Employee motivation has a huge impact on performance, which in turn affects the productivity of an organization. This study investigates the impact of employee motivation on sales performance of selected firms in Rivers State. The study employed descriptive research design. The population of the study comprises of all the staff of the three selected firms in Rivers State. The data for the study were collected through the use of structured questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed through the use of descriptive statistics and the hypotheses were tested using correlation analysis. The result of the analysis revealed that monetary incentives, job design and training and development have positive and significant impact on employee sales performance. The study recommended that the management of the selected firms should ensure that employees are rewarded both in terms of monetary and non-monetary as this will have long-term improvement on the quality of work in our organization. The researcher also recommends that proper job design practices such as job rotation should be put in place as this will help in improving the sales performance of the employees. The management of the selected firms should ensure regular training of their staff as this will help in improving the employee’s knowledge, skills and attitude towards their work there by improving their sales performanc





It is the aim of every organisation and managerial team to ensure that the business is successful, even in today’s highly competitive business environment. Due to this, all organisations regardless of their sector area or size, endeavour to ensure that their most productive employees remain highly motivated, by showing them that the overall success of the organisation would not be possible without them (Dobre, 2013). Albeiti (2015) opined that for an organisation to improve employee performance, it needs to establish a strong positive connection with the employees and use this to steer them towards the fulfilment of their various tasks.

In order to attain organisational goals and objectives, many organisations implement strategies to enable them compete – profitably – in the global environment (Knapp & Mujtaba, 2010). However, Bartol & Martin (1998) note that it is only a few organisations that actually consider their main assets to be their human resources. This connotes that in a situation where employees are unsatisfied with their jobs, and are unmotivated to perform their duties, the success and performance of the organisation will suffer.

As indicated above, employee performance is of immense importance to any organisation because it is a clear indicator of whether a company is meeting its set objectives. Human resources (employees) are a major resource for the success of any organisation (Shanks, 2012), and Osei (2011) asserts that no matter how skilled and talented an employee might be, they will not perform optimally if they do not have motivation, and this is why motivation is of key importance to the attainment of an organisation’s goals. In a situation where employees are not properly motivated, then their time and attention will be focused on other activities which may have no bearing on the organisation’s goals, such as browsing the web, texting, etc. (Shanks, 2012).

Now, while these non-work-related activities might come off as harmless, they will most likely result in an overall depreciation in efficiency of the employee, which would in turn mean that the organisation will not meet its set goals and objectives (Asim, 2013). In today’s business environment, employees need to understand why they are putting in the hard work. Different things motivate different people, and as it is the job of a manager to utilise employees in achieving organisational goals, they also need to understand what motivates employees. Uzona (2013) opines that in order to be able to understand motivation, one must first be able to comprehend human nature, and this is where the problem lies, because human nature is immensely varied and complex.

In its broadest sense, an employees’ performance is the sum total of what he/she does and does not do. In a stricter sense, it involves the input quantity, output quality and timeliness, level of presence and interaction in the workplace, accommodative nature, and helpful disposition (Uzona, 2013; Yazici, 2018). Yang (2018) investigated the influence of motivation on individual performance, and the results of the study were inconclusive to determine any significant impact. The author asserts that where employee performance is verifiable, managers can utilise direct bonuses and other forms of rewards determined by individual performance. Similarly, Re’em (2011) conducted a study on motivation and employee performance, where it was shown that employee perceptions of rewards, recognition, bonuses, had a positive correlation to employee productivity. Yazici (2018) also showed that the reward management system of an organisation is a large indicator of the level of productivity and performance of its employees. Employee performance is hinged entirely on motivation, because where the employees are highly motivated, then they will put in more effort to their jobs, which will consequently increase and improve performance and efficiency (Azar & Shafighi, 2013).

It is against this background that this study will investigate the influence of motivation on employee performance in Nigeria’s service sector, with particular focus on sales performance.


As stated above in the background, motivation has a huge impact on performance, which in turn affects the productivity of an organisation. An unmotivated employee is an ineffective employee, which is why many organisations spend a large portion of their resources on motivational techniques. The same is the case with organisations in Nigeria, where a lot of research has been carried out, geared towards revealing better ways to motivate employees (Obikeze, et al., 2017; Okolo, et al., 2015; Obikeze, 2012). However, an initial review of the extant literature reveals that although there have been several studies carried out relating to employee motivation and its impact on employee performance in general, none have focused specifically on its impact on sales performance of employees. It is this problem that necessitates this study to fill this gap in the literature.


