Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 2

The Impact of Motivation on Employees Performance at Government Agencies in Jordan

Adnan Mohammad Alwedyan, Al-Balqaʼ Applied University

Abstract

The study aims to identify the impact of motivations on employees’ performance at several government agencies from Jerash in Jordan. The researcher used the descriptive analytical approach and developed a questionnaire which was distributed to (101) government employees who represented the study sample during the period (March, 2020-July, 2020).

The study is significant for shedding light on assessing the impact of motivation on government employees in Jordan, a relatively underrepresented segment of study population within motivation theories.

Results showed that the relationship between morale motivations and government employees’ job performance is 30% stronger than the relationship between physical motivations and the performance of the same employees. Further, results showed a nonexistence of a statistically considerable impact for the physical motivations on the study sample’s performance, with F-value of (1.68).

The study recommends conducting modifications on the motivation system to align with the nature of the employees’ jobs and efforts, and, paying attention to both the physical and morale motivations.

Keywords

Employees’ Performance, Government Agencies, Morale Motivations, Physical Motivations, Jordan.

Introduction

Motivating employees has gained prominence recently due its impact on their job performance (Yimer, 2018). Academically, the topic of motivation has been receiving a greater attention of managerial scientists because it is an important independent variable with a positive impact on employees’ productive efficiency. To elaborate, hiring and/or keeping employees who work efficiently is a necessity to achieve the organization's objectives and maintain its vision. And, in order for such efficiency to continue, employers need to motivate their employees to increase their productivity, efforts, and achievements.

Generally, studies have shown that managers in different organizations can provide employees with the appropriate incentives to ensure work productivity. In contrast, lack or absence of motivation leads to employees’ dissatisfaction, which, consequently, negatively impacts organizations’ achievements of goals. For this reason, managers should understand the behaviors, requirements, needs, desires, and tendencies of each employee, and, accordingly, select the appropriate bonuses and incentives to motivate them.

Such a strong positive correlative relation between motivation and performance efficiency has led to the emergence of several motivation theories that examine and/or explicate the extent to which motivation plays a role in the different types of organizations and institutions, including government agencies.

Delving deeper into motivation at the workplace, we find various options of strategies and practices from which managers can choose to motivate employees. Further, these options can be classified under two main types of motivation: morale and physical. Employees are motivated through bonuses, leadership positions, and encouragements. Moreover, employee motivation and performance rely on a variety of features and variables, such as performance evaluation, employees’ fulfillment, training and development, job security, appropriate reimbursements, and governmental structures. The incentives of employees are heavily influenced by staff performance to obtain anticipated results, where different type of sectors should construct effective incentive programs (Dobre, 2013).

Clearly, the success of organizations in achieving their desired goals depends highly on the readiness and efficiency of their members; when they are not motivated, their work morale will be weak, resulting in a reduction in production and performance. At the same time, pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction help obtain rewards and returns, which result in an increase in performance, productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Therefore, rewards and incentives systems should be carefully understood, and the ways of utilizing those systems must be identified to motivate each employee separately. The positive employee behaviors are a mandatory profitable (Win-Win) situation for all parties in any direction; however, positive employee behaviors are attainable only through motivations, bonuses, and employment of reward systems (Osabiya, 2015).

In fact, studies have shown that all incentives -external and internal, acquired and non-acquired, individual and non-individual - affect behaviors and attitudes of employees as well as individuals. However, some employees are suited to one type of incentive, while others are suited to other types, depending on the nature of their needs, desires, orientations, and preferences. Substance or internal incentives have to do with the inner and morale rewards, such as the appreciation and respect for achievements, increased attention, recognition and positive perception. External incentives, on the other hand, deal with physical rewards, such as salaries, bonuses, shares, and profits.

Research Problem and Questions

The research problem pertains to assessing the impact level of physical and morale motivations on government employees’ job performance in Jordan which, in turn, impacts the workplace in terms of creating a competition spirit among employees and an increase in their productivity and performance. The researcher formulated the following questions associated with the main features of research:

1. From the standpoint of government employees, what are the most important types of motivations?

2. What is the availability level of motivation at government agencies from Jerash in Jordan? And, to what extent is it effective?

3. What are the opinions of government employees about the physical and morale motivations initiated by government agencies?

