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PRINCIPALS’ MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGIES AND TEACHER JOB SATISFACTION IN BENUE STATE

Vocational Technical Education Project Topics & Materials

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

          Secondary education is a very important level of education in Nigeria where solid foundation for higher education and useful living is laid.  According to Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004), secondary education is the form of education children receive after primary education and before tertiary stage. She also stated that the broad aim of secondary education within the national objectives is the preparation of children for useful living within the society and for higher education. Teachers are required at this level of education to help in the achievement of the objectives and there is a need to motivate them, if the aims of secondary education are to be achieved. On the other hand it appears that teachers are not reckoned with nor appreciated in Nigeria.  Emenike (2003) affirmed that the Nigerian society still rate teaching as the lowest civil service job. Furthermore, while other teachers work in order to satisfy their needs in life, those in Benue State, Nigeria constantly agitate to a need for one thing or the other, which is a sign of lack of job satisfaction

Job satisfaction is one of the most frequently investigated variable in studies in organizational behaviour. This is probably due to its positive impact on organizational effectiveness and efficiency (Obi, 1992). Obi (1997), also stressed that teachers’ effectiveness lead to opportunities to produce and effect changes in the school among teacher in secondary schools. Despite teachers’ efforts in school effectiveness and efficiency, they neither get a commensurate remuneration nor the prestige and social status, which they deserve. This implies that teachers who work tirelessly for the development of the school through grooming of the students are not accorded the necessary recognition and respect which these teachers deserve.  This also influences their job satisfaction and in the long run goes a long way to affect teaching and learning. In search of job satisfaction, workers are usually inclined to leave the job at hand for better ones. Okonkwo (1997) stated that teachers who are not satisfied with their jobs, withdraw to other jobs which they believe might satisfy their needs. This is the situation in Benue State where teachers indulge in other activities during and after school teachers that are detrimental to their professional calling. Since job satisfaction from the basis for worker’ decisions about their work- whether they remain or quit, the parameter, for measuring teachers’ job satisfaction in the teaching profession could be in their length of service. Maintaining a high level of worker’s job satisfaction is vital in increasing organizational productivity.

Job satisfaction is an acceptable and happy work condition. Emenike (2003), defined it as a pleasurable, emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job, an affective to ones job and an attitude towards one’s job. Operationally, job satisfaction is being happy and contented with ones (teachers) duties and showing same in being devoted to the duties. It is necessary to ensure teachers’ job satisfaction as this will enhance productivity and teachers’ longer stay in the teaching profession. This implies that job satisfaction is imperative for the achievement of educational goals.

Much concern has been expressed by societies over the continuous reduction in the abilities of students. This is evident in the poor academic performances of public secondary school students. It appears that most secondary school teachers are not doing their duties effectively and this affects the level of students’ performance. Experts, educationists, economists, stakeholders and literature seem to agree that there is a close relationship between job performance and job satisfaction of workers. Okonkwo (1997) asserted that people will be motivated to perform their jobs effectively to the extent to which they are satisfied with their jobs. This shows that job satisfaction will lead to improvement of teachers’ performance, which in turn will result to improved students’ performance. Assigning responsibilities to teachers’ according to their competence, and the recognition of teachers’ efforts in the school system could be source of teachers’ motivation. This could also lead to teachers’ job satisfaction as well as better teachers’ performances in carrying out assigned responsibilities. From the researcher’s experience, teachers in Benue State generally complain of lack of job satisfaction. Consequently, some indulge in absenteeism, lateness to school, unwillingness to perform some functions in the school and other vices.  These negative behaviours of teachers further worsen the educational disadvantaged situation of the state.  Indicating the reason for teachers, job dissatisfaction, Achimugu (2000), asserted that teachers are denied staff housing loan, free medical services, regular promotion etc. therefore, the onus of making teachers’ satisfied with their job rests on  the Principals of schools.  According to him, principals have to find ways to make teachers’ in Benue state happy so as to do their work well so that Benue state can join other states of the federation in enjoying educational advantages.

The big question is –how do the principals make teachers especially in Benue state to have job satisfaction? The answer is not hard to find because according to literature, this can be done through motivation. Therefore, there is a serious need to find out how teachers can be motivated in Benue State. This study is therefore attempted to find out how teachers can be motivated to have the needed job satisfaction to enable them perform their duties effectively. The researcher, therefore, deems it necessary to use Meta- analysis based motivational strategies which according to literature could give secondary school teachers in Benue State job satisfaction and find out which of them if applied by the principals will be very well welcomed by the teachers in the state. Such motivational strategies include teamwork; teacher involvement; work enhancement; incentive; conducive school environment.

 

Teamwork has been found to be a motivating factor to job satisfaction. When teachers work cooperatively in teams, they tend to be more motivated. Oftentimes in the workplace the ability to be a team player is valued and is critical to job performance. Recent research has suggested that conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness are all related to cooperative behavior but that they are not related to task performance. Although this fortifies the case that job performance is related to the five-factor model via increased cooperativeness among coworkers, it lays siege to the role of personality by implying that actual job performance (task performance) is related to cognitive ability and not to personality (LePine & Dyne, 2001).

