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How Rewards Impact on the Job Satisfaction of Nurses

How Rewards Impact on the Job Satisfaction of Nurses

Impact of Rewards on Job Satisfaction of Nurses

Context and Introduction How Rewards Impact on the Job Satisfaction of Nurses

Motivation at the place of work is a principal factor in job satisfaction and optimal performance. Every organisation has developed reward systems to motivate their employees. Motivation is the incentive or reward that an employee gets in relation to working in a particular institution. In the nursing profession, nurses are also rewarded. The incentives are always given to increase the nurses’ satisfaction with the job which they are doing and to make them exert more energy in their work. The major categories of incentives include intrinsic, extrinsic, financial and non-financial rewards (Bonenberger et. al., 2014, pp. 43). The study will concentrate on the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Understanding how each of the two types of the rewarding strategies is implemented in the UK healthcare and nursing facilities and the effects that it has in relation to the performance of the nurses is central to establishing an effective nurses’ motivation plan. Nurses work in outpatient hospitals, inpatient care units, psychiatric or mental health facilities and nursing homes undertake a range of care activities with other healthcare professionals such as physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and pharmacist. They also work with non-healthcare professionals such as administrators and support staff.

Job satisfaction entails the contentment, fulfilment, pleasure, and gratification that nurses derive from their work (Castaneda, & Scanlan, 2014, pp. 131). Job satisfaction comes as a result of an interplay of many factors. However, the study focuses on the relationship between rewards and job satisfaction, particularly for the nurses.

The study is significant in a number of ways. Firstly, establishing the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and the job satisfaction of nurses in the United Kingdom contributes to the bodies of knowledge which are related to organisational leadership and management. This entails things such as employee motivation which is of great significance to nursing profession. Concerning the management and leadership of the nursing healthcare facilities or institutions, the study fills the informational gap that bars a successful implementation of nurses’ reward strategies and consequently their job satisfaction. Secondly, the findings from the study will be used by other researchers to inform their future studies. Thirdly, the study will provide the healthcare policymakers with quality and relevant information that they can use as evidence to support their future health systems and healthcare administration policies.

Research aims and objectives

The aim of the research is to find out how rewards influence the job satisfaction of nurses in the UK. The aim can be further divided into three specific goals, which include the following:

  • To establish how intrinsic rewards affect the job satisfaction of nurses
  • To find out how extrinsic rewards influence the job satisfaction of nurses
  • To understand how the best reward package that would produce maximal job satisfaction among nurses can be designed

From the study aim and objectives and the design of the inquiry, the research has one major hypothesis and three specific hypotheses. The specific propositions are presented as alternative hypotheses. They include the following:

  1. Intrinsic rewards significantly influence the job satisfaction of nurses
  2. There is a significant positive correlation between extrinsic rewards and the job satisfaction of nurses
  3. Amalgamating both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards packages produces the maximal job satisfaction among nurses

Literature Review

Rewards can improve the job satisfaction of nurses. However, care has to be taken to ensure that the healthcare services provider does not waste its resources in an unproductive motivation strategy (Asegid, Belachew, & Yimam, 2014, pp. 34; Bustamam, Teng, & Abdullah, 2014, pp. 393; Pasarón, 2013, pp. 2594).

