This study was undertaken as an attempt to analyse the efficacy of performance management training interventions in the public service. The National School of Government was used as a case study for its Managing Performance Course which was established in response to challenges related to the implementation of the Performance Management and Development System in the public service. The study comprises six chapters.
In attaining the objectives of the study, the mixed methods research approach was deemed the most suitable. This design was motivated by the fact that the mixed-methodological design is not only the most suitable for this study, but it has also been able to strengthen the findings of the study and to provides adequate validation by means of both deductive and inductive research methods. An online survey questionnaire was used as a primary data collection tool to obtain responses from participants. Secondary data such as (but not limited to) Annual Reports, Annual Performance Plans, Strategic Plans and various reports on performance management were also reviewed. Purposive sampling was used to select employees between salary levels 5–12 who participated in the Managing Performance Course. Quantitative data was analysed using pivot tables to extract graphs and statistics and thus establish meaningful analysis from the data. For qualitative data, a thematic content analysis was applied to establish the patterns and themes emanating from the data. The discovered patterns and themes were therefore analysed in order to establish meaningful findings.
The analysis of the responses indicated that the completion rate for Managing Performance Course should be monitored frequently as not all employees who registered completed the course. Although the implementation of the Performance Management and Development System still remains a challenge due to a number of factors, participants maintained that they gained a richer understanding of the system after the completion of the course. Continuous engagements and increased awareness on Performance Management and Development System policy were deemed significant in order to address challenges related to its implementation thereof.
The responses further indicated a great dissatisfaction with the current system. Supervisors do not actively engage with the system, while others are fully committed to ensuring that the system is effectively implemented within the department. The study further demonstrated that supervisors use performance management to punish subordinates whom they perceive as troublesome. As a result, employees are no longer motivated to perform and suggested adjustments or changes in the current system by adopting a 360-degree assessment approach in order to close the current gaps and challenges resulting from the bias and a lack of commitment from supervisors.
The study concludes and recommends that there should be an increased awareness on performance management training at the National School of Government. The maintenance of professional ethics should be strictly adhered to in the governance and management of Performance Management and Development System in the department. The management should also ensure that MPC programme is aligned with prescripts related to performance management in the public service. Transfer of learning into the workplace should be encouraged. A feedback mechanism should be established in order to share what scores and activities are required for subordinates to be deemed high performers.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2019.