1.1 Background to the Study
Public sector management represents the set of processes and management relations which exist between the components of an administrative system by which the laws are put into force and/or the activities in the delivery of services satisfying public interest are planned, organized, coordinated, managed and supervised and this is saddled with the responsibility of satisfying the yearnings and needs of the citizenry. One of the ways of setting and achieving goals in public service sector is through personnel management. According to Man (2014), personnel management is the process of attracting, holding and motivating people. Thus, personnel management can be defined as a process of obtaining and intaining satisfied manpower capable of full utilisation at work with adequate retirement and separation plans.
Personnel are people who are employed by a company or organization to perform some kind of work. Personnel can, according to encyclopedia, (2009) vary from unskilled labourers hired to do daily contract work to highly skilled professionals such as doctors who staff a hospital. The importance of personnel in the attainment of organizational objectives cannot, according to Onah, in Ezeani and Nwankwo (2002) be over-emphasized. Accordingly, the critical processes of determining goals, making investment choices, directing work effort on a day-to-day basis, maintaining and servicing equipment and so on, fall squarely on the personnel of an organization. It therefore follows that people are the main instruments for the realization of organizational objectives. Management on the other hand is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals (Onyishi, Emem and Emeh, 2014). It comprises planning, organizing, Resourcing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.
The institute of personnel management defined personnel management as “that part of management concerned with people at work and their relationships within an enterprise. Its aim is to bring together and develop into an effective organization the men and women who make up an enterprise and having regard for the wellbeing of the individual and the working groups, to enable them to make their best contributions to its success. Niven in Ezeani (2002) upheld that “personnel management is the responsibility of all those who manage people as well as being a description of the work of those who are employee as specialist”. According to Onyishi, Eme and Emeh (2014), personnel management is a set of staff function but also a managerial responsibility.Personnel management is an extension of general management, prompting and stimulating every employee to make his fullest contribution to the purpose of the business. It is an advisory service and a staff activity with no obvious authority except that which arises from its terms of reference and the knowledge and skill of the adviser. It becomes organized as a function, that is, a body of duties brought together as the responsibility of one person and carried out wherever they occur in the establishment.
Cole (2002) observed that the expression personnel management refers primary to the activities of specialists’ staff responsible for implementing the key objectives of the organization in respect of its use of people (employees). Personnel have always had responsibilities towards the workforce, for an important part of their role is a concern for fair treatment, equitable payment and other aspects of importance to the employee stakeholders in the organization. Thus, the personnel role as distinguishable from the team leadership role, which is essentially about the harnessing of people’s efforts in the pursuit of organizational goals. Sharma and Sadana (2009) prefer personnel management as personnel administration and he observed and upheld that “personnel Administration is that branch of Public Administration which can help an organization in the management of personnel resources with the use of well thought out principles, practices and rationalized techniques in selecting, retaining and developing personnel for the fulfillment of organizational objectives systematically and scientifically. It is the art and science of planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating the personnel resources in any organization to ensure their best use for the achievement of the objectives, goals and targets of an organization.
The main objective of the personnel administration is the achievement of the goals of the organization. To achieve these goals, it must be ensured that the human resources are effectively utilized. This requires that the personnel agency should design and establish an organizational structure and an effective working relationship among all the members of an organization. The personnel administration must create a soothing environment for the employees to secure their integration so that they may feel a sense of involvement, commitment and loyalty to the organization. Specific objectives of personnel administration may be described as under: to enable each person to make his maximum personal contribution to the effective working of the organization; to ensure respect for human personality and the well-being of the individual; To ensure satisfaction of various needs of individuals for achieving their maximum contribution towards organizational goals. The importance of personnel administration has increased in recent times due to several reasons like rapid advancements taking place in technology requiring continuous development of human resources; large size of the modern organizations in the age of liberalization and globalization, long-range needs of manpower; high wage bills necessitating optimum use of manpower, and recognition of human aspect of organization.