Intrinsic motivators are the factors that emanate from within the person to influence his or her job satisfaction. They include the motivators argued for the needs manifest theorists such as the desire to achieve, the inspiration for affiliation, and the zest for power (Hofmans, De Gieter, & Pepermans, 2013, pp. 5). For example, a nurse who is motivated will always achieve challenging workplace objectives. The person needs to be recognised every time he or she achieves the goals. The person who desires more affiliation prefers teamwork and corporation (Kumar et. al., 2013, pp. 2). Such a nurse does not want being rebuked openly in the presence of peers (Terera, & Ngirande, 2014, pp. 481). A power-motivated nurse prefers promotion whenever he or she realises a set of goals. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory also discusses inward motivators. They include the physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation needs (Taormina, & Gao, 2013, pp. 156). Every nurse has the desire to belong to a given institution (Lăzăroiu, 2015, pp. 67). Wherever a person works or lives, he or she has an innate need to feel welcomed in the organisation (Terera, & Ngirande, 2014, pp. 481). As such, every nurse has an inward motivation to get involved in the decision-making processes of the healthcare institutions in which he or she is working (Sarwar, & Abugre, 2013, pp. 22). Such a consideration makes them have a sense of ownership of the organisation, a characteristic of the need to belong (Taormina, & Gao, 2013, pp. 174). When it happens that the nurses are involved in making the decisions of the health facility, their job satisfaction significantly improves (Castaneda, & Scanlan, 2014, pp. 135). Drive theorists and examiners also portend that people are pushed to meet certain goals by the inwardly occurring desires to set and meet a set of objectives. It shares the thought with the theory of manifest needs. Moreover, every person has an inherent zest for justice, selflessness and fairness (Lăzăroiu, 2015, pp. 72). The position is supported by the equity theory espoused by Stacy Adams. Deductively, a nurse can only be satisfied with her or his job when she or he establishes that there is an element of equity or justice between his or her contributions and rewards for following the efforts (Usmani, & Jamal, S., 2013, pp. 351). Such a comparison occurs at the personal level, with the same level employees within the very health facility and with the similar category of staff across organisations. The people who are inwardly motivated tend to be more satisfied with the jobs that underscore autonomy, responsibility and creativity (Kok, & Muula, 2013, pp. 10).

The extrinsic motivation proponents argue that human beings are inspired by work-related issues outside themselves (Gaki, Kontodimopoulos, & Niakas, 2013, pp. 484). They include salaries, overtime payments, praise, fringe benefits, paid or unpaid vacations and job security. The position taken by the external rewards is supported by the learning theories (Morgan, Dill, & Kalleberg, 2013, pp. 819). The underpinning philosophy of the external motivators is that a good job is grounded following reinforcing the behaviours that led to it (Kok, & Muula, 2013, pp. 8). For example, offering an overtime payment to a nurse who dedicated more time than the rest in working with the healthcare seekers while denying the other who did not do the same increases the satisfaction of the professional with the job. The behavioural learning and pull theorists argue that appreciating a person for a good job makes the person satisfied (Gupta, & Gehlawat, 2013, pp. 18).

The line between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators is hard to draw. For example, does recognising a nurse’s overtime efforts that led to the organisation realising good results qualify as intrinsic or extrinsic reward? (Morgan, Dill, & Kalleberg, 2013, pp. 803). It is both inward and extrinsic. Herzberg in his two-factor theory realised that both motivators are crucial for an employee’s job satisfaction (Smith, & Shields, 2013, pp. 190). While internal factors such as autonomy are the leading motivators, lack of the external rewards such as commensurate salaries caused dissatisfaction in the worker (Smith, & Shields, 2013, pp. 193). Additionally, exclusively relying on either external or internal motivating factors to reward the nurses can be a self-defeating management strategy (Dysvik, & Kuvaas, 2013, pp. 413; Negussie, & Demissie, 2013, pp. 52). Secondly, because human needs keep changing, it might take a lifetime studying the various ways of motivating a single employee (Sarwar, & Abugre, 2013, pp. 22). Therefore, having an amalgamated nurses’ rewarding scheme saves the healthcare facility of much resources and time since the integrated approach meets the needs each of them whether intrinsically or extrinsically (Cerasoli, Nicklin, & Ford, 2014, pp. 980; Pasarón, 2013, pp. 2594). Thirdly, everyone is both inwardly and externally motivated because of their genetically acquired and environmentally shaped personalities and dispositional tendencies (Hofmans, De Gieter, & Pepermans, 2013, pp. 7).

