“Quality of Work Life of RMG Industry in Bangladesh- An Analysis to find out the Influential Factors.”
Objective: A high quality of work life (QWL) is essential for organizations to continue to attract and retain employees. In health organizations, such as hospitals, specifically clinical laboratories, QWL has been described as referring to the strength and weakness in total work environment. Health professionals such as clinical laboratories’ employees are exposed to critical influence and pressures when socialized into work environment. The requirements of CLIA and JCAHO have focused labs attention on the need for a formal system of employees’ QWL assessment and documentation. The objective of this study was to look into positive and negative attitude of Tehran University of Medical Sciences Hospitals’ Clinical Laboratories’ employees from their quality of work life (QWL). Organizational development (OD) and Quality-of-work- life (QWL) systems are compared and contrasted. It has long been felt that QWL systems would not succeed in the public sector. The feasibility of applying QWL in local government is demonstrated in Pima County, Arizona. There labor and management developed a QWL system for the Department of Transportation, county health-care- center and Department of Health. This system is discussed and analyzed. Data, including interviews and questionnaires, suggest success of this effort. Literature on QWL is limited and several studies commonly correlates with job satisfaction but no study on QWL has associated with career related factors. This empirical study was done to predict QWL in relation to career-related dimensions. The sample consists of 475 managers from the free trade zones in Malaysia for both the multinational corporations (MNCs) and the small-medium industries (SMIs). The result indicates that three exogenous variables are significant: career satisfaction, career achievement and career balance, with 63% of the variance in QWL.
1.1) Introduction of the report:
Historically, work has occupied an important place in the life of human beings. How people have thought and felt about the working experience has also been an age old concern for both workers and managers. The term quality of working life (QWL) was probably coined originally at the first international conference on QWL at Arden House in 1972 (Davis & Cherns, 1975). Mills (1978) probably coined the term quality of working life and suggested that it had moved permanently into the vocabulary of unions and management, even if a lot of the people using it were not exactly sure what territory it covered. During the twentieth century, our social science conceptualizations regarding work have been labeled scientific management, human relations, socio-technical systems theory, and now possibly holistic learning organizations. Cherns (1978) argued that:
QWL owes its origins to the marriage of the structural, systems perspective of organizational behavior with the interpersonal, human relations, supervisory-style perspective.
Quality of working life has also been viewed in a variety of ways including:
(a) As a movement;
(b) As a set of organizational interventions, and
(c) As a type of working life felt by employees.
This study contributes to the literature on quality of work life (QWL) by testing the relationship between QWL and job performance by using questionnaires to survey a sample of 475 managers in a manufacturing industry in Malaysia. The results indicated a significant positive relationship between QWL and job performance. A two-factor model with correlated factors was postulated and supported. Structural equation modeling procedures showed that the two constructs are highly correlated (r = 0.94) and represent a distinct concern on work life. Implications of results and directions for future research are offered.
1.2) Objective of the study:
Project QUALITY has eight objectives defined to operationally the primary aims of the project. To elaborate theoretically, methodologically and empirically the concept of quality of life; to analyze quality of life for men and women in the eight partner countries based on existing internationally-comparative datasets, e.g. European Quality of Life Survey; The World Database of Happiness.
To gain insight into the quality of life of citizens in the partner countries within the context of their working situation, by setting up new quantitative research projects in all participating countries.
To analyze the institutional context of each participating country based on national expert meetings and relevant policy documents, by mapping out which current socio-economic trends are expected to have an impact on the quality of work of men and women and on their work-life balance.
To gain insight in what healthy and socially sustainable organizations are, by examining the perspectives of managers and other employees in one organization in each country, and by exploring the links between perceptions of healthy organizations and employee well being and quality of life.
To develop an instrument on the social quality of European
workplaces by selecting the relevant items for social quality based on
the overall analyses of data on quality of life, as mentioned under.
Quality of work has been defined as ‘better jobs and more balanced ways of combining working life with personal life’ (Euro found, 2006). As the concept of QWL is multi-dimensional it may not, of course, be universal.
However, key concepts tend to include job security, reward systems, pay and opportunity for growth among other factors (Rossi et al, 2006).
“Quality of life” may describe a person or group’s standard of living, environment, public health and safety, and/or general surroundings, the quality of a person’s “work life” encompasses things that affect their well-being during the working day, such as salary and benefits, facilities, the potential for advancement, and work/life balance. The evolution of QWL began in late 1960s emphasizing the human dimensions of work by focusing on the quality of the relationship between the worker and the working environment. QWL as a discipline began in the U.S. in September 1972 when the phrase was coined at a “democratization of work” conference held at Columbia University’s Arden House to discuss two movements.
