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Human Capital management is a vital component in any successful business (SOURCE).

Essay Topic: ,

ABSTRACT

This is a study of the various approaches that can be implemented to improve staff performance and how these affect the employee’s motivation, and the organisation’s aims. Staff training, and the management of staff, remains a highly debated topic in the business market; different employees have different attitudes towards work, different commitments, and different abilities. These differences influence the way an individual functions in a work environment, and can determine how successful a business is at attaining their objectives.

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This study aims to analyse the particular approaches employed of Human Resource management to motivate their staff to work hard and productively.

The study will assess the various theories of “employee recognition”, as well as the different modes of this, the mode that is chosen by staff, and the modes which attain the best results.

The research will then look to investigate motivational systems, such as rewards, and recognise this as a consequence from this approach. The different reward and motivation models can affect the staff member’s perception of the business and their role within it. The study will look into how the reward system can motivate staff members to improve their efficiency at work. The study will then look at the possible challenges of reward systems, and the ways that these risks can be managed.

This research will then analyse the various ideas to motivate staff members, and the restrictions of these ideas. It will contrast the reward systems with motivation to comprehend the relationship between the two systems.

Additional targets are to locate the elements which improve and motivate staff, to comprehend the way in which these reward systems can develop the staffs productivity, as well as to gain knowledge of the ways in which these systems can develop the business’s overall productivity.

The approach taken to answer the above questions was a survey carried out upon staff members of the Royal Mail. The results of this survey were studied through the application of several key research approaches which will be given in Chapter Three.

Overall, this study shows that the improvement of staff members’ motivation and work environment, in which they are recognised and made to feel important to the business, results in better performances at work. Thus, organisations must make sure that suitable systems are in place to motivate and reward their staff.

Yet, these systems must be in balance with the business’s aims. This is because not all individuals are the same, and organisations will have to make sure that there is not one “generic approach” implemented in the organisation.

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1. BACKGROUND

The 21st century business market is a place in which there is a huge demand for efficient Human Resource management. Every company is only as strong as its workforce, and thus, HR and Human Capital management is a vital component in any successful business (SOURCE). The influences upon staff performance can be external: the threat of rival businesses, or internal: the degree of organisational ability. Human Capital management is responsible for the organisation of a business’s resources, and the handling of environmental aspects. As Marchinton and Wilkinson (2008) describe: “businesses that do not adopt efficient human resources management are likely to fail.”

In recent times, organisations have implemented and applied a variety of different studies into the ways that HR can achieve better levels of performance from their staff, as well as how this can lead to market dominance in the future (SOURCE). The factors that are considered in these studies are often: the recruitment and handling of talented workers, training systems, reward systems, and the motivational factors provided to motivate workers (SOURCES). The motivational systems can vary from business to business; while in every company staff are required to work hard and reach specific targets, the different companies have to apply different motivational systems to accommodate the differences in employee personality and attitudes. As Porter et al. (2006) state: “those behaviours are influenced by the dynamics of environmental occurrences and their personal philosophy.”

Thus, the relationship between an individual’s attitude and his working climate is what establishes the motivation for the staff member to attain their set aims. Yet, Adair (2004) §claims “motivation arises as a result of the internal urge to attain certain goals.” Therefore, if a staff member is affected by his own interests, or by his external environment, the member’s desire to achieve these goals is influenced by their “intrinsic motivations or materialistic gains as in the cases of extrinsic motivation” (Adair, 2004). The “Theory X&Y” is equal with internal as well as external motivational factors.

Ouchi established the “theory Z” which indicates that staff members will be more productive in an environment that offers the worker “a less intrusive control structure complemented with formal processes” (Mullins, 2010). The statement here suggests that a combination of management measures must be implemented to manage the intrinsic and extrinsic staff behaviour. With the locating of elements which can improve an individual’s desire to work hard, then systems of reward management must not be overlooked: “effective reward strategies helps get people to the appropriate place to do the right thing at the expected time” (Pilbeam and Corbridge, 2006). They then go on to say “that there is no one best practice to reward management, instead organisations should adopt reward strategies that best fits their mode of operations and objectives.”

1.2. CONTEXT

Established in 1516, the Royal Mail has been the dominant business in the handling of letters, parcels and mail logistics in the United Kingdom. The Royal has undergone a great amount of change since its inception: for example, the name was changed from “Consignia Holdings Plc” to “Royal Mail Holdings PLC.” The company has grown and grown, as reflected by the 25% increase in operating profit in 2010, as the company made more than ?400 million (SOURCE).

The Royal mail has more than 180 000 staff members. It is a company that is well known for its “bureaucratic approach” to handling staff members. The company looks to make sure that staff welfare is taken into account and that the company can have an active influence over the decision formulation process, which can be evidenced by the organisations policies as given by “Global Compact” in 2006. This showed that the Royal Mail gives staff members the flexibility to attach themselves to any trade associations, even if they prefer to operate without the problems posed by trade unions. The Royal Mail also makes sure that each individual is given equal treatment, regardless of race, gender or age (SOURCE).

As a result of all of these pro-employee approaches, the Royal Mail is regarded as a “favourable” organisation to work for, as staff are satisfied and are able to attain personal and work aims in a comfortable environment (SOURCE). The company’s efforts to offer staff members motivation towards their work, and to improve performance in the work place, have included a variety of reward and incentives systems. The most recent being “sick leave benefits” in which staff members that have not had any time away from work because of illness are rewarded.

1.3. OBJECTIVES

Research aims are as follows:

Comprehend all fundamental aspects of reward and motivational systems;
To locate influences which improve the performance of staff within the Royal Mail;
To assess the ways the reward and motivation approaches can improve levels of productivity and the efficiency of staff in the workplace.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The key focus points of the study are as follows:

What are the influences that improve staff members’ desire to work harder
Does the staff member prefer a personalised reward system to a “generalised” system
Are staff members more motivated by intrinsic factors or extrinsic influences

What is the reason that the reward and motivation systems can be considered a genuine device to improve worker performance and help to achieve a company’s aims?

1.5. HYPOTHESIS

H0: “Workers do not value monetary incentives over non-monetary incentives”

H1: “Works do value monetary incentives over non- monetary incentives”

H0: “Personalised incentives and acknowledgment does not encourage workers more than generalised rewards.”

H1: “Personalised incentives and acknowledgement does encourage workers more than generalized rewards”

H0: “Workers are not more internally than externally motivated”

H1: “Workers are more internally than externally motivated

1.6. SUMMARY OF STUDY

This study aims to investigate the relationship between a company’s reward systems and motivational influences over a workforce. I will not underline the importance of this study and draw upon the above mentioned study aims.

Chapter 1 offers the context and background to the key concepts of rewards and motivation that are crucial to this study. This chapter offers an overview of the Royal Mail and establishes the intentions, hypothesis, potential restrictions, and objectives of the research.
Chapter 2 provides a detailed investigation of reward and motivation systems. This chapter discusses the different ideas surrounding motivational approaches and the relationship between recognition, rewards and motivation. This is a key section of the study as it outlines current details of reward and motivation systems that are used to steer our comprehension and investigation of these systems. In addition, this chapter will address the first research objective: “to understand the underlining concepts of rewards and motivation.”
Chapter 3 offers a succinct account of approaches that are deployed for the collection of primary data that will be implemented in this study. This chapter will also look to discuss the restrictions, the soundness and consistency of the research technique.
Chapter 4 offers an illustration of the research results and uses this to create a variety of graphs to visually study the qualitative and quantitative findings.
Chapter 5 is the heart of this study; it will take the research results and tie this into propositions of the fundamental theories as mentioned within the literature review. This chapter will reveal if workers are intrinsically or externally motivated. This will highlight the way that traditional approaches like the “theory of needs” are considered to be reconcilable with the workers’ prospects. This chapter will also answer the final two aims of the study.
Chapter 6 offers a conclusion to the study, and will draw together the research findings and will propose important recommendations, based on these results.

This study will be important in aiding the general perception of reward and motivation systems; offering a critique of key theories, the study will be important because it will demonstrate possible restrictions or risks of these theories, and will improve the understanding of individualised staff rewards, and the ways in which a company can relate its business aims with reward systems to maximise productivity. This study will help to locate the key elements that motivate workers and discover how far staff members feel that these influences actually encourage them to work harder.

