Quality of Work Life

Measurement of Quality of Work Life
Several tools have been developed to measure and evaluate OWL:

1. Job Involvement
It represents the degree of an individual’s identification or ego involvement in the job, The more central the job is to the individual’s life,. the greater is his involvement in it. Therefore, the individual spends more time and energy on the job. People with high job involvement are better motivated and more productive. Research reveals that skills variety, achievement and challenge help to improve job involvement.

2. Job Satisfaction
It implies the worker’s satisfaction with the environment of his job environment consisting of nature of work, quality of supervision, pay, co-­workers, opportunities for promotion, etc. Job satisfaction is related to job involvement and people involved in their jobs are satisfied with their jobs and vice versa.

3. Sense of Competence
It refers to the feelings of confidence that an individual has in his own competence. Sense of competence and job involvement reinforce each other. An individual acquires a greater sense of competence as he engages himself more and more in work activities. When he feels more competent he becomes more involved in his job and becomes better motivated. When both sense of competence and job involvement are high, the level of job satisfaction also increases.

4. Job Performance
When an individual’s job involvement, job satisfaction and sense of competence increase, there is a rise in job performance.

5. Productivity
When the level of job performance increases, the output per unit of input goes up. Thus, match between job characteristics and productivity traits of employees generally results in higher productivity.

Major QWL issues:

1)Pay and Stability of employment
Good pay still dominates most of the other factors in employee satisfaction .Various alternative means for providing wages should be developed in view of increase in cost of living index , increase in levels and rates of income tax and profession tax .Stability to a greater extent can be provided by enhancing the facilities for human resource development.

2) Occupational Stress
It is a condition of strain on one’s emotions ,thought process and physical condition .Stress is determined by the nature of work ,working conditions ,working hours ,pause in the work schedule, worker’s abilities and nature match with the job requirements. The HR manager in order to minimize the stress has to identify , prevent and tackle the problem.

3)Organizational Health Programmes
Organizational health programmes aim at educating employees about health problems ,means of maintaining and improving health etc. These programmes cover drinking and smoking cessation ,hypertension control ,other forms of cardiovascular risk reduction ,family planning etc. Effective implementation of these programmes result in reduction in absenteeism , hospitalization ,disability ,excessive job turnover and premature death. This programme should also cover relaxation , physical exercise , diet control etc.

4) Alternative Work Schedules
Alternative work schedules including work at home , flexible working hours ,staggered hours, reduced work week, part-time employment which may be introduces for the convenience and comfort of the workers as the work which offers the individual the leisure time ,flexible hours of work is preferred.

5.Participative Management and control of work

Trade unions and wokers believe that worker,s participation in management improves work life.Workers also feel that they have control over their work,use their skills and make a real contribution to the job if they are allowed participate in creative and decision making process.

6) Recognition
Recognizing the employee as a human being rather than as a labour increases the QWL . Participative management ,awarding or rewarding system ,congratulating the employees for their achievement ,job enrichment ,offering prestigious designations to the jobs ,providing well furnished and decent work places ,offering membership in clubs or association,providing vehicles,offering vacation trips are some means to recognize the employees.

7) Grievance procedure

workers have a sense of fair treatment when the company gives them the opportunity to ventilate their grievances and represent their case succinctly rather than settling the problems arbitrarily.

8) Adequacy of Resources

Resources should match with stated objectives otherwise employees will not be able to attain the objectives. This results in employee dissatisfaction and lower QWL.

9) Seniority and Merit in promotions

Seniority is generally taken as the basis for promotion in case of operating employees.Merit is considered as the basis for advancement for managerial people whereas seniority is preferred for promotion of ministerial employees.The promotional policies and activities should be fair and just in order to ensure higher QWL.

10) Congenial worker Supervisor Relations

Harmonious supervisor worker relations gives the worker a sense of social association belongingness ,achieve of work results etc. this is turn leads to better QWL.

11) Employment on Permanent basis
Employment of workers on casual ,temporary probationary basis gives them a sense of insecurity. On the other hand, employment on permanent basis gives them security and leads to higher order QWL

Strategies/Approaches for improvement of QWL

The strategies for improvement in quality of work life include self managed work teams ,redesign and enrichment ,effective leadership and supervisory behaviour ,career development ,alternative work schedules , job security ,administrative organizational and participating management.

1)Self –managed Work Teams
These are also called autonomous work groups or integrated work teams.These work teams are formed with 10 to 20 employees who plan,co-ordinate and control the activities of the team with the help of a team leader who is one among them.Each team performs all activities including selecting their people.Each team has authority to make decisions and regulate the activities. The group as a whole is accountable for the success or failure. Salaries are fixed both on the basis of individual and group achievement.

2)Job Redesign and enrichment
Narrow jobs can be combined into larger units of accomplishment. Jobs are redesigned with a view to enriching them to satisfy higher order human needs.

3)Effective Leadership and Supervisory Behaviour
For effective leadership and supervisory behaviour ‘9-9’ style of managerial grid is suitable.

4)Career Development
Provision of career planning,communicating and counseling the employees about the career opportunities,career path,education and development and for second careers should be made.

5)Alternative Work Schedules
Provision for flexible working hours,part time employments, job-sharing and reduced work week should be made.

6)Job security
This top the employee’s list of priorities .It should be adequately taken care of.

7)Administrative or organizational Justice
The principles of justice ,fair and equity should be taken care of in disciplinary procedure,grievance procedures,promotions,transfers,demotion,work assignment,leave etc.

8)Participative management
Employees should be allowed to participate in management participative schemes which may be of several types. The most sophisticated among them is quality circle.

9)Implementing Suggestion Systems
The suggestion system helps in improving the system of the organization which in turn provides better facility system.

Implementation of these strategies ensures higher level of quality of work life.

Quality of Work Life

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