What is Quality of Work Life (QWL)?
Quality of Work Life or QWL connotes the degree to which the work-life of an individual adds to the material as well as psychological well being. It has a great impact on the employee’s productivity. Simply put, it is the overall quality of the work environment at an organization, considering its workforce.
Quality of work life is an umbrella term, which covers positives and negatives of every aspect of an individual’s work, such as job security, safety, rules and policies, working conditions, incentives and rewards, working hours, interpersonal relationships, work culture and climate, growth prospects, etc.
Principles of Quality of Work Life (QWL)
Four principles of Quality of Work Life has been propounded by N.Q. Herrick and M. Maccoby, which are discussed as under:
- Principle of Security: An organization cannot improve the quality of work-life, if its employees are not confident about the job security, i.e. they must be free from the anxiety, fear and loss of a job, due to any reason predictable or unpredictable. It should work on making the organization safe for the employees, and eliminating the fear of economic want.
- Principle of Equity: Principle of Equity states that there must be a clear and lineal relationship amidst efforts and reward. An organization must not discriminate between the employees, when they are doing the same work and at the same level of performance. If an employee is working hard and better than the other, he/she must be rewarded as well as promoted for the same. Credit and appreciation should be given t the employees when it is due.
- Principle of Individualism: It is a fact that every individual is different and so does their capabilities, attitudes, competencies, skills, expertise, etc. Hence, opportunities must be given to every individual working in the organization to groom their personality and potential. Along with that fair chances is given to all the employees for showing their abilities.
- Principle of Democracy: It involves delegation of authority and responsibility to the employees. When employees get an opportunity to participate in the organization’s decision-making process, they feel connected and important to the organization, which automatically improves the quality of work life.
It has been scientifically proven, that when the quality of work-life is good, the employees will be healthy and happy, both physically and psychologically.
Scope of Quality of Work Life
Quality of work-life (QWL) is a multifaceted phenomenon. Its scope describes the expectations of the employees that need to be satisfied. These are explained hereunder:
- Compensation: The compensation paid by the organization for the work, should be more than the minimum standard for life. Further, the compensation should be just and fair, i.e. equivalent to the work performed.
- Health and Safety: The working conditions should be safe, in terms of all the hazards which causes harm to the health and safety of the employees. An ideal work environment has standard working hours, cleanliness, risk-free work, proper lighting and sanitation facilities, etc.
- Job Security: Security of job must be present, because if that is lacking, then the employee will be in constant fear for their future stability and settlement, with respect to the work and income.
- Job Design: Job design should be such that which can fulfil the needs of the organization as well as its employees, in the sense that it meets the production requirements of the organization while providing satisfaction and interest of work, to the employees. Further, the job should provide sufficient freedom and control and timely feedback on performance.
- Social Integration: A sense of identity, needs to be developed in the employees with regard to the organization. For this purpose, discrimination must be eliminated and employees should be motivated to work in teams and groups, to connect and work in cooperation and coordination with one another.
- Social Relevance for Work: Work, not just fulfils an individual’s psychological and material needs, rather it also leads to social welfare. An organization can only improve the quality of work-life when it gives due weightage to the social aspects.
- Better Career Opportunities: The company’s management must offer facilities to the employees for sharpening their skills, and increasing their existing knowledge base so that they can understand their complete potential. The management must optimally utilize their human resource for the expansion and development of the concern.
Quality of work-life (QWL) programme intends to develop a job environment in which the employees work in cooperation with one another, and make efforts to contribute to the achievement of organizational objectives. Moreover, it helps in developing a positive attitude towards the work and the organization