1.7. POSSIBLE LIMITATIONS OF THIS RESEARCH

There may be possible limitations or challenges to this study, which are outline below:

Unsuitable or insufficient data collected: this could be because the company and its staff believe that their details are confidential and refuse to submit them;
Time and finance shortages: these are both limited resources which could possibly restrict the ability to carry out a thorough study;
Unsuitability of concepts and ideologies of the research to alternative industries

CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW

1.8. Systems of Rewards and Motivation

Researchers and analysis of reward and motivation systems have often imagined a professional environment that permits the “perfect synchronisation” of staff members’ attitudes with the company’s operations so that they compliment one-an-other and maximise the potential for both to be productive. These theories are founded in the observation of what motivates staff members to work hard, and to accomplish a certain task. Researchers have attempted to establish the link between the staff attitude with the organisational expectations. In doing so, the researchers attempt to find a manner in which both parties can operate to achieve both sets of goals. Staffs remain at the heart of HR management, but they are a dynamic entity that can either improve or restrict a business, depending upon their management and attitudes. Contemporary research has established that the relationship between an organisation and its staff “inculcate significant consequences on employee behaviour and the overall organizational goals” (Kinnie et al., 2006). Thus, studying these factors must be limited to just the comprehension of reward and motivational systems.

1.9. RECOGNITION

While it is widely perceived as a device used to develop staff productivity, the recognition of staff members offers a foundation for motivation, because it recognises the hard work of an individual and this motivates them to maintain the high standards of work. Current research has indicated that staff value recognition as equally to as they value their pay; as Dubrin (2009) states, recognition “gives them a motive to carryout available task and create a positive drive to achieve.” However, “recognition should not be fuzzy instead it should reinforce a desired behaviour” (Cindy, 2009). If there does not exists any suitable terms or criterion for which staff members can be acknowledged, then they will be unable to respect the organisation’s recognition system. For example, if in an organisation is unclear as to who or why the recognition is given then this could lead to disputes, upset and disrespect. An employee who believes that they have been the more productive or hard working could resent the recognition given to another employee, who in turn could disrespect the recognition because they are unsure as to why they have been given it.

Recognition can be divided into two categories: that which is supplied through friends, colleagues and informal recognition, or that provided by the company. This is to “support a long-term goal as in the case of formal recognition” (Bowen, 2000).

Ventrice (2003) defines these two groups as “Visible Recognition” and “Invisible recognition.” It is stated that when a manager attempts to recognise a worker’s performance by publicly announcing it, or by supplying the worker with a material rewards, then this is “visible recognition.” Visible recognition is the most common form of recognition amongst workers. Example of visible recognition can be seen in the DHL’s motivation and acknowledgement structures in which managers offer oral or written recognition of a worker’s efforts, and then reward them with material rewards such as certificate gifts. It is believe that this “scheme is necessary to create a world-class working environment that would ensure DHL retains the best of employees” (Bandrowczak in Hoffman, 2005). This focus as shown within the structure of the organisation will be fixed firmly upon the staff, which, it is anticipated, will reorganise DHL’s Top-down organizational culture.

Invisible recognition, however, is usually expressed in a less physical manner. For example, if a manager knows their staff members and calls them by their first names, then this is showing invisible recognition. This suggests that the manager has a relationship with and cares for his workers.

Thus it is important for businesses to recognise their workforce, either invisibly or visibly, to motivate them and encourage them to be successful. As Moskowitz and Levering (2003) state: “No organization can have a great place to work without creating a good way to appreciate its employees.” It is therefore vital that companies establish an environment in which the regularly and openly acknowledge their workforce and that this recognition is of imperative importance.

1.10. REWARDING STAFF

Staff members within a business would like to have a type of reward for their hard-work. This can be described as a “psychological contract” which means that managers have to come up with reward systems. As Pitts (1995) describes, “in plain terms employee reward can be described as those gains attributable to employee performance in certain tasks.”

While people may ask why employees would demand rewards, as their payment is their reward, Elliot (2002) states: “most employees see work as eating into the idea of their stress-free life. Hence it is expected that there is some form of compensation for this disutility.” Thus, systems of “compensation” are systems within a business that offers the workforce and employees some manner of reward for their hard-work.

Some workers can attain intrinsic satisfaction from completing their job; these individuals tend to be characterised by their enthusiasm, motivation and participation in tasks and overtime. Other workers on the other hand will do the minimal amount of work, moving quickly from task to task. This model of workers is described as “extrinsically motivated” individuals because they only work to attain a form of reward offered by some external source.

While some researchers have argued that both intrinsic and extrinsic forces can motivate some workers, Islam and Ismail (2008) have argued that “employees tend to appreciate financial rewards as recognition for good work and a motive for better performance.” Contemporary organizational performance recognitions have shown the influence of extrinsic motivation in improving a worker’s performance.

Paton (2005) states: “the Royal Mail recorded an employee sick leave absence rate of 5.7% in the first six months of the introduction of the no-sick leave benefit scheme. This was lower than that of previous periods and implies that the scheme had a considerable amount of positive effect on the company.” Yet while it appears that this scheme was successful, the approach has a legal implication: as particular workers placed discrimination charges which affected “the credibility of the organization” (Cooper 2005). Cooper (2005) suggests that “the criteria for this mode of reward does not favour workers” who may feel discriminated against. Thus it is imperative that that a fair and equal strategy is implemented across the organisation and workforce.

1.10.1. REWARDS

The ways in which staffs are rewarded are numerous. For example, some organisations offer advances, holidays, or even promotion. James and David (2006) divides the forms of reward into, “Financial rewards” (or “monetary incentives”) or “Non-financial rewards” (or “non-monetary incentives”). “Financial rewards” are rewards in shape of pay increases. “Non-financial rewards” can be awards, increased power, or extended holiday periods. Studies show that financial rewards are the most common modes of reward. A CIPD (2009) survey highlighted that “employees across the private and public sectors were very delighted with their pay increase for a number of reasons.” This image shows the opinion of British staff in a variety of business towards wage increases:

Figure 2?1: CIPD (2009). Pay Management Survey

Yet some people expressed some level of dissatisfaction towards the amount of pay increase. The below image shows the causes of dissatisfaction:

Figure 2?2: CIPD (2009). “Pay Management Survey”

As a company establishes reward systems, they have to consider the prevailing economic climate. Bratton and Gold (1999) establishes that rewards may be distributed either, “directly to the individual, collectively as a team or to the organisation as a whole.”

1.1.1. REWARD SYSTEMS RISK

Companies are at risk of becoming victims of their own reward systems: the below image demonstrates the ways in which a company can be threatened by reward systems:

Figure 2?3: CIPD (2009) “Managing reward risk”

Regarding behavioural and operational risks, companies must establish reward systems which make sure that the workforce display attitudes which are reconcilable with the company’s long-term aims. For example, the Royal Mail could recompense the “best” postman, as per the volume of delivered posts in given time period. Yet, this could not sustain the long-term aims of quality service as the employee in their efforts to deliver the most mail could damage or mishandle the mail.

Regarding governance and legal risks, a company can invest too much into providing rewards so it overlooks all “unethical” and legal connotations. For example, the “unethical” influence of the company’s “NSL reward scheme” which supports workers with disabilities or women who have had to take leave because of pregnancy.

1.1.1. WORKER’S REWARD RISK

Because of the nuances in the reward systems, these impact heavily upon the financial market. The financial Service Authority FSA (2009) observed that “reward cultures in many organizations especially financial organizations could have resulted in employees taking overrated risks that would have had negative impacts on the organization and worsened the prevailing economic recession situation as at the time of the report.”

As a result, specific regulations have been issued for companies to adhere to restrict the impact and risks of reward systems upon the financial sector. A selection of these regulations include: rewards that are synonymous with risk control practices; any large pay bonus must be proportionate; and these proportions must be a reward for an exceptional effort from a staff member.

While these regulations discuss the areas that rewards systems affect the financial market, these regulations can have a large impact on a company as a whole; for instance, the likelihood of “over-ambitious financial staff performances” could be prevented.

1.2. MOTIVATION

Across companies around the globe, staff members are asked to achieve daily aims or objects, as given to them by their managers, supervisors and employers. As a result, the individuals undertaking this work anticipate some mode of reward for their hard-work. Thus, organisations offer remuneration in the way of payment; this is usually an individual’s reason for working. Motivation is a theory that is, thus, believed to come from an organisation’s need to encourage their workforce and improve their productivity.

Adair (2004) states that “motivation is a person’s urge, propelled by factors from within that individual that allows him proceed to achieve a goal.” Pritchard and Ashward (2008) state that motivation is “the way an individual utilizes his inner force to attain specific goals.” Thus, as can be seen, in their definition of motivation these authors exclude a lot of detail. For example, we must consider that workers are not all financially driven; some staff can be driven by external influences, such as whether they enjoy their work, their co-workers or bosses. Alternatively, some people may work harder when they are fearful of losing their job. This fear of being fired or laid off is a consequence of an external sanction. Therefore motivation is nuanced; thus a closer definition is: “Motivation deals with those individual desires influenced by external factors which allows for conscious decision making” (Porter et al., 2006).

