Quality of Work Life

Introduction
People are becoming more quality conscious as of their work, the products & the quality of their work life. The efficiency of each activity depends on the quality of work life of the people. Quality of work life is not based on a particular theory nor does advocate a particular technique for application. Instead quality of work life is concerned with the overall climate of work. Quality of work life will be varying from place to place, industry to industry and culture to culture

Definition
Robbins (1989) defined QWL as "a process by which an organization responds to employee needs by developing mechanisms to allow them to share fully in making the decisions that design their lives at work"

Specific issues in quality of work life
Klott, Mundick & Schuster suggested 11 major quality of work life issues  Pay & stability of employment  Occupational stress  Organizational health program.  Alternative work schedule.  Participative management  Recognition  Congenial worker supervisor relation  Grievances procedure  Adequacy of resources  Seniority& merit in promotion  Employment on permanent basis

Firm’s obligations towards employee
1 Compensation or Wages 2. Job satisfaction 3. Working environment 4. Job profile 5. Health and Safety 6. Growth prospects 7. Job Rotation

Mains issues in Firm’s Obligations
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The fairness of wages and The fairness of employee working conditions.

Fairness of Wages
A number of factors that should be taken into account in determining wages and salaries:  The going wage in the industry and the area Although labor markets in an industry or an area may be manipulated or distorted they generally provide at least rough indicators of fair wages if they are competitive and if we assume competitive markets are just. In addition, the cost of living in the area must be taken into account if employees are to be provided with an income adequate to their families needs.  The firm’s capabilities In general, the higher the firm’s profits, the more it can and should pay its workers, while the smaller its profits, the less it can afford. Taking advantage of cheap labor in captive markets when a company is perfectly capable of paying higher wages is exploitation.  The nature of the job Jobs that involve greater health risks, that offer less security, that require more training or experience, that impose heavier physical or emotional burdens, or that take greater effort should carry higher levels of compensation.  Minimum wage laws The minimum wages required by law set a floor for wages. In most circumstances, wages that fall beneath this floor are unfair.  Relation to other salaries If the salary structure within an organization is to be fair, workers who do roughly similar work should receive roughly similar salaries.

Employee’s obligation to the firm
The employee’s main moral duty is to work toward the goals of the firm and to avoid any activities, which might harm those goals Why this happens Conflicts of Interest: Conflicts of interest in business arise when an employee or an officer of a company is engaged in carrying out a task on behalf of the company and the employee has a private interest in the outcome of the task:

The employee should avoid the following activities while working in any of the organisation
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Commercial Bribes and Extortion Accepting Gifts Employee Theft Computer Theft Trade Secrets

How to Improve Outcomes from Work-Life Initiatives by Attention to the Role of Managers/Workplace Culture
1. Training and Support 2. Accountability 3. Resourcing 4. Creating a Culture of Acceptance and Encouragement

Training and Support: by developing a toolkit for managers which lays out the basic skills and knowledge which they need to successfully implement flexible working. For example, setting goals and objectives, monitoring progress and measuring success, redesigning work, managing team dynamics in a flexible workforce, maintaining and improving team communication, managing performance and career planning, and providing a demonstrated business case for flexible working. This should be followed up with support for managers managing teams that are working in new and diverse ways. Accountability :Managers should be made accountable for achieving work-life balance goals and objectives which are linked to core business objectives. This can be done by linking performance appraisal, pay and promotion to achievements on the written work-life strategy action plan. Resourcing: Resourcing need to be made available for the implementation and measurement of progress and outcomes on the written work-life action plan. This includes resourcing for training managers and communicating strategies and plans, rationale and objectives to all staff. Creating a Culture of Acceptance and Encouragement :Starts with making the business case to senior management to get their commitment and leadership through role modeling, resourcing and supporting other managers to implement the work-life strategy. Focus then needs to shift to communication of business objectives, training, support and accountability for mangers and supervisors. Finally, putting the work-life strategy into practice through a written action plan, which includes an assessment of the work-life needs of staff in a particular organization or local branch, and monitoring of progress and outcomes.

Results of QWL
Positive results of QWL have been supported by a number of previous studies, including reduced
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absenteeism, lower turnover, and improved job satisfaction.

Not only does QWL contribute to a company's ability to recruit quality people, but also it enhances a company's competitiveness.

Operational System for Improving QWL
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Job Enrichment Job Rotation Quality Circles Worker’s Participation Organizational Development Labour Welfare

Quality Circles
A Quality Circle is a volunteer group composed of workers (or even students) who meet to discuss workplace improvement, and make presentations to management with their ideas, especially relating to quality of output in order to improve the performance of the organization, and motivate and enrich the work of employees. Typical topics are improving occupational safety and health, improving product design, and improvement in manufacturing process. The ideal size of a quality circle is from eight to ten members.

Advantages of a Quality Circle
1. It is a voluntary forum of workers, Hence it does not evoke their resistance which is usually found when such forums are created by the government or management. 2. It makes full use of a worker’s potential. 3. It provides the worker autonomy and sense of achievement 4. It ensures greater participation and involvement of a worker in the day-to-day functioning of his department. 5. It helps in finding solutions to several problems and in removing cobwebs and bottlenecks in daily functioning. 6. It helps in creating cohesive groups with improved morale.

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