The development of Ghana without an efficient and effective public sector is impossible. This has also been the observation of the rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Yaw Agyeman Badu. Speaking at the 13th Annual Lecture of Public Service Commission (PSC) in Accra, he explained that 'most developed nations with capitalist development ideology owed their success to an efficient public service'. Again, communists' states including China, according to him, have also demonstrated that 'rapid development could only be achieved if public sector management is improved' (Badu 2010). The public sector, in effect, therefore plays a major role in trying to propel a country from a third world to a first world status.
He has also explained that, 'Although several commissions and reform programs have been instituted in attempts to reverse the decline of the public service performance, it still had poor track record for many reasons and that some of the reasons for this include lack of vision and clear sense of direction, ineffective leadership and weak management, low morale and negative corporate image, inappropriate structures and systems, excessive bureaucracy and delays, lack of discipline and shortage of skilled manpower' (Badu 2010).
Others, he also added are, 'corruption, poor working environment, inadequate tools and offices, low remuneration, low capacity for planning and implementation of policy and projects and poor conditions of service' (Badu, 2010).
Although the above factors could explain the reason for the low performance within our public sectors, it is being argued that, having good resources in place does not necessarily project into achieving results of improved job performance but rather a 'fair and transparent employee reward and recognition system and other innovative strategies that include supportive working environments or positive work climate, job enrichment, educational opportunities, etc. form the other very important part of the equation to transforming the overall context in which employees deliver their work, enhance their motivation and improve their overall performance' (Ankomah 2007: 1).
Employee reward and recognition is defined as 'any form (tangible or symbolic) of appreciation that is no-cost or of nominal monetary value provided to another individual or group, ideally for demonstrating, improving or achieving desired behavior or performance' (Nelson 2004:9).
The overall aim of employee reward and recognition systems, according to Armstrong, as stated by Ankomah, is 'to support the attainment of the organization's strategic and short-term objectives by helping to ensure that it has the skilled, competent, committed and well - motivated workforce' (2007: 1).
The rewards and recognition received by employees is a form of appreciation for their willingness to stay in the organization and to contribute their knowledge, skill, efforts and abilities to the achievement of organizational goals.
Reward and recognition systems, which are of two types, can easily be distinguished: Monetary, which is being a paid an incentive for a performance and Non - Monetary (NMR) which is usually referred to as the various forms of 'flexible' recognition. Additionally, it can be classified as 'formal' and 'natural' or spontaneous. 'Formal recognition is usually the programs instituted to achieve a specific result while natural or spontaneous recognition is the negligible effort, smallest cost as well as praises, written notes, etc.' (Liz Prudden n.d).
Although there has been many debates around which mode is seen as the best motivating factor, researchers support spontaneous Non-monetary Rewards and recognition systems as the most efficient means through which employees can be motivated to reach retention goals. According to the Business Research Lab (Hauppauge, N.Y.), 'there is a correlation between the length of time people plan to stay in their organizations and 'soft' factors like the recognition given for a good job done. The relationship is, they say, is more statistically significant than the longevity/monetary reward correlation' (2012).
Again, it has been noted that, although there is a relationship between monetary reward and the want to remain in an organization, the relationship is quite weak. (Medical Surveys.Net n.d)
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, owners of businesses and manufacturing outlets compensated workers at levels that provided for only a little more than physical survival. However, over the past hundred years monetary systems in the form of monetary rewards and compensation have evolved into more complex systems which have considered several factors to ensure the achievement of organizational goals. They have been used to influence performance and to motivate workers to deliver at high levels within their organizations and now face the challenge of being able to balance and satisfy the differing needs and expectations of the diverse workforce of employees within public organizations (Duah 2011: 2). For how long can monetary rewards be used as a strategy for improving employee performance, following the rising economic situation? Also, logically, and based on interviews by the researcher, most employees, whether in the public sector or private sector, will in most cases demand a higher salary. This could be explained by the unlimited needs and wants of people. Monetary rewards could therefore be seen not to have too much effect on employee performance. McClelland (1975:23) has also contributed to the fact that although monetary rewards may be important to employees, there are several other factors that better motivate employees within organizations.
'Motivation relates to a range of psychological processes that guide an individual towards a goal and causes that individual to keep pursuing that goal' (Sadri and Clarke 2011:45). Kreitner and Kinicki postulate that motivation represents 'psychological procedures that give grounds for encouraged, directed and determined voluntary actions for the achievement of goals' (1992:162). Despite many studies on the topic of better employee motivational factors, managers today are no closer to a better understanding than their counterparts more than a half of century ago (Kirstein 2010:1). This could be attributed to the complexity of dealing with human resource.
As living conditions continue to change, self satisfaction of employees are only being achieved when better and different reward and recognition systems are demanded. This has created severe relationships between employees and employers. Employees have great expectations from the employment relationship which cannot be overlooked by management of organizations when strategizing reward and recognition systems. If employees are not well rewarded and recognized, it becomes almost impossible to motivate them and they may not be committed to the organization which intend translates into low productivity and hence poor organizational performance. This, the researcher believes is the problem harming the public sector.
Now, since the development of Ghana relies largely on the success of the public sector which also depends largely on the availability and quality of well-motivated human resource, there is the need for the human resource within our public sectors to be well motivated.
