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International Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences

Vol. 2, No.11; November 2012

Reward System as a Predicator of Workers Job Performance: The Case of

Health Workers in Lagos State, Nigeria
ABOSEDE, Adebiyi Julius PhD1, & *ADEKUNLE, Olusegun A2
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Olabisi
Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. 2Department of Business Administration
Gateway Polytechnic, Sapade, Ogun State, Nigeria

There are two ways to ensure job performance in the realms of rewards; pecuniary and nonpecuniary. This paper examines the relationship and causality between reward system and job
performance in the health sector in Lagos State, Nigeria. Survey research design was adopted and
data collected through questionnaires. The impact of effective reward system on health workers job
Performance was analyzed using the regression analysis method. The study revealed the existence of
a positive relationship between reward system and employee job performance, most especially
where agreement reached with the workers union on salary and incentives are implemented, That
Government does not include workers union in decision making when formulating employee reward
package, That well-managed and implemented reward package will motivate an employee to
perform better at work. The study recommended that reward package should be reviewed timely so
as to continue to enhance the performance of workers.

Keywords: Reward, Job performance, Health Worker, Organisation, Government, Union

1. Introduction
The management of employee reward is today more complex than it had hitherto been some four
decades ago. This is because many unanticipated legal, social, cultural and economic constraints
have surfaced in recent time (Banjoko 2006). The dynamic nature of the environment has altered
the values and expectation of the workers thus putting pressure on employers to review upwards
the contents of any compensation package. The economic situation of Nigeria has changed
drastically in recent time such that cost of living has shut up drastically, cost of operation has
increased and competition has become more intense. Workers are more sensitive to the value they
create and the reward they get in form of wages and benefits. The health sector of the Nigerian
economy is not left out in the race for better rewards by making use of their union to agitate for
better pay and incentives.
Employees through their unions now argue that if they had put in so much effort to help the
organization to create value, it is only fair that they be given a fair bite of the cake. Consequently,
there are often more frequent demands for pay increases from workers in all the sectors of the
economy. Reward management is no doubt one of the most problematic and significant aspects of
human resources management. Consequently, the cardinal objectives of reward management is to
put forward reward structures as well as implement these reward processes in a manner that would
enhance both individual and organizational effectiveness. In this regard, some of the following
consideration may become quite imperative; rewarding positive work behavior while sanctioning
undesirable work behavior, ensuring equity and fairness.
This study is therefore aimed at evaluating the directional and causal relationships between
organizational reword system and job performance of workers, using the workers in the health
sector as a case study. Reward is the centerpiece and manifestation of an exchange relationship

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Vol. 2, No.11; November 2012

between the employees and employers. In situation of high competition in the business
environment, the attainment of high organisational productivity must recognize the need to inspire
and motivate the employees via the design, establishment and implementation of a robust reward
system that calls out the best in the employees in terms of their performance, commitment,
dedication and loyalty. The process of effectively managing any organizations reward systems is
undoubtedly one of the most complex and problematic issues in human resources management.
Thus, this study was embarked upon to determine how reward system impacts on job performance
with special reference to health sector in Lagos state.
2. Objectives of the Study/ Research
This study has as its main objective, the evaluation of the impact of reward system on employee job
performance among health workers using Lagos State Government Hospitals as case study. The
specific objectives are:
1. To identify and evaluate the relationship between reward system and employee job
2. To identify the actual impact reward system has on the workers performance
3. To proffer necessary policies for possible implementation
The hypothesis of this study is; there is no significant relationship between effective reward system
and employee job performance. At the end of this study, it is expected that the study will add to the
knowledge of business management by examining the practices, problem and approaches to
implementation of reward system. The data generated from Lagos State Government General
Hospital will be used to determine the impact of effective reward system on employee job
This study is divided into four sections, with section one dealing with the introduction, statement of
problem, objectives and research hypothesis. Section II deals with the literature review while section
III deals with the methodology, analysis and discussion of result. Section IV deals with the

