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Analysis Of Factors Affecting Employee Productivity

Business Administration & Management Project Topics

ABSTRACT

 
This study entitled ― Analysis Of Factors Affecting Employee Productivity
focused on looking at the real issues that either increase or reduce the levels of employee productivity. The study was guided by the main objective which was to determine the perceived factors that affect employee productivity. This study is anchored on three theories, namely; the goal settings theory, the systems theory and the organizations theory. The goal settings theory argued that when specific goals that are difficult to achieve are set up by the organization, it will automatically lead to high levels of employee productivity because the employees will be working hard to meet the set goals or the target. The second theory was the systems theory which argued that an organization comprised of different segment within its structures and if the organizations has to increase on its levels of production, then the various systems within the organization must have a shared vision, support each other. This will help to raise the levels of employee productivity. Finally the organizations theory argued that it‘s the organization which is responsible for shaping the attitudes and behaviors of its employees, the organization has to realign all its structures in the right manner and put in place an organizational culture that will make the employees to raise their levels of productivity. The study had a target population of 300 employees and a sample size of 150 respondent‘s .The study adopted a stratified sampling technique whereby all the employees were categorized into the existing departments at the Nigerian bottling company with its  headquarters in Enugu state. Primary data was collected using the self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided into two major parts A & B where section A contained the bio data of the respondents while section B covered the statements on the perceived factors affecting employee productivity. Data was collected using the process of a drop and pick up later method. The study found out that a number of factors that affected employee productivity included the following; the style of leadership in the organization. If the leadership was progressive and acted as an inspiration to the employees, the levels of employee productivity are likely to go high. The communication systems in the organization; if the organization has got proper mechanisms that promote good communication, productivity will be high and the reverse is also true. Thirdly the proper training that the employees are taken through, performance appraisals, motivational levels of the employees, knowledge, skills and attitudes that employees have. In view of these the study recommends that the leadership of the Nigerian bottling company needs to change on its style of leadership so that it becomes responsive to the needs of the employees and inspire confidence in the employees. Secondly the study recommends that proper communication systems needs to be reorganized and strengthened so that it fosters communications in the organization both vertically and horizontally. Thirdly the study recommends that the existing policies on employee promotions at the Nigerian bottling company should be sponsored for further training either internally or in workshops, seminars and conferences so as to sharpen on their knowledge and skills and finally the study recommends a further research on the area of government employment policy in relation to the employee productivity and a similar study to be carried out on other non- governmental organizations and public organizations.\

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

            Background of the Study

 
Stringer (2007) noted that globally organizations both public and private usually rate the levels of productivity and perceptions of their employees as a yard stick of the overall performance and progress of their institutions. This is the most reliable parameter of assessing the general performance of the organization. This parameter has been tried, tested and proven right, in that if the employees are better trained, better paid and remunerated, and constantly motivated, their perceptions would be positive and their levels of productivity will be high and the employees who are unhappy, poorly paid, poorly trained and possess negative attitude towards the organization that they work for will have negative perceptions and will do nothing other than registering a low level of productivity. This parameter has been trusted by most employers and the employees themselves. Stringer further observes that employees who are well taken care of by the organization will develop a positive attitude towards the company and they will feel empowered, recognized and encouraged. This means that they will enjoy their work unlike complacent employees who will be working because of a pay check. The levels of productivity of the former are likely to be higher than those of the latter.
 
 
This study was anchored on three theories, namely the goal setting theory, the systems theory and the organizations theory. Goal setting theory argues that when specific goals that are difficult to achieve are set up by an organization, it will automatically lead to high levels of performance because employees will be working hard to meet the set goals
 
or the target, however the study has noted that by the fact that an organization has set goals that are challenging. It does not automatically lead to increased productivity when it is left on its own; instead it requires the support of the levels of commitment, team work, and good working relations of employees and the employer to increase the levels of productivity. The second theory is the systems theory which advances the argument that organizations comprises of different segments within its structures, and if the organization has to increase its levels of production, then the various systems within the organization must have a shared vision, support each other, properly identifies the capability of its employees as well as working in support of each other. This therefore means that each sub-system must work hard to improve productivity, if an employee performs poorly, he will affect the entire sub-system, and finally the organizations theory argues that it‘s the organization which is responsible for shaping the attitudes and behaviors of its employees. Therefore the organization must realign all its structures in the right manner and put in place a viable organizational culture that will enable it to realize its primary goal which is to increase on its levels of productivity.
 
