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1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs (MCDCGA) belongs to the public and service sector in Trinidad and Tobago. This ministry mainly focuses on the concerns of local communities. MCDCGA is said to be the most all-embracing and people centred ministry in the social services. It comprises of three main departments: community development, culture and gender affairs. It is a bureaucratic organization guided by the bureaucratic philosophy of Max Webber and is performed by the Government via the Public Service Commission. Many views of performance management in public sector are inhibited due to this bureaucratic system of control.

1.1.1 MISSION STATEMENT

"To partner with our communities, to identify and satisfy their needs through the provision of gender sensitive quality programmes and services, hereby achieving improvement in their standard of living."

1.1.2 VISIONSTATEMENT

"Playing a leading role in the empowering of communities and the enrichment of lives."

1.2 THE HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT

The human resource department is one of the most fundamental departments within the ministry. They are responsible for the performance management of employees, training and among other functions; they have to ensure that the department abide to the various regulations.

1.2.1 MISSION STATEMENT OF HR

"The Human Resource Unit of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs focuses on linking Human Resources with the strategic goals, business plan and objectives of the Ministry in order to improve business performance and to develop an organizational culture that foster innovation and flexibility."

1.3 RATIONALE

This investigation is based on the observation of the present performance management system in the Ministry. These observations include: lack of training and development; and poor employee performances. The inefficiencies in the HR department have a negative impact on staff morale and their ability to perform efficiently in line with the objectives of the Ministry. This study will improve the Human Resource department which will positively impact on other departments in the Ministry.

1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES

1.4.1 AIM

The aim of this topic is to discover the problems into the effectiveness of the performance management system used to evaluate the performance of employees and to put procedures into place to improve the performance the employees which in turn will improve the ministry.

1.4.2 OBJECTIVES

  • To examine the existing performance of the Ministry in ascertain its current state
  • To inspect the Ministry's performance management system to substantiate its alignment with theory
  • To investigate the custom of the public service and to comprehend the standards and values
  • To determine whether or not the performance management system is designed to develop the employees
  • To achieve an understanding of what has/has not been effective.

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

The literature review is based on the ideas of previous writers on the topic of Performance Management which would make clearer the objectives of the research.

2.1 Definition of Performance Management

Armstrong and Baron (1998) defines performance management as a tactical and incorporated approach in providing constant success to organizations by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors.

According to Hildebrand (1997) a performance management system is the term for conducting performance appraisal, setting goals, communicating expectations, observing, documenting, giving feedback and helping employees to develop skills. If done well, it can help the organisation gain a competitive edge.

2.2 Criticism of the Performance Management System

Bevan and Thompson, (cited in Armstrong, 2000) criticised the theoretical model or what they called 'the textbook definition' of the performance management system by describing them as placing too much emphasis on a top - down method, focussing on objective settings which they believe underrate the extent to which training, development, and reward systems are driven from the bottom - up. They also disparaged the belief that a performance management system model can fit all situations and that many issues involved in making performance management work were under-emphasised.

The study that was accomplished by Fletcher and Williams (1992) specified that numerous organisations were a long way from operating an successful performance system as, for most of them, performance management system is the same as performance appraisal or performance related pay or both. They outlined that an effective performance management system is one which:

  • is owned and driven by line management and not by the HR department;
  • emphasis is placed on share corporate goals and values;
  • Performance management is not seen as a packaged solution, but something that has to be developed specifically and individually for each particular organisation, and should apply to all staff, not just part of the managerial group.

Schwartz, 1999 described an effective PMS as one which:

  • Informs employees of areas in which they excel and areas where they can improve;
  • Helps employees improve performance, increase productivity and experience personal satisfaction;
  • Provides the organisation with information for human resource planning.

2.3 APPLICATION OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

2.3.1 Planning

Maloa (2001) accentuate the importance of planning with his view that at the core of a good performance management rests the conception that the manager and their subordinates will develop a clear idea of what is expected. This should include prioritizing of the key elements among a multitude of tasks that face them every day.

