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The work environment which encompasses several factors impacts on the way the employees perform their work. A comfortable and all inclusive workplace environment will boost the employees’ performance hence boosting the organizational performance. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of workplace environment on employee performance in the mobile telecommunication firms in Lagos City . The target population was all the employees at Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited, MTN and Glo Nigeria Limited based at the headquarters. The total number was 250 from Airtel, 976 from MTN and 400 from Glo. The sample size included a total of 164 employees. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The researcher used stratified random sampling technique in selecting the employees. The study used primary data which was collected by use of semi structured questionnaire. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics that included frequencies, mean scores, standard deviation and percentages. From the findings, the study concluded that work environmental factors that influenced employee performance were physical environment factors, reward, management / leadership style, training and development and work-life balance. The findings revealed that employees were not satisfied with the management style and promotions in their organizations. The study recommends that mobile telecommunications firms need to set up more comprehensive reward systems, change management style to transformational leadership style that is inclusive of all employees. The working conditions of employees should also be improved to motivate employees to work. The limitations of the study were that the researcher had limited time and resources to be able to do a more comprehensive research across the country. The researcher recommends further studies to be carried out across the country for a broader perspective on the relationship between employee performance and work environment.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Human effort in organization is indispensable. It constitutes a complex phenomenon to managers of such organization to comprehend. Accordingly, it is believed that every behaviour is a goal directed. Thus, for an organization or individual to engage in any productive venture, it must have underlying fundamental factors including the individual in that direction. Hence the effect of work environment in achieving set target for the organization must be in adequate condition. Therefore, the nature of office concerned with these things that influence workers productivity, which constitute the “why” of peopl’es behaviours? Why do people do things? Why is Ifeoma’s moral higher than Ngozi’s?, what are these increases in work productivity? These questions can be answered with the understanding of the nature of work environment and how these affect productivity. However, the organizational target can only be achieved if the environment is conducive. Work environment consists of the office buildings, its furniture and layout as well as the physical conditions under which workers operate. it is also concerned with the external factors to the business which the office serves, the industry or other activities within which the business lies, the custom and laws of the community within which they operates. These environment factors are always changing and the office must react to the changes, but how does the customs and laws reduce workers morale? This question can be answered after investigation. Office and work environment are dynamic, but the most dynamic factors in the office is human factor. Workers today are more educated than before. They are more likely to raise questions about their environment of work since management itself dynamic pro. It has adhered and addresses itself to the provision of good environment of work for workers productivity. But what are those increases that enhance productivity? Therefore, answer will be made after investigations. However, poor work environment and bad conditions have posed a great danger to workers health and therefore make them to work with less joy and enthusiasms and work progress is hampered and disrupted. An understanding of the effect of work environment on the productivity of employees cannot be over-emphasized or seen as overstatement in every organization. Experience has shown that workers are directly influenced by the environment they find themselves or were their competence will achieve nothing in terms of productivity if the environment is not conducive. This is in line saying in respect of workers in public enterprises today specially those in Delta Line and his issue of unproductive nature of workers is compounded with the poor nature of the environment. Therefore, because of the adverse effect of work environment on morale of employees, the need for provision of good physical work environment for workers was stated by Mill in 1930 after the first world war. During this period, various management were concerned with the importance of maintaining loyalty and morale through the elimination of irritants such as temperatures, noise and pollution from their environment. This was later spread out to include a wider area of disturbing influences like feeling of insecurity in relation to employment, unfairness on the part of supervision and not being accepted by one’s fellow employees. According to Mills (1983), the need for standard of working condition received legal backing by 1963 law and act of parliament which made it mandatory for all business organization to provide the minimum standard of interest that will enhance the performance of employees as an objective.
