Most modern successful companies are focused on international cooperation and partnership. The globalised world offers multiple opportunities for engaging in global discourse and generating numerous benefits. For this reason, the international business model is the most popular nowadays and employed by corporations. At the same time, it presupposes the increased sophistication of organisations and numerous challenges linked to management.
For this reason, human resource management (HRM) and performance management acquire the top priority as tools used by the companies to attain their current goals and create the basis for further evolution. Using Emirates Airlines as the company for the discussion, it is possible to outline the central elements of good performance management, appraisals, links between performance and reward, employee management, and the learning process.
Elements of a Good Performance Management Framework
Performance management is the fundamental aspect of any international corporation, including Emirates Airlines. It can be determined as the process of communication between a supervisor and an employee occurring throughout a year and during all operations to ensure the achievement of strategic objectives (Pulakos, 2004). The definition shows the significance of the process and the essential role performance management systems play in the rise of companies. The typical performance management process includes performance planning, ongoing feedback, employee input, performance evaluation, and performance review (Pulakos, 2004).
The existing organisation’s strategy and goals affect these elements and the way they cooperate. For instance, Emirates’ performance planning is linked to recruitment practices and attempts as the company wants to continue its expansion and looks for new captains and pilots (Emirates, 2020). In such a way, the interconnection between the outlined elements is a central element of the performance management framework for an international organisation.
Speaking about the main elements of this strategy, it is vital to emphasise planning as the central factor affecting the further work of companies. As stated previously, the Emirates’ desire to continue its growth impacted the introduction of specific recruitment practices used to find specialists meeting the company’s demands (Emirates, 2020). It means that a practical performance management system starts with clearly outlined goals and the ways to achieve them.
They create the basis for the further decision-making and strategic solutions needed to meet the company and employees’ demands and move forward towards achieving existing goals (Pulakos, 2004). Furthermore, the planning stage helps to outline performance expectations, including behaviours employees should demonstrate and results attained during the following cycle. It contributes to better goal setting and eliminating the risks of misunderstandings or unacceptable behaviours.
Feedback is another vital element of a performance management system as it helps to align the cooperation between CEOs and employees. The ability to communicate and share visions is necessary for international businesses because of the sophistication of the organisation, the multinational composition of firms, and the numerous staff (Pulakos, 2004). Under these conditions, for global corporations such as Emirates Airlines, it is vital to align the effective feedback system as a contribution to better management. It should be a two-way communication process and combined responsibility of managers and employees as they represent two parties interested in results (Pulakos, 2004). That is why international businesses offer workers an opportunity to share their visions through specific services. Emirates suggests pilots and captains provide their recommendations for better organisation (Emirates, 2020). It shows the critical importance of this element for better functioning.
Employee input is another critical element of performance management systems as it helps to show the challenges and circumstances faced by employees. For the CEO and top management, discussion of accomplishments helps to see if the company functions in the planned way and there are no barriers to achieving existing goals (Pulakos, 2004). Employee input provides multiple benefits, such as better workers’ engagement, emphasis on employees’ contribution and effort to attain it, improved appraisal practices, and better communication and understanding between all parties (Pulakos, 2004). In such a way, focusing on this aspect, international companies such as Emirates can enhance their HRM practices and ensure that specialists working for them have everything they need for enhanced performance and ability to meet current goals.
Effective performance management also presupposes the practical evaluation model that can help to determine the current state of the staff and outline the need for training. Moreover, investigating staff’s ability to function and meet existing demands is a key for better outcomes. For performance management purposes, it is vital to define competencies regarding desired job behaviours and expectations.
Thus, for Emirates, such criteria as the experience, skills, knowledge of specific programs, and language are introduced (Emirates, 2020). They are used to evaluate the performance of candidates and already working specialists and conclude about their ability to achieve the outlined goals (Emirates, 2020). Defining competencies offers a basis for differentiating between employees who cope or fail with the current tasks (Emirates, 2020). Furthermore, the application of this framework is critical for attaining success and guaranteeing an international business will evolve in the future.
Performance review is another vital part of the framework in the context of international business. First of all, it helps to admit the current gaps in competencies and experiences peculiar to workers. Second, this phase is needed to plan the developmental activities of employees and meet their demands for further personal and professional growth (Pulakos, 2004). In such a way, the review element becomes vital for planning a new performance cycle as it will also help to outline positions that should be filled by new candidates or workers who should be promoted (Pulakos, 2004).