 
Samantha (1994) defines Employee productivity as the relationship between the output (goods and services produced) to input (consumed resources in the manufacturing, as well as the transformation process). Banolack (1997) on the other hand defines Employee productivity as how much and how well employees produce more with fewer resources. This means that if employees produce more with less resource, productivity is high or if the same products are produced with less resources productivity is also high. Weinrich & Koontz (1994) defined the term productivity to be that term that acts as a ratio between the inputs and the out puts in a specified time frame. This is done in comparison to the quality of the product. This means that in order to measure the levels of productivity, one will have to look at the extent to which the intended goals of the organization have been met and how quality standards of the expected output has been adhered to. The authors observe that the employers expect the employees to produce more output with little resources even as they maintain the levels of efficiency in production process. This author concurs with the views of Drucker (1990) who argued that the levels of employee productivity have a direct impact on the organizations overall performance. This means
that employees who are more productive will produce large quantities of output in a short period of time thereby helping the organization to save money, time and labor in the production process, unproductive employees on the other hand will take long periods of time to finish small projects. In this way costing the company more time, money, labor as well as power.
 
 
Ron and Ronald (2002) noted that the levels of employee productivity can be measured using the period of time than an employee spends at the work place. This means both physical and mental preserve. In order to ensure this, the organization must take a keen interest in an employee‘s levels of satisfaction, health status as well as levels of morale. The organization through its managers as well as the supervisors must ensure that their employees re in good status of wellbeing in order to increase on their productivity levels. Saksena (1988) observed that although it‘s difficult to measure an employee‘s levels of productivity, but its efforts will be directly felt in the overalls organizations performance. For instance, it can be easier to measure the production levels of a skilled worker than a knowledgeable worker. Ochieng (2005) suggested that productivity of the employees could be measured using variables such as cost reduction, inventory reduction, increased flexibility in operations and reduction in delivery time of goods and services, improved quality of products, services as well as increased efficiency. However the author suggests that the standardized way of measuring the output levels of both workers is to use the levels of efficiency, speed as well as occurrence of the employee in relation to his role, job and duties.
Nzuve (1992) observed that contrary to what many scholars have argued before, it is not only the salary increments, better pay or constant promotions at work that leads to the increase of employee productivity. Liberda (2003) pointed out that the style of labor management in an organization, such as poor planning; poor levels of supervision, as  well as inadequate provision of relevant information to the employees will automatically lead to lower levels of employee productivity. Rojas & Aramvareekel (2003) identified four major category of factors that affects the levels of employees productivity, they include management systems and plans such as scheduling, manpower capacities, such as how experienced and motivated is the manpower, what are the working conditions that employees are subjected to, as well as the external environment that the organization operates in the authors argued that management of systems and plans is the greatest factor that affects the levels of employee productivity, they include management systems and plans such as scheduling, manpower capacities, such as how experienced and motivated is the manpower, what are the working conditions that employees are subjected to, as well as the external environment that affects the levels of employee productivity, then closely followed by manpower, working conditions as well as the external environment that a company operates in.
 
 
Other scholars such as Wanyama &Mutsotso (2010) carried out a study on the effects of capacity building on employee productivity, they discovered that there was a total clash between the employers and the employees, employees demand higher salaries and working less, while the employers are demanding
 
for more work and offering little salaries, besides these the scholars observed that there was poor levels of supervision, poor employee equipment was offered, lack of necessary skills and knowledge management practices, all these contributed to the low levels of productivity among the Nigerian banks, this lower productivity levels were explained through issues such as poor service delivery in the banking sector, the inefficiencies of various structures of bank, poor levels of customer relations, customer dissatisfaction as well as low levels of profits. Stevenson (2009) noted that among the factors that influence productivity levels include the amount of capital, type of technology used, management style, differences of quality of services offered, internet use, viruses affecting the computer, new workers, shortage of ICT workers and layoffs, levels of incentives and breakdown of the machines.
 
