Factors affecting motivation of employees: the case of Thika district health workers
Government health workers in Kenya have always portrayed lack of devotion at their places of work. This is evident in their inability to offer effective and efficient services in the areas of their jurisdictions. The qualified staff has frequently left their jobs for greener pastures where they are granted better remuneration. This can be seen through the many nurses and doctors who migrate to the United States of America and other developed countries every year, not to mention those who move to the lucrative Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Consequently, there are shortages of staff in some departments, while doctors and nurses are usually absent as they attend private business. Two key questions therefore arise: what is the motivation level of health workers in Kenya; and, what factors account for health workers' motivation? Various studies have been conducted on the effects of motivation on work performance. Most of these research findings indicate that high job morale lead to an increased effort for more effective work performance. Most of these studies have been carried out either in education settings (secondary schools and universities) or among factory workers. The study therefore sought to investigate the factors affecting motivation of health workers in government health facilities in Thika district. Specifically the study aimed at finding out: how satisfaction of needs affects motivation of health workers in government health facilities in Thika district, how job enrichment affects motivation of health workers in government health facilities in Thika district, how goal setting affects motivation of health workers in government health facilities in Thika district, and the steps that can be taken to improve motivation of health workers in Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey design, targeting all health workers working in various government health facilities in Thika District. The study participants included 62 health workers serving in various government health facilities in Thika district. Data was collected using questionnaires for health workers and an interview schedule for the District Medical Officer of Health (DMOH). Quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques were utilized in analyzing data collected from health workers. Results of quantitative analysis were reported using frequency counts and percentages and presented in summary form using frequency tables, pie charts and bar charts. The study established that majority of the health workers were demotivated with respect to satisfaction of needs factors and job enrichment factors. About fifty percent of the health workers were motivated with respect to goal setting factors. Health workers suggested that their salaries and allowances should be increased, working conditions improved, bed capacity increased in hospitals, all essential drugs be provided, and promotions be done on merit. They further suggested that employees should be sponsored for further studies and good work recognized in order to improve their motivation.