The central aim of this study is to investigate the impact of employee motivation on their sales performance. To achieve this aim, the study will seek to attain the following specific research objectives:

  1. To determine how monetary incentives impact the sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics;
  2. To examine how job design impacts the sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics; and
  3. To evaluate how training and development of employees has an impact on sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics.


The study will be guided by and will seek to provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. How do monetary incentives impact the sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics?
  2. How does job design impact the sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics?
  3. How does training and development of employees impact the sales performance of employees at U & U Supplies and Electronics?


The study will test the following hypotheses stated in their null forms:

H01: Monetary incentives does not have a significant impact on employee performance at U & U Supplies and Electronics.

H02: Job design does not have a significant impact on employee performance at U & U Supplies and Electronics.

H03: Training and development of staff does not have a significant impact on employee performance at U & U Supplies and Electronics.


1.6.1. Motivation

Re’em (2011) notes that the roots of the word “motivation” can be traced to the Latin word motus, which is derived from the Latin verb movere, which means to move. Therefore, Shanks (2012) defines motivation as causing a person’s actions by providing a motive or reason.

1.6.2. Intrinsic Motivation

Re’em (2011) avers that this type of motivation comes from inside the person, and causes the person to feel internally inspired. Burton (2012) is of the view that this form of motivation is derived from a person’s feeling of self-satisfaction. The author further notes that the reward for this form of motivation is in the performance of the act itself, and does not require external influences.

1.6.3. Extrinsic Motivation

Ryan & Deci (2010) posit that there is another form of motivation, one which causes people’s actions due to external influences. This is referred to as extrinsic motivation. Re’em (2011) states that where in intrinsic motivation, doing the act is reward in itself; the same is not true for extrinsic motivation, where the reward and the action are separate.

1.6.4. Employee Performance

This refers the job-related activities expected of a worker and how well those activities were executed. Many business personnel directors assess the employee performance of each staff member on an annual or quarterly basis in order to help them identify suggested areas for improvement (Yacizi, 2018).


Employee motivation is a very dynamic area, comprising myriad fields of research including techniques, forms, theories, and methods. This study will focus on its impact on employee performance, by narrowing the study down to its perceived impact on sales performance. The study will use U & U Supplies and Electronics as the case study organisation.


The findings of this study will be beneficial to various organisational elements, in various ways:

  1. The study’s findings will benefit managers and supervisors, because it will help them to better understand employees, why they act like they do, and perform various tasks certain ways. The study will also help top organisational leaders better understand how best to formulate motivational strategies. The recommendations will also be specifically beneficial to marketing managers in the service sector, to enable them develop effective motivational techniques for their sales staff.
  2. Trade unions will benefit from this study because it would help them clearly understand the workplace in terms of employee/employer relations as regards performance and motivation; thereby allowing them to properly formulate their objectives to better serve employee motivation.
  3. The findings of this study will also be of immense benefit to the general academic and research community as a reference tool, and a guide for further research in the area.


The study will utilise a quantitative methodological approach. Under this approach, data will be gathered using an online survey and the target participants will be from U & U Supplies and Electronics located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Data from the online survey will be collated and analysed using descriptive statistics such as tables, frequencies, means; while Pearson Correlation Coefficient, will be used to test the formulated hypotheses.


The study will be divided into 5 chapters. Chapter 1 will provide the relevant background to the study, the statement of problem, as well as the objectives that the study will aim to achieve. The chapter will also justify the need for the study by outlining its significance and scope. Chapter 2 will go further to review the various literature on the subject matter, the chapter will also provide a review of empirical studies and methodological approaches on the subject. Chapter 3 will detail the research methodology employed in the study, such as the research design, sample size and sampling technique, as well as the techniques used for data collection. Chapter 4 will present and analyse the gathered data using statistical analysis. Chapter 5 will summarise and conclude the study, and provide appropriate recommendations based on the findings of the study. It will also highlight the limitations of the study.