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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.

Magazine

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

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“Continuous Learning, adopting innovation & creativity and teamwork are among the guiding principles of success and excellence in the government sector” Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Name: Eng.  Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Title: Director Assistance for Control & Inspection for Economic Activities at Ministry of Industry & Trade in Jordan

Winning categories:

  1. The Gold Stevie Winner in the category “the most innovative Communications Professional of the year “
  2. The Silver Stevie Winner in the category “Innovation in Community Relations or public Services Communications”
  3. The Bronze Stevie Winner in the category “Innovative Management in Government – Organizations with 100 or more employees”
Brief Biography about the Winner:

Abeer Ramadna is the Director assistant of control and inspection unit at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply (MIT) in Jordan, she has a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering- Engineering Administration / University of Jordan with “excellent degree”. Abeer has 20 years of experience in private and public sectors, and is a focal point for UNIDO at MIT in Jordan. Abeer is a certified Management development Expert from ITC/ Vienna in 2005, a certified Export Consultant to EU from CBI/Netherland in 2007, certified Lead Auditor for Quality Management ISO 9001:2015, a certified Engineer Expert in Quality and Environmental Management systems in 2018 and a certified EFQM Assessor from EFQM in 2019. Eng. Abeer has a wide professional expertise in many fields that allow her to provide consultations to the organizations in various fields including Quality Management, Environmental Management, preparing industrial polices, strategies and plans, Inspection polices, Monitoring & Evaluation systems, implementing the ISO9001, ISO14001 ISO14040s standards, and conducting technical industrial sectors studies.

Eng. Abeer won three Stevie Awards from three different categories after participation in Middle East Stevie Awards in 2020, these are:

  1. Gold Stevie Winner in a category:” The Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year”. These categories honor the most innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology.
  2. Silver Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications”. These categories honor innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology in the public sector.
  3. Bronze Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovative Management in Government “. These categories honor innovation in executive management including the Award for Innovative Management in a number of industry sectors.

Abeer has been published scientific papers in one of the world accredited journals in E-government. Titled “Barriers to E-Government Adoption in Jordanian Organizations from Users’ and Employees’ Perspectives” in 2017, the link is:

https://www.igi-global.com/article/barriers-to-e-government-adoption-in-jordanian-organizations-from-users-and-employees-perspectives/181280

and published another scientific paper titled: “SEM approach to determine factors affecting e-government success in Jordan”,  the link is:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333488499_SEM_approach _to_determine_factors_affecting_e-government_success_in_Jordan

She was selected as a Judge at the Best Jordanian chemical product Award in all three cycles of it during 2015 to 2020, Judge in the 2019 management & entrepreneur Awards categories judging committee Stevie Awards, and Judge at the best industrial engineering project for the Jordanian universities in 2019. She participated in several national and International conferences, meetings and presented papers, as a representative of the MIT / Jordan.

https://www.facebook.com/abeer.ramadna

http://linkedin.com/in/abeer-ramadna-msc-ie-pe-cbi-em-itc-mde-66928170

https://stevieawards.com/ar/mena/eng-abeer-ramadna-2

http://jordanembassyus.org/news/jordanian-engineer-wins-three-middle-east-stevie-awards?fbclid=IwAR2iBj4P8uHERE_Q2Yf-hatk2yJ-bGeq1g8MaYPIz_HJ42HqUyA6UCPehdM

Stevie Award winning Case Study:

  • Developing action plans of inspection development to governmental institutions (Inspectorates) work in fields of health, Environment, labor, safety for economic sectors in Jordan.
  • Supervision of developing Electronic Inspection System for governmental inspectorates.
  •  Conduct many awareness workshops for governmental inspectorates and for private sector institutions.
  • Conduct many workshops and training sessions as A National trainer of trainers in the shaping of future studies.
  • Secretariat of higher committee for Inspection development of Economic Activates that consists from high level management in governmental inspectorates.
  • Abeer is trusted as a competent team leader and confident expert in Quality management & Inspection systems
  • Abeer conducted in 2018 a study titled the Industrial engineering in the government sector in Jordan, current situation and future opportunities and present it in the 2nd International Conference on Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Engineering (ISME’19) Nov, 11-12, 2019 in Amman.
  • Abeer was chosen after a series of selection process as one of the National participants in the Civil Service Development Program in Jordan and attended all phases including the leadership and developing high performance teams at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK during 2019.

Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna “Continuing to contribute achievements and make positive impacts are goals that are achievable with the presence of strong & positive attitude, self-motivated character & determination.”

