The term “Quality of Work Life” has appeared in research journal and press in USA only in 1970s.
According to Harrison__”QWL is the degree to which all members of the organization contribute to material and psychological well-being of its members”.
“QWL is a way of thinking about people, work and organizations, its distinctive elements are (i) a concern about the impact of work on people as well as on organizational effectiveness, and (ii) the idea of participation in organizational problem-solving and decision making. ” __Nadler and Lawler
“The overriding purpose of QWL is to change the climate at work so that the human-technological-organisational interface leads to a better quality of work life.”__Luthans
Thus, it is concerned with increasing labour management co-operative to solve the problems of improving organizational performance and employee satisfaction.
Objectives of Quality of Work Life
- Improve employee satisfaction.
- Improve physical and psychological health of employees which creates positive feeling.
- Enhance productivity of employees.
- Reinforce workplace learning.
- Improve management of the on-going change and transition.
- Build the image of the company as best in recruitment, retention and in general motivation of employees.
Areas of Quality Work Life
Richard E.Walton explains quality of work life in terms of eight broad conditions of employment that constitute desirable quality of work life (QWL). He proposed the same criteria for measuring QWL. Those conditions/criteria include :
- Adequate and fair compensation.
- Safe and healthy working condition.
- Opportunity to use and develop human capacities.
- Opportunity for career growth.
- Social integration in the work force.
- Constitutionalism in the work organization.
- Work and quality of life and
- Special relevance of work.
Work is an integral part of our everyday life, as it is our livelihood or career or business. On an average we spend around twelve hours daily in the work place, that is one third of our entire life; it does influence the overall quality of our life. It should yield job satisfaction, give peace of mind, a fulfillment of having done a task, as it is expected, without any flaw and having spent the time fruitfully, constructively and purposefully. Even if it is a small step towards our lifetime goal, at the end of the day it gives satisfaction and eagerness to look forward to the next day.
Techniques for Improving Quality of Work Life
Some of the techniques used to improve QWL of an average worker in India are given below:
1. Job Redesign: Narrow jobs need to be combined into large units of accomplishment. Jobs should be redesigned to enrich them. Job enrichment helps to satisfy higher order needs by providing interesting,stimulating and challenging work.
2. Career Development: Opportunity for career advancement and growth personality improve commitment. Career planning, counseling second careers, etc., helps to meet expectations of achievement-oriented employees.
3. Autonomous Work Groups: In autonomous work groups, employees are given the freedom of decision-making. In a such a group the workers themselves plan, coordinate and control their activities. The group as a whole is accountable for success or failure. It is also called a self-managed work team.
4. Flexible Work Schedules: Flexible working hours, staggered hours, reduced workweek, job sharing, part-time employment and other types of alternatives work schedules provide freedom to employee in scheduling their work.
5. Participate Management: Employees want to participate in deciding matters which affect their lives. Therefore, quality circles, management by objectives, suggestion system and other forms of employees participation in management help to improve QWL.
6. Job Security: Adequate security of job is a high priority for employees and should be provided.
7. Administrative Justice: The principles of justice,fair and quality should be applied in disciplinary procedure, grievance procedures, promotions, transfers, work assignment, leaves, etc.