Employee Engagement and Performance of Non Academic Staff in Selected Public Universities in Kenya
Wambui, Nderitu Mercy
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Performances of public universities in Kenya have deteriorated owing to elevated earning tariffs as well as connected issues such as elevated levels of absenteeism, little allegiance and poor performance. This has resulted in poor service delivery, unsatisfied customers and ultimately poor productivity. Leaders of public universities in Kenya have been implementing strategies geared towards performance improvement. Employee engagement is one such strategy meant to consistently affect key performance outcomes. Consequently, this study sought to establish the degree to which employee engagement influences performance of non -academic staff in selected public universities in Kenya. In a more specific focus, the study examined the extent to which work environment , leadership, team and co-worker relationship , training and career development , and remuneration; influence performance of non–academic staff in public Universities. Accordingly, independent variable in the conceptual framework included; work environment, leadership, team and co-worker relationship teaching and career development and remuneration and also the dependent variable was performance. The study was based on four theories namely, Expectancy Theory, Contingency Theory, Abrahams Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory and Equity Theory. Descriptive research design targeting a population of selected non-academic staff in three chosen public universities that is; (University of Nairobi), (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture), and (Kenyatta University) was applied. The target population was 7403 non- academic staff .The sample size was 365 staff non -academic staff. The study used primary data collected from respondents through questionnaires, while Secondary data was collected from, publications, journals and websites and consistency of data collection instruments was ascertained through Cronbach alpha coefficient. The validity and reliability of research instruments was determined to ascertain how relevant and adequate the items were to the study variables of interest The correlation between the independent and dependent variables was determined by the use of regression analysis. Data was coded; cleaned and analysed using SPSS software. Data was presented on tables, bar graphs. The study revealed that work environment, leadership, team and co-worker relationships, training and career development and remuneration had positively and significantly influenced employee performance. The study concluded that a positive work atmosphere allows workers to collaborate on projects and work in teams. The study concluded that a good leader will ensure that employees are reminded of the organization's mission and principles, and that they are reminded to incorporate them into their everyday activities. The study concluded that the maintenance of positive working relationships has the potential to boost employees' moods, resulting in increased productivity. The study concluded that training programs are usually designed to improve a particular skill or collection of skills in order to meet a company's immediate need. The study concluded that better remuneration attracts qualified applicants for employment, motivates workers to accomplish corporate goals/improved results, and allows competent employees to stay on for a long time. The study recommended that when selecting an office, the University's management weigh staff needs such as parking, access to local facilities and food sources, and whether the actual office space is comfortable, spacious, and airy. The study recommended that in addition to practical experience on how to operate their departments, university administrators can demonstrate skillful use of their people-management abilities to keep workers involved. The study recommended that when it comes to forming workplace relationships, the university can improve relationship skills such as communication, active listening, and dispute resolution. The study recommended that on boarding processes and new-hire preparation should be designed by University management to ensure that staff are informed and oriented on standards and customer satisfaction. The study recommended that the University management should focus on attracting and retaining talented workers, as well as promoting and rewarding the right behaviors that drive a high-performing organizational culture.