3. Literature Review and Review of Empirical Studies

Reward management is concerned with the design of appropriate reward structures, policies and
procedures in addition to implementing and maintaining the rewards processes in a manner that
would promote and enhance individual and corporate effectiveness. Reward management is most
successful, when it incorporates the goals and the aspirations of the major participants in the labourmanagement exchange process (Banjoko 2006), these are the organizations, the individual employee
and the labour union. The organizations goals and objectives include growth, profitability and
enhanced survival. The individuals goals and objectives include personal growth and development,
security of employment opportunities, improved career prospects and welfare. On the part of the
unions, their goals include security of jobs for their members, improved welfare packages and a
stronger voice in the conduct of the affairs of the organization (Banjoko 2006)
Rewards management in most companies is usually shaped by the corporate philosophies,
established policies, and strategies that regulate how the organization rewards are to be distributed.
Rewards philosophies reflect a set of beliefs which underline the reward strategies which the
organization believes would help in achieving the aims and objectives of its rewards management
efforts. According to Armstrong and Murlis (1994), a reward philosophy normally covers such areas
The extent to which the organization believes that money is a motivator of performance

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The use of non-financial or intrinsic rewards such as praise, recognition, enhanced

responsibilities, and improved quality working life to enhance performance
The extent to which the organization believes that rewards should be differentiated among
employees on the basis of performance, skills or competence or seniority.
The extent to which management believes that pay should be driven by market forces
The significance attached to equity as a determinant of pay le job attitude and employee

4. Framework for Effective Reward Management

Even though rewards systems vary from one company to the other, its structures and
implementations are made within a given framework that guides the distribution of rewards within
any organization. In deciding on the appropriate reward structure, for the various categories of staff,
the organization often acts within its established norms of compensation. (Kreitner et al 1995).
These norms or principles are put in place to streamline the design and the implementation of
reward systems in a manner that would enhance corporate efficiency and survival as well as satisfy
individuals aspirations.
Kreitner et al 1995 suggested the following as a guiding principles or norms as regard designing
framework for effective reward management
(i) The Reasonable Profit Norm
Profit maximization is a paramount objective of most organization. In the pursuit of this objective,
any profit-maximizing company would attempt to pay the least amount of wages and salaries while
expecting maximum efforts from the workers. Since wages and salaries constitute a cost of doing
business, how much profit that accrues to the employer in the final analysis depends on the
relationship between his total revenue and his wage bill. It is therefore to be expected that
organizational quest for profit maximization would often play a significant role in its reward
Conversely, any employee would seek maximum rewards, regardless of the organization financial
well-being and if not satisfied may leave the organization for a greener pasture. In the final analysis,
a standard norm for the organizational reward allocation should not be profit maximization but
reasonable profit margin because the interest of workers as far as reward allocation is concerned
may suffer if the organization insists on profit maximization.
(ii) The Equity Norm
According to the equity norm, the design of organizational reward structures and its implementation
should ensure that rewards are allocated proportionately to each employees level of contribution to
the organization. Thus, those industrious workers who contribute the most should be rewarded the
most while the lazy ones should get what they are worth in terms of their contributions to the
organization. This norm is based on the basic principles of fairness and justice.
(iii) The Equality Norm
While the equity reward norm emphasizes rewarding employees on the basis of their contributions,
the equality reward norm calls for rewarding all employees equally and regardless of their individual
contributions. This norm is mostly applicable in situations where employees work in groups or as a
team and where individual worker output cannot be easily determined. For example, students taking
particular course may be assigned in twos or threes to work on an assignment or group project.
When such assignment or project is graded, the students are often awarded same score because of
the difficulty in determining individuals contribution to the group assignment.

