Motivational strategies to improve productivity in the construction industry in Ghana

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The concept of construction productivity began in the early 20th century with a series of time and motion studies to improve bricklaying operations. However, it still remains an interesting and a dominant issue in the construction industry, promising cost-savings, timely delivery and efficient usage of resources. Productivity is directly linked to motivation, and motivation is, in turn dependent on productivity. Suitable motivation is, therefore, a contributor to maximising workers' productivity. The low motivation of construction workers has contributed significantly to the declining productivity that cannot be determined in the construction industry. The study seeks to unravel the factors that affect construction workers' motivation and the corresponding effect of the identified motivational factors on workers' performance and overall productivity. Forty factors which usually affect motivation and productivity were obtained from preliminary survey and review of literature. Purposive sampling was employed to select the class of contractors due to the engagement of large number of workers as well as the volume of works undertaken. A survey was, therefore carried out on 32 D1 construction companies obtained from the implementation of Snowball sampling. This was, as a result of the difficulties encountered in accessing the population sample. A total of 183 questionnaires were administered to managers and workers by the adoption of accidental sampling and a response rate 73.22% was obtained. The survey revealed that, among the top ten critical factors (i.e. teamwork, late payment of interim certificate, work based on contract, supervision based on leadership by example and provision of equipment) had great effect on motivation as well as impact on productivity.More so communication, love and belongingness, opportunity to undertake challenging task,identification with goal and overtime were among the critical factors. The following motivational recommendations were made to enhance productivity of workers: i. Double targets should always be set on projects of which the higher target made known to workers and monitor progress with the threshold target. Subordinates should be given praise by supervisors whenever efforts are made to attain the set. ii. Management and immediate supervisors should ensure that good teamwork is established through collaborations, both on and off site by assigning task to groups of workforces with qualified and competent supervisors, iii. There should be timely payment of interim certificates to improve cash flow to facilitate smooth running of projects. There should be a clear line of communication between management and workers. Also regular interactions should be organised to recognised workers to motivate others to work harder to be recognised one day. Workers should be given the opportunity to undertake challenging task under close supervision, not compromising quality, precision and timely delivery and be made to the consequence when these requirements are not met.
A project report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a degree of Master of Science in Construction Management, 2009