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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 employee's well-being
Countries that practiced Q.W.L initially
Companies practicing Quality of Work Life
Ford Motors with UAW
Measuring of Q.W.L
Questionnaires 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
Glorification of speed and excitement as against serenity