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Excellence in action: evaluating performance management practices for a promising organization


No matter where an organization stands on its journey, ensuring that its performance management practices are up to par can influence its progress. Done correctly, this could be the edge that sets it apart from the competition. 

The KPI Institute (TKI), through the efforts of the dedicated members of The Global Performance Audit (GPA) Unit, has successfully collaborated with the Talent and Performance Management Department of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) to evaluate the performance management practices of the organization. This evaluation encompasses various areas, such as strategic planning, corporate performance management, employee performance management, and organizational culture. 

The TDF is a young organization established in Saudi Arabia in 2020 with the mandate of driving growth in the national tourism sector by enabling private investments. With nearly 200 employees, the TDF has set up a formal division dedicated to managing strategy and performance. It comes with specialized departments responsible for handling key processes like strategic planning, corporate performance management, strategic initiatives portfolio, organizational excellence, research, and insights. Similarly, people’s performance and organizational culture are guided by specialized teams.

The KPI Institute’s maturity assessment for the division adhered to a holistic approach in both project coverage and methodology. In terms of coverage, the following organizational capabilities were evaluated: strategic planning, performance measurement, performance improvement, employee performance culture, and organizational culture.

Figure 1. Integrated Performance Management Maturity Model | Source: The KPI Institute

Regarding the methodology, TKI’s Integrated Performance Maturity Model includes a review of formal procedures and other official documentation (outputs) and insights from employees in the organization obtained through surveys and interviews with key internal stakeholders. All findings were rated against best practices using a scoring methodology, and the final score positioned the TDF on maturity level IV out of V (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Performance Management Maturity Level | Source: The KPI Institute

To read the full article and know more about the stages of a performance management system maturity assessment, download the PERFORMANCE Magazine Issue No. 27, 2023 – Government Edition now through TKI Marketplace

Unlock best practices that drive success in the government sector with insights from the Tourism Development Fund’s performance management practices evaluation. Get your hands on the physical copy of the magazine via Amazon

Democratizing strategy planning to improve employee engagement


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Democratizing strategy planning refers to the process of involving various stakeholders of all organizational levels in the strategy formulation process. In the traditional approach, strategy planning is a top-down process formulated by selected stakeholders like the senior management and key decision makers. So, to make the process more inclusive and participatory, democratizing strategy planning comes into account. 

One of the main advantages of democratizing strategy planning is that it increases employee engagement. Thomas, K. W. (2009) discussed in his paper “Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What drives employee engagement” that when employees feel that their voice is heard within the organization,  they are more likely to feel connected and invested in the organizational success, which increases their motivation, commitment, and job satisfaction, and that means a lot for them as they feel more valued in the organization.

Another advantage of democratizing strategy planning is that it enhances ownership and accountability, which will be reflected in improved employee engagement, as employees who participate in the strategy planning feel a stronger sense of ownership and responsibility, which leads to extra accountability and willingness to go the extra mile in achieving the organizational objectives as per the psychological ownership theory, which emphasizes on the role of psychological ownership in influencing employee attitude and behavior which lead them to be more engaged, motivated and committed to their organization.

To implement democratized strategy planning, having and securing the leadership buy-in is crucial to its success, so it is necessary to present the benefits and potential of increasing employee engagement and fostering innovation in the organization. 

After getting leadership buy-in, we need to define a clear scope of where employee inputs would be more valuable, which is recommended to be initiative-specific in the beginning to avoid any potential analysis paralysis. In addition, it is vital to develop a precise feedback mechanism to capture different stakeholders’ diverse perspectives and ideas and recognize and reward participation.

This process will take time to be implemented correctly without any issues, so it is essential to mention that continuous improvement is critical to reach a practical approach. A great starting point is attending the Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional course by The KPI Institute. Learn more about it and secure your slot here.

SWOT unleashed: how to master strategic excellence


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In the world of strategic planning, the guiding light of SWOT analysis looms overhead, illuminating the path of organizations as they strive toward success. SWOT is an abbreviation of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats; it is an effective framework that empowers businesses to navigate the complexities of decision-making. It offers a structured lens through which organizations can examine their internal resilience, vulnerabilities, external openings, and looming challenges. This comprehensive analysis serves as the cornerstone for strategic planning, innovative thinking, resource allocation, and adaptive strategies. 

