Investigating reward and recognition preferences of employees in Eskom’s Project Management Office
The aim of the research was to investigate and explore the rewards and recognition preferences of employees in the Project Management Office (PMO) at a selected South African company. A company’s reward and recognition practices can impact project outcomes such as employee morale, work performance, and company outputs. A strong positive relationship between employee performance and rewards and recognition has been established by previous scholars. The problem investigated in this study is that the project management office employees indicated their dissatisfaction with rewards and recognitions practices. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate rewards and recognition preferences of the PMO employees and provide a remedy for management to mediate dissatifaction and enable motivation enhancing organisational perofmance. Three theories of motivation, namely Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg’s two- factor theory, and Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation were used as the theoretical foundation of the study. The research design and methodology included a deductive approach and descriptive survey cross-sectional design administering an online questionnaire to the whole population of 150 employees as sample group. From the 150 employees 72 fully completed the questionnaire from which data were extracted into an Excel spreadsheet and then cleaned for analysis. The data on reward and recognition preferences were analysed using a deductive content analysis approach and descriptive statistics. The results and findings are represented in the form of tables, bar graphs, and pie charts. Questions on rewards and recognition practices were grouped into seven categories to help answer the question of preference, and the high and low preference levels were averaged and then compared. The results and findings indicated reward and recognition preferences, from highest to lowest (averaged) as: tangilble rewards (94.90%), recognition (92.85%), nomination for good work (89.35%), events to feel appreciated (88.42%), cash bonuses (85.41%), and outings granted in recognition of good performance (77.77%). In conclusion employees at the PMO have a high preference for a wide range of rewards and recognition practices, both tangible and intangible that are not only in the form of cash bonuses, and which should be awarded very applicable at every completion stage within the project lifecycle phases – Planning, Execution, Delivery and Closure, and Handover. Managerial implications: Management must understand that employees need to experience the rewards and recognition as true intentions and it must align with the expectations of the specific needs of the employees. The research may benefit the company under study by providing insights into the needs of employees with regard to recognition and reward.