The first was a political movement in Western Europe called ‘Industrial Democracy’. Militant, socialist labor unions were lobbying the parliaments and assemblies of England, France, West Germany, Sweden and Italy to legislate worker participation in corporate decision-making.
The second movement was the emergence in the U.S. of a number of social science theories about “humanizing the workplace” . This shows that the model that evolved during the early years called for formalizing labor-management cooperation at
Workplace by establishing joint committees at various levels to define, diagnose and devise solutions to day-to-day work problems.
For instance, participation programs emerged from contract bargaining between General Motors Corporation and United Auto Workers Union was called Quality of Work Life in 1973 which was aimed at increasing workers’ satisfaction with their jobs by giving them more information and a voice in decision making
It was around 1900 that F.W. Taylor developed what are commonly known as the Principles of Scientific Management which till today form the basis for designing jobs in most organizations. The traditional job design of scientific management focuses mostly on division of labor, hierarchy, close supervision and the one best way of doing work. No doubt has brought several benefits to society but it’s disadvantage has been its high human cost. The highly specialized jobs have made workers socially isolated from their fellow workers weakened their community of interest in the whole product and deskilled them to such an extent that workers have lost pride in their work.
The system of hierarchy has made workers totally dependent upon their superior. It is always the superior and not his subordinates who initiates actions and controls the working environment. Close supervision further accentuates workers’ dependence on their superiors.
The result is high turnover and absenteeism. Quality declines and workers become alienated. Now, as workers are becoming more and more educated, skilled, affluent and unionized the above dysfunctional consequences of work are becoming less and less acceptable. 11 is no longer possible to design jobs solely according to the needs of technology completely overlooking the needs of workers.
There is an all round demand for developing the humanized jobs which can satisfy workers’ higher needs, employ their higher skills and make them better citizens, spouses and parents. The jobs need to be excellent both from the point of view of technology and human needs. The traditional job design needs to be replaced by enriched job design.
This demand for redesigning of jobs has come to be known as Quality of Work Life. It enjoins management to treat workers as human resources that are to be developed rather than simply used.
1.4) How Do Employees Perceive QWL?
A number of researchers and theorists have been interested in the meaning of the QWL concept and have tried to identify the kinds of factors that determine such an experience at work.
A significant by-product of the approach to the quality of working life discussed has been the identification of those aspects of jobs and work environments that impact most strongly upon the job satisfaction, job performance, and life-long well being of those who are so employed.
The findings of a literature search for various features defining QWL led to an identification of two general factors namely work/work environment and employee welfare and well being. Within the first factor are included such features as democracy, task content/physical features of the job, quantity and quality of leisure time created by the job, and promotion. The second broad QWL factor mainly emphasizes employee welfare and well-being. That emphasized the physical working environment includinG
safe and healthy working conditions while stressed security, equity, and individuation of the employee as features of a quality working experience, emphasized job security, good pay, and benefits respectively. Healthy social relations and social integration were two other employee welfare features thought to comprise QWL.
1.5) Culture for Quality of Work Life:
It means that employees receive both personal and work-related support from the company. In a company supportive of a positive Quality of Work Life, employees:
Are able to balance their work and personal demands effectively (Balance); Have challenging but reasonable work loads (Work Load). Are treated fairly regardless of demographic differences such as gender and race (Diversity). Perceive a reasonable level of job security (Job Security); and Have the tools, materials and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively (Resources).
The success of any organization is highly dependant on how it attracts, recruits, motivates, and retains its workforce. Today’s organizations need to be more flexible so that they are equipped to develop their workforce and enjoy their commitment.
Therefore, organizations are required to adopt a strategy to improve the employees’ quality of work life'(QWL) to satisfy both the organizational objectives and employee needs. This case lets discuss the importance of having effective quality of work life practices in organizations and their impact on employee performance and the overall organizational performance.
1.7) Know Objective on Probationary Period:
Objectives on probationary period are:
Statements of what should be achieved in the role (including how and when) within the employee’s probationary period to ensure that they have a full understanding of the requirements of the post, the Area and company. These objectives are agreed soon after appointment (but ideally within the first week) in a discussion between the employee and their line manager.
Specific to the activities of the new employee, as detailed in the job description, and are clearly defined to avoid misinterpretation.
