The main purpose of this study was to examine the effect of motivation on the performance of employees using the case of Covenant University, Ogun State. Motivation plays an integral role in all organizations, whether private or public. In order for organizations to achieve their objectives, they must motivate their employees to work towards them. It is easier for an organization to achieve its goals when its employees are motivated towards their personal, professional and organizational objectives. The study adopted quantitative research design. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the sample for the study. Data for the study were collected through the use of questionnaire from the sample respondents. The data gathered were analysed through the use of descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation and the inferential statistics were utilized to test the hypothesis at 5% level of significant. The finding of the study reveals that employee motivation has positive and significant effect on employee performance. The study recommends among others that the institution should include mentorship and regular training as a way of keeping the workforce motivated and accountable to their goals.



1.1. Background of the Study

The main objective of every organization is to improve its performance but it can never be possible without the efficient performance of employees. Therefore, the performance management system came into effect as a management reform to address and redress concerns, organizations had about performance (Sharif, 2002). In many organizations, a wide range of reforms that focus on the performance have also been implemented (Downs, Chadbourne, & Hogan, 2000; Gleeson & Husbands, 2001).

Employee performance refers to the accomplishment of something or mere working effectiveness. In an organization performance is realized at the levels of organization, process and individuals and the interrelationships among these will define the vantage points of the organization. Employee performance is a key factor that contributes directly to the performance of the organization. Organizations today, with increased competition in the business arena, are keen to boost employee performance in order to enhance their profitability, market reach and brand recognition.

Thus, HR managers and quality managers have put special emphasis on techniques to gauge employee performance and periodically conduct review sessions in order to monitor it. The better the overall performance review is, the more valuable the employee is for the company.

Usually employee performance in any occupation is gauged by various parameters that can be highly specific for simple as well as highly complex jobs, often correlating with the complexity of the job description, job manual and/or employment contract. Described as generically as possible, these parameters will include revenue generation (when this is measurable for the employee), customer/client satisfaction, costly or otherwise damaging incidents, work rate, error rates, other measures of productivity, dependability and initiative, attitudes and teamwork.

Globally, employee performances are critical to the attainment of set organizational goals and objectives in every organization. Consequently, they need to consistently churn out and maintain a high level of performance for the organization to have any chance of achieving success. As such, it is necessary to ensure that the conditions are right for them to produce optimum performances regularly (Sekiguchi, 2013).

More so in Africa, with the level of constraints being faced by an organization in the African business environment being tremendously high it is important that the employee performances are consistently excellent. However, Burton (2012) stated that many managers in business organizations in Africa have complained that employees are displaying poor work attitudes at an alarming rate and are not committed to helping organizations achieve their set goals and objectives.

Particularly in Nigeria, with the level of competition in the business environment, it is important that organizations ensure that their employees are able to give their best performances to help the organization gain an edge over their competitors (Muogbo, 2013). In the telecommunications sector, the performance of employees is even more vital due to the fact that it is a service industry. As such the level of employee performance is critical to organizational sustainability in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria. However, most managers in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria have struggled to motivate their employees to give their best performances consistently.

In the modern day business world, motivating employees to perform at their optimum level has become a huge challenge. According to Kreisman (2002), managers around the world rank motivation of employees as the greatest challenge that confronts them in the instruction of subordinates. This is due to the ever growing diversity of employees in many organizations around the world which means each employee has their peculiar personality, trait and motivational influencing factorsthat makes them perform at their peak. Therefore, the challenge for the Human resource management is to be able to meet each employee at their point of motivational needs in order to coarse maximum performances from their employees on a consistent basis.

Furthermore, in Africa, Shafighi (2013) noted that motivating employees had become a huge challenge due to the presence and representation of many cultures in the modern working environment in Africa. According to Kuvaas and Dysvik (2009), most working environments in Africa are diverse and multicultural as a result many employees have a variety of personalities which make them unique. However, this also means they have differing motivating factors and differing needs that propels them to give their best performance at work each day. Nigeria is not left out particularly in the telecommunications industry, managers have complained that many employees do not have passion and commitment for their jobs due to the fact that they are not motivated (Nkanga, 2018).

Motivation can be specified as a management process, which encourages people to work better for the overall benefit of the organization, by providing them motives, which are based on their unfulfilled needs. The matter arising is: “why managers need to motivate employees?” (Herzberg, 1959). According to Smith (1994) it is because of the survival of the company. Amabile (1993) contributed to this statement by arguing that it is necessary for managers and leaders of organization to learn to understand and effectively deal with their employee’s motivation; since motivated employees’ are the pillars of successful organization in present and future century. She also indicates that unmotivated employees may probably contribute little effort in their jobs, stay away from workplace as much as possible, go out of the organization and make low quality of work. When employees are well motivated, they help the organization to grow and survive in a fast changing workplaces (Lindner 1998). Lindner also indicates that the most difficult role of managers is to motivate employee, because what motivates employees changes always (Bowen and Radhakrishna 1991).

