The University of Cape Town (UCT) employs a variety of performance management and reward and recognition systems for different levels and categories of staff. Over the years, regular internal reviews have taken place and numerous improvements were made.
However, feedback suggests that the current systems are still not achieving the desired results, namely, to motivate, develop and inspire staff; to align performance to the vision, goals and desired institutional culture; and to celebrate excellence, transformation and inclusivity. Excellence is a cornerstone of the university strategy, and it is essential that the performance management, reward and recognition system is grounded in this approach and fully supports the achievement of this objective.
In 2019 the University Human Resources Committee agreed to conduct an independent, consolidated and comprehensive review across all current performance management and reward and recognition systems, processes and policies; acknowledging the need for a unified, comprehensive and integrated solution. This review required investigation into each category of staff and function within the university, as each has its own unique dynamics which needed to be interrogated in order to build a solution that would align to the overall university strategy, while still incorporating specific solutions for each distinct staffing group.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was appointed in April 2019 to conduct this review, with the project being titled the Performance Management, Reward and Recognition System (PMRRS) review. It was carried out in two phases.
Phase 1 – Understanding the problem
The first phase commenced during COVID-19 and concluded in 2022. All staff were invited to take part in surveys, with the following findings:
We are very grateful to staff members who shared their views and experiences with us in the surveys.
Phase 2 – Creating the solution
The second phase commenced in 2022. It was incorporated as a stream within the work being conducted on the Integrated Talent Management Framework (ITMF), under the governance of the ITMF Steering Committee (SteerCom). This is a committee of the UCT executive.
Integrated talent management is the way people-related initiatives permeate throughout culture and performance of an institution. It includes practices, data and systems, where all three concepts intersect, relate to one another and balance one another. With integration comes synergy across all aspects of the institution that drives the employee experience. The UCT Integrated Talent Management Framework informs people practices across the university and will integrate into every aspect of UCT HR work. It provides an anchor to all people-related strategies.
Much work has been done to investigate, design and recommend various solutions, but what has become clear is that the best solution is reliant on several other moving parts. Under the ITMF framework, the following four principles underpin performance management and reward and recognition, and cannot be considered in isolation:
At this stage, reward and recognition and technology platforms are two of the moving parts that require considerable investigation, design and investment, and it is these that we will now move our attention and efforts to. The ITMF SteerCom will continuously provide oversight for this phase and the implementation process.
Human Resources Department
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