Yet within the working world it is anticipated that each worker should have an “individual desire or willingness to carry out a task [which] is directed at attaining organizational goals along with employees needs” (DeCenzo & Steven, 1996). In recent times, the theories and ideas surrounding motivation have seen a lot of change; while workers have consistently possessed the motivation to accomplish particular tasks, it has not been until contemporary studies have fully explored the theory surrounding motivation. For example, Whiteley (2002) claims that Karl Marx was part of the initial party of theorists who dedicated much effort into studying motivational ideology. Mark was part of a party which felt that the majority of workers gained satisfaction from their jobs and were enthusiastic about completing their jobs.

Over the following decades, the ideology of motivation has continued to develop, until it became centralised in McGregor’s “theory X” which claims that contrary to Marx’s ideas, that individuals do not enjoy working. McGregor claims that workers only work if they are offered rewards or driven by sanctions.

In current society, the idea of motivation is now founded in the scientific management theory. A particularly significant development in the understanding of motivation was made by Elton Mayo, an Australian psychologist who concluded that workers display higher levels of productivity if they believe that the organisation treats the individual particularly well, or that the work environment is suitable. In one case study, U.S workers were made to work in two different environments: one of good lighting and the other of poor. Results indicated that the workers were more productive in the well-lit environment.

Across the years, researchers have come up with a lot of different ideas which have enriched our understanding of motivation. The next part of this study will analyse and investigate the rationale that constitutes these ideologies, and the way that motivation can be used to get the most out of staff.

1.2.1. “THEORY OF MOTIVATION”

Abraham Maslow’s “Theory of Motivation” associates motivation with fundamental human requirements. It postulates that workers demand a particular level of requirements which means they establish certain motivations to fulfil their desires. When these requirements are satisfied then the worker looks to satisfying another requirement. The different types of “human need” can be split into five groups, as indicated in the illustration below:

Figure 2?4: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.

The various stages are psychological, safety, social, esteem and self-fulfilment needs. These are explained as follows:

Psychological Needs: This is when a worker looks to fulfil their fundamental desire for water, food and shelter.
Safety: Once a person’s psychological needs are satisfied then they move onto the next stage, in which the person becomes motivated by a desire to gain safety or protection from perceived threats or conditions.
Social Needs: By this point, the person does not need to solely look to get food or shelter or safety; the worker is now motivated by their relationship with the social life and the world they inhabit.
Esteem: The person now looks to have a lot of respect. The previous stages are not considered to be as important as the desire of attaining objects of status or respect, such as: money, property, academic qualification etc.
Self-fulfilment: This is the final stage; by this point the person is motivated by a desire to make the most of their personal potential. Because every other requirement is fulfilled, the person is only motivated by a desire to make an impression.

The system works so that when one stage is satisfied, the person looks to progress to the next stage. While the constant desire is to “re-satisfy” the lower stages, “these factors would have lost their motivating power on the employee” (Armstrong, 2006). It can be seen that the initial stages can be satisfied easier than the later stages because by this point the person has to make the most of his ability, and getting this type of satisfaction is very difficult. As Maslow (2006) comments, “Man is a wanting animal.”

However, there are limitations to this strategy because within any stage, certain needs may not be entirely met which will cause the person to “hover” near various stages. Another problem is the perceived inapplicability of this strategy to various cultural situations; for example, Japanese workers will have a bigger need for safety and social status because of their culture, than what a European or American worker would need.

When assessing Maslow’s theory, Rivera (2006) states “although Maslow justifies this need by highlighting peek experience e.g. spiritual or emotional experience as self actualizing experiences, they only succeeded in making the individual surpass the motive behind his self actualization.” Thus, this suggests that a person cannot keep track of their own actual desires because they will always be looking ahead to the next stage. Despite this perceived flaws in the system, the “hierarchy of needs” continues to be utilised by managers who feel that they can motivate or reward their workers based on this system. The latter stages can also be seen to be particularly useful in helping managers comprehending the esteem and self-fulfilment needs to be satisfied in the professional workplace.

1.1.1. “MOTIVATION HYGIENE THEORY”

Frederic Herzberg’s “Motivation Hygiene Theory” splits motivation into “Satisfiers” and “Dissatisfiers.” The two types of motivation correlate to the influences which can motivate or demotivate a worker, or even produce feelings of discontent in the workplace: “motivation hygiene theory seeks to identify the variances between job satisfiers and dissatisfiers” (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2008). They then state that “when employees notice one form of discomfort, in a particular aspect of their job, it does not necessarily imply that they are dissatisfied with the whole job, so also does it not imply that if an employee likes the pay rate at his work place he is bound to like his job.” The elements which comprise each group can be see to be:

“Satisfiers”: Satisfiers are sometimes known as “motivational factors” and they are the influences which interest or motivate the workforce. These influences include: Personal achievement, recognition, prospect of promotion, personal responsibility, enjoyment of their work etc.
“Dissatisfiers”: Sometimes known as “hygiene factors”, these are the elements of a position that cause unhappiness or discomfort in workers. These factors have a detrimental effect over the workforce, who are dissatisfied with their wages, the level of supervision, their work security, the company’s policies, work environment etc.

Thus, where “motivational factors” improve the worker’s motivation levels and encourage them to work harder, “hygiene factors” can lessen a worker’s desire to work hard or enjoy their work. However, it has been seen that hygiene factors actually compliment motivational factors because they provide a foundation for which people can gain perspective and better appreciate the advantages of motivational factors. These foundations can be the elements which establish a comfortable environment which will in turn improve the worker’s desire to work hard. In other words, this process suggests that elements such as a person’s wages or the rewards they get for hard-work actually do not encourage workers to work harder; they simply provide people with a foundation for which the worker can utilise the motivational factors.

Yet as organisations will look to establish a working climate which simply satisfies the hygiene factors, then motivational factors will be rendered redundant. As a result this is perceived as binary opposite to “theory X”, which postulates that wages and rewards are the key motivational factors, because the “motivation hygiene theory” categorises these types of influence as “dissatisfying.

LIMITS OF THE HYGIENE THEORY

The above-mentioned theory has a selection of important limitations; for example, it is widely acknowledge to be inconsistent when applied to individuals from various economic of cultural environments. Consider, for example, the factors which would motivate an American worker compare to that of an African worker. It can be assumed that Herzberg’s theory is most suited to workers of first world, or developed, nations. Where the motivation factors for first world workers would be respect or status, the motivating factors for workers in less developed nations would simply be a good salary, enough to afford shelter and food. But the inverse is a situation regarding hygiene factors, which have now become the widespread incentive to increase productivity. Another limitation is the “constricted nature” of the theory; whereas Maslow’s theory which generalises a person’s requirements and the way in which these establish a foundation for motivation, Herzberg’s theory restricts the breadth of an “ideal” working environment because his survey was only given to professional respondents. Thus it remains to be seen what will happen when his theory is put into application with workers who do not have an equal amount of training or professional qualification (like those of under developed nations).

Therefore this implies that this theory will force organisations to make sure that extrinsic hygiene factors which comprise the foundation for motivational factors must be dealt with to make sure that workers will work hard. This climate of the workplace is very important and must be set up so that it permits the work to be a challenge because this will motivate the worker’s desire to be successful. Thus, although this theory has a lot of possible restrictions it is still widely perceived as “one of the most appropriate since it recognizes that the drive to carry out a task come basically from intrinsic factors” (NetMBA, 2010).

1.1.2. “Theory X vs. Y”

While it is widely perceived that workers simply have jobs to earn a wage, many researchers have postulated a theory that claims that there exists other reasons that people seek employment. McGregor’s “theory of motivation” divides people into two different types of personality: the type of person who does not want to work but does because they need the money, and the type of person who gets a job and goes to work because they have an intrinsic enjoyment of their job. These two groups are labelled “Theory X” and “Theory Y” respectively. It can be seen that McGregor’s theory displays similarities with the ideas of internal and external motivational factors. When discussing this theory, Deal and Bolman (2008) state: “employees in theory X category are in most cases unproductive or difficult to motivate necessitating the use of rigid measures like the introduction of sanctions or threats in some cases or the use of enticers like pay increase in other cases.” People in Theory Y, on the other hand, are “more open to change ready to learn new things and are in most cases not particular about remuneration” (Deal & Bolman, 2008). Therefore it would be easier for organisations to motivate people from the Theory Y group than people from the Theory C group. As a result, organisations look to establish an “open environment” for the staff and this “would allow for easy goal achievement & improved performance” (Matteson & Ivancevich, 1999).

However, many researchers have criticised this theory because, they argue, it is “too exclusive” in the approach that it takes towards assessing staff attitudes and the elements which motivate them to work harder (Deal & Bolman, 2008).

