Performance management and appraisal systems: a strategic tool for improving service delivery in local government.
Kheswa, Mxolisi Christopher Hazewell.
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This study investigated the impact of performance management and appraisal system on the productivity of local government employees at eThekwini Municipality, using the case of the Water and Sanitation department. The main objectives of the study included the following: to explain the performance appraisal process at eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, to examine the relationship between performance appraisal and employee motivation at eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, to ascertain the involvement of employees in goal setting and evaluation criteria, as well as to analyse the effect of performance feedback and rewards on employee motivation. In order to achieve these objectives, the study employed a mix of both qualitative and quantitative research, whereby data were collected through a semi-structured questionnaire. The findings of the study pointed out that performance management is critically essential in ensuring the implementation of plans, and have the desired development impact. It was also found that sound performance management system ensures that municipalities understand the current performance of their employees, while at the same time they are able as to identify the challenges that they are facing. The identified challenges are around crafting the agreements as they seem to be generic and sometimes the system used during moderation. For some, performance management improves productivity, while for others they become demotivated, especially if they did not performance well. Having the majority of the respondents describing the level of understanding as good is vital since performance management system enhances the contribution levels of individuals to be in line with priorities, objectives, indicators and targets contained in the municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Based on these findings, it was therefore recommended that for performance management system to be effective, all the employees ought to be equipped, eager and commit themselves to ensure and improve the overall performance of the municipality. The study also provides some recommendations for the performance management and performance appraisal system, particularly with regards to performance appraisal process enhancement. Key words: Performance management, appraisal systems, service delivery, local government.