Quality of Work Life (QWL)

What is the quality of work life?

Quality of work life in short QWL is a popular term today. It helps measure whether an organization’s job environment is favorable for its employees’ work-life balance.

Quality of work life is both a goal and an ongoing process for achieving your goals. QWL is the commitment of any organization to improve the work environment: creating more involving, satisfying, and effective jobs and work environments for people at all levels of the organization. As a process, QWL calls for efforts to realize this goal through the active involvement of people throughout the organization. Carlson (1983)

QWL covers a person’s feelings about every dimension of life, including personal or professional. Primarily economic rewards and benefits, security, working conditions, organizational and interpersonal relationships, and their intrinsic personal value in one’s life.

What are the importance and key objectives of quality of work life?

Talking about importance, over the years, QWL has become a critical issue due to increasing business demands and family structure. Many organizations have now considered the socio-psychological needs of the employees. The aim remains improving the organizational climate by humanizing work, individualizing organizations, and changing the structural and managerial systems. The importance and key objectives of QWL include:

  1. Enhancing productivity: Cultivate a work culture that promotes higher productivity and job satisfaction.
  2. Improving job Satisfaction and personal goals: Create a conducive work environment meeting socio-psychological needs to boost overall job satisfaction and motivation.
  3. Reducing absenteeism and turnover: Favorable QWL leads to psychologically and physically healthier employees, decreasing absenteeism and turnover.
  4. Improving management-employee relationship: QWL involves joint decision-making, collaboration, and mutual respect, enhancing relationships between management and employees.
  5. Boosting brand image and reputation: A positive QWL improves corporate image, potentially increasing customer loyalty and sales

How to improve quality of work life (QWL).

Now that we understand the importance and key objectives to attain QWL. Lets’ focus on how HR’s can help employees lead a healthy work-life balance;

  • Encourage employees to engage in self-reflection to assess their current work-life balance, supporting them in achieving a quality life.
  • Facilitate discussions and workshops to help employees identify their priorities and make informed decisions about where to allocate their time and energy.
  • Provide training and resources on time management techniques and boundary-setting to help employees optimize their schedules and maintain a healthy balance.
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement by encouraging regular reflection and adjustment of work-life balance strategies.
  • Advocate for flexible work arrangements and stable scheduling practices, recognizing the positive impact on employee well-being and organizational productivity.

What are the factors affecting quality of work life?

According to Harrison (1985), QWL is the degree to which the working organization contributes to its members’ material and psychological well-being.

Considering Quality of Work Life in HRM, it aims to change the organizational climate by humanizing work, individualizing organizations and changing the structural and executive systems. So, at the organizational level, many factors can contribute to work-life imbalance. The most critical ones are;

  • Employee’s negative attitude towards the organization and relationships at work.
  • Inequitable pay and job instability.
  • No personal development scope for advancement within the organization.
  • Less job Satisfaction or contentment along with ineffective communication channels.
  • No address for stress or psychological well-being issues.
  • Not acknowledging and rewarding employees for their contributions.
  • No workplace fun. Not incorporating elements of enjoyment and engagement.
  • Zero flexibility and adaptability in work hours.

What are the best practices for implementing effective QWL programs?

Good work balance also means practices that organizations promote for the workforce’s well-being. Thus, it has become essential to reconceptualize QWL to address contemporary workplace challenges to ensure right initiatives, results and business outcomes.

To achieve these best practices can help.

  • Understand employees’ needs and expectations: Conducting satisfaction surveys, holding 1:1, listening to feedback, and encouraging open communication can help apprehend what matters most to employees.
  • Regular productivity check: Use employee engagement tools, surveys, wellness apps or counselors to gather information about absenteeism, presenteeism, well-being, and productivity at work.
  • Don’t undervalue projects that don’t cost a lot: Even the projects that don’t cost much (or even nothing) can maximize QWL.
  • Encourage every employee: Give every employee a chance to showcase their talent and allow them to shine in different projects.
  • Think about the long-term goals: QWL action plans should be considered in the long term to ensure that employees thrive and are engaged in the long run.
Note: Last but not least it is all about creating a safe space for the employees to work. “Safe” in terms of social, financial, psychological and emotional. And create an environment which is positively driven and collaborative.

Well, entering the third decade of the 21st century, a rekindled interest in the topic has emerged among researchers and decision-makers due to the advent of digitization, the growth of more employment opportunities, and the increasing impact of poor-quality work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. How to measure quality of work life?

There are several measures to determine work-life quality for employees. However, Warr and colleagues (1979), in an investigation of the quality of working life, considered measuring a range of correlations derived, including:

  • work involvement
  • intrinsic job motivation
  • higher order needs strength
  • perceived intrinsic job characteristics
  • job satisfaction
  • life satisfaction
  • happiness
  • self-rated anxiety

2. What is the relationship between employee well-being and Quality of Work Life?

Employees who experience positive well-being at work are more likely to be engaged, stay longer and remain productive overall. This is because they are more likely to feel motivated and energized, which can lead to higher performance levels.

3. What are some principles of quality of work Life?

According to the 4 Principles of Quality of Work Life by Hartick and Maccoby in Organizational Management includes;

  1. Principle of security
  2. Principle of equity
  3. Principle of individuality
  4. Principle of democracy
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