(HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE

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1 Running Head: (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE <Student Name> <Name and Section # of course> <Instructor Name> <Date>

2 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 2 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE Performance management, as common sense allows, means to manage the performance; in a business setting, it means managing and tracking the performance of employees within an organization as part of the human resources management duties (Fletcher, 1992). Performance management refers to the tracking and controlling of one s behaviour at work along with the results an employee is bringing about; when these two factors are combined, it becomes performance in the true sense. 360 degree feedback is a very important concept of human resource management. In order to manage your employees, you need to know how they are performing. It is important for the department heads to be aware of the performances because based on that, the future track of the employee is planned. That is, if somebody has been performing inefficiently, that person is either demoted or fired; or if somebody has been performing exceptionally well, then either that person is promoted, or is given compensation, pay for performance increment, and increments in salary or even the best employee of the month award. This concept is known as performance appraisals (DeVries, Morrison, Shullman & Gerlach, 1981),. Performance appraisal is a process by which the behaviour, results and the general performance of an employee is examined and evaluated, and then accordingly a deserved value is added to the employee s job. Performance appraisal, also known as employee appraisal, tracks the performance with various criteria such as quality of work and the results, the quantity of work done per month of whatever period allotted, expenses that the employee is adding to the organization and the amount of time an employee takes to accomplish a task along with punctuality.

3 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 3 Thus, it is easy to conclude that feedback is very important. 360 degrees appraisal is a concept where feedback comes from all employees in the organization sitting in a circle; this way, feedback on one employee is taken from all. The concept behind this is that lets say if one employee is personally not on good terms with somebody, he will never give good feedback about him; thus, it is essential to take feedback from all to remove any biased results. Also, taking into consideration varying opinions and everybody s perspectives gives everyone in the organization a sense of respect and a feeling that their opinion matters this directly increases organizational loyalty and job satisfaction (Dowling, 1999). The 360 degree feedback system has also increased job motivation and the overall performance of the employees along with their relations with one another. Being aware of the fact that their performance is being noted and feedback is being taken on them, everybody tries their best to be proficient. It becomes a driving force and motivation for them because they know that if their performance stands out, they will be rewarded by an increment in salary - money is a driving force for a lot of people (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Since this additional money depends on the feedback of the other employees, one makes sure that their relations with everybody else in the organization are cordial; this also encourages an atmosphere of harmony and a collaborative work culture. Being recognized for one s hard work is another factor that motivates one to perform better and achieve the organizations goals better, resulting in increased job satisfaction. There are many institutions local, national and even global that has applied the performance appraisal systems in their businesses to be in touch with the advancing business environment. For some, performance appraisal has been very fruitful, while for some it did

4 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 4 become a little messy because of lack of planning and successive implementation. 360 degree feedback is one concept that helps the organizations immensely in trying to implement the appraisal systems. UAE is an emerging market and many foreign investors have their eyes on hubs like Dubai which have huge potential for profits. More and more companies are being formed and the existing brands are strengthening. Belonging to the Arab world, parts of UAE which are not as advanced as the United States of America, except places like Dubai, the organizational culture and structures are very different. Their procedures are not as advanced and the people who make up the organization are not as progressive and straightforward as the Americans (Abdulla, 2002). Due to this, many but not all organizations in the UAE are aware of how performance appraisal works. If they do know and have implemented them, they have not been effective. The first and foremost problem of performance appraisal systems and processes in this region is that not everybody is clear on the usage of the processes; they might understand the purpose, but the technicalities such as ratings, scaling, measurements and calculations might not be comprehended by all. This causes the results to be inaccurate at times. Therefore, there is initially a dire need for the widespread training and knowledge sessions within the authoritative management to learn how to operate them processes before they can be put into place (Nykodym, 1996). To overcome this, companies have recently started so many training programs regarding performance appraisals, especially 360, because it is the most reliable, flexible and easiest method of performance appraisals. Huge names such as Emirates have started hiring a Performance Appraisal Manager, whose job will be to solely monitor the process of collecting feedback and formulating structures that make the process shorter and simpler. Emirates Airlines

