Effect of terms of employment in staff motivation: case of selected government institutions in Kenya
Mwangi, Zachary Kamau
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Motivation is the force that energizes behaviour, gives direction to behaviour and underlies the tendency to persist, even in the face of one or more obstacles. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of terms of employment on motivation level of employees in parastatal organizations in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to: identify the various terms of employment offered to the employees in the selected government institutions; determine the level of motivation of the employees in the selected government institutions; and to find out the relationship between the terms of employment and motivational level of the employees in the selected government institutions. The theoretical basis of this study is the Hertzberg's two factor theory and the Expectancy Valence theory. Other theories of motivation have been discussed to reinforce this. As documented in empirical literature, the main issues affecting staff motivation revolve around the nature of physical working conditions, nature of work performed by the employees, the leadership styles, and the type of the organizational structure. The case of the effects of terms of employment on motivation of workers in public sector organizations are not explicitly researched or systematically documented. The need to fill this knowledge gap is the motivation behind this study. Hence, the purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of terms of employment on motivation of employees in selected state parastatals in Kenya. The study applied a descriptive research design. The target population was derived from five selected state corporations namely: the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC); the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF); the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA); the Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Ninety three (93) respondents were interviewed from the five state corporations. The study relied on primary data. Data from the staff in the selected corporations was collected through administration of a structured questionnaire. Interview guides were used to collect data from the heads of human resource departments of each selected parastatal. The data was analyzed using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Quantitative analysis involved creating descriptive statistics namely percentages, and measures of central tendency. The scalar types of questions were analyzed by using the descriptive statistics to establish the level of perception to various attributes provided. Inferential statistics namely t- test and F-test were applied in testing the relationship between terms of employment and motivation of staff across the three categories of sample to assess if there are any significant variations. A multiple linear regression model was used to examine whether the association remains significant between categorical variables after the possible differences in motivational factors have been taken into account. The data was presented by using tables. Inferential analysis showed that the moderated terms of employment are positively correlated to aspects of job loyalty and staff turnover. This led to acceptance of the alternative hypothesis that the terms of employment moderate the relationship between the offer of employment and motivational level of employees in parastatals, where the motivational level is indicated by one's desire to stay on the job based on the terms of offer. The study recommends the need for the management to encourage career growth and set schemes and structures that state how employee progress and promotions. There is need for three way communication (top-down, bottom-up and horizontal). Supervision should be guided by clearly determined procedures. Equitable and adequate provision of terms of employment enhances staff motivation. Contract employment should be substituted with permanent employment since a permanent job offers an individual the luxuries of job security and stability. Further research should be done on the appropriate Human Resource Development (HRD) strategies that can help improve on terms of employment and motivational levels for employees in the public sector(s) organizations.