(Robbins and Judge 2013) defined motivation as, “the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward achieving a goal”. Abraham Maslow holds the view that people were motivated to achieve goals in order to satisfy their needs. According to the theory, some needs took precedence over others and within every person there exist a pyramid of five human needs and the lower level need must be satisfied before the other needs are met. Physiological and safety needs are the lower order needs that are satisfied by pay and extrinsic rewards while the higher order needs such as social, esteem and self-actualisation are needs satisfied within the individual. If one is deprived of any of the lower needs, they do not seek an interest in satisfying the high needs. However, Maslow stressed that once a need is greatly satisfied, it no longer acts as a motivator. (Robbins and Judge 2013).
Another theorist, Herzberg was concerned with the needs of employees at work and proposed a two factor theory termed motivation-hygiene theory. He stated that some factors result in satisfaction and some in dissatisfaction but removal of dissatisfactory factors does not caused satisfaction. He also argued that hygiene factors also known as dissatisfiers were those job factors which were required for motivation within any organisation and that they did not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term but if absent at the workplace could lead to dissatisfaction. “The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled”( Management Study Guide ,2008). As illustrated in figure 1, some of the hygiene factors identified were interpersonal relations, company policy and administration, supervision, salary and working conditions. The comparison of Maslow’s theory with Herzberg’s theory was also made.
Figure1: Maslow’s and Herzberg’s Ideas Compared
Robbins and Judge (2013:206) stated that, “If we want to motivate people on their jobs, Herzberg suggested emphasizing factors associated with the work itself or with outcomes directly derived from it, such as promotional opportunities, personal growth opportunities, recognition, responsibility, and achievement. These are the characteristics people find intrinsically rewarding.”
Khanka (2006:222) stated that, motivational tools are instruments that prompt people to action. Hence while using motivational tools, these should be adequate and capable enough to motivate employees to make their maximum efforts to accomplish the set goals. He believed that the tools used should be appropriate to motivate the individual based on their situation. He identified the tools into two categories monetary and non-monetary incentives. Examples of the monetary incentives would be salary, bonuses and retirement benefits. Non-monetary would be appreciation for work done, competition and opportunities for growth.
Arguably, Montana and Charnov (2008:235) also emphasised that employees that are highly motivated can increase productivity and job satisfaction while the opposite can lead to decrease in absenteeism, lateness and grievances.
Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory argues that people behaviour may depend on the expectation of the outcome or attractiveness. Therefore, employees will be motivated to exert a high level of effort when they perceive that the given outcome is beneficial and desirous by them (Robbins and Judge 2013:184)
The use of the internet and literature was used to give the researcher a better understanding of the theories linked to motivation. Having this understanding, the researcher designed a questionnaire to analyse employees’ feedback on their level of motivation within the work place. Observations were carried out to assess the ethical relationship among co-workers within their work environment. These resources allowed the researcher to collect the data needed, analyse the findings and make appropriate recommendations according to the organisational environment.
The research was conducted using primary and secondary data collection methods. The primary data collection used consist of observation and questionnaires while various literatures were reviewed from various publications to collect the secondary information. The Ministry has a staff compliment of one hundred and eighty, therefore questionnaires were distributed among forty-five employees at different levels of the Ministry during the month of October 2017, however only forty were completed and received. These questionnaires were distributed to lower level staff which included general workers, clerks and maintenance officers, mid-level management including technical officers and planners and top level management. To ensure the timely return of the questionnaires, this was done by departments in the researcher’s presence which allowed the respondents to clarify any queries. During this period, observations were made to determine the relationship among co-workers. A combination of open-ended and closed ended question were used to allow the respondent to provide feedback and explain their responses. Also, to allow the researcher to establish a better understanding of the respondent’s perceptions and better analyse the motivational tools needed at the Ministry.
