Assessment Of The Effectiveness Of Performance Appraisal Exercise In The Public Service

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1.1.            Introduction

Performance appraisal has become a strategic tool for improving organizational effectiveness. Performance appraisal exercise is often used interchangeably with performance assessment, evaluations, and performance review or employee appraisal. The significant role of performance appraisal in any establishment or organizations has become indispensable in terms of organizational success. The success of any organization is dependent on how well the performance of every employee is effectively appraised and managed. The performance appraisal is a unique and very important aspect of career development which entails a regular review of the performance of employees in the organization but doesn’t stop there but goes further to communicate feedback to the employees (Smith, 2007)

Public service in most countries, developed or developing are undergoing profound reorganization. They are trying to provide improved services in the same vein having to drastically downsize their work force in the face of major fiscal constraints emanating from the global economic meltdown. A significant reason of such restructuring in public administration is the need to reinvent governance, and enhanced services with fewer resources. One of the most popular instruments adopted for restructuring activities in civil services of most countries, today is Performance Appraisal System. This argument is in the light of the view of Wholey (1989), that strengthening government performance, improving the productivity, quality, timeliness, responsiveness and effectiveness of public services and programmes through performance appraisal is important to all, as beneficiaries of public service and as taxpayers.

Performance appraisal is a continuous process of assessing and measuring the inputs of every employee with a view to knowing their strengths and weaknesses and communicating the results back to the employees. Smith (2007) posited that performance appraisal is an activity which includes the assessment of individual or other level of performance to measure and improve performance that will help in attaining corporate objectives. Performance appraisal is a process that contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams to achieve high levels of organizational performance.(Oyewole, 2008)

Performance appraisal is a broad concept that covers quite a number of   activities that is connected to evaluate employees and improve their capability, skill, abilities through training and adequate rewards. To get the best out of every employees, it becomes imperative for organizations to have a continuous activities or programmes that will help in reviewing their performance and competence and thereby effection communications among work groups  in the organization

Daniels (2001) also acclaimed that Performance management is a systematic way of communicating to employees on what they are expected to do and what the performance parameters are. Managers can only satisfy employees on a job if they give employees what they deserve for their performance so far without making an attempt to exploit employees and pay them lower than expected. Performance appraisal through a good feedback mechanism as to a lager extent help employees to know how they are progressing within the public organization in carrying out their duties, tasks and responsibilities this feedback can be made available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

From past researches and findings, it has been observed that matching both rewards with output as a result of employee’s performance in an organization will commit employees more to the performance appraisal process and showing them that the completion of the performance targets and objectives will affect them directly. This will therefore make this research study to assess the effectiveness of performance appraisal exercise in the public service with a particular reference to Oyo State civil Service commission



Quite a number of challenges have been identified as confronting the effective and efficient practice of the performance appraisal system in the Nigerian public service. Observation shows that civil servants in Nigeria are generally lazy as many of them come late to work and absent from duties with files accumulated without being treated. Yet, these civil servants score very high in the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER). Primordial relations underscore every aspect of performance appraisal in the Nigerian Civil Service. The merit system index in performance appraisal is supposed to be objectively practiced and be the guiding principle in appointments and promotion, and this has not been so. The objectivity in appraisal system has been compromised as a result of ethnicity, nepotism and bribery.  Favoritisms in the Nigerian Civil Service are extended to ethnic bloc members, friends, relations and those generally known (Ajayi, 2001 and Ayo 1998).