Leadership abilities are often essential in the workplace, especially for individuals who aspire to move up into the ranks of management. Studies of Asian military units have found that neuroticism is negatively correlated with leadership abilities. Contrary to what the researchers hypothesized, agreeableness is negatively correlated with leadership abilities as well. Openness to experience is unrelated to leadership abilities, but extraversion is positively correlated with leadership abilities (Lim & Ployhart, 2004). This evidence is consistent with the long-standing idea that in teams there are leaders and there are followers; the leaders make decisions and the followers abide by them. Although agreeableness is positively correlated with working with a team, it is negatively correlated with being a leader. Those followers who do not always agree and are willing to voice their own opinions end up moving up the ranks, whereas those who blindly agree are left as followers.

Moore (1991) saw teamwork as a strategy that wields teachers in to better work performance.  Principals that are skillful form work groups when possible, since peer pressure induces high level of performance. This is said to be an effective way of motivating teachers because individual teachers usually adapt to peer pressure and expectations more than obeying their principals.  Le (1995) affirmed that teamwork is one of the most effective ways of motivating teachers.

Another effective way of motivating teachers is teacher involvement in school functions which enables a teacher or groups of teachers to assist in decision making, set and announce their own goals. This often has a positive result (Le, 1995).  Making goals known is an additional drive because it is seen as a promise.  Promises are meant to be kept.  Personal involvement tends to generate a strong desire and willingness to contribute meaningfully to the accomplishment of set goals.  The more a teacher participates in setting meaningful work goals and making decisions, he or she develops the ability to be accountable Arinze (1997 .and consequently become more motivated.

When principals offer special privileges for good work performance to his teachers, they become motivated to work harder. Adelabu (2004) studied teacher motivation and concluded that it could lead to job satisfaction and increased performance. For instance, a hardworking teacher may be allowed to go home earlier than others, if he completes his task for the day earlier than other. This gives the teacher time to rest and prepare for the following day’s work. Another good example is that a hard working teacher may be selected to go for paid  workshop more often than his lazier counterparts.   It motivates the teacher and other teachers to be more committed to their duties.  The skillful use of reward in motivating teachers creates self-inspired interest in teachers (Le, 1995). Ladebo (2005) also found that many teachers leave the teaching profession if they are not properly motivated. Use of rewards as a strategy implies that interpersonal relationship is created. This fosters cooperation and motivation in the subordinates.

Cathy, Kassy and Suban (1990) identified four functions of rewards. To Obi (1997) it is an incentive motivation in the school system which assumes that the classroom teacher will do his work better and work harder to accomplish school goals.  The best way to get better work performance from teachers is through inducements given to them in the form of rewards and incentives. If a teacher knows that he will be rewarded, he will do all he can to accomplish the set goals.  Skillful principals use all forms of incentives to motivate their teachers.  Incentives may be given in the form of money, gifts, letter of recommendation, praises and so on.  Teachers are motivated to do tasks that will give them the greatest reward (Le, 1995).  Principals who deny teachers of incentives will force them to hide their initiative and creativity.  It could lead to frustration, redundancy and alienation (Obi, 1997).

Environment affects individual behaviours and development and so can be effectively used as a motivational strategy. School environment is the physical condition of a place a teacher works (Frisky, 2002). Good work environment fosters play and creative thinking (Hearthfield, 2010) and can constitute best workplace for teachers, so wise and skillful principals can make good use of conducive school environment to motivate the teachers. Equally important is work enhancement programme for teachers which motivate them to perform optimally at work.  Hearthfield (2010) recommended the following work attitudes that can facilitate motivation in the school set up: pride, passion and belief.  These work attitudes can be skillfully employed to teach students of any level of education in any country who has sound mind and is mentally alert, (National Union of Teacher,{NUT}1994 and Okebukola 1996). This is probably why the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN 2004) indicated that no education system can rise above the quality of its teachers.

Experience is another factor that has relationship with motivation and learning.  It was observed that experienced teachers see interrelationship of various factors which affect teaching and learning more than inexperienced teachers (Selke, Mines & Kennedy 2010).  What may motivate inexperienced teachers may not motivate the experienced ones and vice versa.  Selke, Mines & Kennedy (2010) argued that new and inexperienced teachers need comprehensive induction programmes to match up with experienced teacher.  The more the beginning teacher perceives support, the more likely they are to remain in the teaching service stressed Ingersol & Kralik, (2004). This implies that principals can employ the use of training and other capacity building programmes the make teachers more experienced, as a motivating factor

School location may also affect a teacher’s motivation and job satisfaction.  Teachers who work within urban areas where there are social amenities may likely be more motivated than those in rural areas especially the female ones.  Female teachers are more likely to be motivated and love their job if they are in the urban area where they have access to social amenities (SOURCE?). In the urban areas, teachers can combine their teaching job with petty trading especially in the evening hours, to augment their salaries with income from other means.  This can be a source of motivation or reason to remain on the job, (Sinclair & Eraskin-Gullen, 2009).

Graduate and post graduates teach in secondary schools, particularly in Benue State.  Postgraduate teachers may be more qualified and knowledgeable in teaching specific subjects and may be more motivated to teach than their graduate counterparts. Hence government encourages graduate teachers to go for in-service training to improve on their existing knowledge (Hare & Heap, 2001).  Such encouragement may serve as motivation that could lead to job satisfaction. This study will verify this assumption by testing a hypothesis to that effect

Female teachers seem to show fewer propensities to be influenced by motivating factors more than their male counterparts.  Male teachers, on the other hand have greater tendency to go in search of more challenging jobs than the females who do better in complaining (Hollerabert, et al, 1987; Achimugu, (2000). This assertion will also be tested in this study.

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