Rashed Mohammed Al Jalajil is an executive director with more than 17 years of experience in strategy execution and performance management in both the private and public sectors in Saudi Arabia. He is a change management enthusiast who believes in developing people to lead organizational success.
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Turki Alderaan is the Director of the Risk Department at Al-Jouf University and a Senior HRB Partner at the Technical Vocational Training Corp (TVTC). He is also an organizational development (OD) expert in four governmental sectors. Additionally, he is a leadership and strategy professional, an executive and performance mentor, a performance design and measurement specialist, and an accredited professional trainer. In this interview, he imparts the valuable experience and profound wisdom he has accumulated over the course of his career.
Would you tell us more about your educational and professional background? How did your previous experiences lead you to your current position?
I have a bachelor’s degree in political science and HR management and a master’s degree in business management. I have since delved significantly deeper into the world of institutional performance management and had the opportunity to practice it professionally. I hold certificates from organizations like The KPI Institute (TKI) and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Currently, I work as an organizational development expert in both the public and private sectors, and I am the director of risk management at Al-Jouf University.
What are your main responsibilities and goals in your current role?
I ensure the application of systematic work standards, lead organizations to adopt the appropriate workflow to conduct organizational transformation, and develop organizational strategies. I utilize technical tools in business analysis to implement improvement measures according to specific performance indicators.
Please take us through your daily job routine. Could you describe your activities and work hours in detail? You may specify certain areas of your job, such as your work arrangement (remote, on-site, or hybrid) and the stakeholders you frequently contact or meet with.
I work for various organizations in both the public and private sectors, working remotely and on-site. At times, I work 16 hours a day, meeting government leaders who supervise my performance. I am grateful for the experiences that have enhanced my development and skills.
Do you think that strategy and performance management in the public sector is different from that in the private sector? How so?
Nations lacking competent strategies and performance management face challenges in achieving organizational transformation, resulting in a weaker position. The private sector offers flexibility, swift decision-making, and sharing. Meanwhile, the public sector excels in resources and an appealing working environment, encouraging many to focus on performance and how to measure it.
A positive work environment with ample resources and tools promotes productivity. Performance is measured through KPIs, feedback, and goal achievement. Regular evaluations and open communication foster a culture of continuous improvement. Quantitative metrics like resource ratio, budget allocation, and utilization rates provide insights into resource efficiency. Qualitative feedback, turnover rates, and job satisfaction surveys also contribute to assessment.
What are the main achievements you are proud of thus far during your time working in strategy and performance management in the public sector?
Across my 15+ years of professional experience, I am still proud of my first achievement with the Institutional Accreditation Team at Al-Jouf University, where I contributed to institutional accreditation in administrative and technical procedures. I did so by establishing modern departments and introducing concepts like risk management, governance, corporate performance management, etc., and linking them to the strategic plan and the design of the follow-up and control mechanisms.
What are the main challenges that you face working in strategy and performance management in the public sector? When faced with such challenges, what do you do?
Government sector strategic plans often exceed 500 pages, with leaders focusing on goals without clear follow-up mechanisms. Training programs can help consolidate knowledge and skills, enabling effective guidance and senior leadership support.
For the future of your career, do you intend to keep on working in the public sector, switch to the private sector, or does the sector not really matter to you? Why?
Working with both sectors has pros and cons, but the main goal is to leave behind a meaningful impact. My most significant contribution is to the government sector, wherein I aimed to help achieve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by facilitating institutional excellence and systematically improving performance management.
If someone is looking to work in strategy and performance management in the public sector, what skills, knowledge, and experience would you advise them to acquire?
Enhancing communication skills is crucial, whether written, verbal, or physical. Aside from that, it is important to have the skill of writing and rewriting policies and procedure manuals to support management systems and performance measurement at all administrative levels.
Explore the interviewee’s insights into strategy and performance management in the public sector through his other interview titled “Performance and sustainability in government: an interview with a leadership and strategy professional.”
Editor’s Note: This article is written by Justine McGrath, ProACTive Coaching’s owner and EBW System assessment and training facilitator. “How To Engage Your Emotional Intelligence To Adapt To Different Work Environments” is originally published in the 23rd PERFORMANCE Magazine – Printed Edition.
In 2020 the world of work changed forever. Companies with adaptable managers and leaders survived and, in some cases, thrived. Those who didn’t suffered.
In a survey done by the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway in 2022, a staggering 95% of respondents said working remotely makes life easier. Thirty percent of respondents said they would change job – even if it meant taking a pay cut — if their employers did not take into account their remote working preferences.
It was not all plain sailing for those working from home. It only took a few weeks before we saw the toll it was taking on some, as the lines blurred between work and home. For working parents, having to balance your job with trying to homeschool was extremely challenging.
There are emotional challenges for employees with all three types of working. According to a Microsoft Report in 2021, 54% of remote workers feel overworked and 39% feel exhausted. Zoom Fatigue is also a factor with many meetings running consecutively.