1.1.1 Work Environment
According to Tripathi (2014) the work environment can be defined as the environment in which people work that include physical setting, job profile, culture and market condition. Each aspect is inter linked and impacts on employees overall performance and productivity. It is the quality of the employees’ workplace environment that most impacts on their level of motivation subsequently performance. Work environment can be thought of simply as the environment in which people work (Briner, 2000) as such; it is a very broad category that encompasses the physical setting (e.g. heat, equipment), characteristics of the job itself (e.g. workload, task complexity). He adds that it also encompasses broader organizational features (e.g. culture, history) and even aspects of the external organizational setting (e.g. local labor market conditions, industry sector, work life balance)
Employees will always be contended when they feel that their immediate environment states are in tandem with their obligations (Farh, 2012). Chandrasekar (2011) asserts that the type of workplace environment in which employees operate determines whether or not organizations will prosper. The workplace environment consists of physical factors which include the office layout and design among other factors; while the psychosocial factors include working conditions, role congruity and social support. Other aspects of the workplace environment are the policies which include employment conditions. A better physical workplace environment boosts employees’ performance.
Employees in many organizations are encountering with working problems related to workplace environmental and physical factors. It has been argued by Pech and Slade (2006) that employee disengagement is increasing and it has become important to make workplaces that positively influence workforce. Employees’ comfort on the job, determined by workplace conditions and environment, has been recognized as an important factor for measuring their productivity (Leblebici, 2012). In today’s dynamic and competitive business world, a healthy workplace environment makes good business sense. Managers should not just focus on the employees’ pay packet with the assumption that it is proportionate to performance (Heath, 2006). Organizations deemed as a positive place to work will have a competitive edge over the others.
1.1.2 Employee Performance
Armstrong (2006) defines performance as the development of quantified objectives. Performance is not only a matter of what people achieve but how they achieve. Performance defined by Sultana et al. (2012) as the achievement of specified tasks against predetermined or identified standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed. High performance is a step towards the achievement of organizational goals and tasks. Frese and Sonnentag (2001) opined that an individual performance is highly important for an organization as a whole and the individuals working in it. Organizations need highly performing employees in order to meet their goals and to deliver the products and services they are specialized in and finally to achieve a competitive advantage.
Platt and Sobotka (2010) assert that employee performance is the combined result of effort, ability and perception of tasks. The factors that affect the level of individual performance are motivation, ability and opportunity to participate (Armstrong, 2009). He perceives performance as a function of ability and motivation. There are a number of factors that affect employee performance, the workplace environment impacts most their level of motivation hence their performance. Stup (2003) describes several factors towards the success of employees’ performance. These factors include physical environment, equipment, meaningful work, performance expectation, feedback on performance, bad system among others. He adds that, to have a standard performance, employers have to get the employees task done on track so as to achieve the organizational goals.
1.1.3 The Mobile Telecommunications Sector in Nigeria
The Mobile Telecommunications sector has transformed the way in which businesses operate. The mobile penetration has more than doubled in all regions of the world since 2005. The Telecommunications Sector in Nigeria was liberalized in 1999 with the licensing of two mobile operators at that time, MTN and Celtel Nigeria (currently Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited). Since then, the subscription has been growing steadily helping the Government to generate more revenues and create job opportunities (http://www.cck.go.ke/resc/research.html). The current mobile operators in Nigeria are given as MTN, Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited, Essar Telecom Nigeria Limited and Glo Nigeria Limited (Orange).
Nigeria’s mobile sector has grown significantly over the last few years. Competition has increased with the introduction of additional mobile network operators. This has contributed to an increased 96% mobile coverage. In 2011 the mobile communications sector contributed over KES 300 billion and up to a further KES 100 billion from intangible benefits to consumers. Estimates indicate that in 2011 the mobile communications sector as a whole employed 250,000 people in Nigeria. The mobile telecommunications sector increased the productivity of the economy by providing services such as a mobile banking, mobile agriculture and mobile education. It has contributed to a number of social projects in Nigeria’s rural areas; mobile networking often leads to the development of roads and electricity. Mobile Telecommunications Sector is vital sector of the Nigerian economy (Williams et al., 2011).
1.2 Research Problem
There are many factors that affect the performance of employees in organizations. Workplace environment plays an essential role towards workers’ performance and productivity in any organization (El-Zeiny, 2013). Providing a good workplace environment increases employee performance in organizations (Shikdar & Shawaqed, 2003). When people are working in situations that suit their physical and mental abilities, the correct fit between the person and work task is accomplished. Employees are then in the optimum situation for learning, working and achieving. Work environment comprises the totality of forces and influential factors that are currently or potentially contending with the employees’ activities and performance. According to Chandrasekar (2011) there are key factors in the workplace environment that could give a great impact towards the motivation and performance level. The business environment is becoming very competitive, dynamic and complex. Management should therefore find ways to ensure that workplace environment is conducive enough to enable employee performance in order to remain competitive.