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(iv) Needs Reward Norm

This norm of allocating rewards calls for distributing rewards according to employees needs rather
than their contributions. The norm is mostly applicable when considering the form and quantum of
benefits to give. The forms of benefits enjoyed by the workers are not based on their contributions
or their status even though the quantum or size of such benefits may depend on ones hierarchy
within the organization e.g. overseas medical checkup is usually a prerogative of the top executives.
Rather, benefits such as medical treatment at the firms health center are enjoyed by all and sundry
as needed.
According to this norm, benefits are allocated on the basis of needs. For example, older workers are
mostly interested in pensions and other retirement-related needs. The younger workers are on the
other hand, interested in benefits that would enhance their careers prospects within the
organization. Benefits in form of scholarships and sponsorship awards to staff and children of staff
would be of greater interest to this group of younger workers.
In designing an appropriate reward structure, there is need for organizational rewards to be
fashioned in a way that would reflect the peculiar needs of the various categories of employees; the
young, the not too young and the old in the organization so that the rewards can be beneficial to
each of them. There is the temptation to assume that these norms are contradictory. These norms
can coexist and be applied in each peculiar situation.

5. Desired Outcomes of Rewards System

A good and well-structured rewards system should be able to accomplish some objectives or some
desirable outcomes which in the final analysis would be able to enhance the attainment of corporate
goals and objectives. (Banjoko 2006), such desired outcomes would include:
(a) The ability of the reward system to attract the best skills in the labour market. This .means that
the pay structure and the total remuneration package must be good enough to attract to the
organization individuals with the knowledge, ability and talents required for some specific
organizational tasks.
(b) The ability to retain valued productive and competent people once they are attracted and
employed by the organization. This means that the rewards system would not only continue to
be attractive to the employees but also the way the rewards system is managed and
administered continues to win the approval and satisfaction of the employees concerned.
(c) The ability of the reward system to continue to enhance the motivational spirit of the employees
such that employees attend to their duties and responsibilities cheerfully, diligently and at the
optimum level of performance.
(d) The rewards system must be able to stimulate attitudes that are conducive to high job
performance, loyalty and commitment to the organization.
(e) The rewards system must provide job satisfaction to the individual employee.
(f) The rewards system must be able to stimulate employees growth and development which
enable the employees to assume more challenging tasks and positions. Besides, the organization
must, by the reward it offers, be able to elicit behaviour and attitudes consistent with
attainment of its objectives.
(g) A good rewards system must encourage value-added performance by focusing on and rewarding
efforts on the part of the employees that are strategically helpful to the organizations
The design and structure of an organisations rewards system is expected to have positive impacts
on individual behaviour and corporate performance. It would be a serious disaster if after designing

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and implementing a high profile rewards system, problems start to surface and companies now find
themselves with compensation systems that have negative impacts. To avoid such ugly incidents,
Whittlesey and Maurer (1993) provided an insight into some common mistakes in compensation
management and some precautionary guidelines so as to avoid the resultant financial and
operational negative impacts on the company. The common mistakes are:
Copycat Tendencies
Quite often, compensation managers fail to take account of the peculiar nature of their companies,
their products and labour market and even their industries before adopting a compensation plan
because it works somewhere else. Often times, they become aware of a grandiose incentive plan
through a friend, a competitor or through newspaper article. They often think that what worked for
Paul will work for Peter. Whereas this incentive plan worked for company A because it has
specifically been designed to work for it, company B jumps on the bandwagon without thoroughly
studying the system and making sure that it will work there as well.
Adopting an existing compensation plan is not in itself a bad idea. What is bad is the companys
failure to align the existing compensation plan with its current business strategies or the companys
operational needs. A company must not just adopt all existing incentive plan hook and sink but
must undertake a careful study of it and ensure that it will fit into its own company needs, strategies
and capability.
Putting up a Permanent Compensation Formular
The authors argued that having a fixed or permanent compensation formula may not be in the long
term interests of the company as such strategy would result into payoffs that exceed the value
initiated when the company was small and labour costs were within manageable range. Furthermore
any achievement made during such period were greatly appreciated and comfortably rewarded due
to the size of the firm. The operation of a permanent compensation formula becomes problematic
as the company grows and the staff becomes large and both competition and staff overheads
become unbearable. The permanent compensation formula thereby results in substantial costs. It is
better for companies to avoid the excruciating impacts of excessive costs that a permanent
arrangement will inflict on them by instituting compensation arrangement for a defined single
measurement period, with inbuilt provision for a review of the plan prior to its continuation for
additional periods. A flexible rather than a permanent compensation formula can save the
organization the likelihood of heavy financial burden often associated with the permanent formula.
Failure to Analyze Financial Impact
Quite often, managers start operating many incentive plans without first analyzing their financial
impacts on earnings and cash flow. It is like putting the cart before the horse. An example is a
change in the piece-rate system from NI .00 to N 1.50 for every unit produced in excess of the daily
required output of 250 units per day or a change in the overtime rate from 2.0 per hour to N2.5 per
hour. The full implication of this new compensation plan must be meticulously worked out and be
certain that such a plan will not unleash untold pressure on the firms financial capability.
Peoples Problem and Fear of Employee Reaction
Many a times the fear of employees reaction and the need to alleviate employees problem, may
force managers into implementing incentives plans that cannot be sustained for long. Compensation
managers must not be couched into entering into incentives plans that cannot be sustained. Rather,
they should always consider the long- term implications of such plans on their compensation budget
before embarking on any incentive plan.