Extant literature shows that performance appraisal is not properly practised in many public organizations in Nigeria, leading to pseudo reports on subordinates with grievous consequences on the system. These among other problems are what the researcher will probe into and make attempt towards finding possible solutions


This primary objective of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of performance appraisal exercise in the public service and other objectives include

(i) to examine the influence of the performance appraisal exercise on improvement of  employee  performance in the public service

(ii) to assess the factors affecting effective performance appraisal exercise in the public service

(iii) to Suggest possible recommendations that would enhance effective performance in the public service in Nigeria


Recently, the effectiveness of the Nigerian public service has become a subject of question. Therefore, this study will give an insight into the effectiveness of performance appraisal exercise in improving employee performance in the public sector. Efforts shall be made in this research work to reveal the various factors affecting the effectiveness of performance appraisal in the Nigerian public service and its effect on general employee performance and also, the study will suggest possible recommendations towards enhancing effective performance appraisal in the public service

This research study will beneficial to the officers public service commission, students in tertiary institutions and, the general readers, and students of various disciplines will also find the study useful as well as future researchers who may be interested in this kind of research work


This research study specifically deals an appraisal of the effectiveness of performance appraisal exercise in the public service with particular reference to the civil service commission, Oyo State. The investigation of the study will be conducted within the Oyo state civil service commission office, Ibadan


Ho: Reward oriented performance appraisal cannot serve as a viable means of employee motivation in the public service

Hi: Reward oriented performance appraisal can serve as a viable means of employee motivation in the public service

Ho:  There is no relationship between effective performance appraisal exercise and public service efficiency in Nigeria

Hi: There is relationship between effective performance appraisal exercise and public service efficiency in Nigeria

Ho:  Objective Feedback on employee performance appraisal exercise cannot influence employee performance in the public service

Hi: Objective Feedback on employee performance appraisal exercise can influence employee performance in the public service





Performance is the consistent ability to produce results over prolonged period of time and in a variety of assignments. Performance is multidimensional. Its elements include effectiveness, economy, efficiency, productivity, quality and behaviour. Performance can thus be tangible or behavioural


This is a judgment, assessment or evaluation of the value of something especially a formal one

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal is a continuous process of assessing and measuring the inputs of every employee with a view to knowing their strengths and weaknesses and communicating the results back to the employees.

Public Service

The  public service consists of the civil service – career staff whose appointment, promotion and discipline are under the exclusive control of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), national assembly service, the Judiciary, public officers in the military, police and paramilitary services, employees of parastatals, educational and health institutions.




The Civil service commission is a government agency that is constituted by legislature to regulate the employment and working conditions of civil servants, oversee hiring and promotions, and promotes the value of the public service. It role is roughly synonymous to that of the human resources.

The civil service commission is independent from elected politicians. Civil service commission is an independent body established by government to deal with establishment or personnel matter in the public service.

Function of civil service commission

i.          Establish rules and regulation:– To adopt amend or repeal rule for the administration of the civil service system.

ii.         Investigations:- To make investigations either upon complaint or upon its own motion concerning any matter of aching the administration of the civil service system.

iii.        Appeals:- the civil service commission shall prepared or cause to be prepared on written statement of fact, findings and recommendations on every appeal and shall transmit a duplicate there of to the person involved, and to the personnel officer.

Oyo State, popularly referred to as the “Pace Setter” is one of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It came into existence with the breakup of the old Western State of Nigeria during the State creation exercise in 1976 and it originally included Osun State, which was split off in 1991. Oyo State is homogenous, mainly inhabited by the Yoruba ethnic group who are primarily agrarian but have a predilection for living in high density urban centers.

The Oyo State Service Commission is empowered by Law to provide equity in employment, promotion and improvement in service delivery necessary to actualize the vision of the civil service of the state. The charter refocused on the commitment of the commission’s staff towards operational efficiency and effectiveness in rendering quality service to the inhabitants of Oyo State.

Its core functions are as derived from the constitution and relevant statutory provisions include the following:-

–      Recruitment and selection for the civil service including parastatals.

–      Appointment promotion and acting appointment of civil servants.

–      Disciplinary control in the civil/public service.

–      Retirement and removal of civil/public officers.

–      Protection of pension benefit.

–      Issuance of service regulations.

–      Administration of staff performance appraisal system.

–      Promotion of good governance, ethics and integrity in the public service in accordance with the provisions of the public service Ethics and code of conduct.

–      Human resource audit in the public service including local authorities.

–      Administration of civil service examination and occupational tests.


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