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Articles

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Asiacell

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“Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel”

Winning Organization: Asiacell

Nomination: Award for Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries (including Telecom)

Brief about the Organization:

Asiacell is a leading provider of telecommunications and data services in Iraq. As part of international telecommunications company Ooredoo Group, Asiacell was Iraq’s first mobile telecommunications provider to achieve nationwide coverage. Asiacell is also a leading internet provider with its 3.9G data services, offering the best network coverage in all of Iraq since January 2015.

Stevie Award Winning Case Study:

As part of its commitment to expand network coverage in Iraq, Asiacell has continued to support the redevelopment of the country’s infrastructure and economy and the provision of high-quality connectivity solutions. It has enhanced its “Hot Zone” restoration strategy by putting 200 sites on air and connecting over 500 sites to 3G.

Focused on improving the quality of life for communities, Asiacell’s CSR initiatives are focused on key areas, such as health, education and culture. Asiacell has equipped several higher education institutions with computer labs and supported the renovation of schools, with the aim of providing quality education infrastructure. It also partnered with the Chibayish Environmental Tourism Organization to build the first Iraqi Marshlands heritage museum in Ahwar as part of its efforts to revive Iraq’s Marshland, while generating a positive effect on tourism and jobs creation. 

Recognising that its people are its key asset, Asiacell continues to roll out initiatives focused on engaging and empowering employees. It has invested heavily in digital transformation, including digital upskilling for employees, and streamlining of various internal processes in order to nurture a digital-first culture that embraces innovation.

We are so glad to be recognized as a successful and innovative telecommunication company in Iraq with a Stevie Award for “Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries”. Recognition from the Stevie Awards means a lot to us and motivates Asiacell to continue to serve the community with professionalism. Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel.

THANK YOU

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Articles

Qisaty Project & Developing Talent in Children with Special Needs in Egypt

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Edited By: Mahmoud Mansi

Qisaty Project – founded by Mona Lamloum – was launched on 26th December 2019 to support children talents through a series of storytelling, writing and drawing workshops.

The total number of children who participated in the storytelling workshop is 60 including the most talented 20 who were selected to the story writing sessions, 16 children ranging from 6 to 14 years old got their stories selected to be drawn by 19 children with special needs.

The drawing workshops were held in 3 cities in Egypt with cooperation with 2 special needs associations; Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor. 14 children, and Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria. 5 children.

The children have different disabilities, hearing loss, partial blindness, movement disability, learning difficulty disability, mental disability and increased electricity in the brain.

Of course such an interesting project needs proper preparation and an intellectual plan. Mona Lamloum shared some of the challenges that she and her team have faced during the project:

1-The global pandemic and the sudden lockdown.

2- The fact that most of the children with special needs suffer from many chronic diseases which lowers their immunity, in addition to the huge responsibility that lies on the team while holding the workshop during the pandemic.

3-The fear of the parents of the children with special needs participation at the drawing workshops due to the pandemic and the lack of their immunity. Which was managed to concur with the help of the project partners in drawing workshops. 

Eventually, Qisaty Project was held at exceptional circumstances and according to deadlines set up before the global Corona pandemic. However, the team did their best to get the project done within the lockdown with a quality that is aspired from the beginning, and that was done simply by teamwork, sharing a unified vision, and collaborating to find new solutions.

The result is 16 short stories in addition to 64 drawings by hands of talented children with special needs and with variable disabilities from three cities: Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. Each drawing tells a different scene from a short story inspired from the children themselves to be published as a grand book that gathers the short stories and the drawings of all the talented young participants.

Acknowledgements:

Qisaty Sponsors:

– Amideast: Hosted the story telling, story writing workshops and the day that gathered the writers and children with special needs mixed day.

– Nahdet Misr Publishing House.

Media Sponsors:

– Marj3 Platform

– HR Revolution Middle East

– EBBY

– Arablit Quarterly

Children with special needs Associations:

– Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor.

– Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria.

Qisaty Trainers:

– Hanan El-Taher.

– Mona Lamloum.

– Zeinab Mobark.

Designing Storytelling and writing workshop:

-Mona Lamloum

Writing workshops:

– Mona Lamloum

– Yaqoub El-Sharouni

Drawing workshop:

– Under the supervision of Shoikar Khalifa,

 – With the help of respectful team at Nida Association at Cairo and Luxor.

 – Ashab El-Erada Association at Alexandria by Sahar Zaiton with the help of Aliaa Abd-Elsalam.

Team Members:

– Rawan Said

– Ahmed Ismail

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