino, CIPD Level 7 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/october/ics-real-stories-bernadette-cipd-level-7-review/

“Since I decided to enroll onto a CIPD Level 5 qualification with ICS Learn in April last year, it has already had a tremendously positive impact on my change in career direction.

After careful comparison with other learning platforms, ICS Learn stood out to me as the best one available, as I knew people who had done this course and were able to gain successful entry into HR, either like myself during studying, or very quickly after completion. 

They had good testimonies from students and offered an excellent flexible payment programme which made it accessible.

ICS Learn also offers good study support, from your own tutor, or even from fellow students!

Even though I’m still working towards my qualification, it has 100% helped me secure my future as an HR professional.”

Taj Chelvaiyah, CIPD Level 5 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2021/february/cipd-student-stories-taj-chelvaiyah-cipd-level-5-review/





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Articles

Which Certification is right for me PHRi™ or SPHRi™?

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Written by: Mariham Magdy

When deciding to take a step forward for their international certification, many HR professionals hesitate between choosing the right credential that suits their professional experience and practice; whether the PHRi™ or the SPHRi™?

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive comparison between the two credentials, to help you decide which certification is right for you.

First, we will highlight the eligibility requirements for both:

Let’s elaborate more about what is meant exactly by a “professional-level experience in an HR position”?

HRCI defines a “professional-level” HR position as one that includes:

  • The ability to use independent judgment and discretion in performing work duties.
  • A level of specialized knowledge in the HR field with some authority for decision-making.
  • In-depth work requirements, such as data gathering, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Interaction with a broad range of individuals, including key personnel.
  • Individual accountability for results.

The Exam Content Outline for both certifications.

While the PHRi builds a professional mindset for the HR professionals on how to manage soundly the different HR functions, standardizing the steps they need to follow for the successful implementation of various HR processes; the SPHRi enhances the strategic aspect of HR Management Practices.

In other words, both certifications curriculum complements each other, and it depends on where you are on your professional career ladder to decide whether you are lacking the knowledge on how to professionally manage certain HR functions or are you ready to expand your strategic views and practices in the HR field?

The Certification Renewal:

  • You must earn 1 ethics credit during your three-year certification cycle.
  • This is a part, not in addition to your 60 required recertification credits.

I believe that the “Recertification” condition mandated by the HRCI increases the value of the certification itself since it ensures the continuous learning of the certified professionals.

One of the valuable slogans of the HRCI Certifications, is that it is “Earned not Given”, and thus the eligibility and merit of earning, must be continuously evaluated and confirmed.

Recertification is one of the many reasons that HRCI certifications are the most recognized and trusted by HR professionals and the organizations they serve. And now, recertification credits are easier than ever for you to access and earn.

And now let us know more about the Exam Format & Length:

The Exam Questions are either multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop, or scenarios.

The scenario questions present typical HR situations, followed by a series of exam items based on the scenario. These scenarios require you to integrate facts from different subject areas.

The HRCI website provides extremely useful bundles for the exam preparation material along with trial tests to assist you to get familiar with the certification exam questions and exercise them widely prior the exam itself.

In addition, the HRCI offers a “Second Chance Insurance” which is a pre-paid and non-refundable fee allowing you to take the exam for a second time in case of failing your first time.

Whether being certified as PHRi or SPHRi, the certification has three main advantages for you:

  • Requires specific work experience, competency, and education.
  • Requires recertification, which makes sure that you stay current in the HR profession through continuing education.
  • Allows you to put the letters after your name.

Through the HRCI valuable certifications, you get connected to an exclusive network of motivated HR professionals around the globe – Nearly 145,000 certified HR thought leaders working in more than 100 countries and territories.

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Articles

Emotional Intelligence and Business Excellence

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Written By: Dr. Maha Magdy

Many of us as soon as they hear about ” Emotional Intelligence” think that it’s only related to love and relations with your partner, but have you ever related it to your business? How would it help you achieve your goals? Increase your income? Enrich your resources?

In business world, we usually care for IQ of candidates and consider it one of the main aspects to use for the performance evaluation of employees, ignoring their EQ which is proved to be the strongest predictor of positive performance and long-term success according to recent studies.

Let us first identify what is meant by EQ to be able to discover how foundational it is for a thriving workplace.

EQ or Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of your emotions, moods & motives and to redirect them and manage your behaviors.

In other words, emotions are energy, and “Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to use or direct this energy to push you towards achieving your goals, which means you need first to identify your emotions then deal with them wisely.  

If you aim to be a unique leader you must know that rising your EQ enables you to influence other’s emotions and interact with them successfully and even direct their reactions!

This is not a bare claim, but a scientific truth that I am going to explain now.

Scientifically, EQ is the ability of your brain to build strong neural connections between: “the limbic system” (center for emotions in your brain) and “the prefrontal cortex ” (the rationale thinking center), the more neural connections your brain build, the more emotionally intelligent you become.  The good news is that you can train your brain to build these neural connections through emotional intelligence coaching techniques.

Emotional Intelligence, as I mentioned before, is mainly about emotional awareness, which is the ability to recognize your feeling, understand your habitual responses to events and realize how your emotions affect your behaviors and performance which is critical to your business.

Emotional Intelligence also enables you to acquire the ability to manage your emotions, stay focused and think clearly even when experiencing powerful emotions, which is crucial for your productivity, and would be reflected on your decisions, motivation, and relationships with others.

Emotional Intelligence coaching techniques will help you discover your limiting thoughts and beliefs and reframe them to unleash your potential and achieve the goals you though before to be unachievable, simply you would be able to choose how to react and whom to be.

One of the most important skills you acquire through emotional intelligence is the ability to master your personal power, the secret to become limitless through realizing your real capabilities and use them to put yourself where you deserve to be.

In these quick changes and surprising events, we face every day, emotional intelligence allows you to cope with stresses in a healthy way and minimize your negative thinking, this will protect both your physical and mental health and would reflect on your business.

Enhancing your EQ promotes you to build better relationships which reflects directly and indirectly on your business whether you are in a managerial position or an employee.

From all that we have mentioned above, we can realize how emotional intelligence would benefit your business through greater performance and productivity, greater income, improving personal skills, improving leadership skills, and acquiring a more healthy and stable work environment especially that it could be developed through training.

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