EFFECT OF WORKING CONDITIONS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF NON- TEACHING SENIOR STAFF OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION WINNEBA

ABSTRACT
The study set out to examine to explore the impact of working conditions and performance among non-teaching senior staff at the University of Education Winneba. The specific objectives that guided the study were; to assess the effects of physical conditions on performance of the non-teaching senior staff; to analyse the effects of occupational health and safety on the performance of the non-teaching senior staff; to analyse the effects of internal organisational communication on performance of the non-teaching senior staff in UEW. The study was a survey study which adopted a quantitative research approach. The design of the study was descriptive, with a sample of 140 using Krejcie & Morgan (1970), out of which 126 responded. The study adopted a simple random sampling technique with a self-structured questionnaire as the main instrument. The results from the survey were analysed with Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS 20 version) software. The study findings first indicated that there is a significant positive relationship between employee performance and physical working condition at UEW. The results of the study also pointed out that, there was a strong positive effect of occupational health and safety on employee performance. It was found that internal communication has a positive and significant effect on employee performance. The study recommends that the Management of the University should provide comfortable working environment for the job of the non-teaching staff. The university should eliminate the barriers on communication and create participative and transparent communication medium to improve staff performance. Training must be provided to staffs on matters related to their health and safety.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
This section presents the overview of the study which includes the background to the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, hypotheses of the study, significance of the study, delimitation of the study, and organization of the study.

Background to the Study
Employees’ performance is an issue of concern to every employer, mainly because their performance is the main contributor to the success of every business. If employees’ performance is not optimized results will not be achieved. One way of ensuring performance is through appropriate working conditions. Working conditions comprise a good and serene working environment, as well as other incentives given to employees by employers to motivate the employees to deliver at their very best. Armstrong (2002) indicates that most employers do not have high levels of sensitivity towards the working conditions of their employees. Herman and Gioia (2000) further explained that employees themselves, especially those with key skills, are becoming more demanding and require organizations to make exceptions on the basis of their individual preferences.

The more employees feel satisfied with their working conditions, the easier  it  is  for  them  to  work  in  conformance  with  the  aspirations  of  the employer.  The existences of good working conditions give employees the perception that employers are not overlooking their efforts and so they tend to put in more effort with the hope of getting more recognition in the future. The more satisfied the employees, the better for the employing institution and the more likely the company can retain the best human resources available on the market. Frank, Finnegan and Taylor (2004), states that the attraction and retention of skilled and experienced employees is the key priority for all companies. One way of retaining such skilled and experienced employees is by offering them good working conditions as per agreed terms of engagement. It is therefore an issue of concern to many professionals as to what constitutes appropriate working conditions and how these affect employee performance.

Among all the factors that are combined to create wealth or undertake production, labour is considered the most dynamic, serving as a catalyst that energizes all the other factors (Yesufu, 2000). Irrespective of the status of the worker, their performance is very important to the organization whether it is commercial or not. The relevance of labour extends beyond the organization to the entire national economy towards improving the welfare and standard of living of the individuals within the country at large and the reduction of mass poverty (Yesufu, 2000).

In the early 20th century, money was regarded as the most vital input into the production of goods and services (Lindner, 1998). But, after a chain of researches, one known to be the “Hawthorne Studies”, conducted by Elton Mayo from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works of the American Western Electric Company in Chicago, it was observed that employees’ performance were not provoked solely by money but that employee behaviour was linked to their attitudes (Lindner, 1998). The Hawthorne studies started the human relations movement in management, whereby the needs and working condition of employees become the prime focus of managers (Minkler, Driver,Roe,& Bedeian, 1993). According to Sarpong (2016), working conditions are the factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually attracted and committed to a job or to try to attain a goal. Working conditions that motivate positive effect results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the; intensity of desire or need, incentive or reward value of the goal and expectations of the individual and of his or her peers.

These factors are the reasons one has for behaving a certain way. The motivation of an employee plays a major role in achieving high levels of satisfaction among its customers (Sarpong, 2016). Every employee or worker has his or her own set of working conditions and personal incentives that ginger him or her to work hard or not as the case may be. Some are motivated by recognition whilst others are motivated by cash incentives. Whatever the form of employee motivation, the key provide suitable working condition as an employer, is understanding and incentives (Nduro, 2000). Employees need good working conditions to actualize their potential and there are several ways of enabling them and empowering them to do so. These include the role of reward systems in motivating employees according to their needs and providing them opportunities that appeal to their motivation needs. Good working condition is the key to creating an enabling environment where optimal performance is possible.

