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Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998)

Code of Good Practice

Integration of Employment Equity into Human Resource Policies and Practices

Part B : During Employment

14. Performance Management


14.1 SCOPE


Performance management is a business process that is used to monitor, measure and link what employees do on a continuous basis with the goals, values, culture and business objectives of the employer. It is a process intended to establish a shared understanding about what is to be achieved; how it is to be achieved; and the implications where it is not achieved. This includes clarifying the expectations that the employer has of the employee.


Performance management also involves the training and development of employees.




14.2.1 Discrimination in work assignments and performance measurement is more difficult to detect and difficult to prove without an objective, written system that clearly expresses criteria according to which performance will be measured and managed.


14.2.2 The manner in which the performance of an employee is managed may impact on the value that the employee adds to the workplace. It may also impact on how peers perceive the performance and advancement of an employee and on the support received by that employee. Performance management should not be a punitive process, but rather one that facilitates setting clear objectives for development and growth. Providing opportunities for development for employees from designated groups is a critical challenge for many employers.




14.3.1 In order to effectively manage performance in a non-discriminatory and fair manner that encourages development, an employer should ensure that managers: receive coaching and diversity training to ensure that they are able to objectively and consistently manage performance and provide honest feedback whilst being sensitive to employee differences; understand and are able to properly implement the performance management system; and are able to provide the necessary coaching, mentoring and support to employees to motivate them towards performance excellence.


14.3.2 Performance management systems could in addition: Measure and incentivise managers for their leadership, mentoring and diversity skills, as well as for achieving employment equity objectives; Incorporate review processes, which may apply measures relating to competencies of managers in diversity management, including feedback from employees and peers; Develop clear learning objectives for all employees, particularly from designated groups. This should link to the acquisition of additional skills and competencies for challenging positions into which employees may be promoted or transferred; and Ensure that the performance management system is linked to the inherent requirements of the job and is free of any unfair discrimination.


14.3.3 Employers should review the results of performance appraisals to assess if there are any significant variations across designated groups. Where such variations exist, employers should identify the reasons for these discrepancies and take action to remove them.




14.4.1 Working environment - a consistent and sustained performance management culture may impact on the integration and retention of employees from designated groups. It may also have implications for issues that go beyond performance and productivity, e.g. elevating employee morale, which in turn leads to productive employees and a more enabling workplace.


14.4.2 Remuneration - because performance management is linked to reward, it would be useful for employers to conduct an analysis of the distribution of increases and/or bonuses paid to employees that can be attributed to performance outcomes. This will enable the identification of areas of potential unfair discrimination and ensure that action is taken to eliminate barriers.


14.4.3 Skills development - effective and regular performance management may facilitate the identification of training and development needs, which may be addressed through appropriate interventions. These will enable an employee to effectively perform in the existing position or to develop into a more challenging position.


14.4.4 Retention - If performance management is linked to employee development and growth, it will impact significantly on an employer's ability to retain its employees.