For those who have returned to the office full time, the daily commute is a reminder of a way of life they would rather avoid every day. Employees have to grapple with higher levels of stress, and this affects their ability to regulate their emotions.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand how our emotions and behaviours impact firstly on ourselves and then on others. In order to adapt to these new ways of working, employees need to be aware of how to best manage their emotions to ensure they can continue to perform at their best.
How Leaders Build Trust and Accountability
Employers need two traits if they want their team to adapt to new ways of working: trust and accountability. This is especially important if you have certain people in the team working from home and some in the office. Employees need to feel they are part of the team and have a shared sense of responsibility. This gives them a sense of autonomy, which builds trust.
Psychological safety is paramount. Give people an opportunity to air their views, grievances, and fears. Managers may see this as a threat to their role or as being too soft, whereas nothing could be further from the truth.
You need to be aware of what will enable peak performance from your employees. If you want to ensure success in the workplace, building trust and accountability is essential.
To build trust and accountability, develop your self-awareness. How? Understand your style of leadership and whether or not it is effective. Get regular feedback from a trusted source.
Self-regulation is how you manage yourself in the workplace. It is vital to understand your own emotions and behaviors so that you can adapt and improve where necessary. Do you have any blind spots in this area? How do people respond to you? This is the intrapersonal aspect of EI – managing the self.
When it comes to managing others – the interpersonal aspect of EI – social awareness is key. Who are the best communicators in your team? Is there someone who is struggling and could use a little empathy right now? Put yourself in their situation and see it from their point of view. Using EI to deal with your own emotions and behaviors and to understand those of others will propel you from a good leader to an excellent one.
Emotional Intelligence for Employees
In the same way that the manager or leader has to be fully aware of how their emotions and behaviors impact both themselves and others, the same holds true for any employee.
This is particularly important if they are feeling apprehensive about the options available in the workplace. They need to feel safe to voice their concerns.
The most important aspect of developing self-awareness is understanding what it is about your job that motivates you. If going back to the office de-motivates you, why is that? Could you express those issues/concerns to your manager? If you are going to move to a hybrid work model, have you prepared yourself mentally for that change? What are the advantages and disadvantages, and how do they affect you?
Image Source: ebw.online.com | Business Emotional Intelligence
EBW model of Business Emotional Intelligence is about the ability to use your intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence to focus on the critical emotions and underlying behavioural traits that predict occupational performance.
Any good manager will appreciate an employee who takes the initiative on issues that arise. Try to find a potential solution before you talk to management. It’s about building trust, communicating openly, and not being afraid to stand up for what you need.
Get yourself into the right mindset. If there are obstacles in your way or you feel unsupported, how could you change that?
Being aware of both the intrapersonal traits and the interpersonal traits of EI will enhance your career prospects. Use self-awareness to take your own personal audit of how the new way of working is going to affect you. Use social awareness to see if it will impact how you relate to both your manager and your colleagues to ensure clear communication going forward.
To conclude, both employers and employees need to take stock at this time of change. If we can develop our EI to communicate clearly, build trust and accountability, and nurture both the self and each other, the future looks bright.
About the author
Justine McGrath is an executive coach and trainer who specializes in Emotional Intelligence. She is the owner of ProACTive Coaching and is a facilitator of the EBW System of assessments and training.
People have been working from home even before the pandemic, but their number significantly increased when the health crisis led to lockdowns and travel restrictions. Companies were forced to send their employees home to work remotely to comply with social distancing measures and keep the workforce healthy. Statista shows that before the pandemic, only 17% of US employees worked remotely for five days or more weekly. However, the number grew to 44% during the outbreak in 2020.
When the pandemic subsided and governments eased travel restrictions, some companies asked their workforce to return to the office while others offered the hybrid set-up. However, most employees still prefer remote work.
A poll conducted by Pew Research Center with 5,889 workers in America in January 2022 found that 61% of those who work from home said they avoid going to work by choice and 38% claim their office is closed. It represents a shift from October 2020, when 64% of people worked from home because their office was closed and 36% did so voluntarily.
In spite of that, 50% of leaders in information worker roles want to pursue getting employees back to the office full-time next year, based on Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2022 report. Still, 52% of respondents say they highly consider becoming remote or hybrid in the year ahead and 80% claim that since remote or hybrid work arrangements were implemented, their productivity has increased.
How Remote Workers Can Be More Productive
According to the popular job site Flexjobs, one of the benefits of working from home is it increases “productivity and performance” as employees encounter fewer interruptions, have a quieter work environment, and have increased workplace comfort, resulting in more focused time.
In a research conducted in Latin America, they explored the relationship between remote work, work stress, and work-life during pandemic times. Researchers found out that by having flexible work schedules, the employees’ engagement and productivity levels increased because they could work at their most productive time. Privacy also plays a big role in employees’ efficiency. However, the productivity level is negatively affected when the worker is constantly interrupted by children or adults that need assistance.
A case study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine investigated the impact of family-work conflict, social isolation, distracting environment, job autonomy, and self-leadership on employees’ productiveness, work engagement, and stress experienced when working from home during the pandemic. The authors discovered that excellent self-leadership skills and autonomy positively impact the time assessment in a WFH scenario.
