Practitioner Interview: Zaid Al HuneidiIn 2016, the Performance Magazine editorial team interviewed Zaid Al Huneidi, Market Research Manager, at the Kuwait Finance House in Kuwait, for the “Performance Management in 2015: GCC Special Edition” report. His thoughts and views on Performance Management are detailed below.
I believe it’s important to balance work and personal life.
- Which are the 2015 key trends in Performance Management, from your point of view?
I believe there is a growing trend to achieve corporate sustainability, structure the organization to become flexible to market conditions, and encourage a generation of innovative solutions.
- What are your thoughts on the integration of Performance Management at organizational, departmental and employee level?
Performance Management processes are key to aligning all of the organization’s efforts and resources, to achieve a well-planned set of goals that would create focus and steer the organization in the right direction.
The common approach to do this is to have the objectives set from top to bottom at different organizational levels and functions. The main challenge, however, lies in successfully aligning all the objectives, to create the thrust that would push the organization forward.
- Which will be the major changes in managing performance, in the future?
With exception to senior executives and sales staff, and due to the difficulty of having full control on achieving objectives, I believe that organizations will slowly steer away from or have a more balanced approach to measuring performance from actual data and achievement-based results, to measurements that have more to do with staff skills and attitudes.
- What aspects of Performance Management should be explored more through research?
Alternatives or better combinations of reward systems for improving performance, such as promotions, bonuses and granting company shares. The optimal size of these rewards, for each alternative, should also be researched.
- Which organizations would you recommend to be looked at, due to their particular approach to managing performance, and their subsequent results?
Google is following an interesting peer-based review, which includes co-workers that are junior level. They are asked to state one thing the reviewee should do more of and one thing that they can do in a different way. Finally, managers decide on the final evaluation of an employee, based on the summaries of these assessments.
- Which are main the challenges of Performance Management in practice, today?
The biggest challenge is to accurately measure performance and link all objectives to small sets of Key Performance Indicators – KPIs, so that managers can spot any deviations and are able to react accordingly.
- What should be improved in the use of Performance Management tools and processes?
Real-time reporting and escalation of measures that fall behind or which are ahead of the target, from bottom or middle level management to main KPIs. This can help predict results and offers time to adjust poor performance at early stages, before it affects top levels.
- What would you consider as a best practice in Performance Management?
Effective use of the Balanced Scorecard, along with a systematic performance appraisal system, where the objectives of the employee are aligned with those of the organization and again, are monitored through a Balanced Scorecard. Next up would be linking results with performance appraisal, so that employees who achieve their objectives can be rewarded.
This process interconnects organizational success with that of the employees and makes them more engaged, which also results in higher employee satisfaction. Some organizations even go as far as giving shares to all staff, which motivates them to excel at their jobs and generates ultimate staff engagement.
- Which aspects of Performance Management should be emphasized during educational programs?
Exploration of different performance management processes, according to different organizations – in size and nature, with the ultimate goal of getting one’s staff engaged. This can mainly be emphasized through case studies and practical applications.
- Which limits need to be surpassed in order to achieve higher levels of proficiency in Performance Management, among practitioners?
Getting data in real-time is one of the issues that can support tracking performance and adapting quickly to what really works, to further push performance in the right direction. Another pressing issue is the involvement of all staff members in the goal-setting process, which broadens the organization’s view for goal selection, and encourages commitment by staff to achieve these goals.
- What is your opinion on the emerging trend of measuring performance outside working hours?
I believe it’s important to balance work and personal life. Hiring the right people and automating processes can surely help in keeping managers at ease outside working hours. There are also software tools that can be programmed to send alerts in case of unfortunate circumstances, which require the manager’s attention.
This brings comfort to managers and makes them feel in control, without obsessing over figures by the minute.
- What personal performance measurement tools do you use?
On a personal level, I am obsessed with measuring everything from my weight, sleeping patterns, to spending and savings. I usually use Microsoft Excel since it’s very flexible and easy to use.
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