Presentation of Findings
This section presents the findings from forty (40) respondents at various levels within the organisation. Figure 2 indicates the age group of workers that were temporary, appointed and also appointed and acting in a higher post at the Ministry of Housing and Lands. Out of the 40 respondents to the questionnaire, 6 were temporary, 22 were appointed and 12 were appointed and acting at the Ministry. 4 out of 6 temporary workers were between the age of 18 to 25 and the remaining 2 between the ages of 26 to 40. 7 out of 22 appointed employees were between the ages of 26 to 40, 14 out of 22 were between the ages of 41 to 60, 1/22 was over 60 years. 12 persons were appointed and also acting in their current post.
Figure 2: Results of Age group and Job status of employees
Figure 3 shows the findings of the number of years that the respondents were working in their current post. 17% of the respondents were working for less than 5 years, 33% of the respondents worked in their current post between 6 to 10 years and 50% of the respondents were working in their current post for over 10 years.
Figure 3: Number of Years in Current Post
The results for questions 5 to 18 are presented in figure 4 below which presents the number of employees that responding yes or no to the various questions.
Summary Table for Questions 5 to Question 18
Questions given to 40 employees
Do you enjoy working for the Ministry of Housing and Lands?
Do you know the Ministry’s mission statement?
Do you think you are motivated to perform your duties?
The salary increments given to employees motivates me
Financial incentives motivate me more than non-financial incentives
Are you satisfied with the salary you receive at present?
Are you satisfied with the physical working conditions at the workplace
Do you feel secure in your job?
Are you provided with sufficient working tools to get your job done efficiently?
Have you received any training to assist with performing your job
Were you given an opportunity to attend training programs?
Do employees receive recognition for good work done?
Do you have a good relationship with your co-worker?
Do you know what your supervisors/management think about your performance?
Figure 4: Summary Table for Questions 5 to Question 18
32 out 40 or 80% enjoyed working for the Ministry while 8 out of 40 or 20% did not. 12 out of 40 or 30% knew the Ministry’s mission statement while 30 out of 40 or 70% did not. 6 out of 40 or 15% were motivated to perform their duties while 34 out of 40 or 85% were not. 3 out of 40 or 8 % were motivated by salary increments while 37 out of 40 or 92% were not. 7 out of 40 or 18 % were not motivated more by financial incentives while 33 out of 40 or 82% were. 22 out of 40 or 55% were satisfied with their salary while 18 out of 40 or 45% were not. 23 out of 40 or 58% were satisfied with the physical working conditions while 17 out of 40 or 42% were not. 19 out of 40 or 48% felt secure in their job while 21 out of 40 or 52% were not. 26 out of 40 or 65% were provided with sufficient tools while 14 out of 40 or 35% were not. 8 out of 40 or 20% received training to assist with their job while 32 out of 40 or 80% did not.11 out of 40 or 28% were given an opportunity to attend training programs while 29 out of 40 or 72% were not. 9 out of 40 or 23% stated that employees receive recognition for good work done while 31 out of 40 or 77% did not. 21 out of 40 or 52% expressed having a good relationship with their co-workers while 19 out of 40 or 48 % did not. 13 out of 40 or 33% knew what they supervisors/managers thought about their performance while 27 out of 40 or 67% did not.
Figure 5 illustrates the frequency of response for the various factors that employees perceived would make their jobs more satisfying. 13 out of 40 or 33 % of respondents suggested training and career growth, 7 out of 40 or 17 % preferred incentives, 3 out of 40 or 7% stated better communication, 12 out of 40 or 30% stated job stability and 5 out of 40 or 13% stated working materials.
Figure 5: Respondents’ Factors for Job Satisfaction
Figure 6 illustrates the respondents’ opinion about the performance appraisal tool utilised at the Ministry. 7 out of 40 or 17 % expressed that it was not effective, 10 out of 40 or 25% said it was not often done, 4 out of 40 or 10 % expressed it was fair, 3 out of 40 or 7% said it providing them with feedback, 13 out of 40 or 33% expressed that it was time consuming and 3 out of 40 or 7 % did not respond to the question.
Figure 6: Respondents’ opinions on Performance Appraisal
In the open ended questions of the questionnaire the respondents were given the opportunity to provide suggestions to make their job more satisfying and state what dissatisfies them. Figure 7, illustrates the frequency of response for the various themes that employees found satisfying the most and dissatisfying the most about their job.