Without this, the individual will be overwhelmed by the conflicting demands on time and as a result may fail to make the right decisions. With lucidity of performance expectations, good performance is possible. In support of the above, Finigan (1999) pointed out that in developing performance plans, it is important to define the responsibility of each position in each department and, as part of this process, two questions need to be answered namely: "What does the employee need in order to meet performance expectations?" and, "What does it mean to exceed these expectations?"

Satterfield (2003) continues by stating that the vital planning activities should include goal setting, amplification of behavioural competencies and how they would apply to the job. Therefore, the outcome of planning should be clear about the goals to be met, responsibilities to be fulfilled and the behaviours that should contribute to team and organisational success.

The compilation of job descriptions in the organization can play a significant role in this regard and would assist in establishing a certainty about what the organization expects from its employees.

2.3.2 Managing performance

Managing performance has to be an ongoing process of working towards the performance expectations. According to Maloa (2001), it is probably the most neglected area of performance management. In terms of this aspect, the manager, together with the employee, reviews the employee's performance on a periodic basis. If it is on target, or exceeding expectations, the manager provides positive comments to keep performance at a high level, but if performance is below expectations, the manager guides the employee in order to achieve improvement.

This involves developing strategies with the employee to determine appropriate action plans. Managing this process involves three main activities, namely coaching, counselling and performance review.

2.3.3 Motivation

Motivation is a basic element contributing to employee performance issues. Each person is motivated by different factors and different things (Schwartz, 1999). The first step is to figure out what will motivate your employees to do what you hired them to do. The following are views from different theorists on what motivates employees.

Various theorists have developed approaches to motivation that will seek to improve performance. (Frederick Taylor, 1964), suggested that money is the primary motivator as workers would be motivated by obtaining the highest possible wages through working in the most efficient manner, based on the assumption that all people are rational, and that they are driven by the need for financial rewards and not interest in the actual work.

(Abraham Maslow,1942), in contrast with Taylor's view, suggested that the needs of employees can be classified in a hierarchy, represented on a pyramid with the more basic psychological needs lying at the base and each higher level consisting of a particular class of needs. According to Maslow, employees are motivated based on the level of their needs. Whilst this view has an uncomplicated appeal because its message is clear, others claim that it ignores the capacity of people and those around them to construct their own perceptions of needs and how they can be met (Arnold et al., 1998) Vroom (1964) expectancy theory states that motivation should be based on employees' performance-outcome expectancy. This means that employees' performance depends on what they expect to get for their efforts.

2.3.4 Training and development

Staff training and development should be an important activity in any organisation. In this regard, Oakland and Oakland (2002) stressed that training and development of people at work should be recognized as an important part of human resource management. During the 1980s, major changes in many organizations resulted in increasing workloads brought about by the introduction of new technology and wider ranges of tasks. All of this required the provision of training. During the 1990s, initiatives such as TQM, ISO 9000, investors in people and benchmarking, and self-assessment using models such as among others, the BEM (British Excellence Models), further highlighted the need to train employees (DeToro and McCabe, 1997; Marchington and Wilkinson, 1997 - in Oakland and Oakland: 2002). Typically, training strategies in organisations require managers to:

  • Play an active role in training delivery (cascade training) and support (including quality tools and techniques);
  • Receive training and development based on personal development plans (PDPs). These plans can be very useful in closing the skill gaps in performance management;
  • Fund training and improvement activities to allow autonomy at 'local' levels for short pay-back investments; and
  • Co-ordinate discussions and peer assessment to develop tailored training plans for individuals.

What is particularly noteworthy about the training activities is that they are almost identical to those processes and activities commonly found in the management literature on the theory of training.

