WORK ENVIRONMENT AND JOB PERFORMANCE IN BUSINESS ORGANIZATION (A SURVEY OF SELECTED FIRMS IN PORT HARCOURT)

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ABSTRACT

The work environment impacts employee morale, productivity and engagement-both positively and negatively. The work environment in a majority of industry is unsafe and unhealthy. these includes poorly designed workstations, unsuitable furniture, lack of ventilation, inappropriate lighting, excessive noise, insufficient safety measures in fire emergencies and lack of personal protective equipment. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to evaluate the work environment and job performance in business organization (a survey of selected firms in Port Harcourt). To achieve the objectives of the study, the researcher took extensive review on related literatures. The research was guided by three (4) research questions in an in tempt to answer these questions, one hypothesis was developed and tested, using the chi-square (x2) statistical tool. The researcher further uncovered from the respondents that conducive working environments could make employees to be more productive and committed to work. Base on the findings, the researcher recommended that; Unilever Nigeria plc authority should provide working environment to its employees, which is conducive in terms of facilities, equipments, better interaction opportunities and good refreshment.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The current challenges of the management are to establish an environment that effect, affect, attract, retain and to motivate its employee for maximization of productivity. This responsibility lies with the mangers and governance at various levels of the organization. They have to think over and explore new working ways through which people can enjoy, and have pride about what they do. The work environment affects employee’s morale, productivity and engagement both positively and negatively, and it may affect largely on both physical and psychological well being. It is not just a twist of fate that new programs addressing lifestyle changes, work life balance, health and fitness previously that were not considered key benefits are now primary considerations of potential employees and common practices among the most admired companies.

The present working environment is different, unique and constantly changing from time to time and context. The conventional employer and employee relationship of olden days has been turned upside down. In growing economy workers have ample opportunities and unlimited job privileges. This condition created environment where employer need its employees rather than the employee need employer. Hence, the primary concern is to understand that work environment which is thought to be very important influence on employees.

In general parlance, the work environment can be said to be the environment in which people work that include physical setting, job profile, culture and local labour market condition. It doesn’t mean that all these are equally important for better working environment however each aspect is inter linked and influence on job overall performance and productivity. It has been concluded by most of the management executives that the performance of employees stands up on the size of the compensation package. Although compensation package is one of the extrinsic motivation tool (Ryan and Deci, 2000), it has a limited short term effect on employees’ performance. A widely accepted assumption is that better work environment motivates employees and produces better results. Most people spend fifty percent of their lives within indoor environments, which greatly influence their mental status, actions, abilities and performance (Sundstrom, 1994). Better outcomes and increased productivity is assumed to be the result of better work environment. Better physical environment of office will boosts the employees and ultimately improve their productivity. There are people who have been working in an ultimately improve their productivity. There are people who have working in an adverse condition may end up with poor performance and quite often encounter with health problems. Pech and Slade (2006) argued that the employee disengagement increasing drastically and it is need of the day that necessary action must be taken at workplace to make positive influence over the workforce. Further, focus is on symptom of disengagement such as distraction, lack of interest, poor decisions and high absence, rather than the root causes. The working environment is perhaps a key root causing employees’ engagement or disengagement. Another research indicates that improving the working environment reduces complaints and absenteeism while increasing productivity (Roelofse, 2002). Wells (2000) states that workplace satisfaction has been associated with job satisfaction. In recent years, employees comfort on the job, determined by work conditions and environment has been recognized as an important factor for measuring productivity or job performance of this reason most of the organization have been trying to new designs and techniques to construct office premise which can increase productivity and attract more employees. As noted by the many researchers, the physical layout of the workspace, along with efficient management processes, is playing a major role in boosting employees productivity and improving organizational performance (Uzee, 1999); Leaman and Bordass, 1993). The similar result cake out even in an independent research undertaken by ASID (1999) and pointed out that workplace design is one of the top three factors, which extensively effect performance and productivity.

On the other hand, job performance is considered to be very significant factor affecting profitability of an organization (Bevan. 2012) inefficient job performance will bring about a tragedy to the organization as associated with lower productivity, profitability and impairment of overall organizational effectiveness (Cooke. 2000. Okoyo & Ezejiofor, 2013) As pointed out by Viswesvaran and ones (2000). Job performance is the core construct of today’s work place. Job performance is defined as behaviour or activities that are performed towards achieving the organization’s goals and objectives (Motowidlo, Borman, & Schemit 1999). Performance is important for organizations as employee performance leads to business success and performance Is important for individual as accomplishing tasks can be a source of satisfaction (Much, 2014).

Existing research has established a link between working environment and job performance (Fame & Kobrick. 1978. Mohapatra & Srivastatva, 2003). Having the right environmental factors both physical and psychosocial will lead to increase performance (Buhter 1997 Chandrasekar, 2011). Khan et al (2011) investigated in their study the impact of work environment and infrastructure on employees performance among a sample of 150 respondents from the education sector in Pakistan and concluded that incentives at work had a positive impact on employee’s performance while infrastructure at work had no significance impact on employees.

OVERVIEW OF UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC

Our corporate mission, which is to add vitality to life, is the very heart seek to ensure that when people choose our brands, they are choosing vitality. The journey to achieve this began back in the 19th century.