Figure 7: Respondents’ Satisfiers and Dissatisfies of the Job
4 out of 40 or 10% respondent were satisfied by the wellness and fitness program,15 out of 40 or 38% by salary,13 out of 40 or 33% by their relationship with their co-workers, 8 out of 40 or 20% seek satisfaction by completing their task.
9 out of 40 or 23% were dissatisfy by job security, 12 out of 40 or 30% by lack of appreciation shown for their work, 11 out of 40 or 28% by lack of training and 8 out of 40 or 20% give no response.
Figure 8, illustrates the reasons given for some respondents being dissatisfy with their salary.
Figure 8: Dissatisfactory Reasons
10 out of 40 or 25% respondents stated high cost of living, 3 out of 40 or 7% received inconsistent pay, 4 out of 40 or 10% were unable to cover basic expenses and 5 out of 40 or 13% complained about the increase in deduction of taxes from their salary were reasons given as to why respondents were dissatisfy with their salary.
Analysis of Findings
The analysis of the questionnaires revealed that 80 % of the respondents enjoyed working at the Ministry but only 6 % felt motivated to perform their duties. This disparity indicated a negative attitude towards work. Over 50 % of the respondents were working in their current post for over 10 years which implied that they were very familiar with the culture of the organisation. However, majority of the respondents (70 %) did not know the Ministry’s mission statement. This showed a weakness on Management part.
45 % of the respondents reported being dissatisfied with their current salary and expressed an increase. Despite this demand, 92 % of the of the respondents revealed that salary increments did not act as a motivator and 82 % revealed that they were more motivated by non-financial incentives. Applying Maslow’s theory, staff at the lower end of the salary scale specifically the general workers were concerned about their physiological needs being met. They vented the inability to cover basic expenses since they received less salary as a result of increase in deduction of taxes, the high cost associated with living and receiving inconsistent payments of salary at the end of their working period. In agreement with Herzberg, this desire for some workers to have an increase in salary implied that this hygiene factor was not adequately satisfied and prevented motivation from occurring.
The researcher agrees with the application of Maslow’s theory to the extent that once these lower level needs remain unmet, work decisions were affected by salary. This becomes of great significance for management because these factors help contributed to the low staff morale in the organisation as indicated by the 85 % of the respondents who reported not feeling motivated to perform their duties. However, as Herzberg argued, although salary was a contributing factor that lead to dissatisfaction in the work place, eliminating the issues with the factor may please people but not necessarily improve performance.
Observations at the work place and analysis of the questionnaires also revealed that management had adapted to some of the changing needs of the staff and implemented programs. The introduction of the wellness and fitness program were one of the things mentioned that satisfied staff the most about their jobs. It is evident here, that the Ministry had catered to the social needs of the staff to make them feel valued and accepted in the organisation. This motivational tool contributed to employee engagement and foster social connections satisfactory to 10 % of the respondents. Also, 52 % of the respondents enjoyed working with their peers and 58 % were satisfied with the physical working conditions. The researcher therefore concludes these baseline factors, working conditions and interpersonal relations have been satisfied and created the foundation to foster motivation. This perception is in accordance with Herzberg theory.
Despite these efforts on management part, training ranked high among the reasons that respondents were dissatisfied with their jobs with 48 % of respondents expressing a level of insecurity and 72 % not given the opportunity to attend training courses. In addition, majority of the respondents, 85 % were appointed and 30 % of those were acting in higher job post. This should have created a level of job security for the Ministry but respondents indicated uncertainty. This caused the researcher to conclude that other influences (political, environmental or labour changes) affected the staff’s perception. When asked what would make their jobs more satisfying, 33 % expressed training and career growth.
The intrinsic motivator, recognition was also poorly expressed and did not satisfy the psychological need of 77 % of the respondents. These critical factors were necessary for the efficiency of work and should be of concern to management as it contributed to the hindrance of motivation. If left unattended, it could affect good performance and cripple the Ministry.
