Laith Abdulhadi, Head of Human Resources Development at Cairo Amman Bank

Laith AbdulhadiLaith Abdulhadi is the Head of Human Resources Development at Cairo Amman Bank – Jordan, with experience in various aspects of Human Resources including Talent Management, Performance Management, Development and Recruiting, Abdulhadi also is the President of the Human Resources Scientific Committee at Jordan HR Association and a freelance Trainer and Consultant.

What is currently missing in the way overall employee performance is being managed?

When we describe an overall error in the way that employee performance is being managed, we need to point at the rating errors that most appraisers effected by such as; Halo Effect, Leniency, Central Tendency, Recency, First Impression, Bias, Horns effect and Favouritism, and most of the organizations do not choose the right performance management system based on what the organization really need.

It is very important to select the proper performance appraisal method that assesses the whole performance of the employee including behavior and end results and can lead to organizational success avoiding subjectivity and reach to the most exact measure of the employee actual performance, in addition to linking individual performance to departmental and organizational performance.

That’s why we recommend most of the organization to use the Mixed performance management (Management by Objectives and Competency-based appraisal) because it focuses on the achieved goals and the technical and behavioral competencies needed to be for all the positions in the organization, then when we analyze the results, we can specify the gaps using the lagging and leading key performance indicators.

What is also missing regarding the employee performance management, when managers do not consider the performance management of employees as continuous daily processes performed by employees, direct managers, and the organization and only paying attention to the end period evaluation.

Lacking leadership skills in some organizations and the misuse of managers’ coercive and reward authorities may negatively affect the employees’ performance management.

Not involving employees in the performance management and reward policies and regulations, and not properly links efforts to performance and links performance to reward are reasons that may hinder the implementation of such policies.

Given that a company’s workforce now has a significant proportion of virtual and freelance workers, how should performance management include them?

A virtual employee is a dedicated in-house resource based off-shore so he /she should easily be included to performance management policy of the organization taking into consideration differences in his objectives and cultural competencies than a home country employee.

In spite of the fact that a freelancer contract usually determines the terms of his/ her work scope, rights, and duties, it is still important to have a performance evaluation for this type of staff focusing on their achievement in addition to their work progress in coordination with responsible managers. I believe their evaluation policy should be agreed on and included in the freelancing contract and depends on the contract duration, required progress and achievements.

What employees, managers and decision makers looking to do to make performance management more effective?

Let’s start from the top of the pyramid, the decision makers mainly focus on the direct financial results, some of them which I believe their organization will keep on the right track focus on the balanced scorecard main elements; Financial perspective, Customer perspective, Internal Business Processes and Learning and growth, and by setting the right smart goals and objectives that emanate from the organisation strategy, vision and mission.

Managers, need to believe that performance management is one of the most valuable tools that guide and help organizations and divisions to achieve their goals and objectives, and they need to avoid the factors we mentioned before that affect the appraisal, and most important to meet their expectations from their employees, they need to clarify to them what are the division plan and what is his/her role in it, how to do it, provide the support, pointing his/her strength and weaknesses, how to enhance the performance and review their performance periodic before the to handle any deviation before the performance appraisal time.

Employees, need to participate and involve in the performance management flow. Unfortunately, most organizations do not share objectives and other performance standards with employees which make them surprised with the feedback they get because they actually do not know what are the plans and how to achieve them.

Employees should also provide the required efforts in handling duties and projects, show a positive attitude and improve their knowledge and skills level.

What are some of the new things being introduced in performance management that are working / not working?

The below points expected to work:

  • Have a quarterly performance review
  • Include appraisal flow to HRMS
  • Have measurable performance standards
  • Come up with the Performance Improvement Plan after each evaluation period
  • Continuous performance coaching from mangers

The below points may not work:

  • Strategy alignment that need mature professionals and how it will effect individual performance standards
  • Focusing on continuous performance management process from managers may negatively affect the time of productivity.
  • Having measurable KPIs and focusing on end results may reduce employee spontaneous that support innovation
  • Linking performance results to rewards statistically may increase compensation cost and reduce flexibility that may negatively affect talent availability.

If not periodic appraisals, then what & how?

I believe we need to have periodic appraisal so we evaluate achievements, identify productivity, strength and weaknesses, revise our plans and take needed actions. But, we can support it with a performance preview that focuses on the future while performance appraisal focuses on the past, we can depend also on coaching sessions.