At its heart, SWOT analysis is a well-organized exploration of what an organization does well and where it could improve (those are the internal bits), as well as the changes and challenges it faces from the outside world (that’s the external stuff). Think of it as seeing the bigger picture of where an organization is right now and where it might be headed in the future. It is more than just a tool; it’s a trusty compass that helps steer the ship through the twists and turns of business strategy.

The key components of SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can be broken down into four key parts, each offering a unique perspective on the organization:

Strengths are the internal factors where the organization shines and stands out from its competitors. They could be things like having a strong brand, a loyal customer base, solid financials, cutting-edge technology, or highly skilled employees.

Weaknesses point to areas where the organization needs to improve to stay competitive. These might include having a weaker brand, high employee turnover, too much debt, inefficient processes, or outdated technology.

Opportunities are external factors that could give the organization an edge. These opportunities can arise from changes in market trends, shifts in demographics, evolving consumer preferences, or new regulations.

Threats are external factors that pose risks to the organization. These may include things like increased competition, rising material costs, economic downturns, shifts in consumer behaviour, or disruptions in the supply chain.

To present a SWOT analysis effectively, analysts often use a four-quadrant table, with each quadrant dedicated to one of the four components. Internal factors, strengths, and weaknesses are usually listed in the top row, while external factors, opportunities, and threats are placed in the bottom row. Strengths and opportunities, which are positive aspects, are positioned on the left side of the table, while weaknesses and threats, which are concerning elements, are placed on the right side.

How to conduct a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is not merely an academic exercise—it’s a practical tool for strategic planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting a SWOT analysis effectively:

  1. Identify your purpose

It’s crucial to have a clear focus, whether it’s evaluating a new product rollout, assessing a division’s performance, or guiding overall business strategy. Your objective will serve as a guiding star throughout the process.

  1. Collect required resources

Identify the resources and data you’ll need to conduct a thorough analysis. This includes both internal data, such as financial reports and employee feedback, and external data, like market research and industry trends. 

  1. Compose insights

With your team in place, initiate a brainstorming session for each of the four SWOT components. Encourage participants to contribute ideas and insights, even if they seem unconventional. Internal factors should be explored for strengths and weaknesses, while external factors should be assessed for opportunities and threats.

  1. Filter outcomes

After the brainstorming session, you will likely have many ideas within each category. The next step is to filter and prioritize these findings. Engage in discussions and debates to determine the most critical strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the organization. 

  1. Develop the strategy

Armed with a prioritized list of SWOT elements, it’s time to convert the analysis into a strategic plan. Your analysis team will produce the findings and provide guidance on the original objective. For example, if the analysis was conducted to assess cybersecurity issues like outdated systems, the strategic plan may recommend investing in better tech and checking security regularly or partnering with cybersecurity experts for assistance.

Real-world SWOT analysis examples

To show how useful SWOT analysis is in real life, let’s look at two real-world examples:

Tesla, Inc. effectively employs SWOT analysis in navigating the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Their strengths encompass innovative technology, a robust brand, and global reach, and their challenges include production issues and elevated costs. They find opportunities in the promising EV market and expansion into the energy sector while facing threats from intense competition and evolving regulations. Tesla’s strategic approach, influenced by this analysis, emphasizes innovation, global expansion, diversification into energy solutions, managing competition, and compliance with regulations. 

Amazon, the global e-commerce giant, exemplifies how SWOT analysis shapes strategic choices. Its strengths encompass e-commerce dominance and a culture of innovation. Challenges include slim profit margins and counterfeit products. Opportunities are found in expanding markets and global reach, while threats come from intense competition and evolving regulations. Amazon’s strategy revolves around customer-centric innovation, diversification, global expansion, marketplace integrity, competition management, and regulatory compliance. This SWOT-influenced approach ensures that Amazon maintains its leadership, fosters innovation, and adapts to changing market dynamics by leveraging strengths, addressing weaknesses, seizing opportunities, and mitigating threats.

