A study exploring motivational factors that influence the morale of General Assistants in the CWED through the application of the theories of Maslow, Herzberg and Marciano
Beukes, Charisse Jennifer
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The purpose of this study is to identify and explore factors that influence the morale of general assistants in the Cape Winelands Education District (CWED) through a qualitative study at five schools in Worcester. General assistants are perceived as low-skilled workers due to the content of the functions they fulfill at educational institutions. The Needs Theory of Maslow, the Two-factor Theory of Herzberg and the Respect Model of Marciano provide the theoretical context for the study. A qualitative approach was followed by conducting oneon- one structured interviews with principals and general assistants at the identified schools. The goal was to determine how attitudes and behaviour of some stakeholders at the educational institution had an impact on the morale of the general assistants. Some of the main findings that resulted from interviews revealed that general assistants have been employed at schools for long periods, ranging from one to more than twenty years. The majority of the participants indicated that they were content with their salary and leave allocation. The factors that influenced their morale positively were identified as the relationship and communication with the principal, friendliness and respect by colleagues and the opportunities to grow and develop. Factors that influenced their morale adversely, were negative and disrespectful behaviour displayed by learners, disrespect by colleagues, including educators and situations of conflict.