Organisations that want to improve performance and productivity can do so through leveraging their most valuable resource, its people. In order to obtain superior performance from human resources, companies have to offer training and development opportunities to employees. The significance of this study is to inform organisations about the important of leadership styles, employee’s performance and about the skills shortage in the footwear industry in South Africa. The core problem this study seeks to address is the important of leadership styles on employee’s performance. The mixed research method was employed. The purposive sampling was used to select the participants from Dick Whittington Shoes (Pty) Ltd questionnaires, focus group interviews and document reviews were used to gather data. The findings of the study show that the human resource manager is facing a serious challenge from employees, which is a higher rate of absenteeism this hamper the performance of the organisation. The study found that the majority of employees lack skills. In addition, the footwear industry find it difficult to find employees with relevant skills. The organisation will re-employ employees that have taken early retirement on the contract bases precisely because they find it hard to find incumbent with skills. The study recommended the need for a proper framework on continuous training and development of employees in the footwear industry in South Africa. Secondly, the public-private partnership with universities to bridge the skills gap and improve the gross domestic product in South Africa.
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