Monday, July 23, 2007

Human Resource Management-HR-Quality of Work Life

Quality of Work Life


The success of any organization is highly dependant on how it attracts, recruits, motivates, and retains its workforce. Today’s organizations need to be more flexible so that they are equipped to develop their workforce and enjoy their commitment. Therefore, organizations are required to adopt a strategy to improve the employees’ ‘Quality of Work Life’ (QWL) to satisfy both the organizational objectives and employee needs. The strategies could be to reflect the differences, the gaps, between the hopes and expectations of a person and their present experience; it could be measuring the extent to which people's 'happiness requirements' are met or the degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his/her life. In general, Quality of life is about feeling good and being satisfied with things in the work life.

What is Quality of Work Life?

The defining of quality of work life involves three major parts

Occupational health care

The safe work environment provides the basis for the person to enjoy working. The work should not pose a health hazard for the person. The employer and employee, aware of their risks and rights, could achieve a lot in their mutually beneficial dialogue.

Suitable working time

The working time has to be established by the state according to legislation. The standard limits on overtime, time of vacation and taking of free days before national holidays have to be separately stipulated. The differences regarding the working time have to be established for the persons less than 18 years of age, pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and the person raising the disabled child.

Appropriate salary

The appropriate salary has to be agreed upon by the employee and the employer. The Government should establish each year the rate of minimum salary & the employer should not pay less than that to the employee.
Work Life Balance
Work-life balance is different for everyone. For some it may mean more work, for others less. It may be that organizations want productive workers, responsible workers but the ultimate aim must be at providing a high quality of work life to its employees. It means a work that liberates, rather than limits, the individual. Contemporary society offers plentiful opportunities for freedom of expression, choice of lifestyle, and individual consumption patterns. But on the work front, progress towards freedom has been patchy. The quality of work in human development needs to be urgently re-evaluated. For most people, work is not just a way to pay the bills but an opportunity to associate with others in a joint endeavor, to define ourselves and develop new skills. Having won freedom in most areas of life, the fight for occupational freedom is the last liberal battle.

In order to have a high quality of work-life a work life balance should be maintained. Work-life balance is a person’s control over the conditions in their workplace. It is accomplished when an individual feels dually satisfied about their personal life and their paid occupation. It mutually benefits the individual, business and society when a person’s personal life is balanced with his or her own job. The quality of work-life is affected by stress at workplace. The major causes for stress at the workplace are:
Ø Foremost, the type of tasks an employee is engaging in can create job stress. For example, hectic and routine tasks have little inherent meaning and offer little sense of control for the employee. Heavy workloads, long work hours and infrequent rest breaks also create stress.
Ø Secondly, a lack of support or help from supervisors and coworkers creates a poor social environment and consequently, greater job stress. Physical isolation also reduces an employee’s ability to interact with others, thus diminishing a person’s ability to receive help.

Ø In addition, if an employee has little input in decision making processes and the job environment lacks communication between the employer and the employee, an individual is more likely to experience job stress.

Ø A person’s individual role in a business can also create stress if their job expectations are unclear or they have too much responsibility. It might be difficult to satisfy the customer’s needs and the company’s expectations simultaneously.

Ø Additionally, if an employee feels there is a lack of opportunity for growth or promotion, job stress might result from their inability to advance in the workforce.

The physical conditions of an individual’s job can also create job stress. For example, crowded, noisy or polluted locations are unpleasant and dangerous conditions that would most likely lead to job stress.

More on this in the next posts.....

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