Original Research

Impact of performance incentives on employees’ performance in a university in KwaZulu-Natal

Vincent L. Mbukwana, Ayansola O. Ayandibu
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 21 | a2114 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v21i0.2114 | © 2023 Vincent L. Mbukwana, Ayansola O. Ayandibu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2022 | Published: 21 November 2023

About the author(s)

Vincent L. Mbukwana, Department of Business Management, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa
Ayansola O. Ayandibu, Department of Business Management, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Rewarding employees for meeting the organisation’s targets is crucial in order to motivate staff members to improve their performance.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate if the incentive plans given to the employees at a comprehensive university in KwaZulu-Natal province have a positive impact on employee performance.

Motivation for the study: Studies linking the role of performance incentives in driving performance in higher education, specifically academics, are limited, and this study aims to fill this gap of knowledge in the literature.

Research approach/design and method: The study followed a qualitative approach where data were collected through interviews. An investigation was conducted with academics in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Administration on the role of performance incentives in driving performance at a faculty from a comprehensive university in KwaZulu-Natal. The collected data were analysed using NVIVO.

Main findings: The overall findings of the study showed a strong link between performance incentives and employees’ performance. It was found that financial incentives in the form of performance bonuses influenced the employees to work harder to meet the performance targets.

Practical/managerial implications: The results of this study will assist human resource managers in higher education institutions to identify financial and non-financial incentives that seek to drive performance.

Contribution/value-add: The results of the study revealed a strong link between performance incentives and employee performance. For this reason, it will add value to the reward strategies employed by universities in improving performance.


Keywords

performance incentives; employee performance; motivation; performance based pay; Job satisfaction

JEL Codes

A13: Relation of Economics to Social Values

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Metrics

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