Quality of work-life (QWL) is described as an individual’s experience related to their job. It may include broad categories and different dimensions like job satisfaction, satisfaction with the wages, hours, working condition and environment, work-life balance (balance between work and family). Today in this age of fierce competitive environment organizations should focus on the well-being of their employees.
QWL is emphasized so that employees could be motivated to work efficiently towards their given goals. Stress at work could be reduced, so the employees feel satisfied with their jobs and maintain balance between their work and life.
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From the past 30 years the concept of QWL has been used. Many problems has been faced regarding the definition and conceptualization of QWL. Different models like transfer model (spillover effect), compensation model and segmentation model etc was used to give definition of QWL (Martel, Dupuis, 2006).
Research shows that the definition of QWL is also related to the definition of QOL (quality of life). But a new measuring instrument QWLSI (quality of worklife systematic inventory) was presented that allow the participants to assess QWL and their actions effectiveness regarding their organizational performance. For measuring QWL another measure was developed that depend on the satisfaction need and spillover theories. This measure was developed to check that whether work environment meet specific needs of the employee (Sirgy, Efraty, Siegel, Jinlee, 2001).
That needs include social, economic and family, safety, knowledge, aesthetics and actualization needs. A hypothesis was also drawn from the spillover theories. Both the hypothesis and the new measure was supported well. Through continuous research different methods was proposed to measure QWL by weighting satisfaction scores and using algorithms. Weighting satisfaction scores is commonly used scoring method in the measurement of quality of life. In a study SWLS (satisfaction with life scale) was taken as a global measure. The results show that SWLS did not give better performance (Wu, Yao, 2006).
Locke’s theory was also included in study. The study shows that to weight satisfaction scores is not necessary and does not help improve global measure. It shows same result in the satisfaction with the job and its quality. However, in an old research a conceptual model was given that shows the relation between the pQL (perceived quality of life) and the organizational work. The model shows that the work at job could be influenced by the changing work, non-work life, its quality and work domain experiences (Rice, Farlin, Hunt, Near, 1985). It also shows social and psychological perspective of pQL and organizational work.
There were many different arguments that worker performance and organizational support are not related to the employee benefits. However, a model was developed that showed work-life benefits is directly related to workers performance, organizational behavior and indirectly to the organizational support (Lambert, 2000). The results show a positive relationship. But beside work-life benefits a firm productivity is also important that depend on the type of the workers hired by the firm. Firm who focus on hiring higher percentage of women and skilled workers show strong relationship with the work-life programs and productivity and vice versa.
Professionals have high responsibility so they demand high as well. The programs have positive effect on productivity. Large firms are not willing to hire employees with high non-work responsibilities because it reduces their performance on job. Future research should study work-life mechanisms to understand well (Konrad, Mangel, 2000). One year after that a test was conducted which found that whether the intrinsic traits (autonomy, skills, challenges etc) or extrinsic traits (salaries, tangible benefits) affect satisfaction with the QWL.
The results shows that in order to improve QWL organizations should pay more attention towards extrinsic factors as compared to the intrinsic factors (Lewis, Brazil, Krueger, Lohfeld, Tian, 2000). However few years later, a hypothesized model was given which shows that income which is an extrinsic trait is not directly related to the QWL under different variables like gender, status, job satisfaction and love of money. Income have either negative impact or no impact on the quality under the given variables, income and QWL also depend on these variables (Tang, 2007).
The variables are also directly related to each other.
Working conditions is an important part of the job so that the employees feel satisfied with their work. The management of the organization must take actions that helps in improving the QWL and maintains the balance between the work and life. Management must be supportive and the quality of the supervision must be improved so that employees can easily consult their supervisors in case of any issues at work and the supervisors understand their priorities well.
Work load must be decreased in order to increase efficiency and satisfaction with work. Extrinsic factors include tangible benefits which play an important role in increasing the motivational level must also be focused. Nowadays, the management of the organizations facing the work-life issues which cannot be easily ignored because they effect the performance level so friendly policies and practices must be adopted and certain family and employee assistance programs must be initiated.
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- Yao, C. H. (2006). Do we need to weight satisfaction scores with important ratings in measuring QWL. Social Idicators Research , 78, 305-326.
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