Clear and measurable that Line managers will therefore indicate how the objectives will be measured and what indicators they will use to check whether objectives have been met.
Set during the probation period shall be realistic. Some work may extend beyond the probationary period and in this case, it will be necessary to break the tasks/project down to set realistic objectives.
Will be linked to a timescale that the line manager shall arrange review meetings at appropriate points throughout the probation period to reflect the timescale of the objectives set.
The line manager shall give the employee the appropriate support/guidance (including training) necessary to help them achieve the set objectives.
To avoid slow page load, seems that I have to break this session to two parts. Therefore you may interest to continue your reading to: Probation Period (III).
1.8) Competitive Advantage:
For years, writers and circuit speakers have told us that people in an organization are .the most important resource. With so much emphasis, you might think that creating an organizational culture celebrating the importance of its people and capitalizing upon the skills and talents of employees is easy. Talking to leaders who actually try to create such an environment more often points out the difficulties of this task. Since there are significant difficulties, one question that is frequently asked by skeptics and supporters alike is, does such a culture create bottom-line impacts that provide a competitive advantage for the organization?. LOMA recently investigated this connection between the idea of culture and bottom-line outcomes.
To do this, LOMA collected survey data from approximately 5,000 employees at 30 insurance companies and then assessed the connection between what employees said about their company’s culture and measures of employee morale, turnover, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. For our purposes, the term, .Culture for Excellence. Refers to an organizational model that clarifies how to transform the human side of an organization into a competitive advantage from this perspective, there are three critical dimensions that help to create organizational excellence: Employee Involvement, Commitment to Quality Customer Service, and a Commitment to a High Quality of Work Life (Table 1, page 25). Using Loma’s Employee Opinion Survey to measure these dimensions, we identified two types of companies:
Those: with a strong Culture for Excellence (CFE) and those with a weak Culture for Excellence. In the strong CFE companies, the vast majority of employees rated many of the topics shown in the CFE model favorably. In contrast, employees in the weak companies were significantly less favorable on these issues.
1.9) Culture for Excellence:
“Employee Involvement” means that employees at all levels of the organization are involved in the running of the business. In an environment supportive of Employee Involvement:
Employees have the authority to make decisions and contribute to the business (Authority).
Employees have a good understanding of the business and how the organization operates (Company Knowledge).
Employees receive sufficient training and development opportunities (Individual Knowledge).
There is open and ongoing communication between management and employees (Information & Communication).
Employees receive recognition and rewards for their contributions to the
Company (Recognition & Rewards).
There is a link between organizational rewards and performance (Rewards-Performance Link).
“Quality Service means” employees believe that meeting the needs of the customer and the delivery of quality service are core company values and priorities. In companies with a strong culture for Quality Service.
An employee perceives that top management is committed to quality – both in words and action – (Top Management Commitment to Quality).
Top management’s commitment to quality, in turn, cascades throughout the organization so that there is an organizational-wide commitment to quality (Quality Emphasis).
Meeting the needs of the customer is a number one priority (Customer Focus); and,
An employee routinely collects and uses customer feedback (Customer Feedback).
“Quality of Work Life” means that employees receive both personal and work-related support from the company. In a company supportive of a positive Quality of Work Life, employees:
Is able to balance their work and personal demands effectively (Balance).
Have challenging but reasonable work loads (Work Load).
Is treated fairly regardless of demographic differences such as gender and race (Diversity).
Perceive a reasonable level of job security (Job Security).
Have the tools, materials and equipment they need to perform their jobs effectively (Resources).
Appears from internal source – which can be bad if source is not trusted that much – this can reduce responses.
Internal relationship still obvious; Requires HR person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Response rate may be affected.
requires Post room (or maybe HR) person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Response rate may be mildly affected
Requires Post room / HR person to box up and send at intervals / at end; Annoys people that there is no stamp; annoyed people complain or ask for guidance (staff cost); Failed to deliver & penalty for ‘no stamp’ charges charged to QWL; Response rate may be mildly affected.
Straightforward – people can choose internal mail or external mail; Good response rate.
Straightforward – people can choose internal mail or external mail; May appear extravagant; People may steal stamps; Likely to be the best response rate.
1.11) Project Model:
The implementation plan is presented in the graphical figure below. The figure includes the work packages and the theoretical framework.
The outcomes will include not only an explanation and overview of the quality of life of European citizens, but also a social quality measuring instrument and scenarios for future trends in policy and quality of life.
The focus on gender will be the basis for a dedicated work package. Dissemination will take place throughout the project.
