Happy Worker Is A Productive Worker Management Essay

The axiom of a happy worker is a productive worker has been traditionally accepted by organizations for many years. The globalization trend, technology changes and development as well as the new business practices continuously influence the importance of motivation and job satisfaction in Malaysian organizations. Nowadays many companies are facing intensive challenge in improving employee’s job satisfaction and their organizational commitment to gain competitive advantage and at the same time retention of their key employees. Successful organizations realize that employee retention is important to sustain their leadership and growth in the market place.

In any meeting and conferences, The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) usually reflects the most challenging issues that face the oil and gas industry. Shortage of labor skills was not even an issue to be discussed in the SPE meetings and conferences for couple of years back. However this issue has emerged in the oil and gas industry and retaining top performance employees is becoming a major concern for many oil and gas companies. Recently most of SPE conferences have in their agenda discussions on the shortage of labor skills which really reflect the magnitude and the size of this issue.

Obviously, every manager tries to achieve their organization objectives. In this connection they must concentrate in many aspects to fulfill the organizations wish to keep well trained and effective workforce. Employees with higher job satisfaction are important since they believe that the organization would have tremendous future in the long run and the employer gives credit to the quality of their work, hence those employees are more committed to the organization, have higher retention rates, and tend to have higher productivity. In order to make the best use of people as a valuable resource of the organization, attention must be given to the relationship between staff and the nature and content of their jobs. The organization and the design of jobs can have a significant effect on staff where attention needs to be given to the quality of working life.

Many managers in the oil and gas companies when asked what motivates their employees and how to retain them always answer with confidence money, money and money as the only retention factor. It is because of this limited view that many companies are having high turnover rates. Money is necessary but it is not sufficient to retain an employee. An oil company needs to do more than increasing salary, in addition it has more options that are non-monetary and are very effective in order to retain and motivate employees.

Motivation is an inner driver that drive individuals to act or perform. Specific theories may propose varying set of factors influencing motivation (Harder, 2008). But many scholars agree that motivation is psychological process that causes the arousel, direction, intensity and persistence of behaviour (Locke and letham, 2004; Pinder, 1998).

There are numerous motivation theories that have influenced the way organisations manage employees to achieve a motivated work force. These theories attempt to explain why people behave the way they do and advice on factors and strategies which when employed can get the best out of employees in terms of their commitment to work. Notwithstanding, because of the complex nature of the issues worth considering when motivating people, it is always not an easy task when it comes to organisations motivating workers for effective performance.

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Job satisfaction is important to an organization’s success. Much research has been conducted into ways of improving job satisfaction of workers in various sectors of the Malaysian economy, including the academic sector (Wong & Teoh, 2009; Noordin & Jusoff, 2009), the hotel sector (Abd. Patah, Radzi, Abdullah, Adzmy, Adli Zain, & Derani, 2009), the government sector (Yahaya, A., Yahaya, N., Arshad, & Ismail, 2009), the non-profit sector (Ismail & Zakaria, 2009), the naval sector (Mohd. Bokti & Abu Talib, 2009), and the automobile manufacturing sector (Santhapparaj, Srinivasan, & Koh, 2005). There has been relatively little research into the determinants of job satisfaction in the oil and gas in Malaysia. Therefore, this paper endeavours to address this literature gap.


One of the leading challenges facing by Manager’s nowadays is execution of effective human capital strategies to augment firm’s performance. As a result of “pressure to perform”, the worth of satisfied employees becomes more indispensable. Job satisfaction describes that how much happy an individual is with his/her job. According to Locke (1976) job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job and job experiences. The happier the individual, the higher is level of job satisfaction. It is assumed that positive attitude towards work and greater organizational commitment increases job satisfaction which in return enhances performance of the individual (Linz, 2002).

However, the relationship between motivation and job satisfaction appears to be a very complex one. The fact that employees are satisfied does not necessarily mean that they will perform well and motivated. They may be satisfied because they may not have to work hard, conversely, employees who work hard may not be satisfied. They may be working hard in order to avoid some form of disciplinary action against them (Bhagat, 1982).

From findings, the issue of job satisfaction amongst employees also has escalated into other human resource issues such as high turnover. In this era of war for talent, organization realized the high costs associated with turnover and the time spent in replacing the resigned staff.

This problem is happening in almost every industry in Malaysia with turnover rate

on the rise. Based on the data collected in Hewitt’s 2007 Total Compensation Management survey, the average employee turnover rate is 18% (Hewitt, 2008). Another report by Hewitt in The Edge Malaysia in 2009, retaining staff would increasingly prove challenging as the turnover rate in Malaysia increased to 10.1% in 2009 compared to 9.3% in 2008.

As reported by Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) in their recent Salary Survey for Executives/Non Executives 2010:

Average Monthly Turnover Rate (July 2009-June 2010)

Non Executive


Oil & Gas/Petroleum/Chemical Industry






Source : Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)

The report showed that the turnover rate for non executives is much higher than

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executives and this is linked to low employee satisfaction. The employee’s desire to hop from one job to another seem to be the trend of today. In three recent surveys

conducted in the United States, Canada and Malaysia, it was reported that more than half would abandon their employers if offered comparable jobs elsewhere (McShane, 2009).

Despite monetary rewards, commitment amongst employees is still low. Therefore, the researcher is hoping that this study will be able to provide answers to the

following statement:

Does achievement increase employee satisfaction?

Does advancement increase employee satisfaction?

Does work itself increase employee satisfaction?

Do recognition increase employee satisfaction?

Do growth increase employee satisfaction?

The manager needs to understand how best to make work more satisfying for employee and to overcome obstacles to effective performance. As mentioned earlier, because of a high competition, therefore every organization has to compete with other organization. In this connection in order to achieve competitive advantage the organization has to retain work for, organization expects that satisfying employees are more performing. Therefore, there is a need for the organization to satisfy their employees to achieve their objectives. For the employee’s point of view, job satisfaction leads to several benefits such as, reducing moral stress, create new thinking and innovation which lead them to high level, fresh mind, good relationship with co-workers, supervisor and employees etc. Competition as a result of globalisation, information technology and industrialisation has compelled managers all over the world to seek to motivate their employees in order to get the best out of them and to stay competitive. This has led managers to employ all sorts of techniques to motivate and satisfy their employees.


The main objectives of the study is to examine the impact of motivational factors on employee job satisfaction. Therefore, the objectives of this research are as follows:

To identify the employee perception in regards to achievement, advancement, work itself, recognition, growth and job satisfaction.

To examine the relationship between achievement and employee job satisfaction.

To examine the relationship between advancement and employee job satisfaction.

To examine the relationship between work itself and employee job satisfaction.

To examine the relationship between recognition and employee job satisfaction.

To examine the relationship between growth and employee job satisfaction.

To examine the impact of motivational factors on employee job satisfaction.


The researcher would like to investigate the impact of motivational factors on employee job satisfaction. Therefore, the research questions that will hold relevance to the study are:

What is the employee perception with regards to achievement, advancement, work itself, recognition and growth?

Is there a relationship between achievement and employee job satisfaction?

Is there a relationship between advancement and employee job satisfaction?

Is there a relationship between work itself and employee job satisfaction?

Is there a relationship between recognition and employee job satisfaction?

Is there a relationship between growth and employee job satisfaction?

Do motivational factors have an impact on employee job satisfaction?


The investigation of this study is to analyze the motivational factors that cause job satisfaction in the workplace of employees employed by oil and gas company headquarted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In essence, the research will focus on the factors that contribute to job satisfaction and high motivation amongst employees.

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The motivational factors that will be used in this research only focus on achievement, advancement, recognition, work itself and growth.


Specific successes, such as the successful completion of a job, solutions to problems, vindication, and seeing the results of your work.


Actual changes which enhance position or status at work.


Any act of recognition, be it notice or praise. A distinction can be made between situations where concrete rewards are given along with acts of recognition and those in which they are not.

Work itself

The actual or nature of the job or phases of it.


Changes in job situation where the possibilities for professional growth increase. Besides new vistas opened up by promotion, they include increased opportunities in the existing situation for learning and practicing new skills.


The researcher hopes that this study will contribute to numerous benefits in terms of theoretical, management as well as academic perspectives.

Theoretical perspective:

The study would help to shed new light of the usefulness of the Herzberg Two-Factor Theory in explaining the importance of employee motivational factors on employee job satisfaction.

Management perspective:

The management can use the findings from this study to assist them to gain competitive advantage over their competitors in employee commitment from the same industry. This study is also aimed at helping employees to identify the motivational factors that will drive them towards being more committed and loyal to the organization. The employees will feel contented which is the factor that will make them stay longer in the organization. The longer employee stays with an organization, the more valuable they will be in terms of seniority, skill and knowledge.

Academic perspective:

This research will benefit other student to understand the impact of motivational factor on job satisfaction better and could be a reference or guideline for other researcher who is interested to study this three relationship dimension in other industry.


The scope of this study only covers employees from oil and gas industry who are based at the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. For the purpose of this study, the motivational factors only include achievement, advancement, recognition, work itself and growth.


Sample – select a sample population that may not reflect the overall population.

Respondents too dependent on the self-reported responses.

Time – limited time to collect back the questionnaires as some of the respondents may be working outstation or on a short foreign assignment.

These abovementioned factors may affect the accuracy of the data and steps have

been undertaken to reduce this problem by assuring the respondents that this study is

confidential. Employees can then be rest assured as to provide true and fair opinion as

they need not furnish their names in the questionnaire.

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