The barriers and gateways to performance management effectiveness in a large contact centre environment in KwaZulu-Natal.
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Human resources are the most important asset in any organisation. Human resource management not only entails transactional activities but also essential and strategic functions like effectively managing performance in line with the organisational goals. One essential human resource function in this regard is performance management of which performance appraisal is a key component. Specifically, this study assesses the factors that influence performance management effectiveness, that is, before, during and after the performance management process. The factors before the performance management process refer to communication about and training relating to the use of the performance management system, performance culture, its link to the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the organisation and, performance agreement. The factors during the performance management process relate to rating/appraisals and personal development plans. The factors after the performance management process relate to feedback and rewards/recognition/ promotion/performance-related pay. Another factor, being assessed, that influences the entire performance management process is top management support. The research was undertaken in a call centre environment. The sample was drawn using a probability sampling technique. Cluster sampling was used to draw a sample of 291 employees comprising of managers, campaign managers, team leaders and call centre agents. The data was collected using structured questionnaires whose psychometric properties (validity and reliability) were assessed using Factor analysis and Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha respectively. The data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study reflect that respondents perceived the process of performance management (before) the most positively, followed by performance management (during) and lastly, performance management (after). Top management support and overall performance management effectiveness were also perceived as being fairly positive. Furthermore, the dimensions of the performance management process (before/during/after), top management support and performance management effectiveness significantly correlate with each other. Whilst performance management (before and after) and top management support significantly account for the variance in performance management effectiveness, performance management (during) does not. The results of the study and corresponding recommendations are graphically represented and when effectively implemented has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of performance management in the workplace.