EFFECTS OF JOB DESIGN AND STAFF TRAINING ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA
Poor job design and staff training breed poor employee performance respectively, while the reverse is usually the case when jobs are well (re)designed and staffs are well (re)trained. Job design and staff training effect employee performance in organizations. They work likewise for organizational performance and productivity. The effect, positive or negative, depends on the nature/kind of job design and staff training system operated, developed and applied in organizations. In spite of the invaluable role of these duo job and human resource management characteristics/models, only about a few institutions, firms, corporations and institutions take them seriously and practice them accordingly in Nigeria, as it has been proven that they are still low, insignificant and less paid attention to. Consequently, many organizations, private and public (the latter more), rarely experience high or due employee performance, which in turn results to low output, poor organizational productivity and goals realization, low performance, job dissatisfaction, inefficiency and various other staff and job issues. Measures like gender mix, effective managerial/administrative control, staffing and staff appraisal, on/off-the-job trainings and effective/regular training development, training the trainers, job enrichment and modification, organizational support and justice, job autonomy, among others, are the requisites for employee performance. The descriptive and analytical survey method along with the qualitative approach, simple percentage and coding was adopted for the study, following its nature and preoccupation. Both primary and secondary sources were employed in sourcing data. The former basically involved questionnaire and interview, while various written library materials constituted the latter sources.
This chapter constitutes the research proposal of the research entitled: ‘Effects of Job Design and Staff Training on Employee Performance in Nigeria’. It is made up of study background, problem statement, purpose, significance, questions/hypotheses, scope and limitation and definition of terms. Therefore, this chapter forms the foundation and justification of the study.
1.1 Background to the Study
A well-designed job usually fosters employees’ well-being, commitment and performance (Bakker and Demeroutic, 2013; Hackman and Oldman, 1980; Parker and Wall, 1998). It is therefore not surprising that in recent years, researches have begun examining which job characteristics contribute to employee well-being, performance, satisfaction and commitment, and which are likely to increase job stress and the otherwise. Together, the characteristics of a job constitute the job design (Tims and Bakker, 2014). In more specific terms, job design describes how job tasks and roles are structured, enacted and modified and what the impact of these structures, enactments and modifications are on the individual, group and organizational outcomes (Grant and Parker, 2009:5).
According to Tims and Bakker (2014:131), for more than 60 years, job design theories have guided scholars and practitioners to describe, explain and change the work experiences and behaviors as well as employees. Job design is approached as a top-down process in which the organization creates jobs and, in turn, selects people with the right knowledge, skills and abilities for these jobs. When employee’s experience (e.g. job/work engagement) and behaviors (e.g. performance) tend to decrease, the management is bound to redesign the jobs of their employees. For examples, one reason for job redesign may be that management notices that absenteeism among certain employees is relatively high. After talking to the employees, company specialist(s) and Human Relation (HR) professionals may find out that the job is too demanding for the employees and needs to be changed. Another reason for job redesign may be the introduction of say a new machine that (partly) replaces the work of employees. The job of these employees may be redesigned to include another task such as maintaining the machines (Tims and Bakkers, 2014: 131).
The way the job is (re)designed strongly influences how employees perceive their job and, in turn, how they perform their duties (tasks). Managers and researchers became interested in the influence of job design on employees’ behaviors and attitudes when it was gathered that changes in the work environment were accompanied with changes in employees’ attitudes and motivation. For example, over a century ago, the scientific management approaches (Taylor, 1911) and the introduction of the assembly line at Ford in 1914 strongly promoted job simplification. Employees’ jobs change from, for example, building a complete car to assembling only parts of the car, and these job changes had a considerable impact of motivation.
In an era of knowledge economy like ours now, successful workplaces are likely to be those which use and develop the skills of their employees technically through good job design mechanisms that effect employee performance and organizational productivity. There exist various works on job design in general, a few on manufacturing companies, especially those outside Nigeria and seeming nothing significant on both manufacturing companies and others in general in Nigeria, especially in supposed industrialized and commercial areas like Calabar, Uyo, Makurdi, Gboko, Kano, Onitsha, Aba, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, etc.
Also, the positive effects of staff training in both public and private organizations cannot be over-emphasized. Staff training impacts positively on employees’ performance as well as organizational manpower productivity. It has both individual and organizational development potentials, opportunities, efficiency and propels innovation, on-the-job learning and impact and standard service delivery. Trained staffs get improved and usually perform better. It is a means of job enrichment, job satisfaction and job commitment, which produces desired employee performance (Lunenburg, 2010; Saleem et al., 2012).
In the course of training while on a job, staffs learn new techniques, knowledge, intrigues and modalities with which effective performance arises and thus better output. Next, social and public/inter-relations between and among staffs abound with various prospects. Training and retraining of staffs of both public and private establishments is imperative, particularly in the Third World nations like Nigeria, where there is high rate of illiteracy, poor knowledge of modern means of living, corruption, poor manpower and technological skills/advancement, among many others. As such, effective staff training and retraining in Nigeria is a dire necessity so as to key into it and realize targeted organizational goals and objectives, betterment, development, innovation and efficiency.