Research Design and Methodology

The study follows a quantitative research methodology. It is designed under the positivist epistemological philosophy or theory governing research and knowledge management (Creswell, 2013, pp. 8). Positivism is the aspect of the theory of knowledge (epistemology) that concerns itself with empirical or statistical data, which is generalization to the entire population (Alexander, 2014, pp. 3). Through positivist epistemology, the study will be rigorous and replicable to other populations. Being that the inquiry is quantitative, it, therefore, meets the underpinning philosophy of positivist epistemology.

The study will be conducted in the nursing healthcare facilities in the UK. It is a comparative cross-sectional examination of the various healthcare providers in relation to their reward strategies and the job satisfaction of the nurses who work within them. The methodology is the most appropriate design toward the attainment of the three set objectives. It is also crucial in providing the findings that would be relevant in reaching the confirmation or rejection of the alternative hypotheses presented in the research (Fain, 2017, pp. 4).

The study has two variables, which include the independent and dependent variable. The independent variable is the predictor variable (Neuman, 2016, 6). The study is correlational in nature. That is, it does not seek to establish a deterministic cause-and-effect relationship between the two sets of variables. As such, it does not control any existent extraneous variable that might also influence the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. The independent variable of the study is a reward while the dependent one is job satisfaction.

The area of study is London in England. It is one of the countries that constitute the United Kingdom. The study population will be two nursing healthcare institutions, which are provided nursing care to different categories of healthcare seekers. They include the Nightingale Hospital and Parkview Nursing Home. The sampling unit will be the administrators and nurses who work in the two healthcare services provision centres.

The selection criteria will include the administrators and nurses of the two nursing healthcare services providers. The exclusion criteria will be on the basis that the people who are not selected to participate in the study are from other areas of staffing such as the support employees and other healthcare professionals who are not trained as nurses. On the same note, any person who is not an employee of the two health facilities will not be eligible to participate in the study. However, age, gender, disability, and department are not a part of the issues to be concidered when doing the selection of the study population.

The Nightingale Hospital of London has about five administrators and close to sixty nurses. The Parkview Nursing Home has three administrators and about thirty-four nurses. The sample size will be about 80 percent of the population from each health facility. The study participants will be selected using to procedures in the probability sampling. Firstly, they will be stratified into the two samples which include administrators and nurses (Mujere, 2016, pp. 108). The second procedure will involve a simple random sampling for each of the two strata in a manner that every category will contribute 80 percent of its population. To that effect, 3 administrators and 48 nurses of the Nightingale Hospital will be involved in the investigation. Additionally, 3 administrators and 27 nurses of the Parkview Nursing Home will participate in the study.

The data for the survey will be collected using Google Form-based questionnaires. The questions will be both open and closed-ended in nature. For the open-ended questions, there will be a Standards Operating Procedure (SOP) for coding the results (Parahoo, 2014, pp. 13). The questionnaire will be divided into two major parts. Part one will contain the areas on which the study seeks to generate evidence. The second part will have the socio-demographic questions. The data collection tool will be sent to the sampled population through an e-mail. Each participant will have about 12 days to complete the questionnaire. Reminders will be sent to the participants who will not have submitted their forms. On the 12th day, the acceptance of the responses will be closed using the Google Form mechanism.

The data will be managed by the researcher who will match the open-ended questions to the established codes in the SOP (Parahoo, 2014, pp. 13). However, the investigator will keep both copies original and the one used for analysis to address any issues of reliability and verifiability of the data. The findings will be analysed online using both Google Analytics and Awesome Tables. Google Analytics will only be able to analyse the findings as they come from the respondents because it does not accept Google Spreadsheet data. However, Awesome Tables will analyse both sets of data. The findings will be presented in tables, graphs and charts after which they will be analysed procedurally one question after the other according to the objectives of the study and the order of the questionnaire.

