The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) on Wednesday launched a policy document–Performance Management System Handbook– to ensure professionalism and efficiency in the University operations.
The policy document is also line with government’s public sector reforms agenda and specifically aims at advancing professionalism and systematic operations at the public facility.
Presiding over the official launch, the University’s Council Chair, Dr Andrew Daudi said the policy document will provide a conducive environment to all MUST employees in all the departments, to work at their full potential.
He said the Performance Management Handbook falls under their mandate as articulated in the MUST Act No 31, Section 9(1) that the Council “shall be “responsible for the management and administration of the University, its property and revenues, and shall exercise general control and supervision over all the affairs of the University”.
“The Handbook is a very important tool when it comes to staff performance, which will lead to the University being efficient and professional in its operations.
“The Handbook demands that before anything else, employees and their supervisors should agree on what needs to be done within a particular year and in line with the University’s strategic plan; targets.
“This is deliberately so to create a spirit of working together at the same time and same speed between individual employee efforts in various departments and the overall goal of the institution. It also sets an accountability platform for the two officers to ensure that the assessments are not only fair but are agreeable to both parties,” said Daudi.
The Handbook will also ensure that all employees are given necessary resources to execute their duties properly as agreed with their supervisors.
“We do not want to see employees failing to perform because management deliberately withheld the necessary tools for one to achieve.
“The Handbook again realises that no matter how good an employee can be; And no matter how much resources management can put at their disposal, some are likely to be lacking in some aspects of their job. For these, the Handbook recommends that such employees’ performance gaps be tracked, identified and addressed by building their capacity. This is done through further training, refresher courses and many other interventions that management deems fit,” he explained.
On his MUST Registrar, Tarsizius Nampota said with Handbook, the University’s employees would be “accountable to our clients and masters”.
“As an institution that boasts excellence and doing business unusual, we are committed to taking a headlong plunge into the unchartered waters.
“We want to be among the pioneers to implement the Public Sector Reforms because we believe we have no excuse for doing otherwise. This University was established for specific purposes, some of which being increasing national access to higher learning institutions for our secondary school leavers, and providing high quality and meaningful education to the nation,” said Nampota.
He also described the Handbook as robust, claiming it that it considers almost all aspects that are required for employees to deliver quality service.
“Suffice to say that as a new University, our employees have come from different institutions scattered all over the country. Some of them have come with the right performance mentality and, as is always the case, others have come with infectious wrong mentalities towards work. Before the two mentalities contaminate each other—and I have to emphasise that in most cases, if left unchecked, the wrong mentality is usually dominant—so there is no better time than now for management to give direction for the desired organisational culture,” he stated.
He then assured the Council that they will do everything as management to ensure that the document is implemented.
“On the part of management, the Handbook eases its performance management task as everything is well outlined that no-one will have an excuse for failure. What I like most about this, is that the employees will work closely with their supervisors throughout the appraisal process.
“Employees will be told about their performance periodically within a year so that when the final verdict comes, they would have already looked at catch-up measures either at quarterly or mid-term reviews. This will minimise employee complaints against supervisors or management,” said Nampota.
Nampota also disclosedthat more policies are being developed to ensure that their work is not only properly guided but also allows creativity and innovation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :