In Nigeria’s labour intensive construction industry, ways of motivating workers to ensure high productivity and enhanced job performance are regarded as important factors for long-term survival of firms. Financial motivation is adjudged a lower level motivator and should not be treated as a prime motivator by many authors. This study investigates the effectiveness of non-financial motivational schemes employed by construction firms within the Lagos metropolis. A survey research design was adopted. The survey instrument comprises two sets of close ended questionnaires administered to skilled and semi-skilled workers and the management staff. The findings of the study reveal that the most effective non-financial motivation to skilled and semi-skilled workers include workers training, promotion, and workshops. The value of this study for national development is in view of the slow response of the construction industry of developing countries to mechanization of construction operation, which leaves them with large workforce, necessitating the need to adopt an effective means of motivation to enhance productivity.
1.1 Background of study
According to Mee-Edoiye and Andawei (2002), employees in the civil and building construction industry of any country are the largest compared to other single industries. The output of the industry also accounts for over 50% of the country’s gross capital formation (Fagbenle et al., 2004), and 3% – 8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most countries (Aiyetan and Olotuah, 2006). The continuous decline in the productivity of the construction industry of developed and developing economy has been widely reported (Kaming et al., 1998; Arditi and Mokhtar, 2000; Akindele, 2003). The construction industry in Nigeria like any other developing country is labour intensive because of its slow response to mechanisation of construction operations necessitating the need to adopt an effective means of motivation to enhance productivity. Hewage and Ruwanpuwa, (2006) acknowledge the fact that Productivity improvement is one of the key focus areas in the construction industry in Alberta, as well as in North America.
Olomolaiye and Price (1989) argued that construction work contains some inherent Department of Building, University of Lagos, Nigeria intrinsic motivators and that in order to motivate workers, the management should provide a congenial working climate for motivators such as the work itself, feelings of accomplishment by the worker and recognition of efforts. They further claimed that financial motivation or pay (in form of salary) is a lower level motivator and should not be treated as a prime motivator. Olomolaiye (1990), in his study on bricklayers’ motivation in the United Kingdom concluded that motivation does not influence the rate of working but rather what determines how fast a worker produces is more of a function of his equipment and skill employed. Workers who are inadequately motivated according to Ng et al, (2004) become apathetic or even resentful of their work. They further argued that low productivity can be attributed to the presence of a number of demotivators and therefore motivation cannot manifest in improved productivity unless these demotivators are first removed. Demotivation of construction workers may be mitigated through the recognition of basic human needs, giving praise, and providing adequate management support (Ng et al., 2004). Fagbenle et al. (2004) in a study of bricklayer’s productivity concluded that non-financial incentives are preferred as methods of motivating employees in the Nigerian construction industry. However, nothing has been done on assessing the effectiveness of non- financial motivation on workers’ productivity in the construction industry. Besides, previous research in this area has been trade specific particularly for bricklayers in southwest, southeast and northern Nigeria (Fagbenle et al., 2004). However, this research will concentrate only in Lagos metropolis but on a wide spread of craftsmen including bricklayers, carpenters, steel fixers and construction professionals. This undoubtedly represents a gap in knowledge that this study intends to fill. The objectives of the current study therefore are to identify the types of non-financial motivational schemes adopted by construction firms toward improved productivity, and to assess the effectiveness of the identified motivational scheme in increasing workers output and job performance.
Gauging performance is of abundant significance to an encouragement plan because it converses the importance of recognized organizational aims. “What gets measured and compensated gets devotion” (Bohlander et al, 2001). In discipline of human resource management, different writers propose the following pointers for assessing employee performance and they comprise: quality that can be measured by percentage of work output that need be redone or is excluded; Customer contentment that can be measured by the number of royal clienteles and customer feedback. Furthermore, timeliness, measured in terms of how fast work is accomplished by the employee when given a certain chore; absenteeism/tardiness perceived when employees absent themselves from work; and achievement of objectives measured when an employee has exceeded his/her set goals, he/she is then considered to have done well to realize objectives (Hakala, 2008).
Managing individual performance within firms has traditionally focused on evaluating performance and giving rewards, with effective performance seen as the outcome of the collaboration between individual capability and inspiration (Axelsson & Bokedal, 2009). It is progressively more being acknowledged that planning an enabling environment have acute effect on individual performance, with performance aims and standards, suitable resources, help and backing from the managers all being essential (Torrington, Hall & Stephen, 2008).
