Library Philosophy and Practice 2012
Staff Motivation in the University of Lagos Libraries, Nigeria
In most establishments, the desire to achieve optimal level of productivity is very central to managerial objectives. To attain this level, management of any organisation needs to look in wards as to how best the staff's morale can be boosted through a number of incentives. Researchers have over the years looked into how best workers can be motivated and how the employees were expected to behave and conduct themselves for the purpose of organisational effectiveness and a high level of productivity. Therefore, the continued existence and functioning of an organisation according to Adebisi (2000) depends largely on the extent to which such an organisation is effective and efficient. In his research, 'organisational effectiveness' is the degree to which an organisation realises its goals.'
There were quite a number of researches conducted on this subject matter. The earliest economist such as Adam (1994) sees man as a rational animal motivated by the desire to maximise his economic gain and this has subsequently led management to believe that workers can be instantly motivated to increase production by means of mere promise of more money. However, the psychological theory of motivation gives one an insight into factors which influence human behaviour on the attitudinal disposition of the individuals as Robin (1996) divided motivational theories into two categories termed content and process. In content theory, it is assumed that every individual possesses the same set of needs, that is, having similar needs while the process theory stresses differences in people's needs and focus on the cognitive processes that create these differences.
Motivation is the sense of needs, the desire that prompts an individual to act. Hackett (1976) sees motivation as something which implies a person to act, a reason for behaviour. It is about understanding the need for urge which will prompt people to do things and provide ways of helping them satisfy those needs through organisations.
Incentives involve needs that exist within the individual needs. Satisfaction within individuals may prompt them to engage in behaviour directed towards the attainment of goals. The diagram below shows the sequence of events that comprise the motivational process.
Need (tension) > > > > Goal directed behaviour > > > > Incentive > > > > Goal Achieved > > > > Reduced (tension).
The inclusion of the word tension indicates that with many motivational situations, the individual senses feeling of tension. Motivation is said to be multidimensional (Obadofin (2000). First, the arousal of need which creates a state of disequilibrium (i.e. tension) within the individuals, these individuals will then search for and choose strategies to satisfy these needs. Thirdly, the individual will engage in goal directed behaviour or performance to carry the selected strategy – creating a basic model of motivation that incorporates the concepts of needs, drives, goals and rewards. This step of developing the basic emotional model is to relax this sequential or process framework as shown below:
Figure1: Motivational Model
The model above attempts to show the basic relationship between the identification of arousal of needs through the state where strategies to satisfy these needs are formulated. These, assisted by individuals' ability leads to behaviour or performance which is directed at achieving the individual goals thereby satisfying his needs. After this stage, the individual's performance or level of work is graded. This could be done by comparing the actual level with the expected level of performance. Besides, this stage motivator/ rewards or punishes the individual depending on his appraised performance. After this stage, the individual re-evaluates and re-assesses his needs. This will either lead him to start again where his needs have not been met or to be satisfied.
Contemporary Models of Motivation
One of the widely accepted theories of motivation is the hierarchy of needs propounded by a psychologist, Abraham Maslow. He ranked human needs in ascending order from the lowest to the highest needs. In his theory, we can deduce that human needs are continuous and that the satisfaction of one need leads to another higher need in the hierarchical level. These needs are in order of importance such that lower needs must be satisfied before the needs at immediate higher level of hierarchy.
Maslow identified four categories or classifications of needs – which represent the order of importance to the individual. These needs are:
Figure 2: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943)
Herzberg (1959) identified two independent work motivators as extrinsic and intrinsic factors otherwise called theory 'X' and 'Y'. His findings were the outcome of a research work carried out amongst engineers and accountants within a cross-section of Pittsburgh Industry. The extrinsic factors also referred to by Herzberg research group as hygiene factors or dissatisfying, e.g. supervision. Working condition, salary and inter-personal relations. On the other hand the motivators or satisfiers are those relating to the needs for achievement, responsibility, recognition, work and opportunity for advancement. Herzberg developed further his hygiene-motivator theory in order to find out how best to motivate workers. In the interview he conducted on workers, it was discovered from the responses from the workers the periods they felt good on their jobs to such things as achievement, recognition, responsibility and work itself. And as for the time they felt bad, they pointed to working conditions, mode of supervision, peer-relations and company policy.
Objectives of the Study
The objective of this research work is to examine the performance of the University of Lagos Libraries' staff in relation to the incentives or motivational packages.
To find out the causes of low performance with a view to making useful recommendations so that the service can achieve best performance standing.
To observe the role of human element in the organisation and its importance in achieving organisational objectives.
To study and identify the management activities with the view of making useful recommendations for improvement.
This is a survey work and the methodological approach takes the form of cross-sectional study across all the strata of the staff. Sampling procedure involved a combination of simple random sampling technique and the quota system of all the sections, and classes of all workers for proper representation.
The data gathering instrument used in this study was the structured questionnaire schedule administered to about 80 staff of the libraries of University of Lagos but our analysis were based on 58 of 174 valid responses representing 37.18% sample population. The statistical test of Null hypothesis was applied to test the hypotheses.
