Is Performance Management in Ghana’s Public Service a Mirage? - Why Previous Management Initiatives Failed to Yield the Desired Results

Article Index
Is Performance Management in Ghana’s Public Service a Mirage?
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission’s Role in Public Service Performance Management
Why The Current Emphasis on Performance Management?
The Current State of Performance Management in the Public Service
Why Previous Management Initiatives Failed to Yield the Desired Results
The Challenges Facing the FWSC and how it intends to solve them
All Pages

 

It is generally agreed among commentators that Ghana’s performance management initiatives have not been successful or sustainable. The following have been identified as contributory factors to the failure of performance management initiatives to take roots in the Ghana Public Service;

The absence of a strong performance culture that relates performance to appropriate rewards or sanctions.

Focus on inputs ie budget, personnel and equipment more than on outputs and outcomes.  (ie input and process-orientation rather than results orientation.)

Lack of change champions to lead and sustain performance management initiatives and to build performance management culture.

Inappropriate institutional designs and formal rules that are not supportive of performance management practices. For example schemes of service which provide that progression on the corporate ladder be dependent more on tenure rather than on performance, and non-existent or insufficient budget to address performance related issues such as job related training or performance related pay.

Lack of performance orientation and insufficient accountability standards,

Weak planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes, Other institutional bottlenecks that might hamper effective implementation of performance management include the under-listed;

Management and staff apathy towards performance management was and will pose a real threat to any future initiative in the area of performance management and performance-related pay, unless properly managed.

It is also considered that many supervisors, in their bid to be considered by their subordinates as ‘nice’ are less willing to call a spade a spade when it comes to staff performance appraisal. This is a real threat to effective performance management, and this will make nonsense of a performance-related pay policy, unless properly managed.

The Public Service Hierarchy – in spite of the talk of decentralization and devolution the public service management system remains very centralized to the extent that the immediate boss does not have the carrot or the stick to ensure proper performance management. If this remains the case in a performance management regime then the system may not be effective. (Experience elsewhere has shown the negative side of devolution and this is why performance management and performance related pay policies need to be well thought out and not rushed)

The budget system at the moment does not make allowance for performance related pay arrangements.

Performance management as envisaged by ACT 737 represents a major paradym shift in the work culture of the Ghanaian Public Servant. Unless this is addressed effectively any initiatives in performance management will go the way of the CSPIPs before it.

Change in Government could also affect implementation and sustainability of performance management.  Although one may argue that Performance Management has become a statutory requirement, (by Act 737) different Governments may attach different levels of importance to it.

Real or perceived fragmentation or duplication of the performance management, monitoring and evaluation function is another threat to performance management in Ghana’s public service. Different central management agencies have, or claim to have PMM&E functions. Perceived or real role overlaps and conflicts can affect the effectiveness of performance management, if not well managed.

Performance management skills do not abound in many public organisations at the moment.  Training will be required to make performance management a reality.

Unlike the public service organization, the private sector organization is set-up to make profit and individual contribution to the annual revenue of the private company can more easily be demonstrated to the private sector worker than to his public sector counterpart. For this reason, performance management becomes more tangible to the management and staff of private sector organisations than to the management and staff of public sector organisations. As a result of this, Management and staff in public sector environments may not so easily recognize the importance of performance management and may therefore not promote it as vigorously as it is done in the private sector.

 



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