Quality of Work Life• A multi-faceted concept• It means having a work-environment where an employee’s activities become more important by implementing procedures or policies that make the work less routine and more rewarding for the employee• There exists a relationship between Q.W.L and productivity
Quality of Work Life• The people involved get a sense of satisfaction in their work. Work then becomes not a burden but a means by which the abilities of a person can find expression• Mass-production technology has made worker’s job monotonous and it is of little meaning to him• Results of low Q.W.L are absenteeism, low performance, poor morale and occasional sabotage. Ultimately it is the organization that suffers.
Quality of Work Life-Origin of the concept• After Industrial Revolution, the importance of human factor reduced because of the vast mechanization. Various problems like job dissatisfaction, boredom, absenteeism, lack of commitment etc came up.• Most mgt theories gave emphasis on production, manipulating the skills of the employees• Tavi Stock Institute of Human Relations, London conducted some research on “workers’ problems in Industrial world” and they produced a study approach called Socio-technical system in which they gave great importance to “Job Design” to satisfy human needs adequately and the need for Q.W.L in an Organization was emphasized.
Meaning and definition of Q.W.L• Q.W.L is any conscious effort for improving working conditions, work content, and its safety, security, wages and benefits, etc.• Q.W.L can be said to be all the original inputs which aim at improving the employees’ satisfaction and enhancing organizational effectiveness• Q.W.L is a concern not only to improve life at work, but also life outside work• It is nothing but having a work environment where an employees activities become more important. This means implementing procedures or policies that make the work less routine and more rewarding for the employee. These procedures or policies include autonomy, recognition, belongingness, development and external rewards
Quality of Work Life• Simply speaking, through Q.W.L the people involved get a sense of satisfaction in their work. Work then becomes not a burden but a means by which the abilities of a person can find expression• Q.W.L is just humanizing the work• Q.W.L = The sum total of physical (working conditions), psychological and economic factors which affect the job.
Objectives of Q.W.L• To improve the standard of living of the employees• To increase the productivity• To create a positive attitude in the minds of the employees• To increase the effectiveness of the organization (Profitability, goal accomplishment etc.)
Factors affecting Quality of Work Life Some people consider Q.W.L as the existence of a certain set of original conditions and practices. They agree that high Q.W.L exists when• Democratic management practices are prevalent in the organization• When employees’ jobs are enriching• They are treated with dignity and safe working conditions are present Others equate Q.W.L with the impact of working conditions on the employees well-being
Countries that practiced Q.W.L initially• Sweden• Denmark• Holland• Switzerland• Australia• USA
Companies practicing Quality of Work Life• General Motors• Ford Motors with UAW• XEROX• IBM• BHEL, Hardwar• TISCO
Measuring of Q.W.LQuestionnaires and interviews are relevant here. In General Motors the management gives a questionnaire of 16 critical dimensions of Q.W.L to its employees each year. The responses are then used to measure the employees’ perception of their work life.
Implementation of Q.W.L• Management and Employees’ co-operation- A worker-Mgt committee on work improvement can function effectively to increase co-operation• Action plans developed must be followed to completion• Support ot middle-managers by top management and bottom-level employees to implement the programme• The objectives of Q.W.L should be a joint one, i.e., for workers it is to improve Q.W.L; for management it is to improve organizational efficiency
Barriers to Q.W.L• Resistance to change both by mgt and employees• There is a general perception that Q.W.L implementation will cost much to the organization• Continuous increase in Q.W.L may result in less productivity, i.e., after a certain level the productivity will not increase in proportion to the increase in Q.W.L
Barriers to Q.W.L in India (According to Dr. S.K. Chakraborty of IIM-C)• Widespread unhappiness due to comparison with colleagues• Skepticism about the performance appraisal system and promotion criteria• Division into camps and cliques hampering fruitful communication• Frequent fits of anger of top level officials• Regional prejudice• Glorification of speed and excitement as against serenity• Unreasonable personal expectation• Limitless addiction to lower-order material needs Source: The Hindu, November 29, 1990, p 18