Ubeku (1975) observed that we may examine personnel management from two different angles, first, as a function or responsibility of every manager or supervisor who has people under him all of whom are working towards the achievement of desired goals. Secondly, as a function in an organization which is performed by particular department, the personnel department. Deriving the above extract, there are challenges of the personnel departments of the public service and there problems which the staff encounter. On the basis of this, Ogunna (1996) referred to it as personnel challenges of the public service among which he outlined low pay, lack of adequate incentives and motivation, low prestige as local government employees are considered as rural officials with local status and rural image. Onah (2002) pointed out that political interference, the influence of ethnicity, favouritism and nepotism are other challenges in public service sector. Majorly, irregular payment of staff salaries and total absence of fringe benefits and physical working conditions which are usually very poor all impacts negatively on the personnel management.
From the foregoing, personnel management could also be defined as the effective utilization of human resources in an organization through the management of people and related activities. Therefore, in the school system, both students and personnel functions are performed by school administrators with a view to achieving the goals and objectives of the school. The objectives of school personnel management are: to plan and direct activities necessary to select and assign staffs. The best qualified individual staff and students; to provide opportunities for the growth in service for these individuals; and to maintain good interpersonal relationships (Orubuloye 2006). The primary objective of the school system, according to Nwagwu (2008), is to ensure effective teaching – learning process. For this objective to materialize, the school management must be able to plan, organize, direct, coordinate and control the activities of the staff and students in an atmosphere devoid of persistent and unresolved conflicts.
Therefore, personnel functions are over emphasized which includes recruiting selecting, training, developing assimilating and remunerating employees so that the organization aims ad objectives are attained. That is why Flippo (1984) looked at personnel management as the planning organizing directing and controlling of the procurement development compensation, integration, maintenance and separation of human resources to the end so that individual, organizational and societal objectives are accomplished effectively and efficiently
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Personnel management usually go beyond demand and supply of human resources in an organization. The existing problem in this department trigger to mal-functioning of the department. There are constrains such as individual geographical and racial background, occupational, cultural, industrial differences and legal influence on employment decisions which jeopardize their objective. It is this problem that necessitate this project. The nature of the man power resources that are available has considerable influence on the degree of success that a personnel manager experience in filling job vacancies.
The composition of the labour force and its distribution also effect such personnel function as supervision, bring benefits, wages and salary administration and union relation. Infact, there is probably no function of personnel management that is not influenced in some manner by man power hand. It is describable also to understand some of the changes that are taking place and their implication for personnel management.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objectives of this study is to investigate the challenges of personnel management in Nigeria public service. The specific objectives are to:
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide this study.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research study will be of great benefit to the whole enterprises both in the public and private sector. This is because the accomplishment of the objective as a personnel management is a key function in very organization which shows that the successful implementation of a development plan depends not just on the availability of financial and other capital inputs but more importantly on the adequate of trained man-power in the various occupation. Infact, the experience of most developing countries is that the shortage of skilled and executive man power could be a crucial constrains in the implementation of development projects.
It will also assist in man-power forecasting or predicting future requirement in personnel both in terms of demand and supply. This includes thorough assessment of the requirement for specific categories of man-power in the various activity areas of the organization which would include requirement to fill position in each man-power category as envisaged in a recruitment, fore casting, assuming no drastic changes in man-power mix, constrains and also requirements for meeting “wastage” through turn over, retirement, death, and promoting from one job to another. It also require an inventory of supply of various categories of man-power from all external sources as well as through internal sources including on the job training and upgrading.
The study will also be a great significant to the personnel department to identify the functions which includes motivation, employees to perform at standard, fostering good labour management relations, man-power planning, recruitment, selection and placement.
Other researcher who want to conduct research on this topic will also benefit from this study in carrying out their study.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
This study on the challenges of the personnel management in Nigerian public service focused on Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. It will be limited to the following departments: personnel/administration, financial/account department.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Personnel Management: This is activities of specialists’ staff responsible for implementing the key objectives of the organization in respect of its use of people (employees).
Public Service: This is a service provided to people by government through employees in public organization.
Challenges: This is term as the things that needed to be done in order for personnel management to enhance public service.