How do Companies Reward their Employees

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Avd.)


This study is unique considering the location (Africa) and the industrial setting (Gold Mining) from which the research was studied as reward systems had mostly been studied in the North-American and European settings. Thus, the study  considered  rewards from the perspective of the African and its natural resource industries such as the gold mining industry.


The methodology employed in the study was based on a case study approach at Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Limited (GSB/PL) with a population size of 1029 employees combining both qualitative and quantitative data obtained through a questionnaire survey of a 278 sample size and structured interview with the Human Resources and Administration Manager. Thus, the method of data collection represents methodological triangulation and the data obtained from the study represents a primary source of data.


The study revealed that all the three generational groups (Baby Boomers, GEN Xers and   GEN Yers) places higher emphasis or priority on financial incentives (high salary and bonuses) over any other incentives when respondents were asked to indicate the reward they prefer most. But when rewards were considered as a total package profile, greater number of  the baby boomers placed more emphasis or priority on packages with highly flexible pension benefits, long term job security and high internal promotions eventhough the salary and bonus components of the packages (profile) were not that attract. The GEN X and GEN Y groups still maintained their reward package profile preferences based on  high financial incentives, training and learning opportunities, personal growth and career advancement.


The study revealed that aside the high preferences for financial incentives such as high salary and bonuses by all the generational groups, few of the  GEN X and GEN Y also exhibited other preferences such as high personal growth, flexible work schedule, attractive company policy and administration, career advancement, working environment, job security and praises and recognition of which the baby boomers did not indicate any preferences or interest.


The study revealed that all the three generational groups (Baby Boomers, GEN X and GEN Y) consider high salary and bonuses as factor which causes employee dissatisfaction when not satisfied or available but when they are satisfied or available also do not motivate or cause satisfaction and thus  confirming Herzberg Two-Factor theory that  factors such as salary or remuneration, job security, working conditions and company policies  only prevent employee dissatisfaction.


The study revealed that all generational groups (baby boomers, GEN X and GEN Y) consider high salaries and bonuses as factor which could lead to lack of satisfaction and motivation of the employee in his current role or position when not available or satisfied and thus this finding confirm the traditional belief that pay is prime, or in some cases the only source of motivation but contradict Herzberg claim that  pay (high salaries and bonuses) is only an extrinsic factor and that when is available or satisfied, pay does not bring satisfaction and motivation but rather prevents dissatisfaction.


The study revealed that GSB/PL rewards systems basically comprises of extrinsic rewards such as high salary levels (pay increases), a bonus scheme,  training  and learning opportunities, job security, Stock options, Retirement/Pension benefits such as social security and provident fund,  promotions,  attractive company policies and administration, praises and recognition, good working environment, flexible work schedule,  Long service awards and benefits such as housing, Health insurance, Vacation/Annual leave benefits, transportation/bussing service, messing (provision of meals to employees only when at work), and educational benefits (for employees dependants).


The study also revealed that the design and implementation of GSB/PL reward systems involves four distinct phases: assessment, design, execution and evaluation phases.


In the end, a suitable conclusion was drawn and a number of recommendations proposed to be implemented by the mining company in safeguarding the interest of both employees and the employer.

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