For instance, Emirates plans to hire new captains due to the current review information as the lack of trained specialists might prevent it from future growth (Emirates, 2020). That is why using the available resources and reviewing the results of employees’ performance, companies should devote attention to future goals and plan the expansion using its outcomes.
Altogether, the effective performance management system can be viewed as a cycle consisting of several stages, such as planning, feedback, employees’ input, performance evaluation, and performance review (Pulakos, 2004). These stages ensure that the company will correctly understand its current needs for the workforce and specific skills and use HRM models and methods, combined with recruitment approaches to eliminate the deficit of workers. Moreover, observation of the given system helps to meet needs for personal and professional development as assessing current needs helps to provide the staff with options for training and improvement of their skills.
Performance appraisal is a necessary mechanism of management needed to align the practical work of the company. It can be defined as the formal assessment and rating of employees by their managers after evaluation and review meetings (Armstrong, 2009). However, the lack of objectivity, low attention, and poor conducting of appraisals might result in its deteriorated image and inability to meet the current HRM’s needs. For this reason, the use of a practical and sufficient performance appraisal technique is vital for the functioning of the organisation and the development of specialists working for it.
One of the effective tools is 360-degree feedback that can be used by organisations in different contexts. It presupposes the process of a person’s assessment by several people, including managers, subordinates, colleagues, and clients (Armstrong, 2009). This sort of appraisal is conducted in the form of ratings using specific performance dimensions critical for the company and linked to its nature (Armstrong, 2009). 360-degree appraisal accepts the complexity of management and the importance of input from different sources, for this reason, it is aimed at collecting data using questionnaires and scales to rate the answers.
As any other methodology, this approach has its advantages and disadvantages that might impact its implementation in different settings. First of all, employees acquire a better perspective of how they are viewed by others (Armstrong, 2009). Moreover, all specialists have the chance to get a rounded view of their performance and improve awareness of their competencies (Armstrong, 2009). Finally, senior management gets a deeper vision of current development needs because of the objective feedback provided by others (Armstrong, 2009). However, workers can also be subjective, which can deteriorate the relevance of findings.
The process of 360-degree feedback can be stressful for employees and introduce additional levels of bureaucracy needed to process all blanks provided by individuals (Armstrong, 2009). For this reason, there are both advantages and disadvantages that should be considered by managers.
General performance appraisal is another method available for international companies nowadays. It presupposes the continuous interaction between employees and managers using existing goals and requirements for competencies and skills (Armstrong, 2009). The central advantage of the given method is the ability to trace changes in a specialist’s behaviour and apply specific measures to alter some undesired patterns (Armstrong, 2009).
Additionally, the organisation can use available resources and its managers to conduct the assessment and conclude whether some interventions are needed. At the same time, such reviews are also conducted once a year, meaning a lack of information about how the company functions during a certain period (Armstrong, 2009). Another disadvantage is the absence of factual information acquired from various sources that can be used to improve the unit’s work.
For Emirates Airlines, 360-degree feedback is a more preferable appraisal method. First of all, it provides the chance to get knowledge about a pilot’s performance from multiple parties, including passengers and his/her colleagues, which is vital for final assessment. Furthermore, the company emphasises its focus on quality and constant improvement. The selected method creates the basis for future improvements at different levels. Pilots can get feedback about their work, while managers will also be provided with information about how to align the work of all departments. The method also depends on technology; however, Emirates is one of the most innovative corporations meaning that this factor cannot serve as the limit for using 360-degree feedback and generating an advantage with its help.
The Link Between Performance and Reward Within the Business
The employees’ motivation is one of the fundamental aspects of performance management. This factor affects all aspects of the unit’s work and should be given specific attention. The current HRM practices recognise the existence of the direct correlation between rewarding practices and performance (Armstrong, 2009). Effective managers should be ready to acknowledge the current workers’ needs and fulfil them, affecting both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Under these conditions, it is possible to create an environment characterised by high performance levels and workers’ ability to move forward and acquire new skills and competencies. At the same time, the choice of motivating tools depends on the current demands and results of appraisals.
For large companies, rewarding practices play an important role as they help to emphasise the contribution of a particular employee to achieving current goals and the company’s rise. Thus, only financial rewards might not suffice as they affect only the extrinsic motivation and basic individuals’ needs. For this reason, good performance management also includes the provision of non-financial rewards, such as growth and career opportunities, as part of the total reward policy (Armstrong, 2009).