Increasingly, employers are realizing that the core asset of the modern business enterprise does not lie in buildings and investments, but in the intelligence, skills and experience of employees who need to be retained (Harvard Business Review, 2003). This has increased the concern for performance among public sector workers. The most relevant issue of concern is what amounts to appropriate working conditions in the views of the recipient. There are many components of working conditions other than money that should be considered by management (Amstrong, & Murlis 2007). In the University of Education, Winneba, there have been instances where a worker is found to be providing what may not even amount to half of their potential work output. Disregarding the question of whether or not the reasons for this instance of unsatisfactory output are personal, it is the role of management to ensure that everything on their end is of the highest order, to ensure that the fault is not from management.

On the other hand, there are instances of outstanding workers who seem to know no limits to what they can do for the workplace, and play their roles so well that one expects them to get a raise at the next possible opportunity. For sake of this study, the Winneba campus was main focus. The University has about nine hundred and fifty three (953) of its staff in the category of senior staff occupied in various divisions, departments and units. These categories of staff are involved at the operational level and the day-to-day running of the entire university. The aims of the university are to provide higher education and foster a systematic advancement of the science and the art of teacher education, to train tutors for the colleges of education and other tertiary institutions, to provide teachers with professional competence for teaching in pre-tertiary institutions such as preschool, basic, senior secondary school and non-formal education institutions and to foster links between the schools and the community in order to ensure the holistic training of teachers. The administration and service of the school seek to guard the mandate of the University which is to produce professional educators to spearhead a new national vision of education aimed at redirecting Ghana’s efforts along the path of rapid economic and social development.

This study, therefore, seeks to investigate the effects of existing working conditions of non-teaching senior staff of the University of Education, Winneba, on their performance.

Statement of Problem
The expectation of any organization is to get the most optimal performance levels in all it does. Employees who expect to be motivated with the right compensation and rewards mostly manage the expected performance levels. There arise the challenges of designing the condition of service packages that can compensate for the expected performance. Cohen and Bailey(1997) explained that one major problem of working conditions is the challenge of designing it such that it not only spans the world and supports the organization’s strategic goals and objectives, but also guarantees consistency, equity and transferability throughout the entire working life of all employees. It has been explained in other studies that working conditions can be either financial or non-financial; the most important thing is how it is perceived by the employee. Stein (2007) stated that organizations that incorporate financial and non-financial elements into their working conditions are more likely to compete successfully in the global employment market. Therefore, better working conditions always have positive impact on the performance of employees

Despite attempts made by successive governments in Ghana to tackle the problem of poor performance, the situation remains more or less unchanged. This is one of the reasons why the country is still poverty-ridden despite the overwhelming natural resources at its disposal. The country is unable to combine its numerous natural resources with other factors, such as labour, to attain a commensurable level of development. Rising levels of efficiency which results in higher performance have been cited by Akinyele and Fasogbon (2010) as the basis for high standards of living among developing economies. The persistent decline of the country’s development has attracted the attention of business and economic analysts. Many businesses and organizations are introducing managerial innovations to tackle the problem (Balas, 2004). Unfortunately, many of these managerial innovations being implemented across private institutions are not available to managers of public institutions (Akinyele, 2010). Unlike private sectors, most public sectors in Ghana are performing poorly. Also, working conditions in most private sectors in Ghana is far better than that of the public sectors.

Several researchers have also dug into working conditions and their possible effects on employee output (Yusuf & Metiboba, 2012; Jayaweera, 2015; Mafi & Diodio, 2014). Further literatures in Ghana have established that working condition has significant effect on the performance of employees. The current economic development witnessed in Ghana has triggered rapid development of public universities, including University of Education, Winneba. The rapid expansion has also generated a lot of internal management problems with consequent effects on employee job performance. Therefore, efforts to improve upon working conditions of public universities can create satisfied employees with a positive effect on performances of the staff of these universities. The University of Education in Winneba, Ghana experiences a number of employee related challenges including high rate of absenteeism, low morale and turnover among others; all reminiscent of poor working environment.

Nevertheless, very few studies have been conducted on the effects of the working conditions on the performance of the non-teaching staff at the University. In recent years, employees comfort on the job, determined by workplace conditions and environment has been recognized as an important factor for measuring their productivity. Organizations must therefore know how to manage a diverse group of workers because as this will aid in recruitment and retention of talented employees and ensure high levels of job satisfaction. Hence, Heartfield (2012) is of the opinion that in order to create an environment for employee, especially the non-teaching staff, that can aid performance in workplace (emphasis added), it is vitally important to know which key factors of the environment affect their performance. Most studies have therefore not focused on certain service provision and administrative set ups in Ghana. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to know the relation between working condition and performance of non-teaching senior staffs at University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 96 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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