In the Mobile Telecommunications Sector, there is cut throat competition; the employer is faced with the challenge of attracting, retaining and motivating the employees. These employees are faced with a myriad of problems in relation to their work environment. This is especially in terms of the working hours, mobility at the workplace and compensation. In order to reach their organizational peak performance, the mobile companies must be able to create a workplace environment where employees are motivated to work. Boles et al. (2004) state that when employees have physical and emotional desire to work, then their performance shall be increased.
Empirical studies done include Gitahi (2014) who looked at the Effect of Workplace Environment on Performance of Commercial Banks Employees in Nakuru Town and the findings showed that psychosocial aspects are an important factor in boosting the performance of employees than the physical workplace factors and work life factors. Naharuddin and Sadegi (2013) did a study on Factors of Workplace Environment that Affect Employees’ Performance: A case of Miyazu Malaysia. The findings showed that only supervisor support is not significant towards the employees’ performance while job aid and physical workplace environment had a significant relationship towards employees’ performance. Amusa et al. (2013) studied Work Environments and Job Performance of Librarians in Public Universities in South-West Nigeria. The findings revealed that there is significant correlation between work environment and job performance in libraries.
To the researcher’s knowledge, these studies conducted do not establish the effect of work environment on employee performance in the Nigerian context and the study on banks in Nakuru cannot be said to be inclusive of all sectors of the Nigerian economy. The studies do not also exhaustively discuss the factors of workplace environment that affect employee performance. This study seeks to answer the research question, what is the effect of workplace environment on employee performance in the Mobile Telecommunications Firms in Lagos City ?
1.3 Research objective
The objective of the study is to establish the effect of workplace environment on the performance of employees in the Mobile Telecommunications Firms in Lagos City
1. To examine the work environment of Airtel, MTN and Glo
2. To assess the productivity of workers of Airtel, MTN and Glo
3. To determine the effect of work environment on productivity of employees of Airtel, MTN and Glo.
1.4 Research Questions
1. How is the work environment of Airtel, MTN and glo?
2. What is the productivity of workers of Airtel, MTN and Glo?
3. What is the effect of work environment on organizational performance of Airtel, MTN and Glo?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will enable management in the mobile telecommunications companies to find ways to create an enabling workplace environment to employees in order to motivate them to perform. It will enlighten the managers on the various workplace environment factors that may affect employee performance and hence the necessary improvements.
Policy makers in the Telecommunications Sector will obtain knowledge about the aspects of workplace environment that affect performance. They will therefore get a head start on formulating the appropriate policies that enhance favorable working environments.
The study will add to existing literature on workplace environment and the factors that impact employee performance. Scholars in Human Resource practice can use the study as reference for further research on the topic or related topics. The study will also help in developing existing theories by coming up with new dimensions in which the theories should be viewed. Through explanation of the existing theories, the study will enhance continuation of these theories.
1.6 Scope of Study
The study sought to investigate the effects of work environment on performance of organizations. The population of this research comprised all the employees of three telecoms in Nigeria namely Airtel, MTN and Glo. One hundred questionnaires were administered to the employees of Obuasi these organizations through the Human Resource Department. Respondents were made up of the management of the Assembly, department heads, senior and junior staff including both permanent and contract staff.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
One of the limitations that came across during data collection exercise was that some respondents were unwilling to fill the questionnaires. Also, inadequacy of time was another problem. Besides, the primary data was administered and collected during working hours which conflicted with the work schedule of respondents. Moreover, fear of victimization on part of the respondents was another problem. Some respondents were reluctant in probing into vital issues because they were afraid of being victimized by their superiors.
1.8 Organisation of the Study
The study was organized into five chapters. The first chapter introduced the study with the background, the problem statement, the objectives, research questions, scope, limitations and the organization of the study. The second chapter dealt with the review of related literature. The third chapter described the methodology of the study with the fourth chapter analyzing and presenting of data. The fifth chapter which is the final chapter contained the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations
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