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Lack of Formal Control
Lack of formal control over the implementation of compensation plan is always a serious mistake on
the part of the compensation managers. It is needless to say that the implementation of any
incentive plan needs adequate and tight control, as all money matters usually require. Except the
company can ensure that adequate monitoring control over the implementation of compensation
plans is put in place, compensation costs may shoot through the roof in a short time and may spell
serious danger to the firms liquidity position. To avoid this ugly situation, managers must ensure
that every aspect of the compensation plan is closely monitored and corrective action put in place to
keep compensation costs under control.

Review of Empirical Studies

If truly, money has motivational value, it seems logical to postulate that there must be some
relationships between pay and job performance, and one can therefore expect that an increased
pay would lead to increase performance. This relationship is premised on the belief that employees
would feel motivated with an enhanced pay to redouble their energies towards higher level of job
performance. Our experience following Udojis 100% salary increase in 1974 did not justify this
belief. With such an unprecedented increase in salaries, one expected employees job performance
and productivity to rise significantly if not proportionately. Everybody got the new jumbo pay, went
to town and spent the windfall on luxury items and kept to the status quo. Research evidence e.g.
Gellerman (1963) has extensively indicated that pay has a motivational value but that the direct
relationship between pay and performance is contingent on the facts that:
Increased pay is tied to higher performance and that workers are able to see direct
relationship between increased pay and higher performance such that only the highest
performers get the highest rewards.
The workers perceive adequate degree of fairness between their pay and their work efforts.
The employees firmly believe that better performance will always lead to more pay.
The employees also believe that their efforts will always result in better performance and
hence better pay.
Whenever these aforementioned conditions are present, the direct relationship between enhanced
pay and enhanced level of job performance can take hold.
While the relationship between pay and performance is easily understood, the relationship that
exists between job satisfaction and job performance is not too clear. At least, the series of literature
reviews undertaken by Schwab and Cumunings (1970) underscore the fact that, in theory,
satisfaction and performance are causally related. But the direction of the relationship is still a
subject of controversy. A school of thought claimed that satisfaction causes performance while the
other school asserted that performance causes satisfaction. Let us examine the two positions.

Satisfaction Causes Performance School of Thought

According to the proponents of this school of thought, the extent of an employees job performance
is largely determined by his state of mind, his predisposition on the job and his attitude towards his
job. Is he happy on the job? If he is unhappy and unsatisfied with his job contents and context, he
cannot perform to his maximum capability or level of efficiency. If he is unhappy, the tendency for
him is to engage in some dysfunctional and negative behaviour that would restrain rather than
enhance his performance level. On the other hand, if an employee is satisfied with his work
situation, i.e. his job environment, the prevailing leadership style, or his pay level, he is very likely to
be more committed and more productive. If the belief that a happy worker is a productive worker
holds true, then the view that satisfaction causes performance may hold ground.