The Japanese researcher, Ouchi, proposed a “Theory Z” to offer an interjecting assessment of motivational factors and staff attitudes. “Theory Z” was founded on a range of surveys which were undertaken in Japan and it suggested that the general workforce within organisations comprised both X and Y elements. To put it simply, a person could be prepared to work at a given moment, yet not at another. Thus, for employers to make the most of their workforce there is a need for a workplace climate which ensures staff involvement and is challenging, and yet an environment that also acknowledges and offers remuneration to people who successfully undertake and complete these challenges. Thus, Mullins (2010) says that “management should always strive to ensure that there is decentralized and less invasive control.”

1.1.3. “THEORY OF ACHIEVEMENT”

David McClelland’s “theory of achievement” has progressed and is now a considerable influence over organisations and workforce regarding the behaviour relating to the workplace and motivation. Initially, the theory focused upon motivational factors for staff and what was needed to make sure that they worked as hard as they could and if this was encouraged by their personal desire to achieve. Yet, this perspective has changed so that it is now considered that there is a requirement for affiliation with power, in which a consideration is given to the anxiety of “under achieving” or “over achieving.” These theories of affiliating and power are such that staff members look to “belong” to a certain group who they believe to be inline with their own personal aims and who they think will help them attain these objectives. Through these relationships the staff member can practise some control over a certain degree of subordinate or state factors. As a result, organisations have produced a motivational system which will encourage workers to attain their aims in scenarios in which they are given a lot of responsibility or power. By giving a worker power or “autonomy in decision making which would in one way or the other pose a challenge to these employees” which would encourage them to work harder and attain their goals (Miner, 2005).

However, staff members have been seen to display a strong desire for one of three key elements in this theory. For example, an individual who has a prominent desire for power will not necessarily have good skills to interact with other people, therefore as they try to get control over a certain proportion of the workforce, they could be insufficient at handling people and thus “lacking in their ability to affiliate which in the long-run could be of negative concern to their overall goal” (Chapman, 2009). Stuart-Kotze (2007) also criticised this theory, stating that “the current trend in organizations [is] characterized by employees’ job toggling [which] disagrees with the assertion of this theory”. Thus, as staff members believe that their personal capability to move from one workplace to another workplace reflects their own ability and the speed at which they will be able to be successful.

Regardless of this, McClelland’s theory can be seen to address an employee’s desire for self-fulfilment within the “in-house” situation. Therefore organisations must make sure that internal operations effectively motivate interpersonal relationships, provide a suitable degree of a challenge, and that they always moderate the level of autonomy.

1.1.4. ADDITIONAL THEORIES

Additional theories exist which also helps to enrich the general understand of the behaviours of employees and why staff act in certain ways. Adam Stacy’s “Equality theory” proposes that emplyees often depict apathetic attitudes towards their jobs if they feel that the output that is generated from their efforts is less than what is input; for example, if an experienced logistics manager was given the same wage as an inexperienced, new recruit.

Goodman and Friedman (1971) outline that “employees have stronger precipice for extensive output to input than input to output.” This means that employers must try to use “performance related pay”, in which they reward the workforce in proportion to their contribution, and that “over paid” workers must make an effort to complete tasks that are as much as a challenge as their level pay indicates.

Victor Vroom’s “Expectancy theory” is another theory which postulates that a staff member’s behaviour at the workplace is influenced by their expectations of work. This displays the same foundations as the “equality theory” because it handles the elements which influence the individual’s mental desires and requirements. While this belief is the opposite to the more stricter theories of motivational belief, which claim people are only motivated by an interest in earning greater wagers of acknowledgement, the theory postulates that a person’s desires and expectations are not fixed and can actually change over time.

However, this dynamic is problematic for organisations; they like to support the self-fulfilment of staff but this is rendered difficult if the landscape of their motivation is constantly changing. Thus, the application of these theories in actual workplaces has proven to be very difficult for employees and employers alike. This is because of the dynamic and changing attitudes and desires of staff. Therefore, organisations are constantly on the lookout for ways to get the most out of their workforce and often turn to individualist strategies to achieve this. This makes sure that the organisation gives enough of their resources to comprehending the individual desires, aims and wants of their individual staff members; this will help them to understand their workforce and get the most out of it.

1.2. ASSOCIATING REWARDS WITH MOTIVATION

Therefore, it is vital that the individual worker and their attitudes, dreams and expectations are considered when developing reward and motivation strategies. For example, where one person may consider their job to be an unpleasant reality and, thus, expect some form of extrinsic reward, another person can enjoy their work without these type of motivation. As a result, an acknowledgment in the presence of extrinsically motivated staff has produced key debates surrounding suitable forms of reward and motivation which can be applied to get the most out of a workforce. Festinger (1967) observed “that rewards as a means of improving performance tend to shrink the natural willingness/intrinsic values of employees.” Elsewhere Islam & Ismail (2008) claimed “employees are likely to repeat or improve on good performances so long they know they are going to get significant pay.” Thus, staff members tend to be more interested in what rewards they can get. Pfeffer (1998) says that organisations’ attempts to “improve performance & increase profitability tend to adopt reward strategies that focuses immensely on individual effort” which leads to an “over-ambitious” approach which renders the employer inconsistent with their long-term objectives. This can led to the organisation losing out. Pfeffer (1998) then states “remuneration plans like gain sharing stock ownership etc. form a better basis for aligning employee performance with short term and particular long-term goal since they reward employee performance collectively.”

Yet employers must make sure their standards of rewards are reconcilable with the standard of the staff member’s performance and the likelihood of the organisation of reaching their long-term aims. This will make sure they can avoid particular dangers or the risks associated with reward systems, as discussed

CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This section will seek to investigate and analyse the research methods and approaches that offer suitable answers and will help to fulfil the key objectives of this study. As mentioned initially, the key aims of this research are: to comprehend any underlying concepts in reward and motivational systems; the identification of motivational factors that can improve staff productivity; and to assess the way these systems can improve the performance of workforces and, therefore, the organisation as a whole. The main point of interest in this study will be of assessing the various approaches implemented to get the most out of a workforce, and any suitable data that can be utilised to further analyse the reason for certain theories, the application of these theories, and the extent to which these theories are successful at improving a staffs’, and organisation’s, productivity.

The staff members of various companies can display a variety of different attitudes or behaviours towards their work. As Marchington and Wilkinson (2008) have argued: workers “often have different perceptions of what a good working environment should look like and also what the gains of carrying out a task should be.” For example, whereas one particular individual may enjoy their work and not care too much about any reward, other staff members may dislike their work and therefore want heavy rewards as motivation. As discussed this is a severe concern for organisations as they look to handle the different personalities, behaviours and expectations of their workforce to create an effective reward and motivation system which will get the most out of their work force. This is a problem for organisations which draw upon the key concepts of the typical theories of human behaviour and motivation such as the “theory of needs” or “scientific theory”.

While one group of companies could attempt to establish a set of structures that will exaggerate the application of “generalised” concepts to determine a staff member’s performance, such as a desire for achievement or economic stability, this approach is founded in the organisations, and not staff, expectations. This tends to be the situation with current systems, as displayed by Vroom and Stacy. Because attention is always given to “post-performance” rewards that small thought is given towards “pre-performance” incentives. Thus, organisations tend to overlook the central views of the staff.

This study will now correlate the findings of the survey research with the theories discussed within the literature review. The chapter will provide a thorough investigation of key research strategies that will be adopted and will investigate the ways in which suitable information can be collected. The chapter will examine any potential restrictions of the research or adopted methodologies. These processes are expected to produce insights into the perspective of staff members towards reward and motivation systems.

1.3. RESEARCH STRATEGY

Several key researchers have proposed important approaches towards undertaking research; these depend upon the strategies which are taken by the researcher and the sort of data the research aims to attain (Gravetter & Forzano, 2009). In this study, empirical data has been collected because the study aims to generate reliable and relevant answers. This is because “it assists in gaining information that is reconcilable with real world occurrences and practice” (Kothari, 2009).

As discussed, different staff members have different types of expectation or motivational interest at work. Thus, to create a suitable and relevant research strategy, the researcher has to implement a surface evaluation of staff member’s attitudes or else risk been faced with the challenges given by conservative theorists, despite not providing a succinct analysis of the minimal standard of effort. Consequently, the standard of the research needs to be of the highest quality. It needs to deal with the problems as discussed, regarding a staff member’s expectations, motivations, and attitudes to work. This study has chosen to implement an approach that ensures the assimilation of relevant information. This study will look at the Royal Mail, in relation to other similar companies, and as an individual entity.

An experimental study will look to exaggerate their ideas and interests when they want to establish propositions that can be proven via observational efforts and the influence of elements that are associated with the study. This is a popular approach to research; however, it has been scrutinized for being inconsistent which is a problem due to the generalised “assumption” that it “gives all parties to a concept” (Carducci, 2009). Example of this can be seen as an observation which indicates 65% of staff members within a company are influenced by the need to have a challenging workplace climate, this does not mean that this majority influence does apply to each staff member; there is 35% who do not feel this way. Considering this, this research could not be suitable for this study.

