Quality of work life
Quality of work life denotes all the organizational inputs which aim at the employee’s satisfaction and enhancing organizational effectiveness. QWL refers to the favorableness or unfavorableness of a total job environment of the people. The basic purpose is to develop jobs and working conditions that are excellent for people as well as for the economic health of the organization. QWL provides a more humanized work environment. It attempts to serve the higher order needs of workers as well as their more basic needs.
Q – Quest for excellence
U – Understanding
A – Action
L – Leadership
I – Involvement of the people
T – Team spirit
Y – Yardstick to measure progress
The above said are very essential things to improve the work life of employees in the organization.
Defining Quality of work life
What is quality?
“Quality is the ability of a product or service to consistently meet or exceed customer expectations.”
The concept of quality is not apply to all goods and services created by human beings, but also for workplace where the employees were employed.
What is work?
“Work can be defined as the application of discretion within limits in order to produce a result”
What is work life?
Work life doesn’t merely means the facility provided to the employees during office hours. It comprises of all the collective feelings, which reside in the mind of the employee ,while he works in the organization ,he is in the office or away from it.
What is quality of work life?
QWL is the degree to which members of a work organization are able to satisfy important personal needs through their experience in the organization.
-Richard and Loy
Principles of QWL
In order to humanise work and to improve the QWL, four basic principles! may be helpful:
1.The Principle of Security
Quality of work life cannot be improved until employees are relieved of the anxiety, fear and loss of future employment. The working conditions must be safe and fear of economic want should be eliminated. Job security and safety against occupational hazards is an essential precondition of humanisation of work.
2.The Principle of Equity
There should be a direct and positive relation between effort and reward. All types of discrimination between people doing similar work and with same level of performance must be eliminated. Equity also requires sharing the profits of the organisation.
3.The Principle of Individualism
Employees differ in terms of their attitudes, skill, potential, etc. Therefore, every individual should be provided the opportunity for development of his personality and potential. Humanisation of work requires that employees are allowed to decide their own pace of activity and design of work operations.
4.The Principle of Democracy
This means greater authority and responsibility to employees. Meaningful participation in the decision-making process improves
the quality of work life.
Factors influencing quality of work life
1.Fair compensation and job security
The economic interest of the people derive them to work at a job and employee satisfaction depends atleast partially on the compensation offered. Pay should be fixed on the basis of work done , responsibility undertaken ,individual skills ,performance and accomplishments. Job security is another factor which is in concern to the employees. Permanent employment provides security to the employees and improves their QWL.
2.Safe and healthy working conditions
Organizations should realize that their true wealth lies in their employees and so providing a healthy work environment for employees should be their primary objective. Most of the organizations provide safe and healthy working conditions due to humanitarian requirements and /or legal requirements. In fact these conditions are a matter of enlightens self interest.
3.Opportunity to Use and develop Human Capabilities
Contrary to the traditional assumptions ,quality of work life is improved the extent that the worker can exercise more control over his or her work ,and the degree to which the job embraces an entire meaningful task’ but not a part of it .Further, QWL provides for opportunities like autonomy in work and participation in planning in order to use human capabilities.
4. Opportunity for career growth
Opportunities for promotions are limited in case of all categories of employees either due to educational barriers or due to limited openings at the higher level .QWL provides future opportunity for continued growth and security by expanding one’s capabilities,knowledge and qualifications and prepare them to accept responsibilities at higher levels.
5. Participative management style and recognition
Flat organizational structures help organizations facilitate employee participation. A participative management style improves the quality of work life. Workers feel that they feel that they have control over their work process and they also offer innovative ideas to improve them. Recognition also helps to motivate employees to perform better. Recognition can be in the form of rewarding employees for jobs well done.
6. Constitutionalism in the work Organization
QWL provides constitutional protection to the employees only of desirability as it hampers workers .It happens because the management’s action is challenged in every action and bureaucratic procedures need to be followed at the level .Constitutional protection is provided to employees on such matters as privacy ,free speech ,equity and due process.
A Paradigm Showing the Constructs of QWL
7.Work life balance
Organizations should provide relaxation time for the employees and offer tips to balance their personal and professional lives. They should not strain employee’s personal and social life by forcing on them demanding working hours ,overtime work ,business travel ,transfers etc.
8.Social Relevance of Work
QWL is concerned about the establishment of social relevance to work in a socially beneficial manner. The worker’s self-esteem would be high if his work is useful to the society and the vice versa is also true.