Results from a qualitative study by Danielle Tinneveld of Radboud University also show that productivity tracking facilitates the identification of process bottlenecks. The affected staff gets less anxious and annoyed when these difficulties are resolved, and overall production efficiency improves.
How Employees Can Track Their Productivity at Home
On a remote workday, people have to manage work and non-work-related tasks. To be productive, they have to master the art of time planning. Effective time management involves planning each activity in a time frame, considering priorities such as urgent work tasks and eating breaks. Individuals should fit their activities into 16 hours to get 8 hours of sleep each day to achieve great productivity. By monitoring the duration of their tasks, they can observe which actions can be improved.
To see if their time management strategy is effective, remote workers can use key performance indicators (KPIs). Some KPIs they can consider are:
- % To do list tasks achieved as planned
- % Time spent working
- % Time spent walking
- % Time spent relaxing
- % Time spent reading (non-work)
- % Time spent preparing food
- % Time spent eating
- % Time spent doing housework
By monitoring the percentage of tasks performed as planned, individuals can see if they reached their target or not. By knowing the percentage of time spent working, people have insights into the free time left for non-work-related tasks, such as going on a walk, relaxing, cooking, eating, and other housework activities (washing clothes and dishes, drying clothes, cleaning floors).
It’s a different story for employees whose companies have return-to-office schemes. Their organizations should rethink their performance management system to consider the new ways of working that employees gained during the pandemic. Evaluating the relevance of KPIs has become important now more than ever. To better understand KPIs, its nature, characteristics, and implementation, enroll now to The KPI Institute’s Certified KPI Professional and Practitioner course.
Image Source: Content Pixie | Unsplash
People are more inclined to be open to expressing love during special occasions like Valentine’s day. Normally associated with romantic love, others celebrate the day by showing affection towards their family and friends. Ideally, people should not wait for a special occasion or event to show love. It is good to express your feelings to your loved ones, but it is also important to practice self-love, too. After all, you can only love someone as much as you love yourself.
“Self-love” is a term that’s been thrown around, but most are not aware of what it really means. People have the misconception that practicing self-love means treating themselves to nice things, but it’s not just that; everything about ourselves grows from a foundation of self-love. It stems from many acts of love we do for ourselves that promote our physical, psychological, and spiritual development, as well as our happiness and wellness. This, in turn, is also an act of kindness toward others since the practice of loving oneself helps to love others in the same manner.
The importance and practice of self-love
Self-love is critical in life because it influences a person’s decision on the people they surround themselves with, the way they present themselves publicly, how they deal with challenges in life, and their overall lifestyle. It provides self-assurance and confidence in every decision or choice that an individual would have. It also brings happiness and tranquillity, helping one to avoid toxic relationships and choose someone who sees and respects them for who they are instead.
Self-love is a fluid concept. It develops as a result of an individual’s actions, guiding them to make choices that foster their wellbeing and serve them in life. Similar to how people express love to one another, there’s no need to wait for a day like Valentine’s Day to do some self-love. Here are a few things you can try to explore and practice self-love every day.
- Be mindful. Your thoughts, feelings, and desires influence how you act and behave toward yourself and others. Try to pay more attention to what you’re thinking and how you feel in a certain situation and how you react based on those thoughts and feelings. People with self-love are more aware of these factors and act on this knowledge rather than on what others expect from them.
- Focus on your needs rather than your wants. The key to happiness is realizing your physical, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual needs. Be sentient of what is essential and necessary for you compared to what you would like to have but do not really need. Make a self-assessment to figure out what you need in each aspect of your life and distinguish that from what you think you want.
- Practicing self-care. Once a person learns how to take better care of their basic needs, that is when they will start to love themselves more. People who have a high level of self-love nurture themselves on a daily basis by engaging in healthy activities such as good eating, exercise, adequate sleep, intimacy, and positive social connections.
- Set boundaries. Learn how to say no to things that can possibly deplete or damage you physically, emotionally, spiritually, or even negatively impact your character. This may include taking part in activities that you do not like, hanging out with people who do not respect you, working for a job that you hate, or simply rejecting someone’s affection that you know you cannot reciprocate. Setting these limits will help you protect and love yourself more in the long run.
- Schedule a “me time” session. Regardless of your relationship status – single, in a relationship, engaged, or married – it is important to still make time for yourself to do the activities you enjoy. This will allow you to appreciate the things you enjoy alone and love yourself better.
- Forgive yourself. Taking responsibility for your actions has the possible drawback of making you unforgiving yourself. People punish themselves far too hard for the mistakes they make as they grow and learn. Accepting your limitations and being kinder to yourself when making a mistake is a good habit to develop. Remember, there are no failures in mistakes, only lessons learned.
Practicing self-love might not be as easy as it sounds. Begin by treating yourself with kindness, patience, gentleness, and compassion, just as you would someone you care about. Make an effort to work on it on a regular basis. Over time, this will help change your ability to accept and love yourself.