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Performance management in the GCC: Adel Mreer


In 2015, Adel Mreer, Office of Strategy Management (OSM) Director at Saudi Arabia’s governmental YesserProgram, was one of the experts who offered us rich insight related to Performance Management practices and trends, as he saw them evolve throughout 2015.

” Communicate seven times, seven different ways.”

  1. What is your personal example to improve one’s performance, both career-wise and as a lifestyle?

Knowing their needs. You can’t improve someone’s performance without knowing how to motivate them; by knowing what is in it for him and what kind of needs he wants to satisfy, he becomes motivated. The hierarchy of human needs by Abraham Maslow is a great start to discover people needs.

  1. Do you think there is a difference between PMS in western countries, as opposed to eastern countries?

In general PMS as concept and methodology is the same all over the world, regardless of what kind of school you are following.  If I want to look at differences in the PMS environment, I wouldn’t look at it from a geographical point of view. I would look at it from an organizational landscape point of view. There is a difference, to certain extent, between PMS in the private sector and public sector (nonprofit organization), especially when linking performance with award and incentives.

  1. What is your opinion on the global standardization level performance management has reached?

I believe Performance Management has reached good standardization level globally and this is one of the main reasons PMS is being adapted wildly and growing rapidly.

  1. Big Data and has brought huge amounts of data. How do you analyze and then manage the amount of information your work with?

People can measure everything and come up with endless lists of measurements by using concepts like Big Data and the 4Vs, especially when we talk about organizations that engaged their customers through social media. These organization have to deal with huge amounts of data due to the messiness of data (Veracity) in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat…etc.

The way I analyze and manage the amount of information is by selecting the right measures that help me test periodically the organization’s strategy, or identify underlying cause or new market opportunities.

  1. What can be considered as innovation in Performance Management in 2015?

I think aligning the Risk Management model with BSC in a practical way.

  1. What KPI trends have you come upon in 2015, regarding their selection, documentation & data gathering?

The use of Big Data in data gathering and the way it helps you have many alternatives and options during the KPI selection phase.

  1. One of the recent trends in the field is abandoning rating-based performance management and annual appraisals. What is your opinion on this perspective?

Well, I personally think the main driver to go in this direction is linking performance with “forced curve”, which I believe is not affecting companies, nor is it fair in most organizations due to many reasons.  In this innovation era, talented employees are looking for coaching, knowledge management and employee development.

  1. Can you envisage any major changes affecting PM in the future?

PM is evolving like any other element in management. I think the major change in the future will be in the link between PM and Reward Management.  A lot of work needs to be done there, otherwise PM will be meaningless.

  1. How do you see the tendency to move towards flat organizational structures, as opposed to hierarchical organizations, evolving?

I tend to side more with flat organizations, whenever there is no micromanagement and an appropriate culture and talent base.

  1. What new elements are you planning to introduce, or change, within the Performance Management system in your organization?

Get more buy-in and allocate more time to PM. It’s never too much to communicate: “communicate seven times, seven different ways”.

For more interviews with specialists in the field, peruse through our report Performance Management in 2014: GCC Special Edition! Should you be interested in having your interview featured in one of our publications, contact us at [email protected]!

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