Evaluating employee’ perceptions on the effectiveness of performance management system at Department of Health KZN- Head Office: Finance Unit.
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Public service is the single largest employer in South Africa and constitutes a large portion of the economy. It is a rapidly changing environment in which technology–driven services are becoming the norm and new skills are required to keep pace with these developments. The primary purpose of this study is to expand the extant knowledge and understanding of employees’ perceptions towards the implementation of the performance management system in the Department of Health: Finance Unit, KwaZulu-Natal Province. Since the primary orientation of individual performance management is evolving in nature, as it has to provide constructive feedback to unsatisfactory performance and recognition of excellent performance. The researcher sought to capture the perceptions and experiences of employees, with a view to assessing the influence that the performance management system has had on them. To collect relevant empirical data for this research project, a qualitative and quantitative research instrument in the form of a semi-structured questionnaire, comprising of closed- and open-ended questions, was used. The population size of the study was 120 participants, all of whom were Finance Head Office employees. The response rate was 68%; 81 officials responded to the questionnaire. The research findings achieved the objectives of this study, and confirmed that employees in the Department of Health: Finance Unit has a negative perception of the fairness of their organisation’s performance management system. The study uncovered loop holes in performance management in the finance unit. Performance indicators are not clearly defined and the performance management process is a compliance exercise as it lacks functional performance feedback and rewarding mechanisms. There is limited career progression. A sound performance management system must be put into place so that the employees exert their maximum efforts towards the realisation of the organisation’s objectives.