Human resource management practices and job satisfaction of health workers in mission hospitals under Gulu Catholic Archdiocese
Owor, Francis Charles
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The researcher set out to conduct a study on human resource management practices and job satisfaction of health workers in mission hospital under Gulu Catholic Archdiocese in Northern Uganda. The study was prompted by the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau Report (2003) that there is inadequate human resource capacity particularly management capacity in the Catholic Health Services even where staffing may sufficient. This coupled with other human resource problems implicate job satisfaction of health workers. The purpose of the study was to investigate how human resource management practices affect job satisfaction of health workers in mission hospitals under Gulu Catholic Archdiocese. This was in light of the inadequate management capacity and continuous movement of health workers into the civil service suggesting a state of job dissatisfaction. Specifically, the objectives of the study were as follows: • To determine the effect of reward management practices on job satisfaction. • To investigate the effect of employee relations practices on job satisfaction. • To establish the effect of employee development practices on job satisfaction. From the above objectives, research questions and hypotheses were formulated. Data were obtained from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources of data for this study were the medical superintendents, senior nursing officers, hospital administrators/personnel officers and some senior staff. Secondary sources of data were also accessed from Ministry of Health (MOH) publications, Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB) bulletins, conference publications, hospital annual reports, charters and employment manuals. The target population was 180 comprising of doctors, clinical officers, nurses and midwives. The sample size was 125. Data was collected during March and April 2006. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaire, interview guide and some relevant document. Data obtained were subjected to presentation, interpretation and analysis. The report was compiled using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The techniques used to analyze data were descriptive statistics, ANOVA and independent samples test. Pearson product moment correlation was used to verify the hypotheses. The study findings revealed that there is relationship in mean job satisfaction for the health workers in the three hospitals. ANOVA tests for mean job satisfaction by various background variables showed that the variability in job satisfaction was not significantly different for the three hospitals. Correlation analyses with the hypotheses gave significance level greater than Alpha 0.05. The interpretation is that the null hypotheses were accepted while the research hypotheses were rejected as per the probability value approach. However, qualitative findings reveal contrary views indicating that health workers are not comfortable with most of the practices in place. This phenomenon is partly responsible for the inadequate management capacity and high attrition rates in these hospitals. The study concludes that reward management practices, employee relations practices and employee development practices do not affect job satisfaction of health workers in mission hospitals under Gulu Catholic Archdiocese as per quantitative findings. However, from qualitative findings, there are some problems in areas of reward management, employee relations, and employee development which need to be addressed. Therefore, the following recommendations have been made by the researcher in order to improve the practices. (i) The reward management practices be improved in terms of structure, strategy and system while exercising both distributive justice and procedural justice. (ii) Employee relations practices should address issues on relationship, teamwork, organizational communication as well as formal terms and conditions of employment. (iii) Employee development practices are streamlined in accordance with the human resource demands and challenges to organizational development in the contemporary world. Therefore, it should consider designing staff development programme based on assessment centres, needs assessment criteria, transfer of expertise and so on.