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Introduction: Background Information

Good motivation in the workplace is crucial to any organization’s well-being. Keeping motivation high ensures a high-quality output in an organization. It helps to maintain high retention levels and this, in turn, contributes to the organization’s improvement with time. With bank workers, it is essential to keep motivation high to provide quality customer service and employee performance, because workers may often get involved in solving complex issues and take on responsibility for making tough decisions, which may erode motivation and morale (Benavides, 2011).

To maintain the balance between the fulfillment of the needs of the organization and its staff is crucial for a bank’s successful performance. While banks would typically expect that their staff follows certain rules and regulations and  works up to the set standards, bank workers, in their turn, will expect adequate working conditions, decent salary, fair treatment, opportunity to take part in decisions, a certain degree of power, and secure career (Khan, Farooq, and Ullah, 2010, p.37). Hence, it is important that a special relationship is built between the bank’s management and employees, in which understanding of workers’ motivation plays an essential role.

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Motivation is defined as “a set of processes concerned with the force that energizes behavior and directs it towards attaining some goal” (Baron, 1983) or as a set of certain psychological processes which cause the arousal, as well as direction and persistence of employee’s voluntary actions that are essentially goal-directed (Kreitner & Kinicki, 1992).  It can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the one derived from internal satisfaction that a person gets from performing the job. Extrinsic motivation is the one that is external in relation to the job. It may include financial incentives or admiration of fellow workers, praise by the management or awards, etc (Kumar, 2003: 7).

Commercial banks are understood to be physical structures that are maintained by human resources who make it possible to deliver good service (Khan, Farooq, and Ullah, 2010, p.38). With the increase of the industry, modern banks struggle for workers with capabilities of quality service. It is believed that the services excellently provided by employees plays an essential role in achievement of customers’ satisfaction with the bank (Petcharak, 2004). Quality services help to create a good perception and a positive image in the customers’ eyes. Therefore, for any bank’s management, the biggest challenge is to motivate its staff for the sake of better and proficient services that will meet customers’ expectations (Cheng, 1995).

Crane Bank Ltd is a commercial bank located in Uganda. It is a mid-sized bank that provides financial services in all areas of commercial banking. Crane Bank Uganda has 27 branches across the country and plans to increase its network up to 50 branches by 2015. It posits itself as one of Uganda’s strongest banks and “the largest locally owned Commercial Bank in Uganda” (Crane Bank, 2012).

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Case Study: Main Issues

The case study has been taken from Karunga Bridget’s study “Motivation and Employees’ Turnover in Commercial Banks: Case Study Crane Bank Ltd” (Bridget, n.d.). The case study identified the following issues in bank human resources sector: high employee turnover and lack of motivation. It has been found that lack of motivation is a direct cause of high employee turnover rates. It has also been found that lack of motivation results from low salaries (especially of young workers), and lack of a transparent system of rewards, allowances, and promotions.

To identify the forms of motivation used by the bank and to trace the relationship between motivation and employee turnover in Crane Bank Ltd, Bridget used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data (Bridget, n.d.). This helped to inform the study and establish the actual relationships between the variables under scrutiny. The research was cross-sectional, descriptive, and correlational. Data were gathered from Crane Bank employees through self-administered questionnaires that had open-ended questions. The data were analyzed by the use of frequencies, SPPS, and percentage, which helped to identify the relationship between employee turnover and motivation.

Bridget’s established the following issues: motivation in Carne Bank Ltd. is represented by several forms. Specifically, workers always get paid on time, they expect rewards in the workplace, and they are paid if they work overtime. Concerning the relationship between the employee turnover rate and staff motivation, in Crane Bank Ltd the following moderate positive relationship has been found: (r=0.42). It evidences that the bank management must improve the strategies of motivating employees so that the number of workers joining the bank grew while the number of employees leaving their positions went down.