Just like how we use different tools for different tasks, the SWOT analysis isn’t our only option. It’s more like a trusty friend that works alongside other friends in your planning adventure. Through SWOT analysis, you can make smarter decisions, be more creative, and adapt to changes in the world—as you would with good friends by your side.


This article is written by Chadia Abou Ghazale, a seasoned banking professional with 24 years of experience and who excels in budgeting, sales performance management, data analysis, and resource planning. Beyond banking, she is a dedicated reader of self-development topics and passionate networker. Chadia believes that life’s purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Her extensive expertise and unwavering enthusiasm are a dynamic combination, driving success in her career and enriching her life’s adventurous journey.

Humane technology: the future of employee performance management


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Employee performance management has long been regarded as a key player in the territory of talent development and organizational excellence. However, in our modern world, one characterized by relentless digital transformation, the way we approach employee performance management is undergoing a profound shift. The infusion of technology into this pivotal aspect of human resources has ushered in a new era filled with opportunities and challenges alike. This article aims to examine the future of employee performance management, underscoring the imperative to strike a harmonious balance between technology-driven solutions and a resolute human-centered approach. Over the course of this discussion, we will explore three central themes that encapsulate the evolution of performance management in our digital age.

Technology’s vital role in employee performance management

In the current era defined by digitization, technology is a crucial partner to optimize the performance management processes. It is obvious that the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the business environment. AI tools offer immediate performance tracking, data analysis, and the ability to provide real-time insights—which were previously not visible. For example, machine learning (ML) procedures can discover complex trends within employee performance data, which supports management to take proactive actions that are designed to improve productivity and enhance job satisfaction. Moreover, cloud-based platforms have made performance evaluations more accessible, facilitating the maintenance of consistent and efficient performance management practices, particularly for geographically spread teams and organizations.

Technology’s role in performance management extends beyond the scope of data sifting. It also encompasses the streamlining of administrative tasks, which fosters transparent communication channels, and the accessibility of performance data. Ultimately, this results in a shift towards more agile and approachable performance management processes. Keeping in mind that technology assists in automating routine tasks, HR professionals will be able to allocate more time and resources towards the all-important human elements of performance management, such as coaching and mentorship. In essence, technology is the engine that drives employee performance management into the digital age, allowing organizations to harness the full spectrum of new opportunities that come with it.

Maintaining a human-centered approach

While technology assumes a pivotal role, it is paramount to recognize that it should serve as an enabler and not a replacement of the human element in employee performance management. Employee engagement and motivation remain deeply rooted in personal interactions and the provision of constructive feedback. HR professionals must thus prioritize these core aspects, leveraging technology to facilitate, rather than displace, these crucial facets of the employee performance management process.

In a world increasingly characterized by virtual communication and remote work, the importance of face-to-face interactions cannot be overstated. Employees derive immense value from the opportunity to engage with their managers and colleagues in real-time. Constructive feedback, delivered through personalized conversations, holds the potential to drive substantial performance improvements. A technological revolution should not signify the obsolescence of these personal connections but should instead facilitate their continuation in unique ways.

Mentorship and coaching, too, remain essentially human activities. While AI can provide valuable insights, there is no substitute for the guidance and wisdom that experienced professionals can convey to their peers. Employee performance management should encompass these essential human elements, leveraging technology to create an environment where mentorship and coaching thrive alongside data-driven insights.

Transparency and fairness through data

When leveraging technology, organizations can establish objective performance benchmarks and metrics that reduce the influence of biases in evaluations. These data-driven insights serve as a foundation upon which fair and consistent decisions can be made regarding promotions, compensation, and developmental opportunities.

Moreover, the utilization of technology allows organizations to share performance data with employees, which fosters a culture of transparency, accountability, and self-improvement. Once employees understand the criteria by which they are evaluated and witness the fairness with which these evaluations are conducted, it creates a more productive workplace.

However, organizations should exercise caution when using data, especially where ethical considerations are involved, such as protecting employee privacy and ensuring the responsible handling of sensitive data. Moreover, they must also avoid the pitfalls of algorithmic bias, making it a priority to continue assessing and fine tuning their algorithms to mitigate unfairness.

