Introduction: Human resources are the most strategic resource and the most significant input for health systems. Their behavior and motivation can strongly affect the overall performance of the health systems. The aim of this study was to determine the factors that affect motivation in frontline employees at teaching hospitals affiliated with Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBMU) in Tehran, Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015. The participants (nurses, physiotherapists, radiology and laboratory technicians, operating room and pharmacy staff) were 300 employees selected by the stratified random sampling method from two general and teaching hospitals. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire that consisted of 42 questions in the 7 domains of motivational factors. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and independent samples t-test by SPSS software, version 23. 

Results: The findings indicated that working relationships (mean of 3.95) were the main determinant of job motivation of frontline employees. Job content (3.76) career development (3.75), social respect (3.75), and autonomy (3.30) were the next four affective factors. Recognition and remuneration had the least influence on the job motivation of frontline employees. The results of the Friedman test indicated that the difference between the mean scores of different dimensions was significant (χ2(6) = 607.00, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: A hospital that seeks to engender increased motivation of its frontline employees should have in place a human resources strategy that includes facilitating communication between personnel and management, supporting employees in the community, and promoting social respect for health professions, providing educational opportunities and career development, development of appropriate promotional policies, employee participation in goal setting, facilitating a good working environment and job security, job enrichment, and delegation.


Keywords: job motivation, work motivation, frontline employee, teaching hospital
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