An evaluation of Eskom's Control Plant Maintenance Department's approach to performance management in KwaZulu-Natal.
Performance management has an insightful effect on the cultures of an organisation, its processes and work environment conditions which allow managers to revise and adapt policies that provide guidance to an organisation. Performance management should be evaluated to understand that it is supported by employees, managers and the systems and processes it operates within. The aim of the study was to establish the level of performance that rests with Eskom’s Control Plant Maintenance (CPM) Department, based in the KwaZulu-Natal. The study focused on surveying the total population of 90 CPM technicians who are distributed within the disciplines of Protection, Tele-control, Metering and Direct Current (DC) Systems. The response rate of the survey was good due to CPM technicians' access to technology, the internet and emails. Eighty-eight (88) available CPM technicians responded to an online questionnaire which 61 CPM technicians (69%) completed in full. The remaining two respondents were transferred out of the department and hence were omitted from the survey. The research results have revealed that the level of supervisor support towards performance management was not optimal. The appraisal system did not operate at optimum levels as it lacked guidance on use. Training on how to use the appraisal system effectively was also deficient. Training and development practices were not optimally implemented or used. Co-worker competency levels and competency duration periods were identified as factors that could impede performance of CPM technicians. Technicians sought to receive both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Factors of standby duties, long distance travelling and rate of change of technology were seen to affect performance levels of technicians, and the dearth in literature of these factors posed limitations. The study recommends improvements for increasing performance within the CPM department by structuring a more decentralised approach. Focus is placed on supervisor support with roles and expectations being fully defined. Multiskilling of the technicians is also recommended. Detailed improvements on the existing appraisal system are emphasised. The recommendations conclude with a structure, combining the four disciplines, which supports teamwork and introduces a balanced scorecard approach to align employees to the goals of the company.