It helps to motivate employees to work harder and hope for promotion or new options for personal development. Furthermore, giant companies such as Emirates, might create unique rewarding practices presupposing learning abroad or specific terms of cooperation (Emirates, 2020). It helps to affect the more complex demands of individuals and inspire them to do their best to get a better appraisal.
For this reason, rewarding practices should also be viewed as a critical element of the HRM model and performance management tools. The existing literature emphasises the direct correlation between performance and reward within the international business, meaning that one of the central goals of effective managers is to understand the current employees’ demands and create prizes that will help to meet them (Lussier and Hendon, 2018). Successful global companies, such as Emirates, have established and developed mechanisms of selecting individuals for being rewarded and provision of desired benefits (Emirates, 2020). It helps to ensure there is no deterioration in motivation levels and specialists work with the maximum input.
The reward’s ability to meet the current needs comes from the idea of motivation and factors cultivating it. The current view on performance management states that the employees might have different visions of prizes and their value (Valentine et al., 2019).
The significance of rewards is closely linked to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, meaning that for people with basic physiological needs, additional payments can be enough to motivate them to work harder (Lussier and Hendon, 2018). At the same time, the need for self-actualisation presupposes achieving specific goals and career building, and it can be fulfilled only by providing new posts or career options (Lussier and Hendon, 2018). Considering these differences is critical for performance management as rewards boost activity, commitment and enhances results.
Motivation to contribute to the evolution of the company can be achieved in different ways. These include a brand image, future benefits, approval from society, and rewards. As stated previously, a motivated worker has more chances to help a firm and form a stable basis for its future growth (Valentine et al., 2019). However, the excessive rewards can decrease their importance and demotivate employees to take steps to attain them. Under these conditions, it is vital to find a balance between insignificant or too significant prizes and select a specified approach to establishing rewarding practices.
In most international companies, including Emirates, rewards are associated with goal achievement. The ability to meet the current purpose and expansion objectives is vital for a firm and should always be a part of all workers’ mentality for them to work harder and be ready to make his/her best to move towards attaining certain milestones. In such a way, performance management emphasises the role of rewards as the effective regulators of employee’s work and performance. Moreover, its use in appropriate conditions helps to boost productivity and motivate specialists to help the company to evolve.
HR Managers and the Employee Relationship
Human resource managers are central figures for the work of international corporations due to the complexity of their roles and scope of responsibilities. Global companies are characterised by the high level of diversity of their staff. They have specialists representing different nations, cultures, and races, meaning that the cultivation of the appropriate working climate and alignment of effective collaboration might be a challenging task. Working in a collective always presupposes the space for conflicts because of differences in values, views, and preferences. Under these conditions, the duty to manage relationships throughout the process and help to resolve issues including discrimination acquires the top priority.
The alignment of employee relations is a process consisting of several aspects. It includes methods and procedures that can be used by HR managers to ensure that all specialists are in good working relations and do not use discriminative or abusive practices when communicating with their colleagues. The HR manager can select among the four basic approaches presupposing different methods to build the climate within the collective and relations between workers. The adversarial option means that a company decides what it wants, and all employees should fit in (Lussier and Hendon, 2018).
The traditional mode presupposes a good day-to-day relationship with the proposals from managers and reaction from the workforce through the elected representatives (Armstrong, 2009). The partnership method presupposes involving employees in the creation and execution of organisation policies (Armstrong, 2009). Finally, the power-sharing approach means that all workers are involved in strategic decision-making (Armstrong, 2009). The choice of the method comes from the current goals of the company and the desired goals.
However, apart from adhering to the selected employee relationship approach, HR managers should take an active part in establishing a positive climate within an organisation and its support. It can be achieved by using specific forms of leadership and promotion of phenomena helping to support the development of desired traits. For instance, the achievement of transparency can be guaranteed by communicating policies to employees and explaining their responsibilities and roles (Armstrong, 2009). At the same time, it is vital to show the necessity of effective collaboration and the absence of conflicts or biased attitudes. Only under these conditions it is possible to attain desired outcomes.
Inclusion is one of the critical elements of effective HR models. In the context of employee relations, it presupposes providing equal access and treatment to all groups of workers regardless of their culture, values, race, gender, or capabilities (Valentine et al., 2019). For big international corporations, the employment of inclusive methods focusing on the cultivation of diversity is fundamental as it helps to form a common and shared culture accepted by the majority of specialists (Armstrong, 2009). Moreover, the relevant literature states that the cultivation of diversity positively impacts the number of conflicts and leads to better resolution (Valentine et al., 2019). Under these conditions, HR managers can align the desired employee relationship through the prism of inclusion and tolerance.
