FLEXIBLE BUSINESS HOURS: A UNIQUE STYLE OF ENSURING BUSINESS ACCESSIBILITY
1.1 Background to the study
Employees needs a comfortable environment for high performance. Flexible business hours are tailored according to the type, line and structure of the organization. The flexibility of work enable employees be satisfied and hence low job turnover. Flexible business hours are actually emerging issues in human resource management field. The world is becoming a global village, hence as an employee in any organization the balance between personal life and work responsibilities should not be ignored, if the employee performance is to be achieved. Employee performance is defined as work related task that is expected on employees and how well the task was done. The performance can be measured monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually to be able to provide improvement of identified segment in the business (Dessler, 2008). Armstrong (2009) added that it is an element of both motivation and abilities of employee. The author addresses that it can be improved through careful placing and training programs with right incentive both monetary and non-monetary to improve the overall performance of the organization.
Flexible working relates, to an organizations working arrangement in terms of working time, working location and pattern of working (chartered institute of personnel and development). Flexible business hours like flexible part time, shift work, compressed work hours and job sharing are often used to help employees in balancing their family and work life (Lim & Teno, 2000) during ‘core hours’ which is usually fixed or a period between the latest permissible starting time and earliest permissible finishing time.
Shift work is a set of periods of working, often designed to provide 24-hour cover as a three-shift systems or sometimes operating as a two-shift system or a ‘twilight shift’ which lasts from say, 5 pm to 9 pm. Part-time work is where an employee’s contracted hours are less than the standard full-time hours which can involve working only number of hours over any number of days. A temporary contract is employing extra staff on short-term contracts of varying length (weekly, monthly, and 6monthly) (Cole, 2002). Flexible business time is whereby a full time employee schedules his/her time so that at the end of the day he/she should have covered the number of our required of him to cover.
The performance of employee in flexible working environment can be broken into; Productivity, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and employee turnover. Productivity is critical for the long term competiveness and profitability of the organization (Chow & Howe, 2006). Customer satisfaction is where the facility (hospital) services surpass the client expectation. The concept of job satisfaction is defined by Spector (1997) as an attitudinal variable, that represents the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs. Turnover is where an employee willingly or forced by circumstances to exit a job in an organization. These concepts were elements were used for development of employee performance.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is widely observed that health provision in public hospitals in Nigeria is not of the desired quality. Many have raised this concern, for example, Ministers of health during the fifty-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa (WHO 2002) observed that productivity and service delivery in most public hospitals in Africa is very poor. Despite availability of flexible work arrangements in the public hospitals employee performance in terms of customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and employee turnover remains wanting.
The problem is even more in public hospital especially referral centers or level five hospital in Nigeria. Productivity and job satisfaction has led to continuous strikes of nurse, doctors and health practitioners. The health care sector has faced numerous challenges. It has been noted in media reports. Jane, Simon & Amos (2015) noted the need of flexible business hours specially to serve the expectant mothers and critical patients at any time. Most of the referral or level five hospital need employees to be there at 24 hours and on the 7 days of the week hence affecting employee performance argued by Okemwa, (2016).
Furthermore, the extent to which flexible work arrangements relates to employee productivity, innovation, employee satisfaction a turnover of health personnel and thus performance remain unclear in public hospitals (Wang & Walumbwa, 2007). The study investigated flexible business hours on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to examine flexible working arrangement on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Specific Objectives include;
i. To investigate the effect of shift working arrangements on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
ii. To assess the influences of part time working on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
iii. To establish the effects of temporary contracts on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
iv. To determine the influences of Flexible business hours on employee performance in Kaduna State Hospital.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The study was guided by the following hypotheses:
H01: There is no significant effect of shift working arrangements on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
H02: There is no significant influence of part-time working on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
H03: There is no significant effect of temporary contracts on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
H04: There is no significant influence of flexi-time on employee performance in A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research was of much importance to the following:
ABUTH will find this research as a tool to facilitate flexible working organizational performance by using the recommendations from researcher’s work. Also it will help to gain better understanding of flexible working so as to improve on the practice and achieve organizational goals. The study equips and improves the researcher on acquiring knowledge and skills on how to come up with flexible working on employee performance working techniques. The researcher uses this research as a reference on the same subject for further research.
This study will be of much importance to the departments who direct link to the hospital in such a way that management relationship will be much efficient and will come to emulates. In future any lecturer my request his students to carry out the same research if possible in the same hospital. Using this researcher compared the two if there is any correlation.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study was conducted at A.B.U Zaria Teaching hospital-Kaduna State in 2017. Kaduna State is one of the biggest referral in North rift and with high number of employees. The study covered work shifts, part time, temporary contracts, flexi time, productivity, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and employee turnover. The target population was from the top management, doctors, clinical officers, nurses and subordinates which were randomly selected. The study adopted descriptive research design. The data was collected by administering closed and open ended questionnaire based on five Likert scales with a specified time limit to be filled. The study was done within September to August 2017, where data were collected through the entire ABUTH. This allow humble time for data collection, analysis and discussion.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The study limited itself to only one hospital. For more conclusive report, all hospitals in the country should be studied. The study handled the views of all stakeholders in health sector because this would need considerable time and resources. The study was committed to the top management cadre, clinical offices nurse and subordinate employees in the hospital because of their accessibility. The limitation of information was tackled through good sampling technique, ensuring reliability and viability of the data collected.
Furthermore, employees who was on annual, paternity leave and maternal leave are in accessible for the study as they were not in their place of work and was not therefore used for the research study. Some of the respondents who may be having vital source of information were not willing to disclose which could make this study successful. More data could have been collected through interviewing employees, but the management of the organization was not willing to let their employees to be interviewed. The researcher ensured that the questionnaire would accomplish all the objective of the research through validation and reliability tests. Randomization in sampling ensured a well representation of the ideology of different respondent.
1.8 Organization of the study
Chapter one provide the study with the background information, problems, aims, significance and scope of the study. Chapter two provides literature from scholars that are crucial to the study. The literature comprises of theoretical review which are concepts and postulate that has been create to explain flexible work arrangement and employee performance. It also has empirical review of other literature related with the study area. It also assess the gaps in the theories and empirical review of other studies. This then develop the conceptual framework based. Chapter three contains research design, population of the study, sample size, data collection data analysis. The methodology provides the framework of how the research is going to be conducted. Chapter four is the result summaries and interpretation. Lastly chapter five gave the conclusion and recommendation for the study as well as the recommendation for further studies.