The Importance of the Study

The importance of this research derives from identifying the effect of motivations on performance of employees at government agencies, which, in turn, affects the success level of these agencies in achieving their objectives with the highest efficiency and effectiveness. The results of this study should also help rationalize management decisions which aim to motivate employees via linking their performance level with achieving desired organization’s objectives. In sum, the study importance can be summarized as follows:

1. An assessment of the positive impact of physical and morale motivations on raising the performance level of government employees in Jordan.

2. An illustration of the relationship between humans and motivations, considering the changing nature of humans, influenced by various surrounding conditions and requirements.

3. Implementation of motivation strategies at government agencies in Jordan.

4. A special focus on physical motivations and the extent to which they impact employee performance.

Procedural Terms

Motivation

It is the external influencer which leads to the occurrence of positive changes in people’s behavior; represented through providing rewards or punishments which fall on working individuals in exchange for services they provide to organizations. Psychologists define motivation as the process of pushing individual to perform a particular behavior, stopping it, or changing its direction. Paulson and Stayer, for example, define motivation as an internal feeling of individuals which creates a desire to take a particular activity or behavior to reach certain objectives. Another scholar defines motivation as a process in which individuals select the required results, and move forward proper behaviors to reach the goals; incentives, therefore, can be thought of as the wants and selections of individuals to perform specific behaviors (Matoka, 2001). Motivation, within the same context, is considered an inspiration, love, and guidance process for peoples’ actions and procedures which lead to goals’ achievement. Further, psychological aspects which can stimulate behaviors of people include job fulfillment, accomplishment, teamwork, financial needs, and respect.

As such, an essential role of an organization is to instill passion among employees to perform and operate in the best way possible. For this reason, a manager has to play a role in increasing the interest of employees to achieve their needs, desires, and goals, and, concurrently, achieve the goals of the organization. Motivations are divided according to their nature into two types:

1. Physical Motivation: it is the financial amounts paid to employees either in the form of one payment or on monthly basis; it also includes everything which adds an additional income to individuals. Financial motivations usually have quick, instant, and direct results for individuals’ efforts; they include salaries, incentive rewards, bonuses and annual increases, profit sharing, and the overtime.

2. Morale Motivation: it is a type of incentives related to psychological and mental aspects of working individuals which meet their needs and motivations to increase their production and improve their work quality. Morale motivations aim to improve the work performance and increase the productivity via encouraging behaviors, such as providing suggestions and constructive ideas, innovations and inventions, taking responsibility, and following work ethics. All these positive behaviors have the corresponding morale motivations, such as encouragement, reward, promotion, participation in decision-making, books of recognition and appreciation, and self-expression, all of which entice employees to perform according to particular behaviors which align with management desires.

Incentives

In this research, the term “incentives” indicates physical and non-physical bonuses created to motivate and push one person or more to act in a particular manner. An incentive is an act or an assurance of a larger or higher-level achievement, and it is a reward or an advantage given to an employee as an appreciation of a recognized job or accomplishment. In addition, incentives may be positive or negative, individual or collective. They may occur once or several times, be public or private, and be only physical, only morale, or both.

Performance

It is everything an individual does as a result of responding to a particular task which he or she did on his own, or, imposed by others. A response results from changes in the environment due to converting inputs into outputs with technical specifications and specific rates. The above-normal performance, the superiority in performance, or the end results are considered to be one of the most important criteria utilized to calculate motives or incentives, which can be granted based on effort, seniority, or skill. Performance can be defined as the end result that employees achieve whenever they do any type of work. Others define it as the interaction of employees’ behaviors which can be determined by assessing the relation between employees’ efforts and their capabilities.

Job performance

It is the final result, in terms of quantity and quality, of practicing responsibilities, duties, activities, and tasks that make up the work which individual must do properly during a specified period. Job performance is defined as the outcome of employee's efforts in the organization to achieve a specific goal; it is associated with an employee’s behavior and the management. It inhabits a distinct area in the organization as the end results or outcomes of all related events at employees, businesses and management, and government levels.

Employees

They are the individuals or groups who are hired at government agencies in Jordan.

Employee’s job performance

Management studies explicate several levels of performance: performance at the level of organization as a whole, at the management level, and at employees’ level. (Hilal, 2009) identifies this term as the process of accomplishing tasks, jobs, functions, and related activities of an organization as anticipated by management or leadership. (Ismail & Zainal Abidin, 2010) describe it as the extended capabilities of employees which help them reach the ultimate goals of organizations. Additionally, performance standards should clarify the essential elements needed to perform tasks, including quantity, quality, speed, skill of production, and achievement level of individual goals. Moreover, it should emphasize the behavioral aspects which reveal individual's personal characteristics (Salem, 2009).

