This study assessed the relationship between reward management and organizational performance in selected universities in Enugu State. The specific objectives of the study were to: (i) ascertain the extent to which employee benefits affect morale of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria, (ii) ascertain the extent to which staff development opportunities affect job performance of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria, (iii) determine the nature of the relationship between work environment and turnover of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria and (iv) assess the extent to which job enrichment affects job satisfaction of employees’ of universities in Enugu state Nigeria. The study adopted the descriptive research design which employed a case study. The population of the study was 8623 staff of three universities in Enugu State, namely; University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. UNN and ESUT were chosen because they were the only federal and state universities in Enugu State while Godfrey Okoye University was selected because of its proximity and accessibility of information. The sample size of 368 was obtained using William Godden formula. Simple random sampling technique was used to select respondents from each of the selected institutions. Data were collected using researcher – developed questionnaire and oral interview. Content validation was carried out using 2 experts from both the industry and the academia. A pilot study was conducted to check the reliability of the research instrument with Cronbach’s alpha, giving a coefficient of 0.98, indicating a high degree of items consistency. Simple percentages, frequency, mean and standard deviation were used.  Linear regression and Pearson Product Moment Correlation were used for data analysis at 5% probability level of significance. The results of this study showed that employee benefits significantly affect the morale of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria (p = 0.002 < 0.05, r = 0.87), staff development opportunities significantly affect the performance of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria (p = 0.000 < 0.05, r = 0.91), there is a positive relationship between work environment and employee turnover of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria(p = 0.005 < 0.05, r = 0.83), and job enrichment does significantly affect the job satisfaction of employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria (p = 0.000 < 0.05, r = 0.93). The study recommended that Universities in Enugu State, Nigeria should ensure that employees’ are promoted based on merit, as at when due, treated with respect, mentored and appreciated to ensure better performance; Staff development opportunities should be created for employees’ of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria; management of universities in Enugu State, Nigeria should ensure that the work environment is very conducive for employees; and employees’ should be encouraged to exercise their skills, with adequate supervision, job empowerment, and the provision of adequate information and knowledge which enhances  job performance.



Background of Study

The current economic difficulties have thrown into sharp relief not just what people get paid, but whether it is fair, from a perspective of many stakeholders resulting in a challenging balancing act for reward (Cotton, 2013:3). With the increased global competition, developments in Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and changes in workplace demographic characteristics, organisations need to reform their reward system to be relevant in terms of performance in order to get the best from its employees and withstand the tides of incessant competition (Ibrahim, Mayendesifuna, Buteeme and Lubega, 2013). A survey on global talent management and reward by Towers Watson (2012) in partnership with worldatwork reported that 63% of employers have difficulty in attracting the skills required for business growth and 47% faced problems of retaining top talents. The mismatch alignment between what employers are ready to offer in terms of rewards and what employees’ wants is assumed to be the reason for this difficulty in attracting talent and the loss of intellectual capable employees (Maycock and Salawudeen, 2014).

The basic premise of reward systems which is to maintain employee motivation in order to increase production and sustain a competitive edge, while keeping costs low has been evident throughout the centuries but was especially dominant during the historical period spanning the late 1800s to the early 1920s, a period known as the scientific management era (Kanin-Lovers and Porter, 1991; Milkovich, Newman and Gerhart, 2011; Wren, 1987 cited in Caudill and Porter, 2014). Management then as a discipline was itself in its infancy. The idea was to bring ‘science’ to bear through time and motion study and to link pay to production of ‘pieces’ on the production lines typified by those created by Henry Ford in his US car manufacturing plants. With manufacturing in the most advanced economies today balanced and sometimes outflanked by the service industries, the question of what that ‘piece’ (of work) would be, how it should be incentivised through rewards, and what effort employees should be expected to contribute to produce it becomes ever more complex (Caudill and Porter, 2014). And the numerous reward types on offer further complicates  the challenge of designing, communicating and monitoring what, since the 1990s, has been referred to as the ‘total reward’ approach (Cotton, 2013).