Quality of Work Life


By

P. Jerlin Rupa
Asst. Professor
Arul Ananadar College
Karumathur, Madurai Dt.
 


Introduction

The term refers to the favourableness or unfavourableness of a total job environment for people. QWL programs are another way in which organisations recognise their responsibility to develop jobs and working conditions that are excellent for people as well as for economic health of the organisation. The elements in a typical QWL program include – open communications, equitable reward systems, a concern for employee job security and satisfying careers and participation in decision making. Many early QWL efforts focus on job enrichment. In addition to improving the work system, QWL programs usually emphasise development of employee skills, the reduction of occupational stress and the development of more co-operative labour-management relations.

Human resource departments are involved with efforts to improve productivity through changes in employee relations. QWL means having good supervision, good working conditions, good pay and benefits and an interesting, challenging and rewarding job. High QWL is sought through an employee relations philosophy that encourages the use of QWL efforts, which are systematic attempts by an organisation to give workers greater opportunities to affect their jobs and their contributions to the organisation's overall effectiveness. That is, a proactive human resource department finds ways to empower employees so that they draw on their "brains and wits," usually by getting the employees more involved in the decision-making process.

CRITERIA OF MEASURING QWL

(i) Adequate and Fair Compensation

There are different opinions about the adequate compensation. The committee on Fair Wages defined fair wage as ". . the wage which is

above the minimum wage but below the living age."

(ii) Safe and Healthy Working Conditions

Most of the organisations provide safe and healthy working conditions due to humanitarian requirements and/or legal requirements. In fact, these conditions are a matter of enlightened self-interest.

(iii) Opportunity to Use and Develop Human Capabilities

Contrary to the traditional assumptions, QWL 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.

(iv) 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.

(v) Social Integration in the Work Force

Social integration in the work force can be established by creating freedom from prejudice, supporting primary work grq a sense of community and inter-personnel openness, legalitariani and upward mobility.

(vi) Constitutionalism In the Work Organisation

QWL provides constitutional protection to the employees only to the level 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 that level. Constitutional protection is provided to employees on such matters as privacy, free speech, equity and due process.

(vii) Work and Quality of Life

QWL provides for the balanced relationship among work, non- work and family aspects of life. In other words, family life and social life should not be strained by working hours including overtime work, work during inconvenient hours, business travel, transfers, vacations, etc.

(viii) Social Relevance of Work

QWL is concerned about the establishment of social relevance to work in a socially beneficial manner. The workers' selfesteem would be high if his work is useful to the society and the vice versa is also true.

SPECIFIC ISSUES IN QWL


(I) Pay and Stability of Employment

Good pay still dominates most of the other factors in employee satisfaction. Various alterrtative 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.

(ii) Occupational Stress

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 and match with the job requirements. Stress is caused due to irritability, hyper—excitation or depression, unstable behaviour, fatigue, stuttering, trembling psychomatic pains, h smoking and drug abuse. Stress adversely affects employ productivity. The P/HR manager, in order to minimise the stress, has identify, prevent and tackle the problem. He may arrange the treatment of the problem with the health unit of the company.

(iii) Organisational Health Programmes

Organisational health programmes aim at educating employees abdut health problems, means of maintaining and improving of 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, hospitalisation, disability, excessive job turnover and premature death. This programme should also cover relaxation, physical exercise, diet control, etc.

(iv) Alternative Work Schedules

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

(v) Participative Management and Control of Work

Trade unions and workers believe that workers' participation in management and 1e improves WL. Workers also feel that they have control êr their work, use their skills and make a real contribution to the job if they are allowed participate in creative and decision-making process.

(vi) Recognition

Recognising the employee as a hum being rather than as a labourer increases the QWL Participative management, awarding the rewarding systems, 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 recognise the employees.

(vii) Congenial Worker-Supervisor Relations

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

(viii) 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.

(ix) Adequacy of Resources

Resources should match with st4ted objectives, otherwise, employees will not be able to attain the Objectives. This results in employee dissatisfaction and lower QWL

(x) Seniority and Merit in Promotions

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

(xi) Employment on Permanent Basis

Employment of workers on casual, te probationary basis gives them a sense of insecurity. On the dther hand, employment on permanent basis gives them security and leads to higher order QWL.
 

--> Article continued on next page, click here  -->

Source: E-mail December 18, 2010

          

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399 / Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599
Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799 / Articles No. 800-899 / Articles No. 900-1000 / Articles No. 1001-1100
Articles No. 1101-1200 / Articles No. 1201 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page