HR managers also have a chance to promote specific policies needed to manage relations between employees and ensure there are no reasons for conflicts. Thus, HR policies are an integral part of any international business as they establish the framework for the cooperation between specialists and their ability to form teams vital for achieving current goals (Valentine et al., 2019). Most HR policies are accepted at the highest level by CEOs and top management; however, the factors and reasons for their adoption come from data collected from workplaces (Valentine et al., 2019). Under these conditions, HR managers have the authority to propose a specific change to the work of an organisation as a response to a constantly emerging or nagging problem.
The mitigation of risk or discrimination, or bias is another important task of an HR manager. At the moment, global corporations can suffer from these issues as they consist of people from different countries. For instance, being a UAE company, Emirates has pilots and crew members from many European states (Emirates, 2020). For this reason, it has policies aimed at prohibiting discrimination or biased attitude and cultivating a shared culture presupposing tolerance and cooperation (Valentine et al., 2019). Moreover, there are feedback and reporting tools to detect cases of racism or abuse and eliminate them. Under these conditions, HR managers play a vital role in resolving conflicts and managing employee relations.
Performance Management, Learning, and Development Function
Performance management presupposes the gradual improvement of the work of employees to attain the existing goals. It also means that workers should be provided with the opportunity to learn and develop their personal and professional skills (Armstrong, 2009). The major function of performance management is to ensure that all available specialists evolve and do not suffer from the lack of opportunities to master their skills and competencies. However, along with numerous advantages linked to this function, there are also some challenges as the alignment of the effective training process demands an improved understanding of current knowledge levels, which might require additional investment.
The learning and development function is also linked to appropriate training for all specialists, including performance managers themselves. For instance, Emirates offers unique programs for its top managers aimed at the cultivation of their capabilities and the acquisition of new strategies and methods to work with the personnel (Armstrong, 2009). At the same time, the learning and development function is not limited by traditional classrooms as such methods cannot be effective in the modern, highly innovative environment. As an alternative to this method, digital devices, simulation, and online courses can be viewed as effective tools for improving knowledge and helping to align the process of preparing new workers.
One of the vital aspects of international business is the unique working conditions peculiar to such companies. It means that every new worker, even an experienced one, should be explained his/her duties, goals, and responsibilities (Armstrong, 2009). That is why learning and development acquire the top priority as the stage for creating the pool of employees vital for the further work of the firm and its rise. Under these conditions, with the increased attention to performance management and development, the corporation acquires opportunities for extensive growth and becoming a leader in its sphere.
At the same time, several challenges should be mentioned regarding the learning and development function. First of all, its organisation demands a better understanding of the current staff knowledge level and their demands. It means that a continuous assessment of the skills and knowledge is necessary to introduce and support the given function. In its turn, this demands the additional investment and hiring a specialist responsible for monitoring these showings, their analysis, and creation of plans for future growth (Armstrong, 2009). It needs additional investment and changes into the HR policy, which might be complex (Pulakos, 2004).
However, the potential outcomes can compensate these costs as better performance and results can be expected. For this reason, the given challenge should be viewed as an acceptable one and overcome by using the budget planned for the future development of a firm.
Altogether, it is possible to conclude that there is a direct link between performance management and learning and development function. To boost the effectiveness of workers and their readiness to contribute to the development of the firm, it is vital to create conditions favourable for the personal and professional growth of employees. HR managers and CEOs should be informed about the current gaps in knowledge and deficit of competencies to know the methods how to eliminate them and establish an effective work of the company.
Following these ideas, it is possible to state that learning and development should never stop as they are the basic aspects of performance management and improved outcomes. For instance, in Emirates, the top management offers multiple programs for improving pilot’s skills to ensure they can handle all tasks arising during their functioning. It helps to remain one of the industry’s leaders with perspectives for the future rise.
Armstrong, M. (2009) Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. 11th edn. Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page.
Emirates (2020) The Emirates Group annual report. Web.
Pulakos, E. (2004) Performance management. Alexandria, VA: SHRM Foundation.
Lussier, R. and Hendon, J. (2018) Human resource management: functions, applications, and skill development. 3rd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Valentine, S. et al. (2019) Human resource management. 16th edn. Boca Raton, FL: Cengage Learning.