2.3.5 Effective communication

Communication is in essence the lifeblood of any organisation striving for 'world-class' status. It should permeate any situation or system operating in the organisation and where people are involved. Oakland and Oakland (2002:779) stated that: "It is an important facet of people management – be it communication of organisation goals, vision strategy, business policies or communication of facts, information and data." (Collins and Porras, Larkin and Larkin, Purser and Cabana, Yinglin quoted in Oakland and Oakland, 2002).

In some organisations' business success, regular two-way communication, particularly face-to-face with employees, is identified as an important factor in establishing trust and the feeling of being valued. The two-way communication can also be regarded as a key management responsibility and may include:

  • Ensuring that people are briefed on key issues in language free of jargon.
  • Communicating honestly and as fully as possible on all issues that affect the people
  • Encouraging team members to discuss company issues and giving upward feedback.
  • Ensuring that issues from team members are communicated to senior managers and timely replies given.

2.4 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

2.4.1 Distinguishing features of performance management as opposed to Performance appraisal

Armstrong (1996:260) corroborated that there are a number of significant differences between performance management and the traditional appraisal schemes. Performance management in its most developed form:

  • Involves all members of the organisation as partners in the process - it is not something handed down by bosses to the subordinates;
  • Is based upon agreements on accountability expectations and development plans. It can be seen as part of the normal interactive processes which exist between managers and teams, a continuous process not relying on a once-a-year formal review;
  • Treats the performance review as a joint affair which is primarily concerned with looking constructively towards the future;
  • Focuses on improving performance, developing competencies and releasing potential;
  • Concentrates on 'self-managed learning' giving people the encouragement they need to develop themselves with whatever guidance they need from their managers and the organisation;
  • May not include rating at all if the process is used primarily for development and performance improvement purposes;
  • Recognizes the need for thorough training in the required skills in order to agree on objectives, provide feedback, review performance, and coach and counsel employees; and

Apart from the evident confusion regarding the interchangeable usage of the concept of performance appraisal and performance management, organisations use various terminologies to describe the appraisal process. These terms include performance review; annual appraisal; performance evaluation; employee evaluation and merit evaluation (Grobler et al 2002:260). For purposes of this study, the word 'performance appraisal' will be preferred for use especially, in the context of the final performance evaluation for the year, which determines the appropriate reward.

It should be pointed out that the appraisal seems to be associated with an annual event where emphasis is on the completion of a form and with the human resources directorate playing a primary role in administration, management and quality control. With the envisaged model, focus will not be on the human resource function but on line managers and their subordinates driving the process and human resources function playing an advisory role. Grote (1996:13)

2.4.2 Criticisms of Performance Appraisal

Torrington et al (2005) criticises the appraisal system by emphasising that performance appraisal is often neglected until the time when the next appraisal come around. They also commented that performance appraisal are often bias, prejudice and subjective.

It is possible that inconsistent criteria will be applied by different managers when assessing the calibre of subordinates (Schneier et al., 1991)

Hendry et al also criticised the appraisal system for which they see as time consuming, bureaucratic, paper driven and top down, with little relevance to organisational performance goals.

Beardwell, Holden and claydon (2004) also criticised the appraisal system by stating that often persons who carry out performance appraisals do not always have the right skills and training to conduct appraisals effectively.

2.4.3 360 ° Feedback

An appraisal system that is gaining popularity is the 360-degree feedback. This is because the feedback gleaned from this is utilised as important input for career development as well as for training and development. Because of the nature of the multiple source feedback of the 360-degree process, a broad perspective of the individual's strengths and weaknesses are developed which assists them in enhancing their self-insight and in developing their full potential.

Garavan, Morley and Flynn (1997) and Theron and Roodt (1999) summed up the above description by stating that the 360-degree feedback is a contrived method of providing a flow of feedback to employees from all directions thus fulfilling the need for providing the individual with a more holistic and useful set of feedback. According to McCarthy and Caravan (2001) these as alternative terms used for the 360-degree feedback.

  • Stakeholder appraisal.
  • Full circle appraisal.
  • Multi-rater feedback.
  • Multi-source assessment.
  • Subordinate and peer appraisal.
  • Group performance appraisal.
  • Multi-point assessment.
  • Multi-perspective assessment.