Therefore, the dire need for this study to clarify the myths, tales, perceptions and realities of job design and employee performance, on one hand, and staff training, on the other, in Nigeria is imperative, and thus gave rise to this study. Concerned organizations/institutions stand to benefit immensely from this study, if the findings are adopted, taken seriously, implemented and sustained therein.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The scourging problems that bedevil many organizations in Nigeria, including low employee and organizational performance cum productivity, inefficiency, poor/lack of technical-know-how, negative workplace politics, etc. are traceable to lack of/low staff training. This is very worrisome. Job design influences employee performance in several ways, positively or negatively, depending on how the job is designed. The job design of both private and public organizations influences their employees’ performance and organizational productivity likewise. Employee’s talents and insight can design productivity, improvement and innovation. Job design can ensure that skills are effectively used as well developed in the workplace.
In spite of the immense benefits, potentials and prospects of jobs design, only a very few organizations/institutions in Nigeria practice or give attention to it, thus making it a wasted resource in the struggle to improve competitiveness and employee well-being. Many workplaces (organizations) are characterized by a waste of employees’ talents. Job design should be considered a high priority issue for managers and policy-makers alike. This also applies to staff training in Nigeria, especially in public organizations/institutions, whereby staffs are mostly poorly trained and retrained all because of workplace politics and being economical to avoid spending on training the staff.
In sum, the gross negligence, inappropriate, ineffective and misplacement of job and poor staff training by most organizations in Nigeria constitute some academic and managerial worries (problems) that deserve a work of this kind. This study rises to this challenge, with a view to proffering scholarly solutions to these rising inherent problems associated with job design and staff training, which adversely affect employee performance in organizations.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is intended to:
- Explore job design and staff training effects on employee performance in Nigeria;
- Examine the nature and kind of job design and staff training operated by the concerned institutions in Nigeria;
- Examine the extent of staff training in Nigerian public and private institutions;
- Trace the problems that arise from poor/lack of staff training and job design in such Nigerian institutions/organizations;
- Describe the commonly obtained effects/impacts of job design and staff training in Nigeria;
- Scholarly project better efficacious measures of job design and staff training on employee performance.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions have been designed to guide this study:
- How and at what extent do job design and staff training influence employee performance in organizations?
- What are the commonly obtained effects– negative or positive– of job design and staff training on employee performance in Nigeria and to what degree are they applied efficaciously?
- What are the job design and staff training related problems in Nigeria?
- How best can job design and staff training be evolved, improved and sustained and employee performance likewise in organizations?
- To what extent can the emerging trends associated with job design and staff training as well as employee performance in Nigeria be addressed?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following are the research statements of hypothesis, stated in null and alternative forms, whereby Ho represents null form, while Ha represents alternative form:
Ha1: Job design and staff training have no effects on employee performance in Nigeria.
Ho1: Job design and staff training have significant effects on employee performance in organizations/institutions.
Ha2: The kind and nature of job design and staff training operated in Nigeria have little or no effects on employee performance.
Ho2: The nature and kind of job design and staff training operated in Nigerian firms/organizations have so much effect on employee performance.
Ha3: There exists no significant link between job design and staff training and employee performance in companies/organizations in Nigeria.
Ho3: There exists a significant link between job design and staff training and employee performance in companies/organizations in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The need for this study cannot be over-emphasized. To start with, it will bridge the underlying knowledge on these duo work and management phenomena, and thus expose many to the intrinsic of job design and staff training towards effective employee performance in companies/organizations as well as becoming conversant with how best to address workplace problems like low/poor employee performance, job dissatisfaction and others.
Also, this study shall be of immense benefits to those directly concerned, such as law- makers/policy- makers, managers, job experts, entrepreneurs, administrators, business planners, professionals, researchers, educators and students. As such, it shall serve as a blueprint to the management of both private and public organizations/firms in better decision-making regarding job design and staff training and employee performance. The study lacuna shall be filled by other interested scholars/researchers, who would undertake further studies on this subject matter and related ones. It shall thus serve as a research material to such researchers and students. And, through its findings, it shall address unemployment, job issues and staff inefficiency to some extent and as well equip many with the due positive techniques of job design and staff/manpower that adversely affect employee performance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research solely centers on the effects of job design and staff training on employee performance in Nigeria. It thus leaves out other closely related aspects and scopes of job design and staff training. It concerns both private and public firms/institutions involving staffing, training and job management. The concerned departments in such firms/institutions are basically Management/Administration, Human Resources, Labor/Manpower Personnel, Establishment, Registry and Information Departments/Units.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research would have been broadened more than this in scope but for several challenges that confront a thesis of this kind. The factors include:
- Time constraint: Since it is time-framed, rash and rush set in so as to beat the time.
- Logistic problems: Poor or insufficient information materials and centers, transportation challenges, and lack of basic amenities like electricity, among others, constrained this study to its structured scope.
- Lack of finance: Since the researcher has no source (s) of earning yet, going beyond this scope is more cost-demanding, which could hamper its completion.
- Human factors: Poor responses from and the unwillingness of the respondents and the researcher’s human errors and research short-comings formed another limitation to the study. And, other natural factors like psychological state (tiredness, hunger, distractions, etc.), linguistic performance errors and other unforeseen circumstances were likewise.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For clarification as well as easy understanding, our core keywords are explained hereunder:
Effects: Positive or negative outcome, result, impact or influence of something, here, job design and staff training
Job Design: The management modalities systematically evolved, set out and enforced for workplace effective results towards realizing organizational goals
Employee Performance: The output of the manpower commitment at workplace as a show for job satisfaction and organizational support
Staff Training: The practice of engaging staff in different innovative activities and programs that would make them to learn and acquire new professional skills towards better performance