An evaluation of the staff appraisal practices at the Lesotho College of Education (LCE)
Khachane, Palo Gabriel
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Performance appraisal (PA) is a management concept that is meant to improve individual and, concomitantly, organisational performance. Although performance appraisal systems have come under a plethora of criticism, they continue to be a platform of human resource management and development systems. Performance appraisals are utilised in an attempt to measure employee performance in organisations. Oftentimes the outcomes of these appraisals affect the employee’s retention, promotion, or salary. An effective performance appraisal system should improve the morale, motivation, and overall productivity of an organisation by identifying employees’ strengths and addressing areas that need improvement. This research study presents an investigation in as far as the evaluation of the staff appraisal practices at the Lesotho College of Education (LCE) are concerned. The methodology employed in this investigation includes a literature study on human resource management and development; performance management; and performance appraisal in the context of higher education. An opinion survey among academic staff was undertaken by means of semi-structured interviews and a quantitative closed-ended questionnaire with enhancement by means of qualitative, open-ended questions. The results of the survey were finally interpreted in terms of four research questions pertaining to the problem being investigated. Despite the strengths of the staff appraisal practices identified at the LCE, there are also critical weaknesses in the appraisal system such as poor communication between supervisors and subordinates. The researcher therefore concluded that the staff appraisal practices at the LCE are undoubtedly problematic in nature and can, at best, only be partly effective. Finally, a number of recommendations were formulated under the following five headings: Design, Policy Formulation and Documentation of the system; Dissemination of the system; Implementation of the system; Staff Development; and Review of the system.