2.5 CONCLUSION

The literature review provided the researcher with useful information on the topic of performance management, giving a clear understanding of the various aspects of the topic from a practical angle. It revealed issues regarding the Performance Management System which exists in MCDCGA, identifying its best practice and shortcomings.

3.0 RESEARCH DESIGN

3.1 Chosen Methodology

This research is a dynamic study given that it is designed to determine the effectiveness of a system to bring about change in a particularly controlled environment. The research methodology consistent with this type of study is the phenomenological paradigm; consequently it provided the basis for this research. This methodology will be utilized because according to Collis and Hussey (2003), researchers are not objective, but part of what they observe. They bring their own interest and values to the research as oppose to the positivistic approach which do not regard such subjectivity.

The positivistic methodology can also be applied nevertheless; the phenomenological method is selected alone because of the complications in combining the two because they are two extreme paradigms. However, both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used for collection of data. This is called data triangulation (Denzin, 1970) cited in Collis and Hussey.

3.1.1 Primary Research

Primary data is obtained from a direct observation of the phenomenon under investigation or is collected personally (Welman and Kruger 2001). To ensure that primary data is collected, interviews, self-administered questionnaires and direct observation methods will be used (Struwig and Stead 2001). For this research in particular, a self-administered questionnaire and interviews will be used as data collection instruments. As Molefe (1997, pg 151) indicates, the primary data are easily obtained from responses to a questionnaire, largely because data sometimes lie buried deeply within the minds and within the attributes, feelings or reaction of people.

Furthermore, by providing access to what is inside a person's mind the questionnaire makes it possible to measure what a person knows, likes or dislikes. The questionnaire is therefore a useful tool to determine perception. For the purpose of compiling a competency profile, the interviews are conducted.

3.1.2 Secondary Research

Secondary data refers to the information collected by individuals or organisations other than the researcher for other purposes (Welman and Kruger, 2001). The supplementary importance of using secondary data is that it saves time, provides the opportunity to re-analyse existing data and arrive at new conclusions, and save on the cost of doing a research.

The secondary data for this research is sourced through literature research and interviews held with persons responsible for the performance management process.

3.2 RESEARCH TOOLS

For the purpose of this investigation, two very instrumental data collection tools will be selected, these are; interviews and questionnaires. Interviews and questionnaires are two diverse ways of conversing with people to extract their opinion and views. These two methods of extracting data will be conducted during the month of December 2009, where respondents will be given approximately four weeks to respond, and interviews will also be held during that same period. Verbal permission was granted by the Senior Human Resource Officer upon an official letter of request by the researcher to conduct interviews and questionnaires.

3.2.1 Interviews

Black, Richard J (2003) describes interviews as a joint venture between the researcher and the interviewee. The reason for choosing to use an interview is to ensure that the researcher uncovers perception at a senior level.

This will involve face-to-face meetings between the researcher and the interviewee. A total of three interviews will be held with the following officers: the Senior Human Resource Officer, the Accountant I, and the Performance Management Schedule Clerk III. These three persons were selected as three persons responsible for executing the performance management system in the Ministry.

The procedures used to conducting these interviews were as follows:

  • Construction of draft questions
  • Vetting of draft for accuracy and suitability
  • Confirm appointments with interviewees
  • Meet with interviews by appointments
  • Deliver questions through conversations and record responses>/
  • Analysis of data
  • Documentation of final analysis in a report form

3.2.2 Questionnaires

This research tool will consist of a series of questions based on the objectives of and theoretical contents of this research, for the purpose of gathering information from employees of the ministry to gain an understanding from them of what have or have not been effective in relation to the aim and objectives of this research. It is chosen to help participants to give frank and honest answers.