Case studies are another form of research that could be implemented in this study. Case studies look at one unit of a complete organisation to identify a certain fashion or trend to comprehend the influences over certain attitudes. Yet some researchers have claimed that this approach “is the most anticipated by most student since it allows for a focused method of data collection” (Biggam, 2008). Also, as Jackson (2009) states, this model of research has a “possibility of bias in presenting findings to suit existing proposition or personal expectation.” Therefore this type of research model may not be suitable. Historic research is a model that seeks to obtain its data from past events or findings. Both case studies and historic research are unable to give an “an authoritative justification for current or future occurrences” (Crooks & Baur, 2010). The study will make use of a survey because it is felt that this approach would be suitable for answering the questions and objectives of this research. Surveys allow the researcher to put forward the exact questions, as they so desire. After all, as Sapsford (2007) states: “the whole essence of a research is to get consistent answers to consistent questions.” Therefore the study has made use of a questionnaire to provide data to the discussed questions and objectives. A survey is different from an interview because it permits the researcher the ability to get a broader range of data from a wide selection of participants.

Yet there is a considerable restriction from using this form of research tool that hinders the study from attaining a broad comprehension of the issue. Regardless of this, because surveys allow for the use of quantitative and qualitative data, it makes it simple for the study to attain a wide perspective of the relevant issues.

For the purposes of this study, a quantitative approach will be adopted because this permits the researcher the ability to analyse different influences and systems within the Royal Mail that are designed to improve the productivity of the workforce. This will allow the researcher to resolve issues such as “how valuable motivation is as a tool for employee performance.” This approach will also be useful in aiding the study in discovering answers to questions such as: “what are the driving factors for employee performance?”

However, there is one considerable restriction of using a quantitative model; the rigidness of its approach to gaining data hinders the study from attaining in-depth information from the research. Because of this, this study will implement “open-ended” questions such as “why will you accept or reject an offer to take up the same job you do from another company?” This will make sure that the assimilation of data collection is not restricted to the researcher’s expectation. Open-ended questions provide an option of broader responses and thus encourage qualitative analysis.

The implementation of this type of research model with the qualitative technique will permit the study to answer key “why” questions such as: “why is reward and motivation a viable tool for improving performance and achieving organizational goals?” This will make sure that the study can interpret the relevant data, and not have to adopt a positivist perspective which tends to assume “a subject matter is independent of impulsive behaviours, the former believes a subject matter can be influenced by the unpredictable nature of humans” (Biggam, 2008). On the other hand, “interpretative perspectives” will display any erratic attitudes or patterns in the staff.

1.4. RESEARCH APPROACH

This study aims to apply qualitative and quantitative approaches to researching and in a formation of a survey questionnaire which will be given to staff members of the Royal Mail to answer. The study that will be applied makes use of a strategic approach to support the close ended and quantitative sections of the survey with open ended and qualitative questions; for example, in question 18, “if another organization gives you a job today will you will you take the offer?” and question 19, “why would you accept or reject the offer?” (see appendix). As can be seen, question 18 looks to get a quantitative answer which is supported by 19, who looks to attain a wider perspective on the reasons for the previous answer to be given. The implementation of both qualitative and quantitative questions will make sure this study gets relevant and suitable data which, in turn, will help the study to achieve its set goals. This study will also make use of convenience sampling to order and chose the participants. The participants in this study will be selected randomly, thus negating the assumption that because the company was selected at random, the findings will not be considered as entirely representative of staff attitudes within the entire postal industry. As with Internet questionnaires, willing participants will be ordered alphabetically with the participant chosen in factor of two. This study will therefore use a structured questionnaire to make sure that the focus remains upon certain criteria as well as the study goals.

A sample of 40 participants will be selected. This is because the study aims to analyse the staff members’ perception of the company, as well as the various influences that motivate a worker in the Royal Mail. This will allow the study to discover and comprehend the amount of which motivational and reward systems are successful in increasing a workforces’ productivity.

This study will be directly aimed at the middle and lower-level management in the Royal Mail. However, detail will be given to the realisation that while the study looks to comprehend the staff member’s perception of the Royal Mail, this does not mean that the overall perception of the entire workforce, in all the different Royal Mail units, will be reflected in the findings of this study.

This study will make use of Internet questionnaire resources, such as “surveymonkey.com”, as well as paper copies to distribute the survey to the participants. The study will make sure that every participant is of a minimal age of 18-years-old.

1.5. DATA ANALYSIS

Statistical and Chi-square tools will be applied to study the accumulated data from the survey. These types of research tools permit a simple and effective way to indicate if the study propositions are correct or not. Yet this study will apply descriptive evaluations to study the data from the qualitative questions.

1.5.1. Hypothesis
H0:“Workers do not value financial incentives over non-financial incentives”

H1:“Workers value financial incentives over non-financial incentives”

H0: “Personalised incentives and acknowledgement does not encourage workers more effectively than generalised incentives.”

H1:“Personalised incentives and acknowledgement do encourage workers more than generalised incentives”

H0: “Workers are not more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated”

H1: “Workers are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated”

1.6. VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY

Cohen et al. (2007) stated “although it is almost impossible to rule out the impediments to validity and reliability, researchers often learn to curb the effects of these threats by gaining considerable awareness of its existence.” Yet this study will look to deal with the problem of reliability by making sure that the participants are not made to undertake the questionnaire, which is vital to make sure the data given is “honest”. The study will also deal with this problem by making sure participant give their opinion in their own terms, which will be achieved via the implementation of open-ended questions.

While the phrases, “reliability and validity” can occasionally share a similar definition; Gliner & Morgan (2000) specify, “for a research to be valid, the methods of carrying such research have to be reliable.” Thus, the study has to make sure there is “a commendable level of validity by ensuring the use of appropriate and adequate sampling techniques and analysing tools to get findings” (Cohen et al., 2007). This questionnaire will sample a broad selection of staff because it is aimed at low- and middle-level management. As mentioned, this study will also apply statistical tools to investigate research hypothesis as well as to provide a descriptive evaluation of qualitative open-ended questions. A critical evaluation will be given towards the advantages and disadvantages of the different research tools, which will allow the study to make the most of the best strategies and will thus have an efficient study to attain suitable data in a small time period. In addition to this, qualitative and quantitative questions will generate more in-depth answers.

1.7. RESTRICTIONS OF SELECTED RESEARCH METHODS

A considerable restriction of this survey approach is that the findings will be representative of a wider entity; thus it may not present a holistic perception of the scenario as outlined by the study aims. Also, the restricted time and sample size (40) will mean that the study will have to carefully select the questions it chooses to ask and the answers it looks to attain. Lastly, because of the nature of the individual company’s operations and the geographical distribution of employees, the results that are generated from these staff members of the Royal Mail cannot be generalised for workers in the entire postal service industry

CHAPTER FOUR – RESULTS AND ANALYSES

This section will look to handle the results and data attained from the questionnaires. The methodologies and strategies that have been applied to accumulate and analyse this data have been discussed in Chapter 3. As mentioned, 40 participants were chosen at random from the Royal Mail and were each presented a copy of the survey questionnaire. To analyse and visually represent the findings of the research, a selection of percentage frequency distribution and bar charts will be displayed.

Royal Mail

Expected responses 40

Actual responses35

Percentage response rate87.5 %

1.8. ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE DATA

SECTION A: Demographic Distribution

Illustration 1: “Gender”

Table 1. Table showing the gender distribution of the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

SexFrequencyPercentage
Male2066.7%
Female1033.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 1. Percentage distribution of gender. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

The table and figure above indicates that there were more men who participated in the study. However, this does not mean that there are more men working in the Royal Mail overall.

Illustration 2: “Age distribution”

Table 2. Table showing the age distribution of Royal Mail workers. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

AgeFrequencyPercentage
18 – 241136.7%
25 – 351240%
36 – 45620%
46 – 5513.3%
Above 5500%
Total30100%

Figure 2. Age distribution. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

This demonstrates that the majority of participants were aged between 25-35 years of age. A small amount was between 18 – 24 years of age range. The least amount was the 46 – 55 age bracket which indicates that a large volume of the workforce in the Royal Mail are middle aged.

Illustration 3: “Educational background of the respondents”

Table 3. Table showing the educational background of the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

QualificationFrequencyPercentage
High School310%
University degree1343.3%
Masters Degree1240%
Doctorate Degree26.7%
Others00 %
Total30100 %

Figure 3. Educational background of the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

This shows that a large section of participants had a minimum of one university degree, 40% (12) has a master’s degree and 10 % (3) a high school certificate.

