Last Updated 01 Sep 2020

Work Satisfaction and Motivation

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    Increasingly, organizations are realizing that they have to establish an equitable balance between the employee’s contribution to the organization and the organization’s contribution to the employee. Establishing this balance is one of the main reasons to reward and recognize employees.

    Organizations that follow a strategic approach to creating this balance focus on the three main components of a reward system, which include, compensation, benefits, and recognition (Deeprose, 1994). Studies that have been conducted on the topic indicates that the most common problem in organizations today is that they miss the important component of recognition, which is the low-cost, high-return ingredient to a well-balanced reward system. A key focus of recognition is to make employees feel appreciated and valued (Sarvadi, 2005).

    Research has proven that employees who get recognized tend to have higher self-esteem, more confidence, more willingness to take on new challenges, and more eagerness to be innovative (Mason, 2001). The aim of this study is to investigate whether rewards and recognition have an impact on employee motivation. A biographical and Work Motivation Questionnaire was administered to respondents (De Beer, 1987). The sample group (N= 184) consists of male and female employees on post-grade levels 5 to 12. The results of the research indicated that there is a positive relationship between rewards, recognition, and motivation.

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    The results also revealed that women and employees from non-white racial backgrounds experienced lower levels of rewards, recognition, and motivation. Future research on the latter issues could yield interesting insights into the different factors that motivate employees.

    Notwithstanding the insights derived from the current research, results need to be interpreted with caution since a convenience sample was used, thereby restricting the generalizability to the wider population.

    Data Gathering Instrument

    For the purpose of this study a quantitative methodology was followed and a questionnaire was used as the measuring instrument. According to Leary (2004), the major advantages of questionnaires are that they can be administered to groups of people simultaneously, and they are less costly and less time-consuming than other measuring instruments. The data gathering techniques used included a biographical questionnaire and the Work Satisfaction and Motivation Questionnaire as set out by De Beer (1987).

    Biographical Questionnaire

    The biographical questionnaire was a self-developed questionnaire that incorporated the following personal information of the respondents, gender, home language, marital status, age, race, job classification, education, qualifications, job grade, and tenure.

    Refer to Appendix 2.

    Work Satisfaction and Motivation Questionnaire

    The questionnaire as set out by De Beer (1987) incorporates the sixteen factors of Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

    The questionnaire consisted of nine dimensions that impact employee satisfaction and motivation.

    Refer to Appendix 3.

    The Nine Dimensions of the Questionnaire

    According to De Beer (1987), the nine dimensions are as follows:

    1. Work content probed the respondents’ feelings about the type of work they do.
    2. Payment probed respondents’ satisfaction with their salaries.
    3. Promotion probed for the opportunity that the organization offers for promotion.
    4. Recognition probed whether the respondent was receiving the recognition and feedback for the jobs they perform.
    5. Working conditions were probed as the fifth factor and looked at the opportunity to mix with colleagues and interpersonal relations.
    6. Benefits looked at whether the benefits such as a pension, medical schemes, and leave were satisfactory.
    7. Personal probed the respondents’ feelings towards their job.
    8. Leadership or supervision probed the level of satisfaction with the manager.
    9. General probed if the respondents had considered alternative employment, and hence their level of satisfaction with the organization.

    Appendix 2 Biographical Information

    1. Gender Male Female
    2. Home / Preferred language English Afrikaans Xhosa Other
    3. Marital Status Single Married Divorced Widowed
    4. Age Under 20 years 21 –30 years 31 – 40 years 41 – 50 years 51 – 60 years 61 years & older
    5. Race African Asian Colored White
    6. Job Classification Specialist Line Manager Clerical/ Administration If you are unsure which category, please state your occupation:
    7. Educational Qualification < Std 8 Matric Diploma Degree Masters Other (Please specify)
    8. Job Grade PG 9 PG 10 PG 11 PG 12 PG 13 PG 14 PG 15
    9. How long have you been employed at this company? Less than 1 year 1 year – 5 years 6 years – 10 years 11 years – 15 years 16 years – 20 years 21 years or longer

    Appendix 3 Work Satisfaction and Motivation Questionnaire

    1. Introduction

    It is fairly obvious that people differ from one another in what they need and expect to get from different areas of their lives. Please think about the work you do and because most jobs are not perfect, consider what would make it better from your point of view.

    2. Method for Answering Questions

    With each question, you have a choice of three answers.

    Choose one of the following: TRUE = T NOT SURE = NS UNTRUE = U Mark your answers with a cross (X).

    3. 1 I am interested in my work123
    3. 2 My work consists of a variety of work123
    3. 3 I receive training daily which teaches me something new123
    3. 4 My work is easy123
    3. 5 The amount of work is easy to handle123
    3. 6 I control the amount of work I do myself123
    3. 7 I am completely independent of others123
    3. 8 I regard the content of my work as responsible123
    3. 9 I know exactly what my mistakes are123
    3. 10 I am allowed to decide on the methods for doing the work123
    3. 11 I am proud to say what kind of work I do123
    3. 12 My work is the way to future success123
    3. 13 I will not be dismissed without good reason123
    3. 14 I have the opportunity to take part when decisions are made123
    3. 15 I feel that my work is of value in my department123
    3. 16 There is not time for idleness123
    3. 17 I have a certain degree of authority in my work123
    4. 1 My salary is satisfactory in relation to what I do123
    4. 2 I earn the same as or more that other people in a similar job123
    4. 3 The basis of payment, for example overtime payment, is reasonable123
    4. 4 Salary increases are decided on a fair manner123
    5. 1 I will be promoted within the next two years123
    5. 2 Everyone has an equal chance to be promoted123
    5. 3 Staff are promoted in a fair and honest way123
    6. 1 I am praised regularly for my work123
    6. I receive constructive criticism about my work123
    6. 3 I get credit for what I do123
    6. 4 I am told that I am making progress123
    7. 1 My working hours are reasonable123
    7. 2 I am never overworked123
    7. 3 I get the opportunity to mix with my colleagues and to communicate on aspects of our work123
    8. 1 My pensions benefits are good123
    8. 2 My medical scheme is satisfactory123
    8. 3 I never have problems with my arrangements for leave123
    9. I am given work in accordance with my qualifications a skills123
    9. 2 I work in the department of my choice123
    10. 1 Is satisfied easily123
    10. 2 Will support me if there are problems123
    10. 3 Can be convinced and persuaded123
    10. 4 Is a warm-hearted person123
    11. 1 I have considered changing jobs123
    11. 2 I have been looking out for another job123
    11. 3 I am thinking of resigning123

    Please check to make sure that you have not missed any questions.

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    Work Satisfaction and Motivation. (2017, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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