The procedures are follows for drafting questionnaires:

  • Construction of draft questions
  • Vetting of draft for accuracy and suitability
  • Pilot testing on a small randomly selected sample size
  • Determination of sample size and composition
  • Distribution of questionnaires
  • Collection of questionnaires
  • Analysis of data collected

The questionnaires will be constructed using the a-point likert scale to permit participants to give more perceptive replies and to state if they have no opinion by providing them with some form of rating scale. It is simple for the respondent to complete and simple for the researcher to code and analyse.

3.2.3 Sample Size

The sample size refers to a sub-set of a population and should represent the main interest of the study (Collis and Hussey, 2003). Out of a total population of two hundred and fifteen (215) employees, ninety (90) employees will be selected for the sample size, which represents forty-seven (42%) of the total population. This number was chosen to represent the number of employees currently located in the Head Office.

The sample size consisted of a mixture of employees from every department within the Head Office in terms of gender, age and positions to allow precision in responses. This sample size is consistent with Collis and Hussey's (2003) phenomenological paradigm. Smaller sample sizes have greater chances of error associated with them. Therefore, choosing an appropriate sample size is an obvious strategy for increasing statistical power.

3.3 SUMMARY

This chapter provided a theoretical foundation about the research approach and elaborated on the research methodology, the sample, and the data gathering instrument and how it was used.

4.0 INTRODUCTION

This chapter analyses and interprets data and further demonstrates the effectiveness of performance management system in MCDCGA based on the theory amassed from the literature review, best practice and the environment within which the Ministry exists. The environment is emphasised because MCDCGA is a crucial agency of the public sector and is governed by constraints within that particular industry. Therefore, to be effective and efficient in this environment, performance in terms of service delivery should be at the centre of the daily activities of the Ministry.

4.1 DISTRIBUTION OF QUESTIONNAIRES AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

A questionnaire as shown in Appendix was used as a data-gathering instrument. It consisted of twenty-seven (27) statements using the 4-point likert scale. This instrument was only distributed to the main Head Office of MCDCGA. The other supporting divisions of the Ministry was left out because of difficulties in reaching their geographical locations and because the focus of attention was to test the performance of persons directly related to the performance of the main Ministry and not the sub-divisions who have responsibility for the performances of their own divisions.

The data collected was analysed based on the 5 specific group headings which seek to address the key elements of the objectives of this research. The responses based on each grouping were measured against theory and best practice to identify the effectiveness of the PMS under the different headings.

4.1.1 Overall Responses from Questionnaires

Out of a Total of ninety questionnaires distributed, all were completed and returned. Therefore, although there was a response rate of 100% of the sample size, the responses actually represents 45% of the total population. The percentages hereon represent the percentage of the total population to give a fair judgement of the views of the entire Ministry.

This section of the questionnaire responded to dimensions such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Length of service in MCDCGA

In terms of this section, the respondents' gender profile consisted of 27% male and 73% female whose length of services range between one and 30 years. The responses were mainly from mature employees and consisted of 100 % between the ages of 20 and under to 60 and over.

4.2.1 Deductions

It is important to note that whatever conclusions this study will make later will be the views of a more mature cross-section of the ministry with a fairly long service record and adequately represented by females whose views has a history of oppression.

4.3 ASSESSMENT OF EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT

The dimensions assessed in this regard were the need for:

  • A system which is essential to the development of the employees
  • Feedback on performance and ways to improve performance
  • Necessary tools and equipment needed to perform effectively
  • Motivation to perform
  • Praise and recognition as rewards for good performances
  • Training for all staff to enhance their performances
  • Training and coaching for underperformers

4.3.1 Description

Table 1 shows the responses and statistical representation to the statements developed to reveal whether or not the performance management system is effective in terms of employee development and also the support level based on the agreement to the various hypotheses.

