The implementation of career management practices in the Public Service: the case of the Department of Trade and Industry
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The need to have competent, skilled, developed and committed employees in the Public Service cannot be underestimated. It is for this reason that the requirement to develop and capacitate public employees is enshrined in the supreme law of this country, stipulating that the human resource management (HRM) and career development practices should be promoted to enhance and develop the potential of public officials (RSA, 1996:99). This is the case because the Public Service is dependent on its employees to execute its service delivery mandate and provide quality services to the public. Therefore, there is a need to attract, develop and retain skilled, committed and capable public employees to deliver the required quality of services. In an assessment conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2010, it was revealed that HRM and human resource development (HRD) practices are poorly implemented and the implementation of career management practices in the Public Service is limited (RSA, 2010a:5-23). Therefore, the study focussed on the ineffective implementation of career management practices in the Public Service, particularly in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which has led to unmotivated employees, a lack of job satisfaction, low morale, reduced employee performance, and a loss of skilled and experienced employees by the Public Service, which in turn, has a negative impact on the Public Service's overall performance. The study adopted a qualitative research methodology. A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire and a personal semi-structured interview was used as data collection instruments. The questionnaire was completed by middle managers at various divisions of the DTI and the interview was conducted with a senior HRM manager at the DTI. The questionnaire aimed at obtaining views, experiences, beliefs and perceptions on the implementation of career management practices within the DTI, based on the participants' first-hand experiences. The interview with the senior HRM manager aimed at gaining insight on the implementation of career management practices in the DTI, from a strategic perspective. The results obtained from the empirical research revealed that the DTI is implementing a number of HRM and HRD practices in support of career management. However, the results also revealed that some of these practices were not implemented in a manner that enhances employee motivation, growth and development. Further to this, the DTI has no career management policy in place to guide the implementation of career management practices, resulting in many role players being unware of their roles and responsibilities in this regard. In some instances, it was found that line managers are neglecting their roles and responsibilities pertaining to career management, which to some extent has led to the frustration of employees, a lack of motivation and a low morale. The results obtained from the empirical investigation also revealed fragmentation in the implementation of career management within the DTI. The study therefore, recommends the development of a career management policy that will guide and regulate career management practices within the DTI, and articulate the roles and responsibilities of each role player in the career management process. The study also recommends a few HRM and HRD practices that can be implemented to contribute to career management.
- Humanities 
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