Guidelines for the implementation of performance appraisal in clinics in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Bezuidenhout, Sharon Sylvia
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The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 108 of 1996 (SA, 1996) makes provision for all citizens to receive quality health care. Legislation such as the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service of 1995, (SA, 1995a), the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery (Batho Pele) (SA, 1997b), the Public Service Act 103 of 1994, as amended (SA, 1994), the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (SA, 1995b) and the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 (SA, 1998) enshrines this right for all citizens by ensuring that health authorities put measures in place to improve the performance of nurse employee (NE), and thus ensuring quality health care. NE are only able to improve the quality of their performance, if their performance is systematically appraised and their potential for development is identified. However, researchers, for instance Du Plessis (2002:116), Nkosi (2002:37–44), Narcisse and Harcourt (2008:1154), Thompson et al. (1999:139), Fletcher (2001:473) studied the perceptions and experiences of employees and managers of performance appraisal (PA) and these studies indicated that there is a gap in the implementation of PA. The Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) policy (Policy no. NWPG 13) was implemented in the North West public health sector in clinics and hospitals in 2004 to provide guidelines for the implementation of PA. This policy is reviewed annually since it was first drafted. However the researcher’s personal experience with PA in practice was that there is a gap between the process provided by the PMDS policy (Policy no. NWPG 13) and the implementation thereof in the North West public health sector. This led to the following research questions: how is PA implemented from the perspectives of nurse line managers (NLM) and NE in clinics in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District (KKD) and what guidelines can be developed to improve the implementation of PA in clinics in the KKD? The study aimed to develop guidelines to improve the implementation of PA in clinics in the KKD. The study had a cross–sectional quantitative design with exploratory, descriptive and contextual research strategies. Two questionnaires: one for NLM and the other for NE were developed from section 13.4.4 and 13.4.5 of the PMDS policy (Policy no. NWPG 13 amendment approved for 2008–2009 performance cycle) (SA, 2007), to explore and describe the perceptions of NLM and NE on the implementation of PA in clinics in the KKD. Twenty–three problems were identified from the empirical research with regard to communication, feedback and participation in PA, which served as the evidence base towards developing guidelines to improve the implementation of PA in clinics in the KKD. The guidelines were developed using inductive and deductive reasoning and were based on the ten–point plan of Juran. Finally the research was evaluated, limitations were identified and recommendations were formulated for practice, education, management, research and policy.
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