Government agencies

They are departments and institutions affiliated with the official government of Jordan and; they provide services to all citizens, such as Agricultural Lending Corporation, the Ministry of Health, the Directorate of Income Tax, and Jerash State Hospital.

Literature Review

Several studies in the Arab world and elsewhere have identified the major problems which organizations’ managers face in order to help them inspire employees and affect their performance. These studies have focused on identifying shortcomings and weaknesses in managerial systems designed to increase employee performance. For example, Yimer (2018) discusses the impact of incentives on performance of workers at the Federal Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service in Munich, Germany. Results indicated that compensations, raises, workmate relations, management, and job advancement, are considered key factors which influence employee performance; however, results showed that responsiveness had no impact on employee’s performance at the federal public service.

Another study that examined employee performance in the government banking sector belongs to Okan & Mustafa (2012) who investigated the features which stimulate employee performance at the governmental banking sector in Northern Cyprus. Study results indicated that the most considerable variables which motivate employees are fair pays and raises, comprehensive health care benefits, and work surroundings. Moreover, after comparing results with related studies in Finland, they concluded that salary and wages are the most considerable aspects which inspire government workers of both countries. Within the same context, (Karanja, 2012) studies impact of rewards and incentives system on employees’ job performance at the Cooperative Bank HQs in Nairobi, Kenya. The study results showed that incentives, creativeness and inventiveness, employees’ fulfillment, and cooperation have a positive and vital impact on employees’ job performance.

In Pakistan, Lameck (2011) conducted a study to investigate the relationship between managerial effectiveness and job performance, on one hand, and the incentive systems at the telecommunications and banking sector in the country, on the other hand. With a study sample of (103) members, researchers used the Pearson Correlation Coefficient to analyze data, revealing a strong positive correlation level of significance (0.287) between functional incentives and administrative effectiveness.

In addition to studies that examine the impact of motivation on employees’ job performance at various banks in different countries, research also focused on other organizations in, including a study by Insimire (2011) who examined incentives and their relationship with the performance of sales staffs at Niko Insurance Company in Uganda. The goal of this study was to build a relationship between functional incentives and sales performance. The study results showed that Niko Company used different incentive methods, such as raises, power allocation, and involvement in decision-making process, bonuses, rewards, and commissions for employees who give outstanding performance. Also, the performance of Nikko sales staff was considerably influenced by excellent management, higher worker loyalty, educational level, circumstances of the surrounding area, superiority and leadership of processes, and the number of hours employees work each day.

For his part, Karanja (2012) identified the effects of re-engineering techniques on government agencies’ performance in Ethiopia. According to results, re-engineering techniques can improve organizational operations and structural performance. Further, re-engineering of operations expressed a variation of (54%) in organizational performance, signifying a necessity to provide employees at public sector agencies with the essential competencies and resources to smoothly implement the processes and easily face obstacles and complications.

In the Arab world, Al-Dallah (2003) investigated the effect of motivations on Saudi doctors’ performance at the “Security Forces Hospital” in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Study results showed that the most important physical motivations for doctors were promotions, bonuses, and encouragement incentives, while the morale incentives were letters of thank or recognition and certificates of appreciation. The results also showed that performance of doctors who work at the Security Forces Hospital was high due to offered incentives of both types. In Jordan, meanwhile, a study conducted by Ababneh (2012) identified the re-engineering operations which affect staffs’ performance and efficiency at customs service agencies. The study showed a vital and considerable statistical effect of the re-engineering operations on job performance and operational efficiency.

Regardless of the examined context within which scholars have assessed the impact of motivation on employee performance, all have asserted the positive role of physical and morale motivation on employees’ performance. As demonstrated, employees’ work production and efficiency are strongly correlated with various incentives offered by both private and government organizations. The scope of this study is limited to examine the impact of motivation on employees’ performance in government agencies in the country of Jordan.

According to several studies, government agencies which provide public services to a large segment of citizens, work to achieve their objectives with a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness through motivation. When implemented, motivation of employees yields several positive results: outstanding performance of employees, fulfillment of their financial and self-actualization needs, including a higher sense of importance within society. Indeed, this grand governmental duty necessitates a closer look at the role of motivating government employees to achieve required tasks, a topic that still remains underrepresented within motivation studies in the Arab world, specifically Jordan.