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From the series of studies reported by Howell and Dipboye (1986) that examined the satisfactionperformance relationship, there is a clear indication that job satisfaction and job performance are
positively correlated, at least to some degree as increase in one tends to be associated with increase
in the other.
A happy worker causes the least resistance to managerial efforts aimed at increasing productivity
and high performance. On the other hand, an unhappy worker could be very problematic in this
regard. For example, employees who manifest satisfaction with their jobs are less likely to terminate
their employment or engage in absenteeism than those employees who express dissatisfaction with
their jobs.

Performance Causes Satisfaction School of Thought

The performance causes satisfaction school is championed by Porter and Lawler (1968) who believed
that the feeling of satisfaction does not just happen, but is remotely caused by excellent
performance and achievement in recent past. This sense of achievement is subsequently transferred
into higher satisfaction on the job. It is strongly believed that employees who work very hard and
subsequently succeed on the job will feel proud of their accomplishments and will develop
favourable attitude and sense of satisfaction towards their jobs and the organisation. On the other
hand, an employee who is a failure unto himself and has no achievement to boast of would neither
be satisfied with himself, his job nor his organisation. This feeling of non-performance would lead to
a whole lot of dysfunctional behaviour of absenteeism and incessant complaint on his part.
Given the above scenario, it is incumbent on the part of management to ensure that there is a
deliberate attempt to enhance the satisfaction of workers. This could be made possible by creating
an enabling environment that would motivate workers to work hard in addition to providing them
with an opportunity to perform satisfactorily. Also, there is need for constant feedback sufficient to
let the employees know how well they are doing.
In conclusion, whether there are stronger points in support of the view that performance causes
satisfaction or satisfaction causes performance, it is an undeniable fact that good rewards can
enhance job satisfaction and that in turn can lead to better performance.

The Employer Employee Exchange Relationship Model

The payment of salaries and wages is an indication of a relationship and transaction between the
employees and the employers involving an exchange of labour or services.
The major consideration here is that employees make themselves available for work every day. It is
immaterial if there is no work to be done for several days. An employee would be paid his entire
entitlements for as long as he does not absent himself from work. Availability at work is the main
criterion for payment. Many workers in many government establishments spend many hours for
several days doing nothing but get their full entitlements at the end of the month.
In most cases, financial and non-financial rewards are made available to employees for specific
performance of a job, an assignment or for rendering a service to the organisation. Here, mere
availability at work is not enough. Payment of salaries and wages is contingent upon actual job
performance. For example, the production operator is paid for setting up and running the machines
and for producing the required products. The salesman is paid for selling so much quantity of the
products. The manager is paid so much for planning, coordinating and controlling all activities under
his control. Once job performance is affected, the employer is under obligation to pay the agreed
wages and salaries.

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In special cases, financial compensation and rewards are paid for the unique capability,
resourcefulness and the reputation of key individuals who provide peculiar services to the
organisation. In Nigeria and the world over, many organisations keep many distinguished people or
experts on their Boards and their payrolls in recognition of the unique capability of such
personalities. Many US companies, for example, keep Peter Drucker on their Boards in recognition of
his world-wide acknowledged capability in management. In Nigeria, prominent management experts
like Mr. Gamaliel Onosode, Dr. Christopher Kolade and Chief Michael Omolayole enjoy similar
recognition. Prospective investors only need to pick up an annual report of a company or the letter
headed paper just to see who is who on the Board. Once such names like Onosode, Kolade, and
Omolayole are identified with any company, the investor can put his money in the company and can
afford to go to sleep. This is because such individuals have penchant and long standing reputation
for competence, capability and effective performance. It is their unique reputation for capability and
thoroughness that is actually being rewarded.

6. Research Methodology
Research Design
Descriptive survey method was adopted in the carrying out this study. Data were obtained through
the use of questionnaires. The questions were done in simple and clear language to remove
ambiguity. The response to each of the statements was on a 5 point Likert ordinal scale. The
questionnaires (see appendix) were intended to generate responses that will assist the researcher to
address the research problem, objectives, questions and hypothesis.
Population of the Study
The population of this study was made up of doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists and
administrative staffs of Lagos State Government General Hospital Staff. The total population as at
the time of the study was found to be 1270
Sample Size and Sampling Technique
A sample size of 250 was selected using stratified random sampling given the heterogeneous nature
of the staff population. The sample size chosen is presumed to be fairly large enough for meaningful
Data Analysis Method
Ordinary least square regression method of analysis was adopted to show the causal relationship
between reward and job performance. In this study, job performance was made the dependent
variable while reward was the explanatory variable. The model for analysis is;
JPM = f (RWD) (i)
JPM = 0 + 1 RWD + ei . (ii)
where JPM = job performance
RWD = reward
0 and 1 = are the regression coefficients to be determined.
ei = the error term

