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An investigation into the existence of formal or informal structures that have direct or indirect impact on employee engagement practices at Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency.

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ABSTRACT This research study was contextually based at Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency (ECPTA) and was aimed at understanding the existence of formal and informal structures that has a direct or indirect impact on Employee Engagement practices within the organisation. Quantitative research approach was followed, wherein the research instrument was developed, validated and tested with a small group and later distributed to 132 staff members within the agency. A total of 100 respondents completed the questionnaires which were received by April 2017. This was followed by data collation, analysis and interpretation. The findings from this research highlighted that out of ten Engagement Practices covered in Chapter 2, the poor engagement practices are compensation and benefits, performance management and ability to adapt to change and an existence of formal or informal structures for the remaining seven categories or practices. The intent behind this research was to uncover the magnitude to which the three Dimensions of Work Place Engagement model, namely Stewardship, Engagement and Service as well the 10 Categories of Employee Engagement , namely, Strategic Direction, Climate, Leadership, Recognition & Rewards, Manager Effectiveness, Performance Improvement, Job Satisfaction, Learning & Development, Caring and Team Work contribute to employee engagement. Finally, the study uncovered engagement practices in existence and those that can be improved as well as recommendations to improve poor practices. It is felt that such improvement will directly or indirectly contribute towards promoting the Province as a tourism destination of choice. The results from this research indicate that a large number of research participants (41%) either do not understand the calculation of their salary and benefits or they are not sure if they understand. Furthermore, only 45% of the research respondents felt that they are paid according to market rates which suggest a need for the organisation to embark on salary benchmarking. Perceptions of fair pay is a major factor towards job satisfaction, retention and labour turnover and as such should be afforded due attention it deserves in any organisational setting. It was also evident in this research that 41% of the respondents do not agree that PMS is a good measure of their performance. It is felt that there is some biasness involved from those that are responsible and accountable for the smooth implementation of the system which resulted in the loss of credibility of the system. Furthermore, it was felt that institutional management needs to create synergy between performance management as well as compensation and benefits. It is felt from this survey that performance management is not implemented as a strategic business model but rather as an administrative issue with no perceived direct linkage to staff remuneration and benefits.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.