The irregular utilisation of the performance appraisal system contributed to low morale of the respondents. This is evident by the 25 % who expressed that performance appraisals were not often done and 33 % revealed a negative view that it was time consuming.
The researcher recognises that only some of the findings were in alignment with the research theories because some needs like social needs were met while the lower level needs such as job security remained unmet. This contradicted Maslow’s theory and highlights that people have several needs to be met at the same time and not always in the hierarchical order that Maslow describe. Some motivational tools were present at the Ministry but rarely used such as the performance appraisal and not sufficient to motivate the esteem and self- actualisation needs of all staff.
Recommendations and Implementation
Based on the research and analysis and considering the organisational culture several recommendations to improve the morale of staff have been suggested which requires little or no financial cost. Training, correct and consistent utilisation of the performance review and development system, employee recognition and the implementation of incentive programs are all recommended to be used as motivational tools.
Local in-service training is recommended in an effort to boost staff’s self-esteem and assist them with job security through the updating of their skills and knowledge. The Ministry’s skills set can be analysed and officers recommended for training with the Training Administration Division which offers their services free of cost to public servants. All staff should also be invited to visit their website at https://www.gov.bb/government-main/state-bodies/training-administration-division/ and periodically encourage to apply for training courses especially since these will soon be accredited. This ensures that all staff has fair access to training in order to meet their educational needs. However, some employees may be reluctant to use this option for various reasons.
Mandatory training is also recommended for all staff to refresh their knowledge with the performance review and development system of the public service. A request should be made to Public Sector Reform to facilitate this free training. Management and supervisors should be trained first to ensure that they can answer any questions that the subordinates may have. A minimum of two representatives from each department can participate in the workshop until all of the staff participates. This should be implemented and completed within a three-month period. This provision allows staff to confirm their role within the Ministry, gain a better understanding and appreciation for the system and creates employee involvement. Consistent performance appraisals with feedback from both management and employees would then be evident. However, some employees might be introverts and choose not to fully engage in the process.
In an effort to boost morale, recognition, praise and showing appreciation for a job well done should be used as motivational tool to satisfy the staff’s emotional needs. This perception is supported by Maslow who argued that people have a need to be accepted and valued by others as they seek self-respect. Verbal and written recognition in the form of thank you notes, announcements at staff meetings, congratulation messages placed on notices boards and advertising using the internal email blast can be produced internally thereby costing nothing to implement. However, the drawback to this is that some people may prefer a tangible reward.
Applying Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory once staff is aware that their inputs or efforts are being rewarded they will be motivated to receive the outcome. Transparency of all incentives is essential for it to be used as an effective motivational tool. The research building a team including representatives from the general staff to decide on the recommended reward schemes. Some suggestions include rewards for different categories such as outstanding performance, punctuality and achieving set goals within the given timelines.
In this regard, the Ministry could implement an internal employee appreciation award for staff. Some reward ideas would be to invest in trophies, plaques and gift vouchers and other memorabilia. Gift vouchers can be for the supermarket, lunch or dinner, spa or gas vouchers.
However, to accomplish a successful incentive program, the support from employees will be needed. It is important to bear in mind that there would be criticism once change of any kind has being implemented.
The annual budget would include costing for this approximating around $20,000 per year. However, Blades trophy world’s catalogue was used as a guide towards these prices.
Approximate costing for implementing tangible rewards per person are calculated below:
Cost per trophy $20.00
Cost per plaque $100.00
Voucher per person $100.00
Catering @ $50.00 per person
Decorations @ $250.00
The Ministry would utilise the decorating skills of staff to further build team spirit. This also reduces the overall cost towards a small internal award function.
Based on the analysis of the research conducted, it was revealed that in an effort to further improve morale and boost morale necessary implementation of more motivational tools were needed for the successful growth and development of the Ministry. The work itself was not challenging to motivate all staff and there was no one best solution to follow as management must be aware of the internal and external factors that affects changes within their organisation and impact on their employees. Once the recommendations are implemented it would lead to employees being motivated to work thereby creating a more positive work environment and benefiting the entire Ministry.