The Falsehood of a Single Appraisal System: The Case of the Free State Health Department, South Africa
This paper focuses on the appraisal system, popularly called the Employee Performance Management and Development System (EPMDS) of the Free State Health Department. The objective of the study was to establish gaps in the successful application of performance appraisals, and identify the major factors required for their effectiveness, which were addressed and subsequently led to the development of a modified structural performance appraisal model (MSPAM). A triangulation of quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interview) study was conducted at ten South African public health institutions, in the Free State Province The results revealed a general perception amongst participants that the EPMDS, in its current form was neither supporting the attainment of organisational goals and objectives nor assessing effectively the core component of employees within the South African Department of Health. Reward and attitudes were found to be the unintended outcomes of an effective performance appraisal. An important, non-refutable finding about the EPMDS in its current form was that it was more suitable for use with the non-skilled and/or semi-skilled (blue collar) employees than with the skilled (professional) ones. This was supported by the qualitative and empirical evidence from the study. It is recommended that remunerative rewards should be part of a holistic appraisal approach and not simply a one-sided approach.
Keywords: Employee Performance Management and Development System (EPMDS), Performance Management System, Remunerative Rewards, Free State Health Department
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