SECTION B

Illustration 4: “Duration of employment with Royal mail”

Table 4. Table showing the repondent’s duration of employment with Royal Mail. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

DurationFrequencyPercentage
Less than 1 year620%
1 – 2 years1446.7%
3 – 4Years620%
Over 5 years413.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 4. Duration of employment with Royal Mail. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

This shows that 47% of the participants have been employed by the Royal Mail for almost two years. Almost a third of the participants had worked at the organisation for almost three years, with a fifth of participants having worked at the company for less than a year. Thus, this indicates that a larger proportion of participants could not be up to date regarding the motivational schemes applied at the business.

Illustration 5: “Management position held in the company”

Table 1. Table showing the management positions held in the company. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

PositionFrequencyPercentage
Low Level930%
Middle level1446.9%
No response723.1%
Total30100%

This table indicates that almost half of the participants in the organisation are middle-level managers, while a third are low-level, while almost a fifth chose not to answer this question.

Illustration 6: “Do you like your job?”

Table 6. Table showing the percentage of those who like their jobs and those who do not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes2583.3%
No516.7%
Total30100 %

Figure 5. Percentage of those who like their job and those who do not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

It can be observed from these findings that a large percentage of participants say that they enjoy their work, although almost a fifth do not. Yet it is important that a distinction is made so that we can comprehend if these staff members do not enjoy the job type or it is the company they dislike.

Illustration 7: “Do you take interest in recognition for a job well done?”

Table 7. Table showing the percentage of those who show interest in recognition for a job well done. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes2996.7%
No13.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 6. Graph showing the percentage of those who show interest in recognition for a job well done. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

This above graphic shows that almost every participant does enjoy acknowledgement for their hard work.

Illustration 8: “Do you think you have received the adequate amount of recognition you deserve for your work?”

Table 8: Table showing percentage of those who have received the adequate amount of recognition they deserve and those who have not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes1756.7%
No1343.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 7. Graph showing percentage of those who have received the adequate amount of recognition they deserve and those who have not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

The above results indicate that over a half of the participants from the organisation feel that they have been given a suitable amount of acknowledgement from the organisation. However, 43% of participants feel un-, or unsuitable, recognised.

Illustration 9: “Do you think you have received the adequate amount of reward you deserve for your work?”

Table 9: Table showing the data of those who have received the adequate amount of reward deserved and those who have not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes1343.3%
No1756.7%
Total30100 %

Figure 8. Graph showing the percentage of those who have received the adequate amount of reward deserved and those who have not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

These findings indicate that while staff members may be suitable acknowledged, they do not feel as if they have been suitably rewarded. Over a half of the participants feel that they have not been suitably rewarded for their hard work, while 43% feel satisfied with the type of reward they have received from the organisation.

Illustration 10: “Rank the following types of reward in order of preference. Where 1 shows high preference, and 10 shows low preference.”

Table 10. Table showing the ranks of the reward types in order of preference. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseTotal scoreOverall rank
Increased Pay2311
Promotion2142
Increased decision making power1693
Paid vacation1664
Awards1535
Christmas benefit1486
Health benefit1307
Share options1048
No sick leave benefit1039
Pension funds8710

“Total Respondents: 30, Score is a weighted calculation. Items ranked first are valued higher than the following ranks; the score is the sum of all weighted rank counts.”

These results indicate that the staff at the Royal Mail place greater importance on salary increases as a type of remuneration; thus it is implied that a large section of the participants from the company prefer financial incentives. The prospect of promotion is another preferred option that is not money-based remuneration.

Illustration 11: “What measures of rewards do you prefer most?”

Table 11. Table showing the preferred measures of reward of the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

Measures of rewardFrequencyPercentage
Financial Measures of Reward2376.7%
Non-Financial Measures of Rewards723.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 9. Graph showing the showing the percentage distribution of the preferred measures of reward. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

These findings indicate that a large proportion of participants from the Royal Mail would chose to have a financial incentive, and only a few exist in the “non-financial” group. Thus, from testing one of the above mentioned hypothesis could aid the study of these results.

Illustration 12: “How important is motivation to you as an employee?”

Table 12: Table showing the importance of motivation to the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Very Important2583.3%
Slightly Important413.3%
Less Important00%
Indifferent13.3%
Total30100

Figure 10. Graph showing the importance of motivation to the respondents. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

Over 80% of participants have indicated that motivation is very important to them as workers and in improving their productivity at work. While 13% of participants believe that motivation is only slightly important, only 1 participant indicated that, for them, motivational factors are irrelevant

Illustration 13: “Choose amongst the following the factors that motivate you to do your job”

Table 13. Table showing respondents’ motivating factors. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Personal Value930%
External Factors826.7%
Both1343.3%
Total30100 %

Figure 11. Graph showing the percentage distribution of respondents’ motivating factors. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

These findings suggest that the majority of participants in the Royal Mail feel that they are encouraged by personal interests and external influences. However, a large section of the participants feel that personal interests are more important than external influences. Further and more accurate investigation will be undertaken by trialling the third hypothesis.

Illustration 14: “How would you like to be rewarded for your work?”

Table 14: Table showing the respondents preferred measure of reward. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Individually2480%
As a group620%
Total30100 %

Figure 12. Graph showing the respondents preferred measure of reward. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

These results suggest that most participants would choose to be given a reward individually rather than as a collection. A wider study of this shall be implemented through the trialling of the hypothesis which is relevant to this question.

Illustration 15: “Do you think you get adequate motivation to do your work?”

Table 15. Table showing those who get adequate motivation and those who do not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes1343.3%
No1756.7%
Total30100 %

Figure 13. Graph showing percentage of those who get adequate motivation and those who do not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

The above results indicate that the majority of the participants at the company feel that they have been inadequately motivated, which just more than 40% feel that the motivational systems at the Royal Mail are suitable.

Table 16. Table showing the influence of motivating factors on the respondents where 1 represents strong influence and 10 represents weak influence. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

ResponseTotal scoreOverall rank
Pay & benefit2151
Work environment1732
Achievement1703
Bonuses & commission1574
Training1575
Good Inter-personal Relationship1506
Love for work1477
Challenging work1478
Fear of losing your Job1059
Strict rules & sanctions9910

“Total Respondents: 30; Score is a weighted calculation. Items ranked first are valued higher than the following ranks, the score is the sum of all weighted rank counts.”

These results indicate that the majority of participants believed that they are more motivated by financial rewards and benefits. As can be seen, these findings are very similar to the data attained from question 11. Therefore, these results offer a significant indication that the majority of participants in the Royal Mail do in fact prefer money as a form of remuneration. Therefore, it is indicated that these participants are to some degree more externally motivated than by internal interests.

Table 17: Table showing the data of those who would accept another organization’s job offer and those who would not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011.

ResponseFrequencyPercentage
Yes1653.3%
No1446.7%
Total30100 %

Figure 14. Graph showing the percentage of those who would accept another organization’s job offer and those who would not. Source: Researcher’s field survey 2011

While this data suggests not a large difference amongst these two different choices, it shows that participants from the organisation state that they would be happy to do the same work for a rival company if this company offered them better benefits or rewards. However, the reasons for this are not universal and are dependent on the participant.

4.2 TECHNIQUES OF DATA ANALYSIS

This study will now present the findings of the research, and analyse these using Chi-square statistical tool in order to trail the above given hypothesis.

The Chi-square formula is: X? = (O – E) ? / E

where O = Observed frequency

E = Expected frequency

Degree of freedom or d.f = (r – 1) (c – 1)

“r” = number of row

“c” = number of column.

The test would be at 5% (0.05) level of confidence.

Decision rule:

Accept H1 When X?c > X?t

Reject H0 When X?c ? X?t

4.2.1 TEST OF HYPOTHESIS I

H0:Workers do not value financial incentives over non-financial incentives

H1:Workers value financial incentives over non-financial incentives

Question 13 (Table 11) shall be applied to Hypothesis 1.

“What measures of rewards do you prefer most?”

RESPONSEO1E1O1 – E1(O1 – E1)?(O1 – E1)?/E
Financial Measures23158644.27
Non-Financial measures715-8644.27
TOTAL303001288.54

Degree of freedom

Df (V) = (r – 1) (c – 1)

= (2 – 1) (2 – 1)

= 1

Level of significance

P = 5% or 0.05

X?t = 3.84

X?c = 8.54

Decision rule:

Reject H0 if X?c ? X?t

This suggests that the Null hypothesis (H0) shall be redundant as the Chi-square calculated (X?c) is greater than the Chi-square tabulated (X?t). H0 indicates that the staff members do not value money as an incentive over non-financial incentives. These staff members do value monetary incentives over non-financial incentives, thus the decision has to accept the alternative hypothesis (H1) which claims “Workers value financial incentives over non-financial incentives.”