4.3.2 JUSTIFICATION OF HYPOTHESIS

This method to assess the employees' development was used to determine whether or not the PMS in the MCDCGA is effective in terms of managing the performances of the employees in an attempt to develop there abilities. The seven hypothesis/statements used were developed from the literature research based on theory from various writers on how the PMS is used to develop individuals which identified that an effective PMS is one which is used to improve employee involvement, commitment and motivation by increasing people's sense of personal value and enhancing the individuals perception of empowerment (Fletcher and Williams, 1992)

4.3.3 INTERPRETATION OF DATA

The analysis of the data to assess employee development revealed that 60% of the employees assessed are in support of the hypothesis that the PMS is needed for their individual development. However, the respondents identified areas in hypothesis 5-10, (see table 1) which questions whether the PMS which they so depend on for individual development is being effectively managed in the Ministry. The objective of this part of the research is to establish whether or not the performance management system in the ministry is designed to improve the performance and development of the employees, or is the PMS in the ministry aligned to focus on the organisational structure rather than focusing on the employees.

Schwartz, 1999 described an effective PMS as one which: must be able to informs employees of areas in which they excel and areas where they can improve; it helps employees improve performance, increase productivity and experience personal satisfaction; it provides the organisation with information for human resource planning which involves strategies for motivating, rewarding and training its employees.

Based on the low levels of support regarding the effectiveness of some key activities of employee development such as reward and recognition, motivation, training, provision of tools and equipment, and managing underperformance, and literature providing key information on employee development and the PMS, it can be deducted that the PMS in the ministry neglects to account for the development of the employees.

This goes against performance management principles outlined in the performance management manual in the public service, which also according Torrington and Hall (1998) PMS is a system for developing employee performance, and that performance management is a shared view between the manager and the managed to gain a clear view of what is expected of the employee.

4.4 LINKING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE TO ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE

The dimensions assessed in this regard were the need for:

  • Having a clearer understanding of the ministry's performance.
  • Translating organisational goals into individual goals
  • Identifying what impact the employee has on the ministry overall performance.
  • Informing employees of the, ministry's performance

4.4.1 Description

The performance of the ministry is yet another measure of an effective PMS (Bevan and Thompson 1992). The following represents the responses from employees who agree based on responses in Table that:

  • They PMS is designed to improve the Ministry's overall performance (64%)
  • The goals of the ministry are translated into their individual goals (47 %)
  • There performance makes a difference to the ministry's overall performance (73%)
  • They are aware of the performance of the ministry ( 20% )

4.4.2 JUSTIFICATION OF HYPOTHESIS

These hypotheses were used to determine the link between employee and organisational performance. This link is necessary based on the objectives of this, to observe how effective is the PMS in incorporating the performance of employees into the organisational performance.

The organisational context, within which employee-centred performance management exists, is in the vision, mission strategy and operational plans of the organisation. While the aim of the present study is to address performance management at an individual level, it also strives to support the organisation's goals by ensuring that there is a link between the work of each individual employee or manager to the overall organisational strategy, mission and vision (Williams, 1998).

4.4.3 INTERPRETATION OF DATA

Based on the data provided in the table, employees are aware that their performances have a significant impact on the ministry's overall performance however; the majority disagreed to the hypothesis that they are informed of the ministry's performance. Their responses also revealed that there is no proper system in place to translate the Ministry's goals into their individual goals to make a sound contribution to the performance of the ministry.

4.5 ASSESSMENT OF THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The dimensions assessed in this regard were the need for:

  • A clear understanding of what the PMS aim to achieve
  • Understanding the purpose of the PMS
  • Linking PMS to performance improvement
  • Identifying the shortcomings of the system

4.5.1 JUSTIFICATION OF HYPOTHESIS

These hypotheses were used as a basis for this research as it seeks to investigate the effectiveness of the PMS. The statements were structured around testing the effectiveness through the perceptions of the employees and are based on the research objectives and theoretical data from the literature review.

