Performance Management Strategies and Employee Productivity in the ministry of Water and Irrigation in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Njagi, Caroline Njeri
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Economies all over the world strive to maximize the resources for output. Labor productivity has been a challenge for both developed and developing economies. Studies have shown that African and South Asian countries have scored very lowly in labor productivity. Further studies have shown that Sub-Saharan Africa was the worst in labor productivity of the two continents. The public sector in comparison with the private business world is faced with various challenges in measuring productivity. However, the government has gradually adopted private sector practices to measure and boost employee productivity. Considering human resources as a vital asset to achieve organizational goals and objectives has proven beneficial. Human capital gives organizations a competitive edge. Research has shown that human resource strategies and practices affect performance/employee productivity in an organization. The study focused on four performance management strategies (remuneration, promotion, physical work environment, and training) to employee productivity in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation Headquarters, Nairobi City County, Kenya. The Ministry headquarters is mandated to provide policy guidelines to the water sector in Kenya. The theories that guided the study were; Herzberg's two-factor theory, expectancy theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. Research design adopted was Descriptive. The study population was 200 employees from middle-level management and lower-level/junior cadres. The study adopted Yamane (1967) formulae to derive a sample size of 133 respondents. A semi-structured questionnaire to collect primary data was used. Quantitative data was analyzed using tables, charts, standard deviation and mean. Data drawn from Likert scale questions were analyzed using a computer program, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Content analysis was used for open-ended questions. The research findings and recommendations were beneficial to the entire public service, Ministry of Water and Irrigation management and staff, and to the field of academics for further research. The study findings indicated that there was a correlation between the dependent variable and the independent variables. However, this differs in various degrees. Remuneration and promotion had a great impact on employee productivity. The two variables had a significant impact on employee productivity with β values (0.731) and (β=0.516) respectively. On the other hand, training and physical working environment affect employee productivity positively as employees agreed that their skills are well-matched with duties they perform, and 75% of the respondents said there is a training plan in place in the Ministry. The physical working environment for the employees is conducive with the requirements being supplied like clean drinking water, absence of noise, furniture, ventilation, lighting, and acoustic environment to work in. The study recommended that there be clear guidelines on the salary review that reflects the current living standards and rationalizes salaries across the Public Service. Also, there is equality in the provision of non-financial benefits like transport, mortgage facilities, and medical services. The study further recommended that the inexistence promotion guidelines be strictly followed to ensure fairness and enhance productivity. Also noted was the need to follow the training projections done to train staff. The respondents noted other factors that affect their productivity, such as corruption, discrimination, sexual harassment, lack of internet and Wi-Fi, and absenteeism. The study suggested further research be undertaken to investigate other factors represented by 24.8% affecting productivity in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.