Original Research

The influence of organisational rewards on workplace trust and work engagement

Janine Victor, Crystal Hoole
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a853 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.853 | © 2017 Janine Victor, Crystal Hoole | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 August 2016 | Published: 23 May 2017

About the author(s)

Janine Victor, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Crystal Hoole, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: In volatile and competitive business environments, organisations are faced with challenges to retain talented workers. Employees are increasingly leaving their jobs for a number of reasons, one of them being a perceived lack of adequate reward practices. Consequently, this has impacted on employee work engagement and confidence and trust in organisations.

Research purpose: The study sought to determine whether there is a relationship between rewards, trust and engagement, as well as whether rewards are able to predict trust and engagement in the South African workplace.

Motivation for the study: Organisations can no longer solely rely on extrinsic rewards to retain talent. Companies must draw on both extrinsic and intrinsic reward strategies to improve retention levels through endorsing higher levels of workplace trust and work engagement levels.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative, exploratory and cross-sectional research design was utilised. Non-probability sampling using questionnaires consisting of scales from the Job Satisfaction Survey, Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, Psychological Meaningfulness Scale, Basic Needs at Work Scale, Workplace Trust Survey and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale were administered to a sample (N = 251) of South African employees in various industries within the Gauteng region.

Main findings: Results indicated that there is a moderate-to-strong positive relationship between the three constructs, and that rewards are able to predict trust and engagement.

Practical and managerial implications: The findings provide insight for behavioural practitioners to potentially draw upon when improving talent management strategies. Both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are important factors in keeping employees engaged and ultimately retaining them.

Contribution: The study provided insight into the influence that organisational rewards may have on workplace trust, work engagement and retaining employees. Findings contribute towards improving talent management strategies.


intrinsic rewards; extrinsic rewards; total rewards; workplace trust; work engagement


Total abstract views: 14226
Total article views: 19604

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.