This study seeks, therefore, to fill a gap in the literature by examining the role of motivating government employees in Jordan. Specifically, this study seeks to investigate the motivation systems and their impact on employees’ performance at the governmental sector, identify the bases for the motivation system development, and identify ways to overcome the constraints of implementing this system in Jordan (Hassouna, 2008).

Research Objectives

The main objectives of this study can be summarized as follows:

1. Identify the most important types of physical and morale motivations, from the standpoint of employees who work at government agencies.

2. Identify the impact of physical and morale motivations on raising the performance level of employees at government agencies.

3. Identify the availability and effectiveness level of motivations on employees at government agencies.

4. Reach a set of recommendations which help activate the role of motivations in raising employees’ performance at government agencies.

Research Methodology

The researcher used the descriptive analytical method, and implemented data collection management in the form of questionnaire, distributed to a selected study sample and population during the period (March, July, 2020). The researcher relied on the SPSS program to statistically analyze data in the questionnaire.The researcher used the descriptive analytical method, and implemented data collection management in the form of questionnaire, distributed to a selected study sample and population during the period (March, July, 2020). The researcher relied on the SPSS program to statistically analyze data in the questionnaire.

Study Population

The study society consists of 380 employees who work at different government agencies in the City of Jerash: 200 employees from the Ministry of Health, 33 from the Ministry of Finance, 40 from the Social Security Corporation, 72 from the Directorate of Income Tax, 15 from the Agricultural Lending Corporation, and 20 from the Jerash State Hospital.

Study Sample

The study sample consists of 101 employees from the selected government agencies in the City of Jerash: 25 from the Ministry of Health, 17 from the Ministry of Finance, 19 from the Social Security Corporation, 27 from the Directorate of Income Tax, 8 from the Agricultural Lending Corporation, and 5 from Jerash State Hospital. The questionnaire was distributed to them after clarifying researcher’s intention to collect data for the study purposes.

Study Instrument

Questionnaire was the primary study instrument, containing (27) items.

Study Limitations

Limitations consist of human, spatial, and objective determinants:

1. Temporal Boundaries: data collection, data analysis, and study results were performed during the period (March, 2020-July, 2020). Identify the impact of physical and morale motivations on raising the performance level of employees at government agencies in Jerash.

2. Human Boundaries: the study was limited to employees who work at the government agencies.

3. Spatial Boundaries: the study was limited to the following institutions (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Social Security, Income Tax, Agricultural Lending, and Jerash State Hospital).

4. Objective Boundaries: the study dealt with employees’ performance and impact of physical and morale motivations on their job performance at the government agencies through five dimensions (qualification, social status, income level, years of experience, job level).

Study Variables

The study consists of a set of variables which were distributed on questionnaire’s items: (physical motivations, morale motivations, performance, salaries and overtimes, bonuses and increases, the participations in decision-making processes, promotions and praises). Figure 1 represents the study model.

Figure 1 Study Model

Instrument Reliability

The Cornbach Alpha Coefficient was exploited in order to measure the reliability of the study tool. It was clear that the measurement had a high degree of stability, amounting to (0.738) for 7 items that related to the physical motivations variable. Stability measurement for the 7 items which related to morale motivations variable amounted to (0.626). Additionally, the reliability coefficient for the 13 items, which constituted the performance variable equaled to (0.870) as shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Cronbach Alpha Coefficient to Test the Reliability of Study Instrument
Variables Number of Items Alpha
Physical Motivations 7 0.738
Morale Motivations 7 0.626
Job Performance 13 0.870

Study Hypotheses

H1 There is no statistically considerable relationship between physical motivations and the job performance at the government agencies.

H2 There is no statistically considerable relationship between morale motivations and job performance at the government agencies.

H3 There is no interest in physical motivations at the government agencies

H4 There is no interest in the morale motivations at the government agencies.

Results

The following is a detailed discussion of results concerning the tested hypotheses:

In regards to the first hypothesis, linear regression analysis was utilized, and showed a Correlation Coefficient of (0.12), R-Squared of (0.016), and F-Value of (1.68) at a significance level (0.19), which is larger than (0.05). Therefore, the first hypothesis that calls for the non-existence of a considerable impact for the physical motivations on the performance of study sample will be accepted. This result indicates that there are other types of motivations that may have considerable impact on the performance of study sample. Table 2 illustrates this finding:

Table 2 Linear Regression Analysis for the Relationship Between Physical Motivations and Employees’ Performance
Independent variable "t" value "t" sig Beta R R2 "f" value "f" sig
Physical Motivations 1.29 0.19 0.129 0.129 0.016 1.68 0.19

As for the second hypothesis, linear regression analysis showed a significance level of (0.001) which is smaller than (0.05). Therefore, the second hypothesis is rejected, and the alternative one is accepted, which calls for a statistically considerable impact of the morale motivations on the performance of study sample, as shown in Table 3. This result confirms the first finding which indicates that motivations, other than physical, impact the performance of the study sample.

