The increase in targets to improve service delivery in the public sector is demotivating staff and failing to achieve its aims, claims a Government watchdog.
An Audit Commission report recommends that targets are cut to give staff greater autonomy and freedom to concentrate on the quality of service delivery.
Marie Cleary, HR manager at Poole Hospital NHS Trust, said: "The Government should be more sympathetic and stop beating us around the head with performance management targets and publicising them when we don't meet them."
The report also finds that the increased use of the private sector to deliver public services has hit morale among public sector employees who are having to work alongside private sector staff on different terms.
Public sector employers must communicate the value of their reward package to staff, including final salary pension schemes, so employees are aware of the benefits of working in the sector.