Making a difference since 1923

Unilever Nigeria Plc, was incorporated as Lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd on 11th April, 1923 by Lord Leverhulme, but company’s antecedents have to be traced back to his existing trading interest in Nigeria and West Africa generally, and to the fact that he had since the 19th century been greatly involved with the soap business in Britain, Unilever Nigeria Plc started as a soap manufacturing organizations in Nigeria.

After series of mergers/acquisitions, the company diversified into manufacturing and marketing of foods, non-soapy detergents and personal care products. These mergers/acquisition brought in Lipton Nigeria Ltd in 1985, Cheesebrough ponds Industries since 1973 with Nigerians currently having 49% of equity holdings.

Why we still succeed

The long-term success of this business stems from the strong relationship with the consumers based on the deep roots in the local cultures and market, creating precuts that help them to feel good, look good and get more out life, and the total commitment to exceptional standards of performance and productivity. In order to sustain this success, we endeavor to maintain the highest standards of corporate behavior towards our employees, consumers, customers, communities and operating environment.

Our brands are household favorites and this is because we are so deeply committed to meet the everyday needs of people everywhere in Nigeria. What is more, our deep roots here combined with international experience and support; enable us to consistently develop brands, which raise the quality of lie. It is therefore no surprise that one would find that all over Nigeria, people are at home with our brands.

Re-inventing ourselves

Unilever as a company has embarked on a programme of restructuring in a bid to re-energize itself. Code-named the Journey to Greatness, the vision is re-inventing ourselves so that we can deliver fully on our promises to our consumers and employee’s. In addition, the company has sharpened its focus by introducing the vitality mission, which stands to ensure that in all we do, we are adding vitally to life for everyone.

Corporately responsible

Over the years, Unilever Nigeria Plc has been a socially responsible and responsive organization that takes strategic actions for the improvement of the communities and environments in which it operates. The company has made provision for assistance in fields of health, education/children welfare and potable water/hygiene as part of its social responsibility programme in the Nigerian communities.

Environment & Society

Every day, people all over the country choose out products to care for their families. This illustrate a key way in which we make a positive contribution to society.

Environment & Society

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Over the years, the work environment use to be a place was employee morale and productivity is enhanced. The work environment today, in a majority of the business organizations are unsafe and unhealthy as a result of poorly designed work stations. Unsuitable furniture, lack of personal protective equipment, people working in such environment are prone to occupational disease and its impact on job performance on productivity is decreased. However the main challenges of management is to attract, retain and motivates its employees for high productivity and performance. It need a unique and different approach than what traditional approach made so far. Many workplace factors influence employee’s performance. Relationship among personality, work environment preferences and the outcome variables, performance and commitment affect employee’s performance at the workplace. There are several empirical evidence which state that work environment is having a great impact on the performance and attitude of employees. It is very important for the employee’s level of motivation and performance. A well designed office structure, supervisor’s relationship with subordinate staffs and social behaviour are some to the significant aspects which determines the employee productivity and performance.

1.3   OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study is to find out how work environment influence the job performance of a business organization like Unilever Nigeria Plc. Other specific objectives are;

  1. To investigate the factors in work environment that is responsible for the job performance and productivity of an organization.
  2. To ascertain the impact of work environment on job performance and organizational productivity.

iii.    To examine the challenges of job performance in a work environment of Unilever Nigeria plc.

  1. To proffer solution to the challenges of Unilever Nigeria plc work environment on job performance

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions will help to reconcile issues in this study

  1. What are the factors responsible for job performance and the overall productivity of Unilever Nigeria plc?
  2. What impact does work environment has on job performance and the productivity of a business organization like Unilever Nigeria plc?

iii.    What are the challenges of job performance in a work environment?

  1. What are the recommendations necessary to proffer solution to this challenges of job performance in a work environment?

1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0:  There is no significance relationship between work environment and job performance of a business organization.

H1:  There is a significance relationship between work environment and job performance of an organization.

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study when completed will be of tremendous benefit to the student of business administration and other researcher, as it will in addition to the stock of literature that will be used for further research in other related areas.

To the Business organization Unilever Nigeria plc which the case study of this project, it will equip them, now they know the problem and solution of job performance environment has on the overall productivity of the organization. To the employers it gives the opportunity to have their cases settled.

Finally, it will help to boost economic growth and the development of the Nigeria economy.

1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study work environment and job performance in business organizations. Unilever Nigeria plc as case study. Is working on factors in the environment that could enhance job performance. It covers only Unilever Nigeria Plc in Nigeria.

1.8   LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Every study has its short coming. This therefore cannot be an exception. The factors that hinder the success of this study includes time, finance, and attitude of respondents. The time expected to complete this study is too short. Funds; fund available for the execution of this work is not enough.

Respondent: The attitude of some respondent affects the responses as they are bias in their responses

1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS

Business:         It is any activity in which goods are produced or services rendered for the sole of purpose of making profit.

Employee:      A person who has agreed by contract to perform specified services for another, the employer in exchange for money.

Job performance:    The process whereby employee function is carry it function to achieve the goal of the organization.

Organization:  A group of people who form a business club etc, together in order to achieve a particular aim, to work for business

Productivity:   Productivity can be defined as the rate at which a worker, a company or a country produces goods and the amount produced.

Work environment:        Is a physical conditions that somebody or organization exist in and carry out at day to day activity in order to make profit.

 

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