The perceptions of employees of the Department of Customs Excise with regard to the effectiveness of the current performance management system in place : Swaziland Civil Service.
Dube, Mary Siboniso.
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Performance appraisal is a human resource function that has often been criticized by researchers due to its failure for making sufficient impact on employees' work performance hence organizational performance. Most authors have felt that it carries the greatest risk of either failing, falling into disuse or degenerating towards a meaningless paper work exercise if used as a stand alone process. Hence the shift by most modern organizations from the use of performance appraisal alone to manage employee performance to the use of an integrated performance management system making performance appraisal an integral part of the overall system of employee performance management. Against this back drop a study has been carried out in order to establish the perceived effectiveness of the performance management system currently in use by the department of Customs and Excise (Swaziland Civil Service) as well as to identify areas where the system can be improved upon. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from employees of the department who are both in the top management level to present the managers' perceptions and the entry officers' level to present the non-managers' perceptions. The questionnaire was structured in such a way that it covers the main elements of a performance management system, which are planning performance, managing performance, reviewing performance and rewarding performance. Analysis of the data was done to ascertain the perceptions of the employees of the department on the effectiveness of the current performance management system and is presented on chapter 4 of this report. The survey data reflected an overall negative level of satisfaction with the performance management system currently in use. A majority of the responses show that the current system is not clear on how it functions and what its benefits to effective work performance. The current performance management system is considered ineffective because it: > Does not provide for meaningful, timely feedback > Is impossible to administer in an equitable objective manner. > Uses performance appraisal as a stand alone process to manage employee performance > Fails to set performance standards The impact of this performance management system is as follows: > It generates low moral > It discourages team work > It does not foster trust > It generate avoidance of assessment > It produces feelings of being judged rather than being appreciated. A recommendation was made to introduce a holistic approach of performance management that treats performance appraisal as an integral part of a bigger picture of performance management with all the elements of a performance management system.