The term motivation was developed in the early 1880’s, prior to that time, the term “will” was used by well-known philosophers as well as notable social theorists when talking motivated human behaviours (Forgas, Williams and Laham 2005). According to them motivation is believed to be; an entity that compelled one to action. Recently, many researchers has offered unique definitions of motivation.

It has been defined as; the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction (Kreitner 1995); a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian& Lindner 1995); an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins 1994). It is apparent that managers need to motivate employees if they want to get the necessary results for the organization.

Every organization is concerned with what should be done to achieve sustained high levels of performance through its workforce. This means giving close attention to how individuals can best be motivated through means such as financial benefit, rewards system, performance feedback, training and development, etc. and the organization context within which they carry out the work (Armstrong, 2006). The study of motivation is concerned basically with why people behave in a certain way. In general it can be described as the direction and persistence of action. It is concerned with why people choose a particular course of action in preference to others, and why they continue with chosen action, often over a long period, and in the face of difficulties and problems (Mullins, 2005).

An effective performance management action is an important tool for employee motivation for optimal performance. However, it is not an enough condition for effective performance management. The most important issue with any performance management system is how critically it is taken and how devotedly it is used by managers and employees. (Pulakos 2009) Performance management is all about perfection, synchronizing, upgrading to create value for and from customer with the result of economic value creation to stockholders and owners. The expansion of performance management is clearly very large, which is why performance management must be viewed within an enterprise as a tool to improve on employee motivation for high performance. (Cokins 2009) Efficient management of performance requires a strong apprehension of the performance domain. That is, apprehending the obligation and projects that are part of the job description within a company or organization. Once you have a full skill of what the job requires, you have the basis for assessing and enhancing performance. This is the foundation for assessing and improving performance within a company. When this is lacking, the outcome is a missing link in evaluating employee performance and the possibility of improving on the employee performance within the organization.

The relationship among employee motivation and job performance has been studied in the past (Vroom, 1964). But high statistical relationships between the two were not instituted. Notwithstanding, later on research resolved that employee motivation and job performance are indeed mutually related. This correlation is studied in this research and the objective is to render useful information to managers on how employees’ performance can be increased by intrinsically or extrinsically motivating them.


1.2       Statement of the Problems

There have been various studies that have been conducted on employee motivation. For instance, Dorgan (2014) studied the relationship between employee motivation and employee performance in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, Mueller (2011) studied the use of financial incentives in employee motivation in the Banking industry. Also, Stolovich, Clark and Condly (2012) studied incentives motivation and work performances in the telecommunication sector. However, there has been a dearth of studies as regards the effect of employee motivation on employee performance especially within the context of the educational sector in Nigeria.

The employees in any organization form the heart and soul of that organization. Hence the way they perform on their jobs has big effect on the performance and sustainability of any organization. Various studies have shown that one of the conditions that influence performances of employees is their motivation (Ackah, 2014; Chandrasekar, 2016; & Haynes, 2016).  Furthermore, Dorgan (2014) noted that specifically in service industries, employees need to be motivated to give their best performances on a consistent basis. However, managers in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria have failed to adequately motivate their employees which have led to poor performance of employees in the telecommunications industry.

Motivation has been the focus of intensive research effort in recent times as a result of its contribution in enhancing employees’ performance towards organization performance. How well an organization motivates its workers in order to achieve their mission and vision is of paramount concern. It is obviously worrisome that organizations have encounter incessant insubordination and negative attitude to work by the employees. This nagging and distressing reality is not entirely regularly caused by employees. The managers of organizations do play a part to this worrisome reality which has seen some organizations lose their most enterprising employees, or seen their loyal workforce turn to recalcitrance, the development that has negatively affected the timely and sustained achievement of organizational objectives. Employees in both public and private sector organization are becoming increasingly aware that motivation increases performance (Lienert, 2006).

It has been observed that most organizations have failed to recognize the importance of motivation as a concept be it intrinsic such as financial benefit, reward system, performance feedback, etc. or extrinsic such as training and development, compensation, promotion amongst other factors that enhance or improve employee performance as well as organizational performance levels.

This in turn has continued to represent major managerial concerns for decades as employee performance levels has relatively declined which has been acknowledged as a subject of growing concern in the aspect of business and management research (Akerele, 2001). Although a lot of factors may also be responsible or even cause a decline in employee performance which ranges from lack of infrastructure, leadership styles, poor strategic and organizational culture amongst others. Contemporary investigations that connects the concept of employee motivation and employee performance has laid an emphasis on employee perspective, needs and expectations as factors affecting their performance and productivity levels respectively. As such investigating those factors of importance to employees in the discharge of their duties at work has taken a new dimension.

Motivation through factors such as financial benefit, reward system, performance feedback, and training and development can enhance an employee’s level of effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace. This is because giving financial rewards to an employee for job accomplishment goes a long way in motivating such an employee; or providing a reward system where employees go for training and development program will enhance employee performance levels. Employees who enjoy such motivational factors both within and outside the work environment tend to be more effective and efficient as such very productive in discharging their duties. Therefore organizations should ensure that financial benefit, reward system, performance feedback and training and development are part of their motivational tools to their employees in order to enhance their performance level (Jobowo, 2007).

