The impact of remuneration on the performance of senior managers : a case study of the Swaziland Electricity Company Limited.
The Swaziland Electricity Company Limited (SEC) is the only electricity utility company in Swaziland tasked with the provision of electricity services and products. It is 100% owned by Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland and is managed via an appointed Board of Directors. The Company has generally performed well in the past. However, since 2010, a number of factors have contributed to the profitability levels not being entirely satisfactory. Coincidentally at about the same time, the Government introduced through Circulars No. 3 of 2010 and No. 4 of 2013, new regulations meant to control the remuneration of managers within public enterprises. Since then, SEC’s employee turnover has increased necessitating the need to review the extent to which the new remuneration regulations have impacted on performance management within the company including the ability of employees to stay and remain productive within the Company. Pay differentiation models are multifaceted and are generally a combination of goal setting, skills and qualifications, increased employee loyalty and performance. Ultimately, the reasons employees choose to stay in organisations is not reflective of any one theory but a combination of factors. Using the mixed method approach with a bias towards qualitative research and premised on purposeful sampling, perceptions of SEC managers were obtained via a semi structured questionnaire. The study targeted 60% of the sample population i.e. SEC managers. The findings highlighted their views on; the new pay regulations, the impact of the new pay regulations on their performance and that of the company, as well as on reward management and employee retention. Ultimately, 85% of SEC managers that participated in the study, perceived the new pay regulations as extremely detrimental to their performance and that of the Company. They not only disagreed with the rationale for the new pay regulations but also indicated that they were badly conceived and are ineffectual in driving the Company to higher performance levels. SEC managers prefer that pay regulations are the product of consultation between management, Boards as well as Government and that the current regulations, are the key driver of employee turnover within the company which has also negatively affected talent management. In designing pay systems for PE’s, Government is urged not to adopt a ‘one glove fits all approach’ as public enterprises are different and their underlying operational imperatives complex. Nevertheless it is recognised that the new pay regulations have formed the basis for effective control of remuneration within public enterprises, a necessary intervention to address concerns on ‘out of control’ executive salaries.
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