According to Edioni Flippo (1984) there are three purposes of employee compensation programmes, namely:


(1)              To attract capable employees to the organization.

(2)              To motivate them towards superior performance.


(3)              To retain their services over an extended period of time.

But to A. G. Cole (1997) the fourth purpose is that compensation is to reward employees for effort, loyalty, experience and achievement Then with all these, compensation can be defined as: The money being salaries and wages, which an employer pays an employee for the services rendered, and which is meant to keep him rendering such services for an extended period of time.

Wages and Salaries is the most single obligation an employer owes his employees.

The most common system by which non management employees are compensated is wages, which are based on time increments or the number of units produced. Non-management employees traditionally have been paid at an hourly or daily rate, although some are now being paid bi-weekly or monthly. Employees who are compensated on a weekly or longer schedule are paid salaries.

Factors Determining the General Pay Level

Economic Consideration

There is a vital relationship between the total amount spent for wages and the total production which is the total amount of goods and services produced.

Secondly, there is a vital relationship between the amounts spent on wages and the proportions of total income going to the other factors of production. As a society is economically organized, there is a practical limitation upon the height to which the general level of all compensation can go – a limitation determined first by the total productivity of industry, and second by the irreducible requirements of the various other factors in production. A wage set with due regard to these considerations is regarded as an economic wage, and private establishments paying “uneconomic” wages are likely to be forced out of business.

Government pay level is not bound by the economic factor.

In theory, what sets a limit to what government can pay in wages and salaries is its income and the extent to which it has to compete in the labour market. However, despite the fact that government is not bound by the economic argument, it behoves it to be guided by such arguments. If Government competes with industry pays, labour will drain into public service and production in industry will suffer. If on the other hand, it pays far below economic way, the government will find it difficult to attract labour.

Social and Ethical Consideration

Although from an economic point of view, government is somewhat freer in setting its pay policy than most competitive private establishments, from the social and ethical stand points if it is less free to do so as it will.

This is so because the government is the body which is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that every citizen of a country lives a life that is adjudged ‘adequate” and to ensure that this is a ttained by means of paying a wage that cannot go below a certain level.

The reason for the social and ethical consideration is that the bargaining power of public employees is limited as a result of the followings:

The absence of effective labour organization among civil servants.

Limitation upon the right to strike and to participate in political activities

assured the means to a reasonable sense of living according to the standard prevailing in the community.


–                     And the special character of much government work, which makes it difficult for the civil servant to leave the service for private employment. The effect of all this reasons is the real bargaining position in which many public servants produces a situation conducive to arbitrary dissemination. The chief restraint against unfairness must be self-imposed on the ground that the government should be a model employer.


The social and ethical consideration is what gives rise to the idea of a long wage or standard minimum wage.


In reality, references to minimum wage is the issue whereby the government should pay its employees a salary based upon what it costs them to maintain an appropriate standard of living.

This approach to the determination of salary has nothing to do with economic consideration but purely ethical consideration. This is based on the contention that every citizen of a civilized community should be

 The Basis of Compensation and Reward

Compensation and reward administration as a tool of management is designed to achieve certain objectives.


– Adequacy: Employees work not because they wish to assist theemployers to maximize profit but rather because they have needs to satisfy. It is therefore the expectation of employees that the wages and salaries, they obtain from the sale of their labour, will to a large extent “adequate satisfy their needs. I f these are unsatisfied needs, this may result in negative work behaviour such as low morale and absenteeism.


– Equity: A fair day’s job must be followed by a fair days pa y.And equal work must elicit equal pay. The compensation and reward system must be seen to be fair and consistently applied throughout the organization to the extent that people with the same competence and skills performing the same work must be equally remunerated. The reward system must be a reflection of an employee’s contribution to the organization.


– Competition: One of the philosophical bases of rewardmanagement is to attract and retain high calibre employees. The organization exist in a competitive advantage over others both the product and labour market. In such a scheme of things, firms design their reward system in such a way to attract competent employees.

Aims and Objectives of Reward Management


The reward system is of critical importance to the capability of an organization in obtaining its economic performance.


Thus the aims of the reward system are to:


Improve Individual and Organizational Performance

Here organizational performance is summation of individual performance, a reward system that is based on performance or competence is most likely to improve individual performances thus improving organizational performance.

– Encourage Value Added Performance


This is aimed at achieving continuous improvement by focussing attention on areas where maximum added value can be obtained from improved performance.


– Support Culture Management


To this end, reward system provides a means for changing the organizations culture as expressed by its values and norms for performance, innovation and risk taking. This supported by the correlation between behavioural phenomenon and social facilitation.


– Achieve Integration

Organizational goals differ from the goals of its employees. The rider which the gap between these two sets of goals, the greater the degree of alienation, thus a good reward system strives to bridge the gap between the goals of the organization and those of its employees by ensuring that its reward system is encouraged to integrate employees into the organization. This essentially is the objective of incentives given to employees, which does not only seek to retain employees but also to integrate them into the organization.


– Support-Managers

The reward system provides managers with the authority and skills needed to use rewards to achieve their goals. However, it is necessary that managers have a strong frame work guiding principles and procedure within which they can partake in managing rewards of their staff.

Source  National Open University of Nigeria

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