Finding ways to motivate employees can be a challenging prospect for employers, but it is also a necessary component of any successful organization. When employees have an increased sense of motivation, they will often have greater job satisfaction and improved work performance and ultimately, when employees are highly productive, the entire organization reaps the rewards. This study therefore, sought to establish employee motivation and employee performance in Convenant University, Ota, Ogun State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to acquire a deeper comprehension of employee motivation on employee performance in Convenant University, Ota, Ogun State. This research therefore seeks to:

i. Assess the influence of financial benefit on employee commitment in Convenant University.

ii. Examine the influence of reward system on employee productivity in Convenant University.

iii. Determine the effect of performance feedback on employee effectiveness in Convenant University.

iv. Investigate the influence of training and development on employee competency in Convenant University.


1.4 Research Questions

Based on the problem statement and the aim of this study, the following research questions are posed:

i. Does financial benefit have an effect on employee commitment in Convenant University?

iii. To what effect is reward system on employee productivity in Convenant University?

iii. How does performance feedback affect employee effectiveness in Convenant University?

iv. To what effect is training and development on employee competency in Convenant University?


1.5 Research Hypotheses

Based on the objectives, the following hypotheses were developed in order to make valid conclusions on the subject matter. The hypotheses are expressed in their null form:

H01: Financial benefit has no significant influence on employee commitment in Convenant University.

H02: Reward system has no significant influence on employee productivity in Convenant University.

H03: Performance feedback has no significant influence on employee effectiveness in Convenant University.

H04: Training and Development has no significant influence on employee competency in Convenant University.


1.6. Rationale for the Hypotheses

The rationale for the research is a set of reasons offered by the researcher for conducting a research into employee motivation and employee performance, using a descriptive survey design. Hypothesis testing is an essential procedure in statistics. A hypothesis test evaluates two mutually exclusive statements about a population to determine which statement is best supported by the sample data. It refers to the comparison of the assumption and the same results. The rationale is to identify the null hypothesis, alternative hypothesis, test statistics, P-value, conclusion about the null hypothesis, and final conclusion that address the original claim of the study.


1.7. Operationalization of the Variables

The dependent variable is employee performance, represented by employee commitment (EC), Employee Productivity (EP), Employee Effectiveness (EE), and Employee Competency (EC). On the other hand, employee motivation, being the independent variable, is proxied by Financial benefit (FB), Reward System (RS), Performance Feedback (PF), and Training and Development (TD).

Y = f (y1, y2, y3, y4)

Y =      Employee Performance (EP).

y1 =     Employee commitment (EC).

y2 =     Employee productivity (EP).

y3 =     Employee effectiveness (EE).

y4 =    Employee competency (EC)

X= f ( x1, x2, x3, x4)

X=       Employee Motivation (EM).

x1=      Financial Benefit (FB).

x2=      Reward System (RS)

x3=      Performance Feedback (PF).

x4 =    Training and Development (TD)

The four specific objectives are operationally expressed as:

Assess the influence of financial benefit on employee commitment in Convenant University.

y1= f (x1)

y1= b0 + b1x1 + u

Examine the influence of reward system on employee productivity in Convenant University.

y2= f (x2)

y2= b0 + b1x2 + u

Determine the effect of performance feedback on employee effectiveness in Convenant University.

y3= f (x3)

y3= b0 + b1x3 + u

Investigate the influence of training and development on employee competency in Convenant University.

Y4= f (x4)

Y4= b0 + b1x4 + u


1.8. Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to Convenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. This study examines employee motivation and employee performance and its resulting effects on the organization performance. The University is being considered because research has not been done on this area prior to now. Convenant University, Ota, Ogun State was selected because it is one of the very fast rising private university in the State.

The study is confined to the analysis of the staff motivational measures currently being practiced in Convenant University and how these measures have impacted on their performance. These include: Financial benefit, reward system, performance feedback and training and development. The study is anchored on the Process Theories of Motivation, Need Theories, Abraham Maslow Theory, Alderfer Modified Need Hierarchy Theory, and Herzberg and his Two-Factor Theory.


1.9. Significance of the Study

The findings from this study will help to highlight those areas where there are problems among employees and thus will be of great benefit to the management of university, government and society at large. The results of this study would hopefully be significant in the sense that it would enable both the management and the labour union to better understand how the various incentive packages could be harnessed to inspire staff to increase and sustain performance. However, this study will be significant to the following;

Management: It will assist management in designing and putting in place together welfare incentives for the workforce, enable the organization identifies various types of needs and expectation of people at work, outline different approach to work motivation and explain the meaning and underlying concept of motivation.

University: It is of significance to the university in a way that the university management would have a structured and policy in place that will be of benefit to both university management and employees betterment.

Government: This study would be of immense benefit to the government when making policies, so they can formulate policy that will be of positive interest to employers of labours in organizations, and also labour union officials and representative at the negotiation meeting will find it useful when putting together their “basket of needs”.

Society: It will enlighten the general society on why employee motivation is a prerequisite for any organization that wants to achieve performance.