Work Satisfaction and Motivation

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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REWARDS, RECOGNITION AND MOTIVATION AT AN INSURANCE COMPANY -------------------------------------------------
IN THE WESTERN CAPE
ABSTRACT

Increasingly, organizations are realizing that they have to establish an equitable balance between the employee’s contribution to the organization and the organization’s contribution to the employee. Establishing this balance is one of the main reasons to reward and recognize employees. Organizations that follow a strategic approach to creating this balance focus on the three main components of a reward system, which includes, compensation, benefits and recognition (Deeprose, 1994). Studies that have been conducted on the topic indicates that the most common problem in organizations today is that they miss the important component of recognition, which is the low-cost, high-return ingredient to a well-balanced reward system. A key focus of recognition is to make employees feel appreciated and valued (Sarvadi, 2005). Research has proven that employees who get recognized tend to have higher self-esteem, more confidence, more willingness to take on new challenges and more eagerness to be innovative (Mason, 2001). The aim of this study is to investigate whether rewards and recognition has an impact on employee motivation. A biographical and Work Motivation Questionnaire was administered to respondents (De Beer, 1987). The sample group (N= 184) consists of male and female employees on post-grade levels 5 to 12. The results of the research indicated that there is a positive relationship between rewards, recognition and motivation. The results also revealed that women and employees from non-white racial backgrounds experienced lower levels of rewards, recognition and motivation. Future research on the latter issues could yield interesting insights into the different factors that motivate employees. -------------------------------------------------

Notwithstanding the insights derived from the current research, results need to be interpreted with caution since a convenience sample was used, thereby restricting the generalizability to the wider population. -------------------------------------------------

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DATA GATHERING INSTRUMENT

For the purpose of this study a quantitative methodology was followed and a questionnaire was used as the measuring instrument. According to Leary (2004), the major advantages of questionnaires are that they can be administered to groups of people simultaneously, and they are less costly and less time-consuming than other measuring instruments. The data gathering techniques used included a biographical questionnaire and the Work Satisfaction and Motivation Questionnaire as set out by De Beer (1987).

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BIOGRAPHICAL QUESTIONNAIRE
The biographical questionnaire was a self-developed questionnaire that incorporated the following personal information of the respondents, gender, home language, marital status, age, race, job classification, education, qualifications, job grade and tenure. Refer to Appendix 2.

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WORK SATISFACTION AND MOTIVATION QUESTIONNAIRE
The questionnaire as set out by De Beer (1987) incorporates the sixteen factors of Herzberg’s two-factor theory. The questionnaire consisted of nine dimensions that impact employee satisfaction and motivation. Refer to Appendix 3.

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THE NINE DIMENSIONS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE
According to De Beer (1987) the nine dimensions are as follows: 1. Work content probed the respondents’ feelings about the type of work they do. 2. Payment probed respondents’ satisfaction with their salaries. 3. Promotion probed for the opportunity that the organization offers for promotion. 4....
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