Better performance management makes happier employees

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 2 Mar 2016

Organisations could benefit from continuous review process, says Willis Towers Watson research

It’s widely known that happy employees deliver better results and stay around for longer – yet some organisations are shying away from improving their performance management strategies.
Organisations in the Middle East need to update their thinking when it comes to performance management, according to research by Willis Towers Watson, which concludes that there was 'room for improvement' in the region, and that traditional management techniques still dominate.
The research showed that 29 per cent of organisations were considering eliminating performance ratings, and 11 per cent planned to scrap performance management altogether. Continual performance feedback is a rarity, with most organisations sticking to the traditional annual review. More positively, over a third surveyed said they planned to change the focus of their performance management, and another 30 per cent have already altered their strategies.
“It is essential for the organisations to embrace a new approach to their performance management, as it will have a great impact on their employees’ performance and engagement levels, and will lead to sustainable growth,” says Elie Georgiou-Botaris, Middle East practice lead for talent management and organisation alignment at Willis Towers Watson Middle East.
Happier employees are more highly motivated to work well and feel more in control of their career goals, according to research by Boehm and Lyubomirsky. And with the UAE recently appointing a minister for happiness, the topic has never been higher on the workplace agenda.
Reassuringly, a recent survey revealed that over 90 per cent of MENA employees feel the work they do adds purpose to their lives.
“Feeling passion and ownership towards work has a considerable impact on both the employee and the employer,” says Suhail Masri, VP of employer solutions at “Employees who are motivated, passionate, and happy at work tend to stay at their organisations longer, and employers benefit from the improved loyalty and team retention rates.”
Many of the organisations who are changing their performance management processes are using technology to do so. “There are many HR systems in the market that have performance management modules, which have been designed and built by technology experts,” says Georgiou-Botaris. “However, the most effective technology an organisation will need to aid performance management is one designed and built by HR consultants, who are experts in all the aspects of performance management, and one which integrates the competencies that are core to the organisation’s culture and future success. Such technology platforms must integrate all the existing HR systems to ensure alignment between them and the organisation’s human capital strategy.”
The larger the organisation, the more critical it becomes that they have a robust performance management system in place. “A large organisation's system should set focused and measurable goals, track employees’ progress towards these goals, and identify any key performance gaps that they need to focus on and invest in, to ensure that their employees know what is expected of them,” says Georgiou-Botaris. “The system should clarify what capabilities employees need to build on today and in the future, in order to create the organisation’s competitive advantage. On the other hand, performance management can help the organisation decide where to spend their development budget to ensure they have the highest and quickest return on their investment.”