Strategies for improving Quality of work life (QWL)

Strategies for improving Quality of work life (QWL)

QWL is the shared responsibility, not only of the management and workers but also of the union leaders, government officials and behavioral scientists. Hackman and Suttle outline six strategies which can be used for improving QWL in organizations. These strategies include:

  1. The development of careers and career paths,
  2. Work design,
  3. Organizational reward systems,
  4. Design and maintenance of group and inter-group relationships,
  5. Managerial practices, and
  6. Internal and external strategies for change.
  7. Career and Career Path:
  8. Career refers to a sequence of positions occupied by an individual during the course of a
  9. Exploration, establishment, mid-career, and later career are the four stages in an
  10. individual’s career.
  11. The process of development of careers and career paths forms a means to improve, or at least, sustain employees’ productivity and prepare them for changing work situations in the organizational setting.
  12. It involves issues like career counseling, charting career paths, career information systems, human resource planning, periodic skill assessment, training and help for disadvantaged groups.
  13. Three conditions are need for effective performance of activities concerning to development
  14. of career paths of employees in organizations.
  15. Coordination of these activities with other activities in HR management;
  16. Active involvement of line supervisors in designing and implementing them;
  17. Provision for equal access to the benefit of all employees.

Work Design: 

  1. Work design influences employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity.
  2. In order to improve quality of work life, work design must consider factors that moderate
  3. employees’ reactions to their work.
  4. These factors relate to individual differences and inter-personal and organizational factors.
  5. As there is no universally good work design, there are varied job-design options to
  6. improve QWL.
  7. Depending upon situational requirements, management may choose the relevant strategies
  8. for specific design alternatives.
  9. Whatever work design options management uses, the strategies for planned personal and
  10. organizational change seem to be relevant for effective introduction of QWL through work redesign in organizational settings:
  11. Diffusing knowledge about work-redesign theory and practice
  12. Disseminating work-redesign innovations;
  13. Paying more attention to the jobs of first level managers;
  14. Paying more attention to the role of unions in work-redesign efforts.

Reward Systems:

  1. The reward systems motivate employees in organizations.
  2. Workers look for the reward in terms of salary increases, benefits, desirable job assignments etc. which organizations control.
  3. These organizational rewards may be direct or indirect, financial or non-financial and
  4. distributed on individual or group basis.
  5. Whatever the type of rewards, they influence every other aspect of the organization and
  6. must be used as an integral part of any program of organization change.
  1. Design and maintenance of group and inter-group relationship:
  2. There exists group dynamics in formal and informal situations.
  3. In conjunction with different characteristics of intra-group behavior there are systematic characteristics of inter-group relationships in organizations.
  4. There arises a complex set of behaviors, emotions, attitudes and beliefs when groups tend to have interdependent relationships.
  5. As a strategy to improve QWL, efforts may be made to take into account the dynamics of intra-group and inter-group relations in designing and maintaining them in organizations.
  6. Different behavioral science interventions can be applied to reduce the destructive effects of inter-groups conflict and improve QWL.
  7. These interventions aim to increase communications and interactions between work-related groups, reduce the amount of dysfunctional competition and replace a parochial, independent point of view with an awareness of the necessity for interdependence of action calling on the best efforts of these groups.

Managerial practices:   

  1. The prevailing management practices in an organization influence the quality of work life in it.  Specifically, the role of supervision and management is of utmost significance in improving the QWL. The supervisor influences employees’ productive behavior through his treatment of the individuals and his influence on the design of jobs and the management influences through the reward systems and the development of team work.
  2. Internal and external strategies for change:
  3. A set of internal and external strategies is used to introduce five strategies aimed at improvement of QWL in an organization.
  4. There is need to make a number of choices between centralized-de-centralized strategies, power-based and collaborative strategies, fast and slow-paced strategies, and individual and structure oriented strategies.
  5. Often, three general strategies are used to introduce QWL programs.
  6. Strategies arising internally in the organization, such as OD, or management and union strategies;
  7. Strategies originating with political and special interest groups, such as community action approaches,
  8. Societal level strategies, such as use of legislation involving