THE IMPACT OF STAFF WELFARE ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF WORKERS
1.1 BACKGROUND STUDY
In the era of Globalization, market economy, hyper competition and rapid changing environment, the success of an organization depends on the employees’ performance. Employees’ performance is an essential requirement if an organization is to maintain its efforts towards the realization of predesigned goals. According to Humana Resource Philosophy employees are an important business resource that must be managed carefully in order to maximise return on investment and achieve business objectives. Organisations have to provide various benefits to ensure employees welfare is taken care off. In fact in this age and era it is almost impossible to operate an organisation without offering a basic set of benefits for employees’ welfare.Organizations should understand that a healthy and stress free worker is a major asset to the organization and should therefore provide welfare services and programmes.
Welfare is a corporate attitude or commitment reflected in the expressed care for employees at all levels, underpinning their work and the environment in which it is performed (Cowling and Mailer, 1992). Specifically, Coventry and Barker (1988) assert that staff welfare includes providing social club and sports facilities as appropriate, supervising staff and works’ canteens, running sick clubs and savings schemes; dealing with superannuation, pension funds and leave grants, making loans on hardship cases; arranging legal aid and giving advice on personal problems; making long service grants; providing assistance to staff transferred to another area and providing fringe benefits (such as payment during sickness, luncheon vouchers and other indirect advantages).
Productivity, on the other hand, means goods and services produced in a specified period of time in relation to the resources utilized (Singh, 2009). It is, however, contended by Cohen et al (1995) to be more than a narrow economic measure, as it also measures how well the group performs its required tasks to satisfy its customers inside and outside the organization. In effect, productivity suggests effectiveness and efficiency of the employees.
Apparently, there are some scholarly works on staff welfare and productivity (Owusu-Acheaw, 2010; Osterman, 2010; Singh, 2009; Cowling and Mailer, 1992; Coventry and Barker, 1988), but they mostly dwelt on industrial settings to the neglect of service organizations typified in government ministries and parastatals.
Most Local Government Councils in Nigeria are performing below set standard. The suspicion derives from the observed poor road networks in most of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria; the inadequate state of health facilities (both in physical structure and equipment); the deteriorated state of school buildings (with walls noticeably cracked and the roofs destroyed) and furniture (table, desks and boards); absence of government-owned recreational facilities; little or no encouragement for increased agriculture productivity via timely provision of agricultural additives (fertilizers, improved seedlings, cassava cuttings) and agricultural loans: no visible effort to reduce the prevalent high rate of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria through job creations among others. The author argues that the below standard performance is a function of ineptitude of the management (local government officials) and a depressed staff morale owing to neglected attention to the welfare services of staff. This study therefore focuses on the impact of staff welfare on the productivity of workers, using Ibadan North local government as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Delay in the payment of worker’s salaries could result to apathy that might hinder efficiency in work performance. It could lead to embarrassing circumstances typified in inability to pay rent and concomitant quarrel with landlord/caretaker; inability to pay for the schooling of his ward(s); poor dietary intake that might result to malnourishment; inaccessibility to adequate medicare; inability to meet with maturing social and financial obligations. The foregoing could eventually culminate into disaffection between the employee concerned and his/her employer, with consequences for poor attitude to work (low morale) and low productivity.
Other benefits that the employee is entitled to in the form of leave allowance, transport, housing, overtime allowance, traveling allowances, Christmas bonus and so on, though not legally binding on the Organization as they are not covered by the Trade Dispute Acts of Nigeria, enhance psychological satisfaction of the employees. Denial of such benefits to employees, especially when it is traditional when there is precedence for the organization to give them could adversely affect. Closely related to this is the employees’ right to enjoy health and safety and the right to be managed fairly, which Cowling and Mailer (1992) argue to be within the framework for welfare.
Employee welfare is a dynamic concept as new welfare measures are added to the existing ones along with social changes. The modern concept of employee welfare entails all those activities of the employers, which are directed towards providing the employees with certain facilities and services in addition to wages and salaries. Welfare facilities are essential for the health of the organization since they bear a close connection with the productivities of the labour force. Employee welfare measures increase the productivity of organization and promote motivation, healthy organizational relations thereby maintaining industrial peace and retain the employees for longer duration. These problems make it glaring that there is a need to carry out a study on the impact of staff welfare on the productivity of workers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to ascertain the impact of staff welfare on the productivity of workers, using Ibadan North local government as a case study. The specific objectives are:
1. To ascertain if there is a welfare program for workers in Ibadan North local government area.
2. To investigate if lack of access to health facilities affects the productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area.
3. To know if workers in Ibadan North local government get their allowances at the expected time.
4. To find out if there is a relationship between poor staff welfare and the decrease in productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area.
5. To examine if delay in payment of salary affects the productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study are:
1. Is there a welfare program for workers in Ibadan North local government area?
2. Is lack of access to health facilities affects the productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area?
3. Do workers in Ibadan North local government get their allowances at the expected time?
4. Is there a relationship between poor staff welfare and the decrease in productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area?
5. Does delay in payment of salary affects the productivity of workers in Ibadan North local government area?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of the study will be important because it will provide insights about employee welfare programs and employee performance at the organization to ensure high organization productivity and the attainment of organizational objectives. Other state corporations will be able to implement the research recommendations to improve employee commitment and hence reap maximum benefits from their employees’ performance.
The government agencies and other organizations will make use of this study, as it provides knowledge useful in formulation of policy and a regulatory framework on human resource management and in particular, welfare programs for better organizational performance and individual employees’ wellbeing.
This study will enhance the existing body of literature by contemplating the areas of the literature that have not yet been examined or considered and incorporating these factors into the current study. The study will thus form the basis for further studies in the field.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is restricted to investigating the impact of staff welfare on the productivity of workers, using Ibadan North local government as a case study.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Some of the major constraints the researchers encountered in putting up this research include lack of time, lack of willingness to give information by respondent and also limited resources.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Welfare: statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.
Productivity: is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.