Workers will give their full when they have a sense or faith that their hard work will be compensated by the organization (Lebelici, 2012). There are many elements that distress worker performance like work settings, worker and employer bond, preparation and job enlargement opportunities, job confidence, and firm’s overall rules and procedures for rewarding personnel, etc. Amongst all those features which affect workers performance, inspiration that comes with rewards is of greatest importance. Inspiration is an addition of different procedures which impact and direct our behavior to accomplish some particular objective (Baron, 2003).
Workers performance is essential for the firm to make every effort to support non- performers (Torrington, Hall & Stephen, 2008). There are five components of performance and they comprise: Planning, observing, developing, assessment and rewarding. In the planning stage, Planning means setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining tasks and schedules to accomplish the goals. Observing is the phase in which the objectives are viewed at to see how well one is doing to achieve them. It also means constantly gauging performance and providing continuing advice to employees and work groups on their advancement toward attainment of their goals (Irfan, 2015). Constant watching offers the opportunity to check exactly how well employees are meeting predetermined standards and to make changes to impracticable or challenging standards.
According to Baron (2003) in the emerging stage an employee is thought to improve any low performance that has been observed through the time frame one has been at work in the firm. All through planning and observation of work, insufficiencies in performance become evident and can be looked into.(Malik, Danish & Munir, 2012). The researcher will use quality of work done, percentage of work output redone/rejected, timeliness, decreased trends of absenteeism and meeting/surpassing of set targets/goals as the elements to measure the dependent variable (employee performance).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Inspiration is the greatest matter for all organization whether in public or private sectors. construction workers has put in place non-financial motivational scheme as an attempt for maximizing on the overall employee performance and subsequently increasing overall productivity (Chelimo, 2014). However, though non-financial motivational scheme has been used in the building site, there has sometimes been low employee performance leading to decreased productivity and at times high employee turnover which increases the staffing costs and could even lead to losses (Chintallo & Mahadeo, 2013). Questions as to whether non-financial motivational scheme contributes to better employee performance arise and as such it is against this circumstantial that the scholar pursues to study non-financial motivational scheme on employee performance at construction workers.
Various studies have been conducted on nonmonetary motivation and employee performance. Tahir (2014) led a study on the influence of teaching and enlargement as a non-monetary incentive on workers’ performance and output in United Bank Limited, Peshawar City and the outcome showed that there were significant connection between teaching, enlargement and employee performance in the study. Ahmed and Ali (2008) did a research on the effect of non-cash prize and acknowledgment programs on worker inspiration and contentment and the study displayed backing for an optimistic association amongst reward and employee contentment. Closer home, Onyango (2014) did a survey on the effects of training as a non-cash incentive on worker performance of health workforces in the County of Siaya, Nigeria and the outcomes showed a solid relationship amongst training of workers as well as their performance. Gitari (2012) studied the influence of office recreation on worker performance in Nigeria Utalii College and the results were team building correlated highly with performance.
Although the studies have made important contributions on various aspects on their countries and organizations, they were conducted in different geographical contexts as they did not cover on how non-financial motivational scheme influenced employees’ performance in construction workers creating a paucity of literature in the area. This stands the study gap this research wishes to address by studying effect of non- monetary motivation and employee performance in construction workers.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective was to study non-financial motivational scheme and employee performance which is a case of construction workers.
- Determine the impact of training on employee performance.
- Establish the influence of advancement on workers performance.
- Find out the effect of targets on workers performance.
- Determine the consequence of team building on workforce performance.
1.4 .Research Questions
- What are effects of training on employee performance?
- How does promotion affect employee performance?
- What are effects of targets on employee performance?
- How does team building affects workers performance?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be beneficial to numerous stakeholders.
Findings in the study are important to construction companies and site workers in formulating better motivation strategies aimed at increasing overall employee performance. The study is relevant since it explores various motivational strategies that influence workers performance which hints to an effect on overall performance of the building industry.
The Government through policy makers will find the results and commendations of this study valuable to diagnose the problems affecting overall performance in the sector. Also can use the data to assist the sector in coming up with a conducive environment of enhancing better motivation strategies aimed at enhancing employee performance.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study was done in Lagos. Population was 364 construction workers. The study was conducted in 2020. The study also concentrated on the variables highlighted in the specific objectives and the conceptual framework
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The chief limitation the study was failure of respondents to collaborate in giving replies to the queries contained in the feedback form which they deem confidential. To overcome this, the researcher assured them that the information would only be used for the purpose of achieving the research objectives and that any private information was kept confidential. The busy nature of employees in the building company was also a hindrance as the researcher needed to be assured that they would find time to fill the questionnaire responses. To address this, researcher considers leaving questionnaire with the respondents and picking later so that they would find time to fill.
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