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Performance Management for the Centennial Workforce


by American University in Dubai (AUD)

In line with our continuous endeavours to support upcoming graduates in gaining essential HR skills, PeopleFirst once again collaborated with the American University in Dubai (AUD) to develop and evaluate an HR project for students who enrolled on the Human Resources Management module.

The students were required to select a topic from a set of six (6) options and apply their theoretical knowledge to develop practical solutions that can be used by employers and HR teams. The topics were career development, job design, onboarding, performance management, compensation and benefits and recruitment.

The winning team chose the topic of ‘performance management’. The team was asked to recommend an approach to performance management that will attract and retain talent from the Centennial Generation. The project team; Iman Zahid Hafeez, Neha Fatima and Yasmeen Al Oran demonstrated a sound understanding of performance management, how it is delivered and its importance in an organisation. They presented robust recommendations on how companies can use performance management to effectively manage and improve organisational performance.

To recommend the most suitable performance appraisal method for centennials, the team conducted a survey which captured over 100 responses. Key findings showed that centennials prefer regular feedback in person and are interested in work assignments that are challenging. In terms of performance related rewards, the survey showed that centennials place an importance on bonuses and monetary incentives to increase morale and productivity. The findings presented were in line with previous research conducted and further information can be found here:


The team conducted thorough research to support their ideas that bridged theoretical knowledge with practical application. The approach recommended by the team moved from the traditional approach which focuses heavily on objective setting to an approach that emphasised the importance of competencies (which included teamwork, collaboration, interpersonal skills, communication and confidence) as an essential component of performance management. The team further moved away from the traditional cycle of mid-year and annual reviews and placed an emphasis on more frequent and continuous feedback to improve workplace engagement and productivity.

The team’s presentation was well structured, well-articulated and delivered in a professional manner. The delivery of the presentation enabled the audience to engage with the presenters and they were also well placed to answer all questions that were raised in a comprehensive manner which further highlighted their understanding of the topic.

We enjoyed the time spent with the students and would like to thank AUD for inviting us to participate in this initiate.