The right equilibrium

The synergy between technology and human expertise will not only drive individual and organizational performance, but also ensure fairness, transparency, and employee satisfaction. By navigating this growing model, organizations that strike the right equilibrium between technology and humanity will not just adapt but thrive in the digital age. The future of employee performance management should be an appropriate balance of technology and humanity—a path that leads to greater prosperity and progress for individuals and organizations alike.


This article is written by Chadia Abou Ghazale, a seasoned banking professional with 24 years of experience and who excels in budgeting, sales performance management, data analysis, and resource planning. Beyond banking, she is a dedicated reader of self-development topics and passionate networker. Chadia believes that life’s purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Her extensive expertise and unwavering enthusiasm are a dynamic combination, driving success in her career and enriching her life’s adventurous journey.

Best practices for enhancing employee performance through strategy execution


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In today’s dynamic business landscape, the success of any organization hinges on its ability to execute its strategies effectively. A well-crafted strategy can set the direction for growth and innovation, but its potential is realized only when it is translated into action through meticulous execution. Central to this process is the role of employees, who are the driving force behind turning strategic visions into tangible results. 

Employee performance is a pivotal factor in the success of any organization. To achieve excellence, companies must focus on setting clear strategies and executing them effectively. This article will delve into best practices for driving employee performance, emphasizing strategy execution.

  • Strategic alignment: Effective strategy execution begins with aligning individual roles and responsibilities with the overarching organizational strategy. By clearly communicating the company’s goals and vision, employees gain a deeper understanding of how their contributions directly impact the larger picture. This alignment fosters a sense of purpose and promotes a collective commitment to achieving shared objectives.
  • Clear communication and cascading goals: A well-executed strategy demands clear communication across all levels of the organization. Leaders play a vital role in disseminating the strategic direction, ensuring that every team member knows their role in the grand scheme. The practice of cascading goals from top to bottom ensures that each employee’s performance objectives are in harmony with the organization’s strategic imperatives. It is important to regularly communicate the big picture to emphasize the importance of individual contributions.
  • Metrics and performance tracking: Measuring employee performance is essential for gauging strategy execution effectiveness. Implementing performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) provides a quantifiable way to assess progress. Regular reviews allow adjustments to be made, ensuring the strategy remains on course. Visual tools, such as charts and tables, can help visualize performance trends and identify areas for improvement. Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals and KPIs that align with the overarching strategy provides employees with tangible targets and fosters a sense of accomplishment.
  • Empowerment and autonomy: Empowered employees are more likely to take ownership of their tasks and proactively seek ways to contribute to the strategy’s success. Providing employees the autonomy to make decisions within their roles fosters a sense of accountability and commitment. This empowerment not only boosts individual performance but also promotes innovation and adaptability.
  • Recognition and rewards: Acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments, both big and small, go a long way in motivating employees. Recognition reinforces the connection between their efforts and the organization’s success. Tangible rewards, whether financial or non-monetary, serve as incentives that drive heightened performance.

Avoiding common pitfalls

While striving for optimal strategy execution, it is vital to steer clear of common pitfalls. One such pitfall is underestimating the importance of ongoing training and development. A skilled workforce is more capable of executing strategies successfully. Additionally, neglecting to monitor progress can lead to deviations from the intended path.

In the pursuit of organizational success, effective strategy execution is paramount, and employee performance should be inherently tied to it. Employees’ commitment, enthusiasm, and performance can determine whether a strategy remains an abstract concept or a tangible reality. Organizations can unlock the full potential of their strategic visions by aligning employees with the strategy, fostering open communication, recognizing achievements, and empowering them with tools to succeed. As leaders cultivate an environment where strategy execution is a collective endeavor, they pave the way for sustained growth, innovation, and achievement of long-term goals.


This article is written by Rami Al Tawil, Organizational Excellence Director at Al Saedan Real Estate Company, who holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology. With 19 years of expertise spanning Strategy Planning, Performance Management, Business Improvement, and more, he excels in aligning employees with strategic visions for consistent performance improvement.


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