Major Issues in Quality of work Life (QWL)
The major factors that affect the quality of work life be started thus:
Pay: QWL is basically built around the concept of equitable pay. In the days ahead, employees may want to participate in the profits of the firm as well. Employees must be paid their due share in the progress and prosperity of the firm.
Benefits: Workers throughout the globe have raised their expectations over the years and now feel entitled to benefits that were once considered a part of the bargaining process. Apart from safe and healthy working conditions, they would love to have benefits of all kinds from the employer(s).
Job Security: Employees want stability of employment. They so not like to be the victims of whimsical personnel policies and stay at the mercy of employers. The workplace should offer security of employment and the question of layoffs is opposed tooth and nail by all categories of employees these days.
Alternative work schedules: Employees demand more freedom at the workplace, especially in scheduling their work. Among the alternative work schedules capable of enhancing the quality of work life for some employees are:
Flexi time: A system of flexible working hours.
Staggered hours: Here groups of employees begin and end work at different intervals.
Compressed workweek: It involves more hours of work per day for fewer days, per week.
Job enrichment: It attempts to increase a person’s level of output by providing that person with exciting, interesting, stimulating or challenging work. Such work, in turn, gives a person a chance to satisfy higher level needs and is therefore a motivational influence.
Autonomous work groups (AWG): Here a group of workers will be given some control of decision-making on production methods, distribution of tasks, recruitment of team members, selection of team leaders, work schedules and so on. Here the work group is given responsibility for a task area without day-to-day supervision and with authority to influence and control both group members and their behaviours.
AWGs generally elect an internal leader who also serves as a full time member. Management may appoint an external leader to coordinate the work and to play the role of a facilitator. He basically assists the group in receiving feedback on the quality and quantity of their performance from the perspective of internal and external customers as well as makes any structural changes in the work design.
Occupational Stress: Occupational mental-health programmes dealing with stress are beginning to emerge as a new and important aspect of QWL programmes in recent years. Obviously, an individual suffering from an uncomfortable amount of job-related stress cannot enjoy a high quality of work life. To this end, the Personnel managers have to look into the working conditions, nature of work, worker’s abilities, etc. To reduce job- related stress, the organisation must ensure the best fit between employee capabilities and organisational requirements and thereby ensure continued development of people at all levels.
Worker participation: Employees have a genuine hunger for participation in organisational issues affecting their lives. Naturally, they demand far more participation in the decision-making process at the workplace. They want more democratic employer-employee relationships. Personnel managers, therefore, must be sensitive to the internal sound and sights of the corporate citizens who are voluntary members of the organisation and provide for a less autocratic and more participative style of leadership.
Social Integration: According to Prof. Walton, the work environment should provide opportunities for preserving an employee’s personal identity and self- esteem through freedom from prejudice, a sense of community, interpersonal openness and the absence of stratification in the organisation. There should be equal treatment in the workplace.
Work and total life space: A person’s work should not overbalance his life. Ideally speaking, work schedules, career demands and other job requirements should not eat too much into a person’s leisure time and family life.