The study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the Staff Performance Appraisal System of Ghana Health Service, a case study of Manhyia District Hospital. Specific objectives of the study cover measurement of employees understanding of the objectives of the appraisal system, its process and procedures. Also, the study measures employees perception of the appraisal system, how it has been able to identify employees strengths and weakness and finally finds out whether all set objectives are achieved. The study population was the entire staff of Manhyia District Hospital totaling 221. The researcher used sample size of 52% and obtained data using a eleven-sectioned self completed questionnaire and interviews. Data presentation and discussions were supported with bar and line graphs, pie chart and tables to make the whole work easy to read and understand by all and sundry. The study revealed that the Staff Performance Appraisal exercise was not given the seriousness it deserves. Again, majority of the staff have knowledge of the performance appraisal system in the hospital and agreed that the system establishes key objectives, so the researcher recommended improvement in communication and introduction of training programmes highlighting the relevance of performance appraisal and its structures.



1.1 Background of the Study

Performance Appraisal is a major subject of controversy in management circles. While business leaders see the need for appraisal systems, they are frequently disappointed in them. One of the responsibilities of management is to ensure that an organization functions effectively and efficiently. In order to achieve these goals, managers must be able to determine and assess performance levels of both an organization and its individual employees (Kurt 2004).

Modern businesses depend upon measurement and analysis of performance. Measurements must derive from the company’s strategy and provide critical data and information about key processes, outputs and results. Data and analysis support a variety of company purposes, such as planning, reviewing company performance, improving operations, and comparing company performance with competitors’ or with ‘best practices’ benchmarks (Averson, 1998).

1.2 Historical Background of Performance Appraisal in Ghana  Health Service

As part of the Ghana Health Service human resource management responsibilities, the procedure for evaluation of staff performance in Ghana Health Service was done by using standardized Civil Service forms and processes for conducting staff performance appraisal.

Members of staff were to be assessed once a year. In order to focus performance appraisal on performance improvement and less on promotion, the Ghana Health Service developed its own performance appraisal process in the year 2003. The purpose of the new process was to evaluate staff performance quarterly, for which staff were to set their own objectives quarterly and monitor their achievements at the end of each quarter in a year. This approach was piloted in Ashanti Region, Eastern Region and Brong Ahafo region in Ghana.

An evaluation of this quarterly appraisal system also revealed that though helpful and better than the Civil Service annual appraisal system, the quarterly one was too cumbersome and time consuming. In 2006, the revised Staff Performance Appraisal (SPA) was introduced by Ghana Health Service where objectives are set annually but with an abbreviated six months review of performance activities. At present, this is what is being used in the Ghana Health Service.

Though, it is fairly easy to prescribe how the performance appraisal process should work, descriptions of how it actually works in practice could be rather discouraging. This study is therefore meant to assess the effectiveness of the Performance Appraisal System in Ghana Health Service, a case study of Manhyia District Hospital.

1.3 Statement of the problem

Performance appraisal provides a good opportunity to formally recognize employees’ achievements and contributions to the organization, and to ensure that a clear link is established and maintained between performance and reward. Employees of Ghana Health Service in recent times have been accused of high level of inefficiencies in the discharge of their duties by the general public. However, it was recently that research had revealed the deplorable working conditions under which health professionals’ work. Poor infrastructure, inadequate logistics and equipment, poor remuneration and inadequate reward system have always led to the low level of public confidence and respect in the health institutions.

The situation had further resulted in ripple effects of poor performance, low morale and lack of discipline in the service vis-a-vis the theories on performance appraisal. Given the challenges earlier enumerated to be facing employees in Ghana Health Service, particularly employees of Manhyia District Hospital in the Ashanti Region, performance appraisal offers a valuable opportunity to recognize and reward employees’ efforts and performance, detect key barriers and identify professional developmental needs and opportunities. It provides valuable feedback and instruction to employees and gives managers and supervisors a useful framework from which to assess the employees’ staff’s performances.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

An effective performance appraisal programme would assist an organization to achieve its goals and objectives. It would lead to enhanced communication, employees professional development, improved employee morale and help identify training needs of the employees. A well-developed staff are more likely to be proactive, productive and resourceful, all of which help give the organization a competitive edge from improved customer relations to increased profits.

  • The main objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the Performance Appraisal (SPA) system in Ghana Health Service at Manhyia District Hospital.
  • Specific objectives for the study were to find out:
  1. To measure employees’ understanding of the objectives of the appraisal system, its processes and procedures at Manhyia Hospital.
  2. To find out whether the appraisal system at Manhyia Hospital is achieving the objectives.
  3. To measure employees perception of the appraisal system at Manhyia Hospital.
  1. To find out how the performance appraisal system has been able to identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses and programmes put in place to address weaknesses and reward performance.

1.5 Research questions

The following research questions formed the basis upon which the study was conducted:

  1. What is the level of employees’ understanding of the objectives of the appraisal system, its processes and procedures at Manhyia Hospital?
  2. How is the appraisal system at Manhyia Hospital achieving the objectives?
  1. What is the perception of employees of the appraisal system at Manhyia Hospital?
  2. Is the performance appraisal system able to identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses?

1.6 Significance of the study

This study would bring to light employees understanding and appreciation of the performance appraisal system and the relevance of an objective, systematic and effective performance appraisal. Also, it would contribute to knowledge and literature because it would focus on how performance appraisal can be more effective which would enable management to develop a broader understanding of human resource management process. Further, it would provide information for human resource practitioners on how rules and regulations regarding performance appraisal work in hospitals and develop the necessary programmes to address weaknesses and reward performance.

1.7 Scope of the Study

One of the facilities of Ghana Health Service is Manhyia Hospital with the responsibility of providing preventive and curative health service in the Manhyia Submetro. This study thus focuses on performance appraisal as human resource activity in Manhyia District Hospital in Ashanti Region; policy issues are thus not reviewed.

1.8 Overview of Research Methodology

The researcher employed a methodology to achieve the objective of the study based on both primary and secondary data from Manhyia Hospital. Furthermore, the researcher focused on the population, sample size and sampling procedures, research instrument; administration of questionnaire to the senior and junior staff targeting population using non-random sampling, specifically, convenience sampling.

Data collected via questionnaire for the primary data were collated and analyzed using the appropriate statistical techniques such as distribution tables, which were culminated into bars and pie charts via the Microsoft Excel Software. Furthermore, information such as specific comments and issues raised by respondents, were analyzed and summarized into tables

1.9 Limitation of the Study

The researcher finds that the time span within which to complete this work may not be enough to allow for a comprehensive study of the research area. Again the study was constrained because of the researcher’s inability to access some information he considers important for the study.

1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one embodies the general introduction to the study, the objective of the study, specific objectives, statement of the problem, research questions, scope, organization of the study and the significance of the study. In chapter two, the works of some authors pertaining to the concept of appraisal are reviewed, bearing in mind the objective of the study. Chapter three provides information on the methodology for the study. It looks at the study design, the study population, and the sampling techniques used. It also provides information on the data collection methodology and analysis procedures.

The fourth chapter reports on the findings obtained from the field study. It describes the background of the respondents, the issues relating to effectiveness of performance appraisal, the identifiable constraints that affected the appraisal system in the service and how to solve them. The concluding fifth chapter summarizes the salient trends and ends with suggestions and recommendations necessary for the attainment of an effective performance       appraisal         system        in        the    Ghana    Health               Service.