7. Discussion of Findings Results

A total of two hundred and fifty (250) questionnaires were distributed, while 207 were returned
giving a return rate of 83%. The responses were coded and transformed into data points for job
performance and reward. The regression analysis indicates that the model relating job performance
to reward is significant at 5% confidence level with F-value of 71.01. The coefficient of determination
was found to be 0.257 indicating that the explanatory variable, reward, accounts for about 26%

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variations in the values of the dependent variable, job performance. Reward as explanatory variable
in the model was found to exhibit positive relationship with job performance and significant with tvalue of 8.43 at 5% confidence level. It is however important to note that the transformation rate of
reward to performance is inelastic meaning that to achieve a unit increase in job performance via
reward, such reward has to be doubled.
JPM = 0.124 + 0.51RWD (iii)
(0.385) (8.43)*

8. Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

The process of effectively managing reward system in organizations is undoubtedly one of the most
complex and problematic issues in human resources management. This is accentuated by the
competition in the labour market in attracting, deploying and retaining valued and highly skilled
workers. Employees now look out for companies that can offer attractive salaries, robust benefits
and juicy employee welfare packages. It is then plausible on the part of employers of labour to see
how such will translate into job performance in the organisation. This is seeing the reward and job
performance as an exchange process.
Rarely had any matter led to strained labour-management relations or led to violent strikes,
picketing or work stoppages much more than compensation-related issues. Employee reward
(Compensation) is the centre piece and manifestation of an exchange relationship between the
employee and the employer. This study has therefore established the exchange relationship
between reward and job performance and found an inelastic relationship.
The paper is set to evaluate the impact of effective reward system on employee job performance
viewed from different perspectives. The quantum of employees reward/remuneration represent a
major determinant of the nation overall purchasing power and hence has a direct influence on many
other micro economic variables like levels of saving, consumption and investments. Given the
aforementioned roles and significance of reward/ remuneration package to both parties involved in
the employment relationship, it is therefore instructive that, government must devise an effective
and realistic reward package that meet with the expectation and aspiration of the employees while
meeting its own growth objectives.
In todays highly competitive business environment, the attainment of high organisational
productivity must recognize the need to inspire and motivate the employees via the design,
establishment and implementation of a robust reward system that calls out the best in the
employees in terms of their performance commitment, dedication and loyalty.
Having summarized what this paper contains and sequel to the finding thereon, the following
are hereby made:
1 .Government should provide a reward package that provides a competitive edge required to
attract the best skills in the labor market, retain and motivate them.
2. Government should implement the reward package that will continue to enhance the
motivational spirit of the employees such that employees attend to their duties and
responsibilities cheerfully, diligently and at the optimum level of performance.
3. To have a satisfactory and productive workforce, government must design and fashion out an
effective reward that is commensurate with the contribution of employee as well as in
agreement with what is obtainable by employee counterpart elsewhere in the country.

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4. Government should ensure that the reward put in place must balance between extrinsic and
intrinsic needs of the individual employees.
5. Government should quickly as much as possible respond to the needs of the employee to
avert constant strike action
Appendix I



Std. Deviation


Pearson Correlation











Square R Square


of the


Change Statistics
Df1 Df2 Sig. F. Durbin.
Change Watson

Predictors: (Constant), REWARD
Dependent Variable: PERFORMANCE
Sum of squares
Mean Square
Predictors: (Constant), REWARD
Dependent Variable: PERFORMANCE







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1 (Constant)




Vol. 2, No.11; November 2012




95% Confidence Interval for B

Lower Bound Upper


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