Analysis and Recommendations

Factors that basically affect the levels of motivation in employees have been the subject of studies within several theoretical approaches. Application of these approaches to the context of Crane Bank Ltd allows to reveal that various factors are responsible for employers’ motivation and quality of performance. Maslow’s hierarchy theory of needs and Herzberg’s theory of motivation will be discussed here.

Maslow’s theory of needs hierarchy says employees are generally motivated by factors which are determined by people’s needs. In their turn, needs are identified within a certain hierarchy which shows their importance.  Starting with the lowest level, needs fall under the following classification: physiological needs, safety needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. They are dependent on factors which are classified as organizational and general. On the physiological level, people’s needs are influenced by general factors of food, water, and shelter and by organizational factors of base salary, conditions of work, and heat/air conditioning; on the safety level, staff’s needs are affected by the general factors of security, safety, and stability and by organizational factors of safe working conditions, job security, and possibility of fringe benefits; on the social level, staff’s needs are determined by the needs of acceptance, affection, as well as friendship and by organizational needs of quality of supervision, friendships with colleagues, and being part of a compatible team. On the esteem level, people’s needs are those that concern esteem from other people, self-esteem, and recognition (general factors), and titles, promotions, and status symbols (organizational factors); finally, on the level of self-actualization, the needs for advancement, achievement and growth represent general factors, while the needs for advancement in a certain organization, for challenging work, and achievement in this work represent the organizational factors (Lunenburg & Orstein, 2007: 81).   

Within the Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory, factors that affect employee performance are divided into hygiene factors (‘Herzberg’s two-factor theory: hygiene factors and motivation’). These are believed to be factors leading to dissatisfaction at work. They include conditions of work, compensation, working relationships, job security, and relationships with subordinates, etc. These factors are extrinsic. Whereas they don’t motivate the staff directly, their absence leads to dissatisfaction. The other group of factors is connected with employee motivation. They have derived from the job conditions, and thus they are called intrinsic. Motivators encompass chances for growth, job satisfaction, recognition, responsibility, achievement, and advancement. 

The recommendations offered by the author of the case study research are generally based on the theory discussed above and include recommendation to cater for satisfaction of employee basic needs through salary increments (which will expectedly help to retain young and persistent employees in the organization) and recommendation to increase the extrinsic motivation by establishing allowances/rewards and using promotions, which  should be done in an open manner and to all staff (this will motivate employees to work to the management’s expectation and reduce the turnover rate).

While critically assessing the foregoing recommendations, it becomes evident that they are pertinent and potentially beneficial as to the motivation increase and reduction of the employee turnover rate. At the same time, more detailed recommendations could be given based on the theoretical approaches discussed above. Specifically, the application of the Herzberg’s theory considers improvements in factors of both types (Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory: Hygiene Factors and Motivation, n.d.). Specifically, these improvements should come in a balanced manner and should be achieved simultaneously.   Mere elimination of those things that cause employee dissatisfaction (low salary) is not enough. A range of job enrichment opportunities should be provided, which will help to create satisfaction. Apart from the transparent system of rewards, allowances, and promotion, these opportunities may include chances of professional growth and employee engagement in decision-making process. Based on Elsdon (2008), the job enrichment opportunities may also include developing nice relationships among the staff, participation in ongoing training, and offering directions for growth.  This view aligns with the idea of allowing workers to learn and grow professionally, so that they do not perceive their job as a dead-end (Nohria et al, 2008).

 Conclusion

The analysis of the case study of Crane Bank Ltd has helped to realize the essential role of motivational strategies for effective management of human resources and quality performance of staff.  Lack of motivation, as it can be seen by the example of Crane Bank Ltd, has led to high employee turnover rates the major causes of which were low salaries for young workers, lack of clear promotion strategies, and lack of a transparent system of rewards/allowances. The revised strategy would help to overcome the aforementioned drawbacks through balanced application of measures that will eliminate the causes of employee dissatisfaction and create opportunities for employee satisfaction.  Hence, the increase of employee motivation is expected to take place at work. The case study analysis has shown that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation should be addressed in a complementary manner.

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