 

            Research Problem

 
In the modern world, matters dealing with the human resource in relations to their productivity levels have continued to be a major concern of every employer, organizations as well as the governments all over the world. This is because there is the emergence of new challenges that affect the quality of the human resource and its output; therefore it‘s important for the subject employee productivity levels to be looked into with a lot of keen interest. For instance issues such as employee motivation levels, the levels of performance appraisals, management of human resource, communication systems to the human resource as well as quality of training are the leading issues as far as measurement of employee productivity is concerned. This is because depending on how an organization manages its workers concerns, its levels of productivity and overall performance will be affected in one way or the other (Delancy 1996). This view is supported by that of Knootz and Weihrich, (2004) who argued that top managers do not share all the information because they fear challenging their bases, while middle level
managers feel that they are not provided with sufficient information from top managers. In most cases they see the top managers are uninspiring, offer poor leadership and vision for the progress of the organization, the lower level managers on the other hand are either alienated or sidelined. All the above scenario leads to one major effect to the organization, that is lowering the organizations overall performance. This is because the employees are having low morale levels, uninspired hence the productivity will be very low.
 
 
The Nigerian bottling company has got slightly over 1000 workers who are spread across the country. The organization has got 300 of its employees who are based at the headquarters in 9th Mile, Enugu stateThe organization is divided into five major departments namely; Sponsorship department, Operations department, Administration and Security department, Finance and Support department, and Program development and Grants Acquisition department. Each department is headed by a director. The current status of the employee productivity at the World Vision is that the organization is not satisfied with the levels of productivity of its employees. This according to the report is among other things due to lack of proper training among the employees, refusal of some employees to work in certain areas of the country, political atmosphere in the country, lack of support from the communities in the remote areas as well as poor financial challenges which makes the organization not to be able to carry out on its daily operations. All these in one way or the other affect employee productivity
 
A number of studies have been carried out in the area of employee productivity. For instance Tongo (2008) did a study on causes of low productivity of workers in the Nigerian industries, the author found out that, most regular employees in the Nigerian industries felt that they are giving more to the industries than what they are getting from the industries, he found out that if the employees could be given financial incentives, such as overtime payments, salary increments as well as retirement benefits, this will go a long way in increasing their levels of productivity hence improving the overall performance of the industry. Munyao (2002) carried out a study on what needs to be done in order to increase the productivity levels of teachers in the public primary schools in Nigeria, he found out that all employees love it when they work in well performing institutions, proper HR practices such as employee satisfaction, motivation as well as constant reward will boost the levels of employee productivity.
 
 
It is therefore upon this background that this study will seek to answer the research question, what are the perceived factors that affect employee productivity in the Nigerian bottling company in Nigeria.
 
 

            Research Objective

 
The main objective of this study was to determine the factors that affect employee productivity in the Nigerian bottling company in Nigeria.
 
 

            Significance  of the Study

 
The study will be useful to policy makers as it will greatly in form the policy making process both the finding so as well as the recommendations made by this study will be useful to the management, from the headquarters, the government of Nigeria through NGO board, the Ministry of  Planning, the Ministry of Labor and human resource as well as the ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of government. These institutions will be informed of the existing challenges that employee  are experiencing in as far as human resource is concerned. The suggestions made by this study on how to improve on the levels of employee productivity will be useful for them
as they design new policies. The findings of the study will also be useful to other NGOs in the private sector, this is because, not only will it give them insights on how to prepare, review and improve on the working conditions of their employees, but will seek to devise new ways of how to ensure an increment in employee productivity.
 
 
Secondly, the study will serve to identify the weaknesses of the three theories that have been used to anchor the study on; these theories include the goal setting theory, the systems theory as the organizations theory. Not only will the study put the relevance of the three theories into a practical test, but will also serve to strengthen them in that the weaknesses of the goal setting theory such as an organization setting difficult goals for its employees to achieve, but at the same time failing to ensure that the employees remain committed to the goal, and stay motivated even as they strive to meet the set targets, among other weaknesses are addressed. The improved theories will be in a better capacity to fulfill its core functions of describing a phenomenon, explaining a phenomenon, predicting a phenomenon as well as prescribing a phenomenon. This will be useful to the academicians in future and form a basis for further research and a platform of Academic debates.
Finally, the study will also be useful in the field of Human Resource Management and HR practice. This is so because all the Human Resource Managers will be greatly informed of the modern challenges that affect the levels of employee productivity in all the organizations globally. The HR managers and practitioners will be very keen when designing of job advertisements, preparing of job descriptions, and the recruitment of
 
new staff. They will be keen in going for those personal attributes that will enable the employee have high levels of productivity. Besides these the findings of the study as well as the conclusion and recommendations made will be useful in expanding the existing knowledge of HR practice, not only will it offer constructive criticism to the existing theories of employee productivity but it will offer suggestions on how the theories can be improved in order to ensure that they adequately describe, explain, predict and prescribe all the matters dealing with employee productivity.

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