This paper therefore seeks to identify and evaluate Non-monetary reward and recognition systems as a strategy hopeful to enhance better commitment, loyalty, hard work, etc. from employees within public sectors.
Statement of the problem
Ghana, in attaining a middle income status must tap and develop the full potentials of her human resources in all aspects and sectors of the economy. One area that merits thorough examination in view of potential for socio-economic development of workers is the provision of good, welcoming reward and recognition systems.
The increasing number of strikes undertaken by workers especially in the public sector, as well as their refusal to negotiate for salary increments, coupled with low employee retention in organizations, as observed, show the value employees place on monetary rewards. Also, changes in demographics are leading to the desire of workers for higher status and recognition in their workplaces. Evidently, many employees are enrolling into various institutions of higher education to obtain higher qualification, this could be to gain increased recognition in future, and not necessarily for increased salaries. This is evidence to support the fact that, in public sectors and probably for all employees, worker output goes beyond the level of compensation of workers to a level of the recognition of what one does in contributing his quota to the development of a nation as a whole. The fair wages and salaries Commission has confirmed the above claim by its statement that 'although the public sector wage bill over the last two decades has observed a major increase in Gross Domestic Product(11.3%), public sector employee performance continues to decrease' (Fair wages and salaries commission, n.d).
As customers who patronize the services of public sector organizations continually complain of poor services, the problem lies in how public organizations will be able to design attractive Non-monetary reward and recognition strategies, investigate which forms of these systems will best motivate workers to put in more effort at what they do to ensure continuous increase in levels of productivity and organizational success, and delve more into its implementation.
Also, another issue of critical importance is how the public sector organizations can use these strategies to combat the dictum and perception that the private sector is better rewarded and recognized and therefore is the only engine of growth in Ghana.
What is the situation of Non-monetary reward and recognition systems within the public sector?
Are there Non-monetary rewards and recognitions present public institutions?
Which forms of NMRRS do employees consider very motivational?
Are employees rewarded and recognized frequently?
Do employees assume money the ultimate motivator?
Amidst several other challenges within the public sector, do employees consider Non-monetary rewards and recognition systems a strategy to increase productivity levels?
How do employees perceive the concept of Non-monetary reward recognition systems.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
to evaluate the Non-monetary reward and recognition systems, if any, at various public institutions within the banking industry and how often employees receive these forms of NMRRS,
to evaluate how important employees perceive forms of Non-monetary reward and recognitions (percentage) as compared to its preference to monetary rewards,
to examine if motivation from these Non-monetary rewards and recognition systems will translate into continuous improvement in performance and productivity,
to compare some private institutions, and be able to outline the flaws that exist within the public institutions under research, and,
to appraise the general perception of employees on the concept of NMRRS.
Significance of the Study
This study is expected to be of great significance to the following groups:
Academia: This research will be of relevance in academia since it provides important information for further research in the subject area.
Institution: This research is expected to serve as relevant material for student reference on matters relating to reward and recognition within public sectors in Ghana. The data and findings have been organized to support teaching on the subject as well.
Government and policy makers: This research provides relevant information on issues of reward and recognition systems within the public sector in Ghana and can be used as a secondary data source by government and other policy formulation agencies and institutions.
Leaders in the public sectors: This research provides relevant information for Human Resource Management practitioners and professionals in deciding on issues relating to using the Non-monetary system in rewarding and recognizing their employees.
1.6 Scope of the study
This research focuses on issues relating to the Non - monetary aspect of rewards and recognition within some public institutions in Ghana. The following institutions would be studied;
Ghana commercial bank
Agriculture Development Bank
National Investment Bank
Indeed constraints faced such as poor customer service, late customer delivery, increased patronage within the private financial institutions have necessitated concentration on the above institutions. The institutions being studied are among the important public institutions particularly within the banking industry in Ghana and therefore there are no significant differences between what happens in these organizations and what happens in other public institutions in Ghana, with regards to rewards and recognition systems.
As control, some private institutions will be selected to enable comparison. This comparison, hopefully, would highlight the aspects of the 'perceived' good reward and recognition systems experienced within the private sector, which the public sector is not implementing. Koforidua which is the capital city of the Eastern region of Ghana will be the focus of research since it has witnessed the opening of a number of private financial institutions within the last couple of years and has been observed to be increasing in customer base.
The selected private institutions are;
1.7 Limitations of the study
A limitation the researcher is concerned with is whether the findings of this research can be generalized to other public organizations. Another limitation the researcher foresees in conducting this research is the lack of adequate time. This research will be constrained by the lack of adequate time to do an extensive research into other institutions within the public sector. Time constraint is due to the deadline stipulated for the presentation of this research.
Sources of data
Primary data: Through interviews, questionnaires and observations.
Secondary data: Journals, e-journals, text books etc.
1.9 Research population
The research population for this research will be all employees from all the selected institutions.
1.10 Method of research
This research will focus only on primary data which will be acquired with the help of face-to-face interviews and the distribution of questionnaires. The data and information collected will be analyzed using statistical tools which will make it easier to draw some conclusions on findings.
1.11 Organization of study
This paper is presented in five chapters. Chapter two of the study focuses on review of related literature, Chapter Three discusses in detail the methodology used for the research. Chapter four contains presentation and analysis of findings and finally Chapter five presents researcher's summary, conclusions and recommendations. Relevant references and appendices have also been presented at the end of the thesis.