Rewards play an important role in increasing employee job satisfaction resulting in improving organizational performance. Motivated employees are the cornerstone of any successful organization. The main objective of this study was to establish the effects of reward management strategies on employee performance in selected universities in Nakuru County. The specific objectives were: to determine the effect of financial rewards on employee performance, to determine the effect of non-financial rewards on employee performance and to determine the combined effect of financial and non-financial rewards on employee performance. Descriptive survey design was adopted in conducting this study, as it was suitable for collecting information that described an existing phenomenon. The target population was 620 lecturers in two universities in Kenya namely Egerton and Kabarak Universities, which comprised a sample of 242 lecturers. The study primarily used a questionnaire to gather data from the respondents. Data from the questionnaire were systematically analyzed according to the research objectives and hypotheses. All hypotheses were tested using regression statistics and the results of the findings established that there is a strong positive association between combined effect of financial and non-financial rewards on employees‟ performance. According to the findings of this study, financial and non-financial rewards motivate employees to better performance. Thus, employee performance will be high in Kenyan universities that adopt an integrated effort on both financial and non-financial reward measurements. The study recommends the following: First, lecturers‟ promotion should be done regularly on merit. Secondly, Universities establish a competitive retirement benefit scheme to its employees. Third, Universities should engage their lecturers on regular training programs.

Background of the Study 
Reward strategies are developed to make employees performance more effective. Employees work to fulfill their several needs. They do not only want money but also recognition and self- satisfaction. Valued employees are retained if they are properly rewarded. 

In Kenya, there are two categories of universities, public and private universities. Public universities are owned and funded by the state. Private universities are owned by private individuals, organizations or are religious based. They are mainly funded through tuition fees from students and sponsors Tumwet, (2013). Egerton University is a public university while Kabarak University is a private university. 

Universities are a center of higher education where lecturers play an important role in ensuring high quality of education by developing their students as global citizens for the outside corporate world. However, it is only possible when lecturers in universities are motivated enough to accomplish their goals effectively. Unfortunately, most of the research available is on students‟ motivation but little on motivating lecturers Martin, (2003). 

Universities, whether public or private, are training grounds for students undertaking various comprehensive courses in order to translate theory into practice Adenike, (2011). The fundamental goal of these institutions is to provide manpower needs for both private and public sector for overall national development. The Kenyan public universities admit both privately sponsored students and those partly sponsored by the government through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS). The major issue in public universities in Kenya is the rapid expansion amid declining funds which has seen universities experience challenges in terms of physical facilities, overcrowding and staff disillusioned due to several factors including inadequate and non-competitive salaries, and dissatisfaction with non monetary factors such as poor working conditions, heavy workload, institutional governance among others Tettey, (2006). These factors have led to the exodus of teaching staff to the private sector or abroad in search for better opportunities despite the fact that these institutions have invested heavily in training them. 

Kenyan universities have experienced rapid expansion in terms of enrolment of regular and self- sponsored students over the last decade without corresponding increase in staff numbers. Due to social demand of university education and globalization, private universities (both local and international) have been established. Most universities in Kenya are under immense pressure to increase their enrolment in order to meet the human resource development targets. Also public universities have established privately funded programmes as a way of supplementing income due to reduced budgetary allocation by the government. All these clearly show that there is competition in the provision of university education among public universities themselves but also with private universities. Therefore, this means that there is increased regional and international competition for qualified university staff which leads to brain drain and loss of some of the most highly qualified academic staff GoK, (2006). This calls for motivation of lecturers so that they can be retained in Kenyan universities. 

There are twenty two (22) accredited public universities in Kenya with nine (9) constituent colleges. This is in addition to seventeen (17) private chartered universities with five (5) constituent colleges. There are thirteen (13) institutions with letters of interim authority and one (1) registered private institution (Commission for University Education). These universities cater for the increasing number of students who enroll for higher education. All these universities need lecturers whose workload increases due to the demand of university education. Many secondary school graduates and working class look for opportunities to pursue university education. Motivation of academic staff (lecturers) is therefore a pertinent issue in universities to enhance their performance. 

A good reward system that focuses on rewarding employees and their teams serves as a driving force for employees to have higher performance and hence end up accomplishing the organizational goals and objectives. The current era is highly competitive and universities are facing employee retention challenges. To overcome these restraints a strong and positive relationship and bonding should be created and maintained between employees and the universities. Human resources or employees are the most central parts so they need to be influenced and persuaded towards task fulfillments. For achieving prosperity, universities design different strategies to compete with their competitors and for increasing their performance. 

Unless employees are encouraged to fulfill their tasks, universities cannot progress or achieve success. Reward strategies should be used by managers to increase effectual job management amongst employees in organizations Shadare & Hammed, (2009). An employee who is well rewarded is responsive of the definite goals and objectives he/she must achieve. Rutherford (1990) reported that provoked employees are constantly looking for improved practices to do work, so it is essential for organizations to reward their employees. 

Reward strategies can either be financial or non-financial. Employees expect financial and non- financial rewards for their services and efforts. In the absence of equitable pay, training and development opportunities and recognition, employees get dissatisfied and do not perform to the standards Rynes et al. (2004). The dissatisfaction resulting from the unavailability of financial and non-financial rewards usually leads to employee turnover and poor performance. The benefits employees foresee for themselves and their families encourage them to give their best. Financial rewards are also known as intrinsic rewards and include pay/salaries/wages, bonuses, allowances, insurance, incentives, promotions and job security. Non-financial rewards, also known as extrinsic rewards include appreciation and recognition, meeting new challenges and caring attitude from the employer. 

