Developing a strategy to address employee perceptions regarding the Performance Management and Development System in the Department of Social Development, Women, Children and People with Disabilities
Legalatladi, Ntswaki Meshotlo Victoria
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A Performance Management and Development System has become the main focus for many organisations in the Public Service. Organisations are always looking for strategies to effectively enhance the performance of their employees in order to improve the organisational performance. However, despite all these efforts the implementation of the System is still marred by many challenges and as a result it is perceived by many employees as ineffective and inefficient. The focus of this study is, therefore, to identify the different perceptions of employees regarding the System and to investigate the underlying factors influencing the employees’ perceptions regarding Performance Management and Development System at the Matlosana Service Point, DSDWCPD. A triangulation research approach encompassing qualitative and quantitative analysis was employed in this study. The primary data were obtained from a semi-structured questionnaire completed by 50 respondents. Secondary data were drawn from the departmental reports, business plans, performance agreements and other official documents from the North-West University library. The respondents for the questionnaire were sampled utilising the purposive sampling within the non-probability category of samples. The sample comprised social workers, social auxiliary workers, community development practitioners and human resource officers. The sample was purposively sampled due to the fact that the sample frame that was needed for this study included people who were aware of the Performance Management and Development System; were regarded as experienced in the subject matter and who could provide useful information. The data from the questionnaire were analysed by means of conceptual (thematic) analysis, every statement that was relevant to the research questions was created; and meanings were also attached to the categories. The findings of the study show that the employees perceive implementation of the Performance Management and Development System as not complying with the legislation. The implementation of the Performance Management and Development System is not effective and efficient in the Matlosana Service Point. The findings also revealed that the need for training in the System is undisputed as employees felt that the training that they received is not adequate and failed to address their needs. The respondents also felt that the assessments were not properly implemented hence they perceive the System as biased, unfair and subjective and also felt that the assessments were implemented just for compliance purposes. The findings of the study also highlighted the importance of effective communication and feedback in the entire process and in integrating the components of the Performance Management and Development System leading to poor supervision and monitoring of employees’ performance. All these factors revealed a correlation between the negative perceptions of the employees and the Performance Management and Development System in the Matlosana Service point. The study concludes by providing recommendations on a systematic training strategy for changing employees’ perceptions regarding the Performance Management and Development System in order to ensure a common understanding and consistent implementation of the Performance Management and Development System.
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