5 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 5 even has extensive Performance Appraisal Sheets which are being used regularly for feedback and concluding which employee deserves what kind of promotion/demotion (Moir, 2008). Arabs are either too sweet, or very harsh if they do not know you much, they will not make an extra effort to interact with you or be sweet; however, once they form a relationship with a certain individual, they give out their hearts to them. However, Americans are extremely straightforward people who do not like sugar coating their comments especially in the professional work environment. Thus, problem arises when using the 360 performance appraisal systems is the problem of ineffective communication. In this case, the miscommunication is deliberate when the feedback or the evaluation of an employee is negative. Positive feedback is very easy to give, but the discomfort arises when negative feedback and criticism needs to be provided (Behery & Paton, 2008). Although, there is a way of giving constructive feedback in a positive light but management and authorities instead choose to either ignore it so as to avoid an awkward situation, or present it in a way very ambiguous, vague and unclear manner. Due to this, the employees do not find out their weaknesses and the areas they need to work hard in and improve upon, causing the entire organization to suffer. Although, a US manager would be doing the right thing by giving honest feedback about his fellow employee due to their strictly professional traits, but when working in a certain country and company, cultural norms need to be followed. In the UAE, it is not considered appropriate to pass negative comments about fellow co-workers. It causes the problem of a biased positive feedback by Arabs about people who share good relations. Thus, when a US manager joins such a company in the UAE, he needs to realize that being very honest might not really help him. Not compromising on the work ethic by lying and not giving honest feedback, the US manager needs to figure out a way by which the right message reaches the right person.

6 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 6 What also needs to be kept in mind is the fact that Arabs are very emotional and impulsive people things others do and say really affect their decisions, behaviour and feelings. This leads to another problem with using 360 performance appraisal systems of demotivation. It is said that if a person does not perform really well in one cycle and sees the hard worker being appreciated, he himself is motivated to work hard next to get the same appreciation as others. We also need to consider the flip side in this case; not being appreciated or being negatively evaluated can demotivate a person further down and cause him to not work for the organization and not be as committed to it as others because of the embarrassment that is caused to him (Nohria, Groysberg, Boris & Linda-Eling, 2008). However, performance appraisal to be effective in the UAE, there are certain cultural barriers that need be overcome. If a male employee gives feedback about a female employee, it is considered disrespectful in the Arab culture. In order to avoid any gender discrimination resulting in equal promotions/demotions for all, it is important to take feedback from everybody including males about females and vice versa. Another major cultural barrier that needs to be removed is the system of not being too blunt, because it is considered rude for them. Also, not giving only positive feedback for those people who share a good relationship with them, the Arabs are providing the management with misrepresented information. Performance appraisal systems are a critical and vital HRM tool that can be used for the benefit of the organization. If used correctly, it can bring a huge fortune to the organization because a little investment in the employees increases their drive and productivity resulting in such huge profits, that the expense of performance appraisal is automatically covered. Therefore, organizations, especially in the UAE should not only focus on planning and deciding on the

7 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 7 perfect approach, but also on the implementation, because such an emerging market with new companies needs proper structures in place. There is no doubt that if performance appraisals are used for the right purposes, organizations can reach heights.

8 (HRM) 360 degree performance appraisal in the UAE 8 References Online Journal Briscoe, D. & Schuler, R. (2004), International Human Resource Management, 2nd Edition, Routledge Nohria, Nitin; Groysberg, Boris; Lee, Linda-Eling (2008); Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model; Harvard Business Review Dowling (1999), International Human Resource Management Managing People in a Multinational Context, 3rd Edition, International Thomson Publishing DeVries, D.L., Morrison, A.M., Shullman, S.L., Gerlach, M.L. (1981), Performance Appraisal On The Line, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC Fletcher, C. (1992), Performance management: its nature and research base, in Developing a Performance-oriented Culture, Association for Management Education and Development Nykodym, N., (1996), Public sector performance appraisal effectiveness: a case study, Publication: Public Personnel Management Mohamed M.A. Abdulla, (2002), The Attitude of United Arab Emirates Federal and Local Government Employees towards Performance Appraisal System, Journal of King Saud University. Administrative Sciences Behery, M., Paton, R., (2008), Performance appraisal-cultural fit: organizational outcomes within the UAE, Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Emerald Group Publishing Limited Anonymous, 2008, The Realities And Challenges Of Organizational Behavior, World News Connection Stephen Moir (2008), The delicate business of nurturing a better culture, People Management Website

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