One structure and systems(Kirstein, 2010).Undoubtedly, motivation is an important

One of the
most relevant functions of Human Resource Management (HRM) is motivation. Indeed,
a great amount of the global wealth comes in a form of human capital. Therefore
managing human resources plays such a critical role in the process of boosting companies’
effectiveness (Kirstein, 2010). The relevance of motivating people at work is
visible at all levels in any organization. It begins from managers who need to
be aware of factors that motivate their subordinates to make them perform well,
through employees who need to thoroughly consider what expectations they have
of work, winding up with HR experts who need to comprehend the subject of motivation
to viably plan and actualize reward structure and systems(Kirstein, 2010).Undoubtedly,
motivation is an important aspect of HRM and it is pretty much obvious that
organizations need employees who are adequately motivated to achieve their
goals. However, because of a complex nature of human behaviour, motivation is
not easy to understand and to use (Kirstein, 2010). In spite of many
investigations and studies on the theme of motivation, managers today are no
nearer to understanding employees’ motivation than their counterpart managers
who existed prior to more than a half of century ago (Kovach, 1980). Although,
a significant number of researches suggest that money is not as motivating as has
always thought to be, many organizations have tried to implement monetary
incentives as their principal tool to motivate their employees. Performance
related pay turned out to be the new mantra that was undeniably utilized by
many organizations (Frey & Osterloch, 2002). Recent financial crises have
led to many large and small organizations to cut costs through occasional
reduction of employees’ salaries and bonuses. But the multi-million dollar question
that comes to mind is whether there are other options of effectively motivating
employees that would be cost efficient at the same time.

Available
literature on the subject of motivation shows that there are several other ways
to motivate employees (Oldham & Hackman, 2010; Lawyer, 1969; Roche &
MacKinnon, 1970; Allender & Allender, 1998; Lu, 1999; Tharenou, 1993;
Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1998). The most famous and usually
quoted theories can be divided into two categories, namely content theories and
process theories. The first group which focuses on what motivates people is
represented by writers such as Maslow, McClelland and Herzberg; whilst the
second category which seeks to find out how motivation occurs is mostly
attributed to writers such as Vroom, Adams, Locke and Latham. It is interesting
to know that the points of view opined by the authors of both theories appear
complementary to each other sometimes, but contradict at other times. This
inspired other thinkers to conduct their own researches on motivation and, ultimately
resulted in the creation of a number of suggestions about other factors that enhance
increase in employees’ performance. Authors like (Oldham & Hackman, 2010;
Lawyer, 1969) are of the view that job design plays relevant role in shaping
employees behaviour while others such as (Roche & MacKinnon, 1970; Allender
& Allender, 1998; Lu, 1999; Tharenou, 1993; Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf,
1998) opine that the style of leadership and freedom given to employees are critical
in motivating employees. Other group of researchers including (Luthans &
Stajkovic, 2000; Armstrong & Murlis, 2004) says that recognition can be
used to motivate people to perform well. While there are several other examples
of possible motivators in the literature on a subject of motivation, (Frey
& Osterloch, 2002) make us understand that some rewards are rather seen as
factors that negatively influence the performance of employees as much as
others can be really rewarding for them.

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Enough researches
indicate that, it is almost impossible to pick which factors really do motivate
people; some people prefer monetary rewards, others non-monetary.

Meaning, rewards,
motivation and their accompanying influence on employees’ performance may be
employee-specific and environment dependent.

It is therefore,
imperative that this study investigates and unravels the situation of employee
rewards and what motivates junior staff at the University of Ghana (UG), Legon.