Orientation: The implementation of performance management (PM) in the public sector remains a challenge and requires an investigation into employees’ perception of PM at Statistics South Africa.
Research purpose: This study investigates the factors that affect employee performance at Statistics South Africa with the aim of providing a management framework for improving the performance of employees.
Motivation for the study: The motivation for this study was to identify factors that affect employees’ perception of PM at Statistics South Africa. By ascertaining these factors, it may be possible to influence the performance of employees positively.
Research approach/design and method: The study followed a quantitative research approach using an explorative and descriptive design. The population consisted of 3326 employees. The random sample drawn contained 444 respondents, and the realised sample had 303 respondents. This represented a response rate of 68%. Data were collected through a Likert-scale-type questionnaire.
Main findings: The results showed that employees perceived PM as ineffective and unfair. Various factors affecting PM at Statistics South Africa negatively were revealed. The analysis of the research identified the following performance factors: communication, talent management, retention, recruitment and selection, engagement and motivation.
Practical/managerial implications: The findings revealed that employees were not involved in the development and the implementation of PM. Managers and supervisors who are not committed to the PM of their subordinates avoid performance contracting and the conducting of performance reviews. Managers should be encouraged to give feedback to employees and to see PM as a development tool, rather than a compliance matter.
Contribution/value-add: The research study contributes to the understanding of the perception of employees of Statistics South Africa regarding the factors that positively or negatively affect the PM process.