Performance Management from an Organizational Standpoint: We Do Not Get Married to Separate!

Why do you performance-manage your team members? Is it not good enough that you hire them, give them a contract with all the details, rules and conditions related to the work to be performed and the compensation and holidays they are entitled to?

Is it not that clear that if they perform well they can continue in their position, otherwise “masalama”, under -performance is over, so “khalas”!

I am afraid that hiring and firing are both costly and can be emotionally draining processes that require hard work from both the recruitment team and the candidate.

It is actually just like a marriage…the two partners need to be suitable and once that suitability is established and there is a realization of compatibility of personalities for a sound and healthy long-term relationship, then marriage takes place.

Do we say, when someone is about to get married: “Adam and Hanna”…nothing to worry about! If it does not work, no worries….just break the wedlock and leave….

No dear readers, this is not how marriage works and similarly in terms of hiring and firing, this is not the way things should happen!

Once you hire your staff, you are adding valuable assets to your company and assets are a precious and integral part of a company, they have value and they need to be maintained and enhanced over time. Assets must be leveraged to achieve the objectives and goals of the organization. Similarly with people, who are the most valuable asset for any company, they need to be utilized and challenged in order to realize their potential. They need to be given opportunities to contribute, achieve important organizational goals and also grow with the organization as a result. This process needs to be monitored carefully to ensure individual career progression goals align with organizational goals.

This is exactly what performance management systems are about. They must keep track of individuals’ performances to ensure that each team member is performing in line or above the expectations and also that performance is in line with the organization’s directives. This can be done by setting up appropriate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) at the beginning of the financial year and also, by ensuring appropriate feedback mechanisms from relevant people and parties within and outside the organization are in place.

As stated in my last point, while it is important to have the performance management system backed up by formal reviews and documentation of the process, it is important to ensure that this process is simultaneously an informal one, where there is no politics! Keep it open, transparent, ongoing. Small and big achievements need to be highlighted and any underperformance should be tackled at the earliest and a remedial solution needs to be found promptly for the benefit of both parties.

Nusrate Ibrahim is Managing Director of NTI Consulting a business and training consultancy based in Dubai. Prior to working as an independent training consultant, Nusrate worked at Deloitte, Transaction and Reorganisation Services in Abu Dhabi, UAE; National Grid Plc. and British Airways Plc. in the UK.

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