International HR

A rainy expatriate performance appraisal

Richard Hoffman, a Québécois chemical engineer working for a Canadian-based energy firm, was given a three- year expatriate assignment in Venezuela as a technical liaison and environmental protection project manager. His local project supervisor was Jean, a French engineer who had lived in French Guiana and then Venezuela for over 20 years. Richard thought that, as a Francophone from Quebec, he and Jean would be able to build a quick working relationship. Rich sent Jean an early email (in French, and not the usual corporate English) containing what he thought of as the five most significant goals associated with his assignment – similar to the management- by-objectives section of the more or less standard performance appraisal forms he had filled out for years during earlier assignments in Edmonton, Toronto and at corporate headquarters in Montreal. After several months with no response from Jean, Richard caught Jean in the hallway between meetings and asked him about the email and his progress to date. “Don’t worry about that”, Jean responded blandly. “Just keep working to the deadlines and I will check with your co-workers and the other project managers on your work. Where did you go to engineering school, by the way?”. Richard waited another six months and was becoming increasingly anxious as the firm’s annual review week approached. He finally caught up with Jean on a rainy Friday in the lobby of the office building as they both waited for their drivers to arrive. When asked about the upcoming performance review, Jean snorted and said, “C’est tout fini, it’s all been taken care of. Make an appointment with my assistant, Louisa, next week and we can go over the report we have sent to Montreal”. As Jean stepped gingerly into the rainy Caracas parking lot, Richard thought back to the last few weeks with his team, the sometimes loud disagreements with his fellow project managers, and wondered if it was too late in the day to call his old supervisor in Toronto.

Create a performance management plan for (Bright Appeal Limited) clothing company for the upcoming merger. Address, in detail and paragraph form, the following questions.

What performance criteria will be used? Include specific examples.
Who will conduct the appraisal, and will a standard or custom form be used?
How often will appraisals be conducted, and what are good HRM practices that can be used to ensure the appraisal does not become just an annual event?
Second Part
Review the Case using this scenario as a basis, and address the following items:

Discuss how Richard should strengthen the relationship with his supervisor, Jean.
Discuss what Richard could have done differently to begin that relationship.
Should Richard contact his supervisor in Toronto? Why, or why not?
Narrative format and not a series of questions and answers.