Illustration 10 indicates that the research can quickly assume that the workers like monetary incentives over non-financial incentives, the chi-squared test is vital to indicate the financial and non-financial variables are independent.

4.2.2 TEST OF HYPOTHESIS II

H0: Personalised incentives and acknowledgement does not encourage workers more effectively than generalised incentives.

H1: Personalised incentives and acknowledgement do encourage workers more than generalised incentives

Question 16 (Table 14) will be used to test Hypothesis II

“How would you like to be rewarded for your work?”

RESPONSEO1E1O1 – E1(O1 – E1)?(O1 – E1)?/E
Individually24159815.4
As a group6159815.4
TOTAL30301816210.8

Degree of freedom

Df (V) = (r – 1) (c – 1)

= (2 – 1) (2 – 1)

= 1

Level of significance

P = 5% or 0.05

X?t = 3.84

X?c = 10.8

Decision rule:

Reject H0 if X?c ? X?t

The decision rule for chi-squared test demands that it is accepted that H0 if the chi squared estimated is more than or equal to the chi-squared tabulated, then it is accepted that H0 is reverse.

Therefore, the choice is made whether to accept the H1 stating “Personalised incentives and acknowledgement do encourage workers more than generalised incentives”, and to reject H0 which states “Personalised incentives and acknowledgement does not encourage workers more effectively than generalised incentives.”

4.2.3 TEST OF HYPOTHESIS III

H0: Workers are not more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated

H1: Workers are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated

Question 17 (Table 13) will be used to test Hypothesis II

“Choose amongst the following the factors that motivate you to do your job”

RESPONSEO1E1 O1 – E1(O1-E1)?(O1-E1)?/E
Personal Values910-110.1
External factors810-240.4
Both1310390.9
TOTAL30300141.4

Degree of freedom

Df (V) = (r – 1) (c – 1)

= (3 – 1) (2 – 1)

= 2

Level of significance

P = 5% or 0.05

X?t = 5.99

X?c = 1.4

Decision rule:

Reject H0 if X?c ? X?t

The results as indicated in illustration 14, suggests that the workers are motivated by their internal interest, although a larger section of the participants indicated that they are the most motivated when their internal and external influences are addressed.

Although the application of chi-squared analysis to trail the above mentioned hypothesis can prove that H0 is correct. Therefore, H1 can be rejected which states: “Workers are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated”, and accept H0 which indicates “Workers are not more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated”

These findings reiterate the data and results accumulated in the tables and graphs, and are also useful towards indicating that staff members are not solely driven by internal or external interest, but a combination of the two.

4.3 ANALYSIS OF QUALITATIVE FINDINGS

This section will look to investigate and examine the data acquired from the qualitative questions of the questionnaire. The results attained, and the conclusions drawn from them, will be useful in supplying answers towards the research aims as raised previously in this study. As it has been discussed in early sections of this study, the survey was deliberately structured to make sure that participants provided qualitative answers in order to support significant close-ended quantitative questions.

When the participants from the organisation were questioned whether they enjoyed their work, 83% of participants said that they did. The majority of the participants who completed the survey therefore do like their work. This means that it would be worthwhile to discover the factors behind their answer, which is why the questionnaire then posed the question: “What is the one specific thing you like about your job?” The answers that were given to this question were particularly useful for the purposes of this study as they showed that, on average, over 20% of the surveyed participants stated that they liked the challenging workplace environment. 10% of participants stated that they enjoyed their work because of the comfortable workplace climate, while 13% of participants stated that they enjoyed the flexible nature of their work. In addition to theses answers, some participants also added that they enjoyed their work because of the level of wages they received, the experience, and the training they received. A minority of participants stated that they were unsure as to the reasons for enjoying their work.

Question 10 was typical of the qualitative questions used in the survey. It was designed to support the prior question (“Do you think you have received the adequate amount of recognition you deserve for your work?”), and through the question “what is the best recognition you have received?”, this study has been successful in figuring out that more than 20% of participants felt the award system was a suitable model of acknowledgement which had been given via the company. Almost 17% of participants said that they were in favour of public commendation, with about 16% of participants wanting some form of written commendation. 3% of participants claimed that the most suitable model of acknowledgment that they were given by the Royal Mail were salary increases or promotion prospects.

Regarding the influence of reward systems, question 12, “What is the best reward you have received?”, is similarly deployed in order to strengthen the data acquired from the previous question, “Do you think you have received the adequate amount of reward you deserve for your work?” Results indicate that about 7% of all the participants felt that awards were the most effective means of reward that was offered by the organisation. Elsewhere, about 23% said that they were motivated by financial incentives. About 17% of participants claimed that the most effective form of reward offered to them by the Royal Mail was paid for holidays or extended time for leave. 13% of participants highlighted the fact that promotion was a very attractive type of reward. Additional answers included commendations, or paid-for lunches.

Lastly, this study was successful in presenting qualitative results which supported the investigation of the way staff members would react if offered a similar job with a rival company if offered better reward or motivational systems. The question that was used in the survey was: “Please give reasons why you would accept or reject the offer” (Question 21). Over one quarter of the total participants answered the question stating that their choice, of if they would accept a role elsewhere would be solely reliant upon the salary offered by the rival company. About 27% of participants said that this decision would be affected by the amount of challenge that would be faced, as well as the amount of experience they would gain should they remain with the Royal Mail or move to a rival company. Additional answers include: the length of time the participant had worked at the Royal Mail, and their level of satisfaction with the organisation.

CHAPTER FIVE – ANALYSIS OF DATA

Following the thorough study and investigation of the attained primary data, it is now important to form a succinct evaluation of the results. This section will therefore look at depicting this evaluation as well as providing an interpretation of the results as outlined by the established aims and goals for this study. Drawing on the results of the last section, it is now possible to conclude that the majority of staff members in the organisation do enjoy their work. This fact is reflected by the majority percentage, more than 80%, of participants who answered “yes” to this section of the questionnaire (Question 6). Yet, it remains unclear the exact reason why so many staff members like their work, although a broad selection of answers have been given. Stride et al. (2007) claims “employees can either derive job satisfaction as a result of their intrinsic values or external influence.” “Job satisfaction” refers to an employee’s “happiness” with their job, which, although different to motivation which refers to the factors that encourage a worker to be more productive, job satisfaction has been recognised as a key motivational influence.

The results attained from question 7 suggest that a large percentage of the participants feel that their work is enjoyably challenging, and that this is a considerable influence over their enjoyment of their jobs. More than 12% of participants identified the flexible nature of the job as a key influence over their enjoyment of the role. Additional answers included the responsibility given to them for decision making, the comfortable workplace climate, and salary. It can be seen that these results are in line with Hackman and Oldham’s “job characteristics” theory which postulates to “satisfy” staff members, thus to have a motivational interest in completing their tasks, key elements such as “considerable level of employee autonomy”, “skill variety/ task significance (challenge)” and “job feedback” have to exist within an organisation (Spector, 1997).

From this study it has been possible to assess that the majority (97%) of participants liked being acknowledged by the organisation for their hard-work. As stated by Ventrice (2003), it can be inferred, then, that worker acknowledgment “goes a long way in ensuring that employees repeat impressive performances, and also that other management processes are worthwhile.”

While the majority of participants enjoy being acknowledged by the organisation, the actual acknowledgement that is issued by the organisation does not actual satisfy the majority expectations of the participants. The results attained from question 9 suggest that almost half of the participants were not happy with the amount of acknowledgement they were receiving from the Royal Mail for a number of reasons: a shortage of positive gestures such as oral or written praise and awards, or a deficiency of “proactive” measures such as “criticism and sanctions” (Michael, 2006). Regardless of this, participants from the organisation did register some model of acknowledgement from Royal Mail. A large percentage of participants outlined that they felt that awards were the most suitable model for acknowledgement. Over 33% of participants claimed that oral or written commendations were the most successful model of acknowledgement. The smallest percentage of participants claimed that the most appropriate form of acknowledgement given by the organisation was either the prospect of promotion or salary increases.

It can be assumed that the participants were not happy with the amount of acknowledgement given by the organisation as the recognition strategy was pointed out as insufficient by the volume of participants whose answers suggest that non-financial rewards (such as awards) were suitable ways to acknowledge employees. In addition to this, this claim can be supported by the results of trailing Hypothesis 1 which accepts that workers value monetary-based rewards over any other form of remuneration.

