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1.1 Background to the study
Economic growth and the increased pace of urbanization and
industrialization in many countries have confronted companies throughout the world with the increasing complex task of people management (Serageldin 1998)
This is as a result of man’s bid for self improvement and capacity development through processes like changes in his career choices, job migration patterns, and educational advancement.
In the 2011 United Nations Development Project Human Development Report Indices, Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African regions scored low on sustainability/equity of social welfare plans (Thisday newspaper 2011)
According to this report, there was the need to implement social welfare/responsibility plans that would complement government’s efforts on infrastructural and human development. In line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, this would provide a basis for the integration of human development projects across the countries and regions.
The United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon in this report further urged Nigerian leaders and other member countries to correspond to the people’s calls for the right to build a better future for themselves.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary 2000 defines welfare as a state of wellbeing, happiness, health, and prosperity of a person or group of people. It also defined it as a system whereby the state/industry undertakes to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens especially those in financial or social needs by means of grants, pensions, benefits, health, unemployment funds, asylum projects etc.
The primary aim of a manager is the effective and efficient managing of staff wherein they put in their best in order to attain organizational goals.
This process is both reactive and proactive, i.e the staff achieves organizational goals while being developed and trained with basic life skills for enhanced capital development (Acheaw 2011)
The United Nations Declaration on the right to development states ‘ development is a right and puts people at the centre of any development process i.e. people must be helped to enjoy lives of dignity, equality and opportunity. This document adopted by the General Assembly on the 4th of December 1986 declares that ‘everyone is entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social and political development in which all human rights and fundamental freedom can be realized. (www.undp.org). For any organization to function effectively, money, physical facilities, well thought policies, equipments and human inputs are very essential.
Since human capital are the lifeblood of any organization, it therefore depends to a large extent on the quality of those who perform its task leading to set objectives as well as conditions which affect their mental and physical health. Most organizations to a large extent recognize the fact that to ensure organizational efficiency and effectiveness, the employees whose services are engaged should be made to be satisfied with their jobs, to this end various welfare packages should be employed to ensure the attainment of organizational goals.
The concern therefore is in enhancing job productivity/ efficiency rates of the workers on a permanently improved basis through the process of welfare packages.
1.2 Statement of the problem
In today’s turbulent world, the spotlight is on individuals, leaders who are sustaining organization goals and values, adding values to the organization, being indispensable through creating a culture of value addition (Acheaw 2011). In recent times, it has been observed that employees’ job satisfaction has begun to depend more and more on issues like welfare schemes, job security, opportunities to use skills and abilities.
This could be attributed to the growth of a changing and more demanding workforce that has a high expectation about the workplace. At the same time, rapidly advancing technologies and outside influences are changing the nature of our jobs. It thus more critical and more difficult to maintain a work environment that balances welfare packages and job productivity
According to Dauda (2010), welfare schemes which include direct cash payment, indirect payment in the form of employee benefits and incentives to motivate employees to strive for higher levels of productivity is a critical component of the employment relationship which is affected by forces as diverse as the labour market factors, collective bargaining, government legislation, labour laws and top management philosophy regarding pay and benefits. This inadequate balance between welfare packages and job productivity in organizations using Edo State I.C.T Unit is what this study seeks to examine.
1.2 Research Questions
Based on the above discussions, the following research questions come to mind:
a. Do welfare packages increase job productivity and efficiency?
b. Does welfare improve the living conditions of workers?
c. Is there a connection between welfare packages and organizational performance?
d. Are welfare packages the basic tenets of Human Resource management practices?
e. When working conditions improve, does job productivity increase?
f. To what extent does welfare affect organizational performance?
g. Does improved human capital development bring about competitive advantage?
h. Does the living condition of workers affect the job efficiency
1.3 Statement of Hypothesis
In order to enable the researcher confirm the effects of welfare on job productivity, and to appreciate their relevant significance, the following hypothesis were formulated:
i. HO : Welfare packages affects job productivity and efficiency rates.
H1: Welfare packages do not affect job productivity and efficiency rates
ii. HO: There is a connection between welfare packages and job productivity rates.
H1: There is no connection between welfare packages and job productivity rates.
iii. H0: Welfare packages have improved living conditions of workers.
H1: Welfare packages have not improved living conditions of workers.
1.4 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to find out how organizations and stakeholders can improve job productivity/efficiency rates, using welfare packages. i.e. so workers can put in their best and help to realize organizational goals.
This study focuses on the key determinants of job satisfaction among workers which include impact of working and living conditions on workers and the reward system in terms of pay packets and benefits.
1.5 Significance of Study
The key determinants of job satisfaction among workers are of importance to the human resource manager.
This critical evaluation of this relationship between welfare packages and job efficiency is therefore justifiable and significant because of its effect on the realization of organizational goals.
It is also significant because it will guide the management of Edo State Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T) Unit and the general public on how to improve the welfare conditions of workers as a means of improving job productivity.
1.6 Scope of study
This study covers Edo State ICT Unit. Though restricted to this unit, there is a need to conduct a study of this type in other ICT Units across states in the federation for the sake of comparison which brings about improvement and implementation.
Also the study focused on junior and intermediate personnel only, top management staff in this sector were not addressed/ included.
1.7 Limitations of Study
Limitations of this study include: the uncertainty about how much of a difference this work will make in this organization especially with its unclear policy prescriptions for welfare program administrations, the sample size was not diverse enough to give the image of all I.C.T organizations (both private/public) functioning in Nigeria, data was collected by employing the simple method of structured questionnaires; other methods could have been used for collecting data, the survey was bound to be completed in a certain time, so time limit was a barrier from investigating more employees and acquiring more information.
1.8 Definition of terms
a. Welfare packages: These are direct and indirect compensations given by an organization to persons or groups of persons in return for a job done, services or a contribution made towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.Wages, bonuses, transport, housing allowances are examples of direct compensation while good accommodation, children’s education, transports facilities etc come under indirect compensation.
b. Working conditions – this are the total facilities put in place by the employer to ensure work goes on smoothly. This could be good working environment, equitable wages, equal employment opportunities, opportunities for advancement, security.
c. Organizational goals- these are the basic reasons for setting up an organization. These are mostly service oriented, i.e. providing better services for consumers and it is reflected through its policy and administration.
d. Living conditions: this is the home-work interface, the state of welfare of the personnel outside the workplace.
e. Human capital: these are the processes that relate to training, education and other professional initiatives in order to increase the level of knowledge, skills, abilities, values and social skills of an employee which will lead to the employers satisfaction and performance.
f. Development: this is defined as a state of growth/advancement, an active state of improvement and maturity.
g. Efficiency and efficiency rates: efficiency means an improved working performance rates, being productive with minimal efforts, being capable of working actively while efficiency rates are measurements of productivity.
h. Job productivity: high level of work performance
i. Value addition: This is the amount by which the value of an article is increased at every production stage, offering specialized or extended services in a commercial area.
j. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): these are 8 international goals that all 192 United Nation Member States and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.
These goals represent human needs and basic rights that every individual around the world should be able to enjoy- freedom from extreme poverty and hunger, quality education, productive and decent employment, good health and shelter, the right of women to give birth without risking their lives/low right maternal mortality, environmental sustainability and gender equality. (insensation117.sulekha.com).
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