The Employment Equity Act of 1998 was brought in to commit employers to eliminate unfair discrimination in the work place. The Act provides helpful guidelines for employers on the implementation of measures to grow and advance “Employment Equity employees”: African, Coloured and Indian, Women and people with disabilities (“EE employees”). With training and information, employers have become aware that having racial, gender and disability diversity is key to business growth and development.
As with all other employees, EE employees’ performance management is important in tracking whether the employer’s employment equity objectives are met.
Generally, performance management involves monitoring and measuring what employees do on a daily basis with the goals, values, culture and business objectives of the employer. From the onset, there has to be common understanding between the employer and employee about what is to be achieved, how and the implications on the employee if it isn’t achieved.
The first thing to think of when implementing performance management systems for EE employees is that the employer needs to have a clear objective and a system that clearly sets out the criteria according to which performance will be measured. This criteria needs to be applicable holistically and consistently amongst all employees. In this process, employers need to be trained to change their mindsets from viewing performance management as a way to punish employees to viewing it as a process that assists in development and growth.
There are benefits to having consistent and sustained performance management systems. A few of them are that:
Employees grow a will to succeed and perform better on an individual level;
Because most of the time employers set rewards for employees based on their performance, a clear performance management system of EE employees will motivate employees to meet expectations set out by the employers.
It will assist the employer in identifying areas of unfair discrimination and ensure that action is taken to put an end to the discrimination.
Through performance management employers will identify where employees need training or skill development, enabling them to offer assistance to employees for them to effectively perform in their positions or possibly grow into more senior positions.
When employees see the growth effect that performance management has on them, they are more likely to invest their time with the employer and remain with the employer for long periods.
We understand that performance management in respect of EE employees is not an easy process. It requires an understanding by the employer that each employee is unique. To be successful in performance management of EE employees in a non-discriminatory and fair manner, employers will have to receive training on diversity to ensure objectivity and sensitivity to employee differences. It is also vital that employers get a third party to, every now and then, review their policies and systems to ensure that they are compliant at all times with the EE Act.
This subject remains a critical challenge for many employers in South Africa- a problem we seek to assist our clients with.
For further information and assistance on employment equity please contact Myers Attorneys on 011 346 2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at www.myersattorneys.co.za