Anchoring human resource management to sustain employee performance at johannesburg metropolitan municipality

Samuel Sixpence, Roslyn de Braine, Mark Bussin, Morris Mthombeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orientation: Practices employed to manage the human resources at Johannesburg (JHB) Metropolitan Municipality were explored to unearth their impact on employee performance. Research purpose: The study sought to reveal the human resource management (HRM) practices that could support employee performance at local government. The motivation for the study: The achievement of organisational goals depends on HRM practices that enhance employee competencies. Employee performance in municipalities is often considered to be substandard. This study aimed to strengthen HRM practices to enhance performance at JHB Metropolitan Municipality. Research approach/design and method: The qualitative inquiry adopted an interpretive stance to reveal participants’ experiences that relate to employee performance. Ten participants were identified purposively and the obtained data were analysed with the assistance of the Atlas.ti software. Main findings: Whilst the organisation’s employee-attraction practices were strong, its retention practices were weak. Employees generally felt undervalued, which negatively affected their morale and the organisation’s goal attainment. Practical/managerial implications: The organisation should introduce effective employee-retention strategies, focussing on thorough needs analyses, skills development and rewards linked to performance. Building employee commitment should be prioritised. Study contribution: Human resource management effectiveness in the Johannesburg Municipality would be enhanced by appropriate soft HRM investment in senior management either through recruitment or development or both. Furthermore, the municipal culture should change from HRM practices that are influenced by tradition to an adaptive approach that responds to public-sector dynamics and varying employee expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1611
JournalSA Journal of Human Resource Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Employee performance
  • Human resource management
  • Organisational goals
  • Public-sector dynamics
  • Soft HRM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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