4.5.2 INTERPRETATION OF DATA

The data collected based on Hypothesis No. 15, revealed that 43% of respondents do not have a clear understanding of what the PMS aim to achieve however, based on Hypothesis No. 16, 87% believed that the purpose of the PMS is to align performance to organisational objectives. This says a lot about the PMS in terms of its effectiveness, since respondents seem to be clue less as to what the PMS really is, however the term Performance management on the whole is usually difficult to define as there is no commonplace definition accepted (Hartle, 1995). Hypothesis #18: The PMS focuses more on organisational performances and less on employee objectives. A total of 73 % of the respondents supported this view, based on Armstrong, (1998), however, the focus now is on people. It's about how individuals work together to achieve shared aims. Hypothesis 21 shows 56% of the respondents have no idea about what their performance standards are, their were also significant percentages revealing that the PMS does not give the employee the opportunity to discuss their performance with their supervisors, thus, based on the responses, the PM system is showing signs of inefficiency.

4.6 ASSESSMENT OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

The Performance Appraisal/ review are a key component of an effective Performance management framework. These hypothesis statements were developed to get an understanding of how efficient the performance management system is by evaluating the performance appraisal.

Hypothesis #23: 87% of the respondents felt that Performance Management is usually only made mention of at the end of the year during the processing of staff reports.

Hypothesis #24: 63% of respondents agreed that the performance appraisal assists in improving their performance.

Hypothesis # 25: 83 % of respondent agreed that the performance appraisal provides feedback on their performance)

In most ministries within the Government services, performance appraisal is conducted once for the year – at the end of each year. Torrington and Hall (1998) found that an effective PMS is one where there is continuous assessment. Performance Appraisals should not rely on once every year, or twice every year, it should be continuous (Armstrong, 2000). Performance appraisals focus on developing and realising competencies, thereby focusing on improving performance, recognising training and feedback.

4.7 SECONDARY DATA: INTERVIEWS

Based on the data collected from the questionnaires the following observations were made.

  • There is no formal structure for the PMS. Performance management is seen as appraising employees, although there are clear distinctions between performance appraisal and performance management (Armstrong, 1996)
  • Measuring performance is difficult in terms of productivity and efficiency, because of the nature of the organisation and the industry to which it belong. Performance is measured by punctuality and absenteeism.
  • The present performance management system neglects the supporting activities needed to develop and improve the employees.
  • The ministry seems to progressing well without a formal PMS structure.
  • The appraisal system is highly subjective and does not provide any feedback.
  • Managers are not equipped with the necessary tools to conduct a meaningful appraisal (Breadwell, Holden, Claydon , 2004)
  • Performance is often neglected until the end of the year appraisal.
  • Individual performance is not linked to the ministry's overall performance.
  • The Ministry's vision, mission and objectives are not communicated to staff.

4.8 Conclusion

Based on this research and the objectives of this research,, which aligned the current practices of Performance management to theory, it can be concluded that the Performance management system is not effective.

RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSIONS:

5.1 Recommendations

The following recommendations are based on the descriptive and inferential reviews discussed in the previous chapters.

  • It is recommended that a structured/formal process of managing performance be developed to support the staff component and thereby have a meaningful contribution towards organisational development.
  • Training and development across the border to include Managers to better prepare them for conducting meaningful appraisals, and to develop the performance of employees that will impact positively on the performance of the Ministry.
  • Send staff on retreats to keep them informed of the ministry's strategy. This will also give them a sense of belonging that will foster improvements in their overall performance.
  • Reward and recognition strategies could be implemented to reward workers and foster an organisational culture committed to rewarding and recognising performances, whilst at the same time developing strategies to manage poor performances.

5.2 CONCLUSION

This chapter gave recommendations about performance management based on the empirical research conducted as well as theory and good practice on the topic. Although the response rate was somewhat low for known reasons, it was however encouraging to note that the organisational climate and culture at MCDCGA was quite receptive to performance management.

The research has identified deficiencies in the current performance management system that is in need of being addressed. It is with much hope that the issues addressed in the recommendations be put to use to curb these issues and develop an environment which contributes highly towards high levels of performance, both and the individual and organisational levels.

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