In Nigeria, interest in effective use of rewards to influence workers performance to motivate them began in the 1970s. So many people have carried out researches in this area, some of which are, Kayode (2003), Egwuridi (2008), Nwachukwu (2004), Olajide, A. (2000). The performance of workers has become important due to the increasing concern of human resources experts about the level of output obtained from workers due to poor remuneration. Adelabu (2005) found out in Nigeria that teachers are dissatisfied with their working environment and salary conditions. Teachers there feel that they have low salaries as compared to other professionals, poor working environment, no decision making authority and no opportunity to develop their career. 

An employee‟s output greatly determines organization‟s performance. Enhancing employees‟ capabilities through career development programs like further studies, collaborating in research, seminars, workshops, conferences and team learning in organizations, employees‟ performance improves. In universities lecturers‟ performance is measured through the extent to which they effectively teach allotted workloads, attendance of learned conferences, publication of books and journal articles, and furtherance of academic and professional qualifications Kiriri and Gathuthi, (2009). 

When employees leave their jobs, it is often a sign that something is wrong. According to Zhou et al (2004), the costs of academic turnover, such as subsequent recruiting expenses, disruptions of course offerings, discontinuities in departmental and student planning, and loss of student graduate advisors, are borne at individual, departmental and institutional levels. Thus there is need to motivate academic staff which was the essence of this study. Pienaar et al (2008) note that academic turnover has several disadvantages such as costs related to decreased organizational loyalty, the loss of knowledge and experience regarding the institution and the decrease in time and cost in training novice academics. 

According to Kipkebut (2010), the biggest challenge occasioned by expansion of student numbers in universities is staff shortage which has forced the universities to recruit from each other. The recruitment vendetta has come to be known as poaching with the most vulnerable lecturers being those who have not been promoted by their respective universities either because they did not meet the requirements for promotion or because there were no available positions in the establishment. The universities are guided by statutes and policies such as promotion and training policies, however the manner in which these policies are implemented has led to academic staff disillusionment. 

Good working relationships with colleagues enhance productivity and efficiency. A working environment that is comfortable, relatively low in physical psychological stress, facilities and attainment of work goals will tend to increase employee performance. Academic staff requires office space, research and book support. Obwogi (2011) observed that some lecturers in Kenyan public universities did not have access to some of the basic teaching facilities like offices and desks. This brings a lot of stress among lecturers especially when they have to share with their colleagues. Working relationships employees engage in with their supervisors, peers and subordinates should be conducive. How employees feel about the interaction and discussions that take place within the work environment can affect performance. 

Training is a form of human capital investment, whether made by the individual or organization. It provides employees with specific skills and helps to correct deficiencies in their performances (Chew, 2005). By offering training opportunities, the academic staff feel that the universities have invested in them and there are growing opportunities within the organization and hence give meaning to their jobs. This leads to academic advancement which is the engine that keeps the universities true to their mandate as centres of ideas and innovation. Without training, intellectual capital can stagnate and the relevance of universities to society may diminish. Lecturers thrive on intellectual and collegial stimulation from their peers when they engage in intellectual activities and national and international research meetings Rosser, (2004). 

Training leads to job enrichment as lecturers have more autonomy over their work. Job enrichment is the decree to which employees exercise power relative to their jobs. It increases their personal responsibility and the degree to which the job provides substantial freedom, independence and discretion to employees to schedule work and determine the procedures used in carrying it out Dockel, (2003). Job enrichment provides autonomy to lecturers so that they can decide work patterns, actively participate in major academic decision making, have work evaluated by professional peers and be relatively free of bureaucratic regulations and restrictions Daly et al, (2006). 

Promotion tends to effect the long-term satisfaction of employees. This is done by elevating the employee to a higher stage and offering a title with increased accountability due to employee efforts, behavior and period serving a specific organization. This is vital for the main reason of redundancy and routine. In universities, lecturers are promoted as heads of departments, directors of institutions, principals of campus to name but a few. This gives them a sense of responsibility and they adhere to contribute all their efforts in order to gain the management‟s trust and acquire their delegation and responsibility. University management must however be seen to be fair and reasonable in promoting their employees. 

Monetary strategies as a way of motivation go a long way towards ensuring employees feel appreciated, cared for and deemed worthwhile. These can be in the form of bonuses, paid insurance, or raising employee salaries. This can go a long way to help with employee motivation across the board. Motivation does not only encourage productive performance but also show employees how much the organization cares. The most vital impact of employee motivation is that of increased performance. Therefore, if employee motivation is increased, performance will be inevitable Ryan, (2011). 

The performance of any organization is closely tied to the job performance of its employees. Employee performance depends on their level of motivation which stimulates them to come to work regularly, work diligently, and be flexible and willing to carry out the necessary tasks. In order to perform well, employees need the knowledge and skills that are required for the job. When these are backed by good motivation, performance will ultimately be at the optimal. Ability depends on education, experience and training. Employees must understand what they are required to do and have the motivation to do so. They need to work in an environment that allows them to carry out the task and the motivation to do their work. Without motivation even the most talented employee will not deliver Landy & Conte, (2010). The performance and quality of teaching depends on the quality and motivation of the lecturers. 

Swasto (1996) said that lecturers are educators, researchers and disseminators of information. This means that performance is determined by the number of papers presented in seminars, articles written in scientific journals and books authored. In addition, lecturers need to have the ability to think logically and critically and master the principles and methods of research and be able to communicate the results of research. Thus, lecturers are responsible for developments in science, technology and social. Competence of university graduates is strongly influence by the lecturers‟ performance. Therefore, lecturers‟ performance should be improved through motivational strategies. They should be properly compensated if they are expected to improve productivity. Contribution of universities in creating quality human resources is significant. Lecturers are mandated with this task and thus should be motivated appropriately, Chintallo & Mahadeo, (2013).

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 81 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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