Some hypothetical statements were formulated and tested. The hypothetical statements were:
1. That a well remunerated and motivated staff would perform efficiently.
2. That promotion of staff based on merit and performance would affect their productivity.
3. That training and development programmes would motivate staff to perform.
Of the 174 population of academic, technical/administrative and junior staff in these libraries, 58 out of 80 questionnaires administered returned represents 65% response. The illustration of the relationship between the total population (174) and the sampled size is demonstrated with chi square statistical analysis below:
Table 1: The table below shows population distribution of the sampled size.
R = 0.9154
The value obtained from this calculation showed a strong positive correlation between population size and the sample size.
This study covered Akoka main Library, College of Education and College of Medicine, Idi-araba, Lagos. The response distribution showed that Akoka main Library accounted for 55%, College of Medicine recorded 38% while College of Education was 7%. Further more, the sex distribution showed that male response was 57% while female counterpart had 43%.Distribution based on status was made. Academic staff accounted for 24%, while the junior cadre was 48%. Additionally, amongst the respondents, those people who were just below 5 years in service was 17 while those of 5-10 years were 20% others who. were 11-20 years represents 12% while 21-39 years was 43% and 31 years and above was 6%.
Figure 3: AGE DISTRIBUTION
The modal response was 51 which indicated the ages between 36-45. This category of staff might have put in quite a number of years in service. Those that fell within 46 and 60 years were 24%. Those group of staff are getting closer to their retirement age.
The motivational theories had suggested financial and non-financial incentives Jason (2004), Nelson (2002), Night (2001), Alexander (2001). Amongst the financial incentives were salaries, bonuses, promotion, day work, measured day work, piece work, Profit sharing etc, while the non-financial incentive include:
Social incentives e.g. Medical services, life assurance, health insurance, recreational programme, cafeteria, housing, legal and financial counselling, and educational assistance.
(A) Psychological incentives which include praise, recognition of job well done, friendliness, honesty and job security.
(B) Participation incentive this includes the acceptance of employees' suggestions – a device to improve communication and morale of workers.
With the provision of arrays of financial and non-financial incentives, very many of the employees preferred increase in salary and promotion (76%). 27% of the staff wanted medical services; recreation was 5%, while pension scheme was 10%. Others who maintained indifferent position accounted for 18%.57% strongly agreed to the fact that sufficient incentive plans induce and motivate workers to work efficiently. 37% agreed, 40% disagreed, while 2% maintained indifferent position.
Workers' participation in decision-making will be a morale booster, 52% strongly agreed and 46% agreed to this positional statement. Only 2% disagreed. Furthermore, 69% of the staff wanted their efforts and competence on the job to be appreciated and recognised. 29% agreed whilst 20% maintained silence.
Application of fringe benefits cannot be ignored if organizational goal is to be realised or maintained. The analysed data on this very subject matter showed it clearly. 62% strongly agreed while 36% agreed that incentives would motivate workers and promote a sense of belonging within the organisation.
Furthermore, another area explored by the researchers was the likely impact the excessive control will have on the libraries. Over 90% of the responses collated strongly agreed that excessive control by the University administrators cum government will make it impossible for library manager to take vital decisions at a crucial period and this may affect workers' productivity. Others disagreed to this statement in question.
Research revealed that promotions were not rapid. It was clearly indicated from the responses gathered that before promotion to the next grade level, such staff would have spent between 4-6 years (72%). 10% of the respondents said 7 years and above while others (12%) were of the view that there is no specified period. 2% posited that promotion is based on publications. This category of staff was academics as they are expected to have some scholarly publications in reputable journals before promotion can come their ways.
However, 53% believed or strongly agreed that opportunity for promotion to greater responsibilities and corresponding higher pay motivate workers. 41% agreed while 4% disagreed. Others remained indifferent. There is no doubt in saying that organisation can get its best from the staff when they are timely advanced to greater position of responsibilities.
Training and retraining of staff in academic setting is paramount in order to move with the trends of things in society. Society is dynamic, therefore, it will be very injurious to the organisation if their staffs is not exposed to the innovations and newness of job techniques. The findings showed very clearly that staffs are not attending training regularly. 100% of the pooled responses confirmed this point. However, 86% strongly agreed that adequate and proper training of would lead to efficiency while 14% just agreed to this statement. There is no doubt that adequate training and retraining will bring about organisational efficiency, increased productivity and increased worker's satisfaction.
Furthermore, 20% of these workers suggested two times a year for the attendance of training, 24% wanted it once a year, 29% once in 2 years while 8% wanted it once in 3 years, other remained indifferent.
Factors of Production
Additionally, all of the staff strongly agreed that technological advancement, creativity of the staff ands work efficiency of the organisation when combined effectively are the ingredients that will bring about increase in productivity and efficiency.
Equipment and Environment
Adequate equipment and conducive environment are paramount in enhancing increased productivity. In other words, good working environment will attract or motivate workers to work. The responses pooled proved this point. 70% strongly agreed while other disagreed.
