An empirical study of the reward preferences of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) academics.
Makhanya, Sharon Nosipho.
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The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of the rewards offered by UKZN to attract, retain and motivate academic employees. The Reward Preference Questionnaire (RPQ) adopted from Nienaber, Bussin and Henn (2011), and modified by Snelgar, Renard and Venter (2013) was used to collect the data for this study. A total of 140 questionnaires were administered to Westville, Howard College and Medical School campuses with 111 questionnaires completed and returned. Descriptive statistics were utilised to analyse the responses and presented in the form of tables and graphs. Principal component analysis was used to extract factors. Four factors were extracted and named; ie., base pay, benefits, performance recognition and career management and quality work environment.The study found that UKZN academics are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied by base pay, benefits, and performance recognition and career management. However, the study found that the academics at UKZN are highly dissatisfied by quality work environment. The study also found that age, level of education, job level and conditions of service influence reward preferences. In addition, the study found that the respondents view rewards offered by the institution to be unfairly and inconsistently implemented. The respondents indicated that they were unhappy with the way performance management was rated; differences in conditions of service; confusing rewards; unfair implementation of academic promotions and unfair, inconsistent implementation of sabbatical leave. This study recommends that the institution should create reward systems that are based on the academic’s preferences by focusing on benefits, base pay, quality work environment, performance recognition and career management as they were indicated as the reward categories that attract, retain and motivate academics. This study’s findings contribute to knowledge by investigating the most valued rewards categories and the contribution of rewards to attraction, motivation and retention of academic staff. This study will also be beneficial to policy makers, Human Resources Departments and to Higher Education institutions. Furthermore, this study provides evidence to assist the employer in developing suitable and improved rewards packages to enhance the attraction, motivation and retention of academics of high calibre.