Table 3 Linear Regression Analysis for the Relationship Between Morale Motivations and Employees’ Performance
Independent
Variable
"t" value "t" sig Beta R R2 "f" value "f" sig
morale
motivations
3.23 0.001 0.309 0.592 0.91 10.44 0.001

With regards to the third hypothesis which states, “There is no interest in the physical motivations at the government agencies” the arithmetic means for the items of physical motivations amounted to (2.99), and the calculated T-value amounted to (-0.077), which is less than its scheduled value. Therefore, the third hypothesis, which calls for the non-existence of interest in the physical motivations is accepted, and this decision is supported by the fact that the calculated significance level equals to (0.93), which is higher than (0.05), and is one-sidedly approved, as shown in Table 4.

Table 4 The Result of (One Sample T. Test) Physical Motivations
Physical Motivations Mean Standard. Deviation Df t. value sig Hypothesis
result
2.99 0.738 00 −0.077 0.938 Accept

Clearly, the first and third hypotheses bring to light the need to focus on morale motivations and incentives more than physical motivations and incentives, a matter that is highly supported when the fourth and final hypothesis was tested below:

In regards to the fourth hypothesis which states, “There is no interest in the Morale Motivations at the government agencies” the arithmetic means for the items of morale motivations amounted to (3.32), while the calculated T-value amounted to (5.308), which is higher than its scheduled value. Therefore, an alternative hypothesis will be accepted, which calls for the existence of interest in the morale motivations. This decision is supported by the fact that the calculated significance level equals to (0.000) which is lower than (0.05), as shown in Table 5.

Table 5 The Result of (One Sample T. Test) Morale Motivations

Morale Motivations Mean Standard. Deviation df t. value sig

Hypothesis result

  3.32     0.609     100     5.308     0.000   Reject

Conclusion

According to data analysis, several key findings and assumptions are in line with earlier studies, with implications for scientists, students, and specialists. Results indicate the need for government agencies to consider changes in physical and morale motivations of employees who work in new business environments. The most distinguished results are:

1. Human and social relations play a role in improving the productivity and increasing the efficiency and performance of job and employees.

2. There is a great interest from the employees in the morale motivations which play a major role in creating the desire to work efficiently, increasing employee satisfaction, and improving employees’ productivity and performance.

3. Salary is considered one of the most important financial and physical motivations, while participation in the decision-making process is considered the most important morale motivations.

4. When compared, morale motivation has a 30% stronger relationship with employee performance than the relationship between physical motivation and performance.

5. There was no considerable effect of physical motivations on the study sample’s performance with F-Value of (1.68).

6. There was a considerable effect of morale motivations on the study sample’s performance with F-Value of (10.44).

7. There is an interest at government agencies in offering moral incentives, while there is a little interest in giving financial incentives.

8. There is a high interest at government agencies in offering morale motivations, while there is a little interest in providing financial motivations.

Recommendations

Based on study findings and results, it is possible to make the following recommendations:

1. The need to adjust the motivation systems provided to employees in a manner that aligns with the nature of their work and effort.

2. The need to pay attention to financial motivations, especially salaries, considered by employees as the most important incentive.

3. The need to pay attention to morale motivations, such as books of praise and thanks, and participation in decision-making. Both were found to be the most important types of morale motivations by employees.

4. The need to give various motivation types to employees at the right time, and ensure justice in distributing and delivering it to deserving beneficiaries.

5. The need to expand research scope and conduct further studies about the effects of motivations on employees’ performance in government agencies not included in this study.

6. The need to expand research scope and conduct further studies about the effects of motivations on employees’ performance in government agencies not included in this study.

7. The need to expand research scope and conduct further studies about the effects of motivations on employees’ performance in government agencies not included in this study.

8. The need to examine and test the study results at organizations of the private sector, in areas like insurance, health, banks, and telecommunications to provide the study with extra reliability and validity.

9. The need for students and researchers who want to conduct future studies to modify dimensions investigated in this research, such as job specification, job title and governmental equality.

References

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