Workload and Employee Performance Relationship


Background Information to the Problem Being Investigated

Understanding why people do the things they do in the jobs is not an easy task for the managers. Predicting their response to the management latest productivity programs is harder yet. Fortunately, most organizations are starting to slowly understand the impact of workload and to give thoughtful managers a practical and effective technique for increasing people’s efforts and performance. It has been proven beyond doubt that great management always creates miracles in their organizations’ performance by motivating its people. (Hopkins, 2007).

Relevant Evidence or Information Related to the Problem

In the workload and performance literature, much has been written about employee behavior and workload characteristics and how these relate to performance. For instance, an individual may be assigned too many roles resulting into too much work beyond the individual’s capacity even if there is no time frame for the accomplishment of such roles. Conflicting loyalties may also cause stress to an employee at work place. This where an employee may have too many bosses and all of them calling for his attention and giving instructions which they expect the individual to implement, some of the instructions from the bosses may conflict. Litzenberg and Schneider (2006) found positive relationships between workload and such performance attributes as positive customer focus, team member focus, quality focus and profit focus. Siebert et al.

(2005) found that, from the Safaricom and EABL management viewpoint, once employees were motivated, a high performance rating was evidenced by a high rating on customer satisfaction, team member satisfaction, quality and the Gross Operating profits. A linear graph comparing the workload and performance rating of two companies identified in the literature review was as follows:

Justification of the Study

A review of literature suggests that staff workload as a topic has generated a lot of interest from scholars since the formulation of workload theory by Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s classification of human needs is helped in analyzing and understanding human behavior. The theory point out a person’s behavior is regulated by multiple motives. It helps to explain why people behave differently in the same situation. Maslow’s theory extends to all areas of human life and is not limited to work situation only. It’s a more complete theory of motivation because it recognizes that an individual works to fulfill a variety of needs. It helps to explain motivation of teachers, ministers and other groups. This theory has gained wide acceptance because it’s based on reasonable assumptions and several research studies support the hypothesis that human needs have hierarchy order. Elcos (2006) carried out a research on level of workload at service industries. Nonetheless, a deeper scrutiny at literature review indicates the existence of a research gap as no study relating to staff workload at this company. It is with this notion in mind that the researcher aims to fill this research gap by studying the relationship between staff workload and level of performance at the company.

Statement of the Problem

Customer focus strategy is aimed at achieving high class superior customer service through high performance committed employees. Many managers tend to be confused by the amount of work given to the employees they believe that giving employees high salaries without adjusting their work load will make them better performers. This in the long run creates frustration and cause stress to employees, managers and the employers. These frustrations are caused by low morale of employees to work hence not meeting the set targets. This leads to high labor turnover. The firm public image becomes poor because of complains of dissatisfied employees. Due to changes and globalization and advancement in industrialization jobs should be redesigned and evaluated to fit individual’s specifications. The basic objective of human resource is therefore to build a committed and motivated high performance workforce in order to achieve its objectives. However, the majority of employees feel that there is lack on the part of the management in recognizing their efforts as there is no proper reward system, no promotion criteria and other recognition systems put in place to motivate the staff. Consequently, team member satisfaction ratings have gradually dropped, customer satisfaction ratings have also dropped, employees have been noted to take sick offs than is the norm.


Establish whether there is a difference in the level of performance between employees who are under heavy workload and those under light workload.


  • To measure employees workload
  • Measure employees performance
  • Establish the relationship between workload and employees performance

Literature review

This chapter explores the relevant literature on work overload, job satisfaction and performance as advanced by different sciences because research has been carried out on jobs to find out people’s behavior at work place, outside work place provided with different working conditions and what should be done to increase there performance. Therefore the availability of these theories enlightens us that on why variation occurs in performance. Yeates (1986) viewed job satisfaction as the “state of feeling pleased when something is satisfied” According to Mullins (1999: 646), job satisfaction is an inner feeling accompanied with working conditions and the way individuals interpolate it.

Job Analysis

Job analysis consist of a group of task performed by an employee, the employee must posses certain skills and the abilities to perform the tasks. Therefore a job analysis is a systematic process of determining the activities, skill and abilities required to perform a given job. It attempts to study jobs within an organization with aim of analyzing the tasks that the employee performs, the tools and the equipment used, the working condition under which the task are performed and the minimum qualification required to perform the job adequately under minimum supervision.

Job Description

A job description provides the information about the duties and the responsibilities of a particular job. Information on job description should consist of accurate and concise statements which show the activities the job hold will do, how the job holder will perform, the conditions under which the activities will be performed, standards expected and time required in performing the activities.

Job Design

Job design is the specification of the contents, methods and relationships of jobs in order to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder. It aims to satisfy needs of the individual interest, challenge and accomplishments thus providing for commitments to carrying out the jobs. Its main approaches include job rotation which comprises the movement of employees from ones task to another to reduce monotony by increasing variety. It involves job enlargement which means combining previous fragmented tasks into one job again to increase the variety and meaning of repetitive work. It also involves job enrichments which go beyond job enlargement to earn great autonomy and responsibility to a job.

From the above definition the researcher, define job satisfaction as that feeling that is derived from reforming a particular piece of work, such that a job can be satisfied when done well and goal achieved through provision of clear guideline and dissatisfying if a goal is unaccomplished due to poor guidelines working conditions and lack of knowledge.

Research Methodology

Research design

The research “design for this study will be a descriptive survey. The design will be used because it determines and reports things the ways they are at a given time (Gay, 1981). According to Nachmias & Nachmias (2005) the approach is appropriate to this study because the study involves fact finding on the workload and performance of staff at the company. It will be used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data from the research questions.

Target population and sample size

The study will target a population of all the employees working for the company as at the year 2008. The number in the master roll of the company as at the close of the year was 3012. Consequently, such a population may be considered as an infinite population owing to the large number and for the purposes of determining the sample. C.R Kothari (2005) recommends the proportion or percentage formula as appropriate for calculating the sample size of an infinite population.

Z2PQ Therefore: n= ———


  • Z2=standard variant at a given confidence (to be worked out from the normal Distribution table)
  • P = sample proportion,
  • Q= 1-P
  • n = sample size
  • E = acceptable error

Thus, given a 95% level of confidence, an error estimate of 3 % within the true value and proportion of the population of 1.5%, then the appropriate sample size (number of respondents) is:




= 63.05 or approximately 64

Sampling techniques

Systematic sampling techniques will be used to select the 64 respondent’s i.e. every 50th employee in the master roll will be selected and this will lead to a sample size of 3000/50 = 60. The remaining 4 employees will be selected from the 12 employees remaining in the master roll as follows: Every 3rd employee after the 3000th employee will be included in the sample. The reason behind the use of this sampling technique is because it is less costly and time consuming (Kothari, 2005).

Data analysis and presentation

Data will be cleaned, edited and coded by creating categories using numeric values. It will then be entered into a spreadsheet and analyzed. Descriptive statistics will involve means of the variables, the range, the minimum and maximum values, mode, median and standard deviation. The data will then be presented using pie charts, histograms, bar graphs and percentages.

Summary of Findings Concussions and Recommendations

The results of the study obtained from previous chapters will be reviewed. The information collected will be analyzed so that possible solution and recommendation inform of a report are arrived at. Conclusions of the report will be based on the findings of the study.


James E. Driskell, Eduardo Salas, 1996, Stress and Human Performance.

University Microfilms, University Microfilms International, Proquest Information and Learning Company, 1993, Dissertation Abstracts International.

Kenneth Forbis Jordan, 1985, School Business Administration.

International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre, 1994, Safety and Health at Work, ILO-CIS Bulletin.

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