The results attained from the “reward” segment of the survey suggests that almost 43% of the participants believed that they were suitably rewarded for their hard work, while a larger percentage (57%) of the participants claimed that they were not suitably rewarded by the organisation for their hard-work. The most popular model of reward that was given as answer by participants of the survey were, non-financial rewards (57%), financial rewards (27%), and some participants said that they did not receive any form of reward at all. Over 10% refused to give an answer. Therefore it is evidenced that staff members are not universal in their appreciation of the different types of reward systems. These results are also helpful in showing that the most popular reward models within the organisation were aimed at non-financial rewards. As given in Vroom’s “expectancy theory”, organisations must be conscious of the variation amongst worker expectations when forming their reward and motivation strategies. There is naturally going to be some discordance amongst the individuals in the workforce as to the preferred type of reward, and this may influence the future productivity of the workforce and the company. Yet it can be assumed from these results, and the data obtained from question 14, that the workers tend to be more interested in financial rewards, as this was the most popular answer given for this question.

Regardless of this, it remains crucial to consider that although salary increases were one of the most popular answers, that the prospect of promotion and improved decision making responsibilities were also popular answers. These results suggest that while workers do like monetary incentive, there is a strong change that the majority of the workforce believe that it would be more appropriate to be given both financial and non-monetary types of incentive.

The issue of the significance of motivational factors regarding the productivity of a workforce is relevant regarding both the organisation and the workforce. As Bruce and Pepitone (1999) states: “for employees to put up satisfactory performance, it is necessary that employers align organizational interest with those of their employees in order to ensure that there is a motive to perform.” The organisation will want to have all tasks and objectives completed to the highest professional standards, while staff members have the expectation that they will receive some degree of personal and psychological fulfilment from their work. The “psychological expectations” of the staff member are not universal and will depend upon the individual worker. This is proposed by Vroom and appears to that this study is no exception.

When investigating and analysing the findings, of all the participants, 97% felt that motivational factors were very important in maintaining they worked hard and completed their tasks to their highest standards. Thus, it was also found that the majority of workers felt that this motivational “drive” is important to improve their performance in the workplace. What motivates them, however, is driven by intrinsic and external influences. The results attain from question 17 suggest that a large proportion of the participants feel that they are driven by internal influences, the trialling of the hypothesis showed that this conclusion is not correct. This study has been able to correct this assumption and show that the majority of workers at Royal Mail were in fact motivated by their personal interest and other external influences. The staff members enjoyed their jobs and the availability of external influences translated this enjoyment into greater productivity and a better work ethic.

The majority of the participants of the questionnaire said they were not suitably motivated by the Royal Mail. The answers given to the survey indicate that this could be due to a variety of factors such as the lack of acknowledgement: the answers attained from question 19 showed that salary and rewards were the primary influences in motivating the workforce. Yet previous research has suggested that acknowledgement from the organisation, as well as the reward system, implemented by the organisation often seemed to offer more non-financial rewards.

Thus, this has been evidenced in the answers given when asked about the staff member’s attitude regarding their work and the company as a whole. The data collected from question 20 reflect that more than half of the participants would actually move to a rival company. In these situations then it is assumed that each person’s enjoyment of work is redundant; it is more about what can be earned from the job.

Yet for question 21 the participants from this organisation all provided suitable reasons for their “decision”; the most common answer was that they required a greater salary or an improved challenge. These answered certify the results which indicate that staff members at the Royal Mail are internally and externally driven.

CHAPTER SIX – CONCLUSION

This study was undertaken with the objective of gaining an insight and comprehension of the effectiveness of reward and motivational systems put in place by organisations such as the Royal Mail to get the most out of their workforce. The study has investigated the key theories surrounding this subject, and been able to formulate important conclusive findings from each part of this process. The study would be useful in aiding staff members in developing their productivity and for organisations to satisfy their own objectives. By identifying and gaining an understanding of the reward and motivation systems the study has been able to conclude that acknowledging and rewarding staff members for their hard-work must be an essential part of any successful organisation. By doing this the company indicates to its workforce that it does care and consider the welfare of its employees which will in turn further motivate the workers to work harder and be more productive.

Also, organisations must be selective when establishing their reward and motivation systems; there remain possible dangers and threats to improper reward structures, which may engender occurrences such as over-ambitious employees, a sense of inequality or the loss of self-esteem in the staff. Regardless of this, it remains crucial that organisations make sure that their reward structures allow for the simple and systematic fulfilment of a worker’s intrinsic aims.

This study has been successful in concluding that, while there are some universal elements to motivation and reward which encourage workers to be more productive, it must be considered that these systems cannot be generalised as the workforce is a dynamic entity and different individuals will have different goals and expectations. For example, if an organisation were to handle its staff using the typical theory that workers are motivate to be more productive because of the interplay of elements in the “hierarchy of needs”, then workers could feel that these factors are different from those given by this theory and this will be better motivation to them. Therefore, this study concludes by suggesting that organisations must make sure that the issues pertaining to worker “hygiene factors” are suitably dealt with. If this is handled, then a foundation for which suitable motivating factors can flourish and thrive will in turn produce more productive workers.

This study also concludes that the rewards and motivation system is the most dynamic performance improving technique because, as the accumulated data suggests, motivation handles the staff members attitudes towards work and why these attitudes differ. An organisation which is rigid in their approach to motivating staff members will not necessarily be able to motivate all of its workers. A more flexible approach can potentially develop the staff member’s abilities, self-esteem and completion of goals. This suggests that by properly managing their workforce through the correct implementation of suitable reward and motivational schemes, an organisation can create a more productive workforce which will in turn help the organisation achieve its own goals and be more successful in the future.

CHAPTER SEVEN – AFTERWORD

Before I began working on this dissertation, I believe that the work and processes that I would have to undertake for my study would be similar to the work I have done in the past and in the course of writing my term time assignments. Yet I was soon surprised by the challenges I faced in the effort to complete this study.

I had first handed in a proposal to undertake an investigation of “strategic human resource management”, with the Royal Mail as the organisation I would focus on. I wanted to gain an insight and understanding of how Strategic HRM could be useful in assisting organisations with gaining a competitive advantage of their competitors. Yet this was a very broad topic and, due to my time and resource restrictions, I accepted that I needed to narrow my ambitions and moved my focus to the more concise idea of the rewards and motivation structures that were implemented by organisations to improve workforce productivity, and which was more specific to the dynamic parts of Strategic HRM.

I established a new aim and a new study point: I sought to comprehend the ways in which reward and motivation systems functioned, they role they served within organisations, and the way they were perceived by the workforce they sought to address. I was particularly interested in the way that these systems affected, and were affected by, staff member’s attitudes and how these influenced the productivity of a company.

I became further compelling with this subject when I studied more about the dynamic temperament of staff expectations with regards to these systems. I looked at the work undertaken by behavioural scientists, such as McIlwraith (2006) and this developed my interest in understanding the differing nature of staff behaviour.

When I began further research into this subject I began to come across a series of challenges: firstly, the restriction of resources was a big problem; I found it very difficult to get access to relevant texts and resources for my research. Another issue was making sure that my propositions were fully reconcilable with the study aims that I had established. It became clear that an effort at understanding and dealing with these study objectives was becoming increasingly more difficult: more questions and issues emerged as I continued my research. Another considerable issue that I had was regarding the assimilation of my research data. Although I had direct access to the organisation due to a close friend who worked in the middle-level management of the company, it was a challenge to find the 40 participants for my survey. Overall it took four weeks to get the answers from all 40 participants. This was the biggest challenge to my study. However, I was fortunate enough that I was buoyed by a good selection of secondary texts and analytical tools which enabled me to work quickly with the data I accumulated.

In hindsight I would have began working on this study much earlier. I feel that I began the research too late and, as a result, was very pressured by time which meant I had to abandon my initial idea of having a comparison study of another two postal services. This also meant working for long hours on my dissertation, as well as having additional proofreading and supervision with the format and styling of the work.

If I had more time I would have carried out further research and, as mentioned, additional comparative studies into other postal services and then cross examine the results attained from the various organisations. This would be very revealing and would allow me to further investigate the ways in which employee’s expectations of motivation and reward systems can be generalised or whether they are more dynamic, geographically and individually (i.e. do the majority of staff in one area share the a similar expectation which differs from the shared expectation of staff from another area).

Nonetheless, this study has been successful and enriched my understanding of proper research processes. I feel that I have developed my time keeping skills, my analytical and evaluating abilities, and my capability to critically analyse primary information. Also I have developed my academic writing skills, and learnt how to structure and formulate a well-paced yet convincing study of an interesting topic. I have thoroughly enjoyed undertaking this research and have found the subject to be engaging, stimulating and very interesting.

Lastly, this study has developed my comprehension of reward and motivational systems that are implemented in organisations and, as a result, has possibly developed my personal skills. I am now very confident that I can take the theories that I have investigated forward into a dynamic working environment and implement them to benefit the workforce and the organisation itself.

I would like to thank my supervisor once again for their immense patience, and for my friends at the Royal Mail for allowing me this opportunity and giving me their time and effort to complete my survey, without which I could not have completed this dissertation.

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