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Employee Motivation Techniques and Nonchalance Attitude Reinforcement in Public Administration

motivation techniques – specifically financial-based rewards such as bonuses, commissions, and job promotion – by public administration entities; the use of emplyee motivation techniques; ethics influence the application of these rewards differently than in private companies;the role of organized labor influence employee compensation and benefits in the public sector; existing wage/reward system adequately recognizes superb performance or reinforces an attitude of nonchalance.

Employee motivation has become a critical issue for most public administration managers whose foremost function is to achieve high level employee performance and productivity. It’s pertinent that public administration entities employ the most effective motivational techniques while considering that different motivational techniques work for different employees. Thus this paper will attempt to analyze the sufficiency of financial based rewards such as bonuses, commissions as well as job promotions to motivate public administration employees. Besides, the paper will evaluate how ethics influence the application of financial rewards in public administration entities as opposed to private companies, how the role of organized labor influence employees compensation and benefits in the public sector and an overview of how existing reward systems in Administration and in this paper U.S Government public administration effectively reinforces an attitude of nonchalance.

Just like other employees, public administration employees are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Therefore, for any reward system to be effective it must incorporate both sources of motivation especially given that all reward systems are designed to attract, retain and motivate workers.
Financial-based rewards such as bonuses, commissions as well as Job promotions form a significant component of the reward system, although there are other factors that motivate employees and influence their overall level of performance. In fact according to numerous studies conducted among public employees, the results indicated that among those surveyed, financial rewards was not the most motivating factor (Perry et al, 2006). The study also established that among public administration managers, financial results have a de-motivating effect among employees (Srivastava, 2001). Public administration entities are emphasizing on quality improvement teams and commitment building programs as opposed to financial incentives. A research conducted by the University of Texas in 2005 established that financial incentives (bonuses and commissions) make up less than 5% of the U.S public administration employees’ compensation (Stajkovic, 2003). The U.S private sector on the contrary is encouraging financial incentives through implementation of pay-for-performance plans that encourage alternative reward systems. Therefore unlike public sector organizations, private sector organizations are increasingly adopting alternative reward systems in order to boost their competitiveness both locally and internationally. As a result, private companies are emphasizing on the need for cost cutting, corporate restructuring while at the same time boosting employee performance. Public organizations aren’t as profit driven as private enterprises, and therefore prefer using bonuses as their key financial-based reward technique as opposed to commissions. On the contrary, private entities emphasize on pay-for-performance reward system. Nonetheless, regardless of the reward system selected by either public or private organizations the selected system must incorporate both financial-based and other alternative reward systems for it to be effective.

Employees in both public and private entities can be motivated through job promotions and lateral moves. Job promotions represent long term rewards that duly recognize employees’ professional growth, expertise, and capacity to take up new roles. Job promotions are usually tied to salary increases, whereby the increase must be within a 5% range of the worker’s current salary while those earning less than $25,000 base salary can receive an increment of up to $1,250 (Clemmer, 2004). Furthermore, the new salary increment must fall within the approved salary range for the position. Moreover, employees must complete a 90-day probationary period following the promotion.

Supervisors perform pertinent functions of developing and motivating their employees. The greatest challenge faced by public administration managers is the lack of flexibility in the public administration to reward employee performance using financial-based rewards. This is particularly because public institutions often operate on tight budgetary allocations and lack proper financial-based reward structures. Thus bonuses and commissions are used by private entities to reward employees with exemplary performance. In addition, job promotions are used to reward employees who due to their professional excellence, contribute immensely to the organizational development. On the contrary, public officers find it difficult to use job promotions to reward workers due to bureaucracy and cronyism that is inherent in public organizations. Additionally, managers and supervisors in public administration positions find it difficult to financially reward best performers due to public ethics Act and other existing legislations whose provisions restrict financial rewards. It has therefore become common practice for public administration supervisors to use other alternative reward systems rather than financial-based reward systems.

In conclusion, the use of employee motivation techniques and specifically financial-based rewards such as bonuses, commissions and job promotions in public administration entities works differently for professional workers and low level contingent workers. These differences arise primarily due to their diversity in terms of needs, perceptions of desirable rewards and abilities. In fact, different motivational theories have attempted to explain how these differences affect employees’ motivation from different perspectives. Therefore public administration managers ought to employ different approaches to motivate these two groups. Therefore, as a result of these differences, public administration employees can be motivated using different techniques other than financial-based rewards such as on-job challenges, provision of work autonomy as well as providing performance feedbacks to motivate professional workers. To effectively motivate low level workers, dependent workers, techniques such as pay increase, permanent employment status after certain time on the job and opportunities for professional development.


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About the author or the publisher
-International Counsel & LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA and Ghana (Barrister - Solicitor)
President-Founder of NPPPC in D R Congo

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