A Performance Management Model addressing Human Factors in the North West Provincial Administration
The study of a working model for improved performance entailed an in-depth investigation of human factors that militate against PM in the North West Provincial Administration. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in a rigorous sequential mixed-methods research study, to engage three key focus areas, namely human relationships, organisational communication and the application of the PMDS process in the study. Qualitative data was collected from four (expert, operational, strategic, and grass root) levels of permanent employees within the North West Public Service, through the use of face-to-face and focus group in-depth interviews. Recordings, intense listening and observation, typed transcripts and colour coding of sub-themes were used for analysis of all the interviews. The process involved systematic clustering of the participants' responses into three main themes, namely the performance management, human factors and performance environment. The quantitative study entailed collection and distribution of questionnaires among the four levels of employees in all 12 government departments of the North West Province. The data collection process kicked off with a pilot questionnaire, followed by a set of highly structured questionnaires in multi-phase format. These were then subjected to statistical analysis. The findings of the study have revealed that the performance management process in the 12 departments of the North West Province is beset with a host of negative human factors in the operational workplace domain, inter alia, favouritism, victimisation, lack of motivation, lack of relevant job-related training, low job satisfaction amongst employees, political interference, imposition of ill-qualified "deployees" over highly qualified incumbents, organisational and administrative pitfalls, inter alia, ineffective records management systems, an ailing work ethic, rampant non-compliance, high turnover rates, ineffective relationships between the unions and departments, flawed communication constructs in management, lack of feedback, and the inconsistent, unfair and unprofessional practices in the appraisal processes and the application of the PMDS processes. These and other cited factors have impacted the service delivery mandate negatively, as evidenced by the spate of service delivery protests in the province. The extensive literature perused has confirmed that the human factors studied here have a significant impact on the outcomes of the performance management proces's. The study evaluation has highlighted significant human factors that may build or derail the entire HR management system if the red flags are not raised, addressed head-on and remedied, hence the recommended model featured in this study. Communication channels between real humans in the workplace have been exposed as extinct in this study, hence the proposed model advanced in the study, referred to as the Performance Management Model (PM Model) by the researcher, to reduce communication disjunctures and gaps existing between stakeholders in the performance space.