The study underscores the importance of validity and reliability. Validity is the degree at which an inquiry assesses the factors it intended to measure (Neuman, 2016, 14). There are three major areas of validity, which include external, construct and internal validity. Construct validity addresses the issues of the design of the data collection tools (Parahoo, 2014, pp. 18: Tappen, 2015, pp. 22). That is, whether the questions in the data collection tool actually tend to the acceptance or rejection of the study hypotheses or whether the questions are in line with the theory of the study. The questions of the study are designed to meet the three objectives of the study as outlined, and in effect, the hypotheses. Internal validity involves an understanding of whether the programming and organisation of the study are consistent throughout (Tappen, 2015, pp. 23). It looks at whether the topic guides the research objectives, which also inform the study hypotheses or questions. It then looks into the relevance and quality of the literature review process and the research methodology (LoBiondo-Wood, & Haber, 2014, pp. 21). The study meets all the qualities. For example, the study hypotheses are derived from the research objectives, which are obtained from the topic of inquiry. The research methodology has an underpinning philosophy, which guides the remaining processes of the investigation. External validity is largely the reliability of the investigation (Neuman, 2016, 17). The study is externally valid because it can be effectively conducted in a various location with a different population with a high expectation of similarity in the findings. The inquiry is also reliable in the sense that the data will be readily availed to the relevant regulatory and quality assurance institutions to verify the findings and make follow-ups that are necessary to authenticate the study.

The study will observe the principles and fundamentals of ethics in research, which include justice, respect, and beneficence (Fain, 2017, pp. 16; Grace, 2013, pp. 2; Johnson, 2014, pp. 3). As such, it is anticipated that the study will not expose any participant to harm. For example, it is anticipated that no health facility will penalise any participant for having taken part in the study. Secondly, the study will be used to improve the reward system of the two nursing healthcare services providers. The findings will be shared with them for such purpose. Thirdly, the privacy and confidentiality of every participant will be guaranteed by not sharing their identities with any third party (Johnson, 2014, pp. 11). It is intended that the questionnaire will be sent to the personal e-mails of the respondents to check on the issues of confidentiality in case the health facilities’ electronic messages are intercepted in any way. Fourthly, every participant will have the sole discretion of choosing to take part in the study, a decision that will follow after they will have been enlightened on the purposes of the study and the ethical principles guiding the research (Grace, 2013, pp. 7). Above all, the research will have to be approved by the Institutional Review Board of the university under which the investigator is taking the study.

The study is limited in one major way. It will not generate in-depth information from the study respondents whether through in-depth interviews, key informant interviews or focus group discussions. As such, the meanings attached to the statistical evidence may not be entirely subjective to the respondents. However, the study meets the threshold for accurate generalisation and replication.

Critical Discussion

It is important to reiterate that this is a research proposal and not an investigation report or project. Data collection process has not taken place, hence, the reason why it is written in future tense. To the effect, the findings cannot be presented with an utmost level of confidence. However, the anticipated results discussed in light of the research aim and objective of the study hypotheses are as following herein. Firstly, according to the research aim, the expected finding is that rewards positively impact on the job satisfaction of nurses. Secondly, in line with the first study objective, it is expected that the findings will show that intrinsic rewards significantly affect the job satisfaction of nurses. Thirdly, it is anticipated that the extrinsic rewards influence the job satisfaction of nurses. Lastly, the study has a likelihood of establishing that an integrative reward system that incorporates both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards will be the best motivation package to produce maximal job satisfaction among nurses.


Rewards are important in influencing the levels of job satisfaction among nurses within the UK and globally. Every nurse is unique in personality, worldview, interests, and needs. As such, they cannot have the same level of job satisfaction following an exclusively intrinsic or extrinsic rewarding plan. Some are more inwardly motivated than others while the rest get more inspired with external reward mechanisms. On the same note, even among the nurses who are either more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated or the reverse, a single reward such as good salary for the more externally inspired cannot elicit the same level of job satisfaction for all of them. To the effect, it means that every nurse has to be deeply understood psychologically and an effective reward strategy should be customised to his or her uniqueness if the person’s job satisfaction to be influenced for the better of the institution.

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