It will not be incorrect to say that an increase in productivity is a determinant factor in the welfare of the population and the nation. When every worker puts in his/her best the result will be increase in productivity as well as increase in the aggregate productivity of that nation – increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income of the nationals. The questionnaire analysed showed that 76% strongly agreed to this assertion.
Merit Award Scheme
Many organisations have adopted merit award. This scheme was introduced to the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos in order to boost the morale of the staff some years ago. The research findings showed that 91% of the respondents supported merit award scheme, 4% disagreed and 5% remained indifferent.
Highly subsidised transportation incentive was highly favoured by the staff. They strongly agreed that the scheme would definitely increase the morale of the staff and productivity level would be jerked up. 37% strongly agreed while 51% agreed to this area of incentive scheme. However, 4% strongly disagreed whilst 8% remained neutral. Effective transportation service will be of benefit to the workers of these libraries surveyed and the organisation.
Salaries as an Incentive
The research showed that a well remunerated staff will highly motivate him to perform effectively well on his job. Statistics showed that about 63% strongly agreed whilst 34% agreed. 3% disagreed to this statement.
Test of Hypotheses and Interpretation of Results
The statistical tool adopted for testing the hypothesis formulated for this study is the chi-square (X2) method of data analysis.
Statement Required to Test Hypotheses
The statements used to test the hypothesis from the tables below were generated from the questionnaire.
A well-remunerated and motivated staff would perform effectively.
Promotion of staff based on merit and performance would affect their productivity
Adequate and proper training of staff would lead to efficiency
Observed Values for Hypotheses
Computation of the Expected Values
Chi-Square Statistics for the Hypotheses
At 5% level of significance = 0.05. If X2 calculated is greater than the chi-square table, the Ho hypothesis is therefore rejected and otherwise. X2 calculated was 22.41. From the table X2 0.05, 8 df = 15.5073 which was estimated at 15.51.
Since X2 calculated was 22.41> X2 table which was 15.51, we can therefore reject Ho hypothesis and accept H1. In other words, we can conclude that good remuneration and other motivating variables enhance job performance. Thus, the statement was valid.
Conclusion and Recommendations
For any organisation to achieve it main objectives, consideration must be given to the human resources available to the organisation in terms of welfare so that the organisation can achieve the aim in a more efficient manner. This is because human wants are many and unless their needs are satisfied, they cannot be motivated. In concluding this research work, it should be recalled that the researchers have been able to identify and analyse the concept and importance of incentive scheme. Various theories of motivation were discussed, references were made to the fact that the study and understanding of people at work by the management play an important role in motivation.
Research clearly showed that some of the incentive schemes will jerk up workers' productivity leve such as workers' participation in decision making, regular promotion and trainings. Others include technological advancement and creativity of staff when effectively combined with other factors of production, equipment and environment, merit award, transportation as well as salaries.
The researchers make the following recommendations to the management in order to fill all necessary gaps that may have been existing as regards its attitude towards the introduction and application of incentives relating to both junior and senior levels of staff, (academic and non-academic).
Worker Participation in Decision-Making
Research result showed that the morale of all the categories of staffs would be boosted if they are involved in some of the decision-makings. Therefore, management of these libraries must carry along all the strata of staff in taking some vital decisions that affect them. It is a process of making them belong and such decisions would be respected by the generality of staff.
The morale of staff can be dampened if a staff that is due for promotion is denied and a drop in the productivity level. Promotion plays an important role in improving organisational productivity. Some workers are motivated when given challenging opportunities. When workers are promoted at appropriate time, such one will not only be motivated but such strategy will also prevent high labour turnover and absenteeism.
Training and Staff Development
Training and retraining of all levels of staff is imperative in order to move with the society and to be at par with other libraries within and outside the constituency. 100% of the pooled responses confirmed that staff are not attending training regularly. As it was earlier mentioned that adequate training and retraining will bring about organisational efficiency, increased productivity and increased workers' satisfaction. The management must pursue this approach seriously and cannot afford to shy away from this motivating factor.
Research showed clearly that technological advancement breeds creativity and work efficiency. When this is effectively combined with other factors of production, it jerks up productivity level. Management of these libraries must harness their opportunity. The world all over is being bridged together as a result of information and communication technology. No library can effectively succeed in her operation without being connected with others. This is achieved through the Internet connectivity. This service must be improved upon.
Other incentives such as allowances in housing, transport, hazards as well as merit award scheme, transport system, canteens and recreational facilities should be provided (where it does not exist) and improved upon (where the service is not adequately enough).
The incentive scheme in relation to its effect on staff productivity have shown that success or failure of any organisation depends largely on the application of incentive scheme. To make any incentive compensation plan a successful one, it must be very flexible and able to induce and motivate all categories of staff towards high productivity and the importance attached to it should be such that it reflects its worth so that workers could perform faster and even better on their jobs.
Finally, libraries as well as university administrators should have it in mind that once an incentive package has been installed, it can never be discontinued.
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