Since senior and junior level employees of Gulf West Company comprises of workers from western countries, such as United States and native Qataris (HCNs), performance evaluation experts must have considered the impacts of diverse socio-cultural aspects to the expatriates’ performance. In fact, the performance appraisal system should have considered the interrelationship between expatriates (supervisors) and direct entry employees (HCNs). This is because most of the interviewed HCNs were dissatisfied with training and required their supervisors to be more involved. Additionally, as illustrated in the West Gulf case there was lack of measurable performance management standards, unclear job description for HCNs, limited face-to-face communication with supervisors among others. For instance, in the written comments one employee said, “I am not given real work to do, I never meet my supervisor to find out which projects I can work to boost my experience.” Therefore, before conducting performance evaluation, experts and host country manager should have agreed on performance standards, job description and appraisal criteria in order to avoid disadvantaging operation level employees.
While evaluating the performance of QNLG Company it was imperative to consider country specific factors such as Qatarization and its contextual impact on the expatriate’s performance. Performance evaluation experts should have used soft criteria such as employee morale, employee relations and situational factors rather than subjective hard objectives that did not portray the true picture of the performance appraisal criteria. Ultimately evaluating whether there was conflict between individual and group roles would have been necessary. QNLG Company attracts many expatriates who work in its operations around Middle East region; therefore, performance appraisal highlighted in this case should have contemplated soft subjective criteria, hard objectives criteria and contextual criterion in order to eliminate biasness in the final performance appraisal report.
In addition, performance criteria and goals affecting QNLG Company such as Qatarization should have been factored during the initial stage to eliminate subjectivity. A well-established job description criterion that incorporates measurable, reliable and quantifiable performance indicators would have captured the relevant responses from workers in all levels of operation. However, relying only on the performance appraisal forms produced inconclusive information and redundant data that did not reflect ideal response to performance management prerequisites. Incidentally, employees active involvement in performance appraisal process would have exposed more reasons for their dissatisfaction e.g. in training, job description and supervisor-staff interpersonal communication. Furthermore, this case does not expound on performance appraisal feedback, which would have provided remedy for the identified performance gaps. Mere proposal for subsequent review meeting does not pre-empt occurrence of these meetings therefore, QNLG company human resource department could have fast tracked the feedback process for further consultations on performance short falls.
As deduced from QNLG case, apart from poor mentorship among lower cadre jobs, poor supervisor-staff relationship is considerably affecting talented employees, which may result in career switch or voluntary exit. This might affect QNLG competitiveness in the long term considering other rival companies are embracing innovative techniques to spur growth. Ultimately, Qatarization is putting more pressure on professional confidence in the local labor market leading to relatively high labor turnover especially among secondees. Conclusively, while conducting performance management appraisal in multinational corporations it is prudent to employ a holistic approach covering culture effect on employee performance, soft, hard and contextual criteria as well as comparability of the source data among other aspects.
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