Work Package 1:
Quality of life: theoretical, methodological and empirical elaboration. The work package is divided into several strands of activities that include:
An extensive literature review of theoretical concepts of quality of life. An assessment of existing standard data sources on objective and subjective indicators. An assessment of longitudinal data sources pertinent to measurement of quality of life in a dynamic perspective. A cross-national comparative analysis of quality of life. Dissemination of results on the national level.
Work Package 2:
Quality of work for employees (operational insertion of project objective 2). This work package concerns analyses based on survey interviews among employees in all of the participating countries. Work package activities are summarized as follows:
To gain entrance to four organizations per participating country.
To develop a questionnaire.
To translate the questionnaire into all 8 languages and to put the questionnaire onto a website.
To collect the resulting data.
To analyze the results for each country and to relate the results on the quality of work to country and workplace context.
Work Package 3:
Analysis of the institutional context (operational insertion of project objective 3): In all eight countries data are obtained from available statistical data, national and European policy documents, from other written sources and from national high-level expert groups. In each country an expert meeting will be organized where the national reports will be presented and discussed. The purpose of the revised national reports is to evaluate the national context of socio-economic trends, public policies and institutional characteristics of the selected countries.
Work Package 4:
Healthy organizations and sustainable employment (operational insertion of project objective 4): Work package activities focuses on employee and workplace needs and possibilities for organizational development that address the dual agenda of employee quality of life and workplace effectiveness in different public policy contexts.
Specifically, activities will incorporate findings from the Framework 5 Study, Gender, Parenthood and the Changing European Workplace (Transitions).
Work Package 5:
Developing an instrument for measuring social quality in European workplaces (operational insertion of project objective 5): Using the findings from WP1, WP2, and WP4 the aim of this work package is to develop an international comparative instrument to measure social quality in workplaces.
Work Package 6:
Quality of life and future trends: scenario analyses (operational insertion of project objective 6) The focus of activities in this work package is get a grip on future trends and public and organizational policies as they relate to quality of life and work through the scenario analyze. Scenarios are particularly suitable alternatives to predictions as they are capable of handling complex problems arising over long time periods with many uncertainties. Work package activities include the following:
To collect information from other Wipes in order to design possible scenarios.
To gain access to expert groups in each country to discuss the scenarios.
To develop a framework for guiding scenario discussion meetings.
To analyze the results from each country.
To summaries the results in national reports and an international comparative scenario report with recommendations for each country.
Work Package 7:
The influence of gender (operational insertion of project objective 7) Gender will matter when it comes to the cost and benefits of changes in social life and in work organizations. The activities of this work package are focused on insuring that each of the other work packages is attentive to gender effects.
Work activities include:
Defining an instrument to analyze gender differences.
Making sure that a gender perspective is included in the questionnaires and expert meetings in the partner countries.
Analyzing and interpreting results using a gender perspective.
Producing a report on the effects of gender on the quality of life and work in the partner countries.
Work Package 8:
“Dissemination framework” a central activity for this work package is the creation of a website on which project reports; other documentation and important links to similar projects are publicized.
Work includes but is not limited to:
Dissemination of summaries of the cross-national reports as well as the final report in national languages.
Publish reports and working papers from the project.
Develop a common international dissemination strategy targeting European politicians and policy makers, employers and unions, European and world scientific communities and general audiences.
Work Package 9:
Management The project management will guarantee the smooth functioning of all project activities and will take care of the overall, contractual, ethical, financial and administrative management. The work activities also include organizing meetings with work package co-coordinators, collectively and individually at least twice per year. The first meeting to take place at the start of the project to discuss the consortium agreement, the work and management plan. These meetings will be of technical and strategicnature.
In close cooperation with the partners, the project management will timely and adequately report to the European Commission. On the projects progress and finances.
In the final year of the study, to produce a final project report.
In close collaboration with WP8 dissemination goals for the project.
1.12) General Factors of QWL:
The Federal Government is a leader in providing family-oriented leave policies, flextime, and telecommuting arrangements to support a positive work culture and environment. The Government is committed to helping employees meet and balance the responsibilities of work and home life.
The following work/life flexibilities are addressed in this document:
v Hours of work and scheduling flexibilities
v Leave flexibilities
v Job sharing
v Employee Assistance Programs
v Child and elder care assistance
v Subsidized transportation
v Employee health
v Emergency preparedness
Associated web links are included at the end of each description where appropriate.
Hours of Work and Scheduling Flexibilities:
v Agencies have the discretionary authority to determine the hours of work for their employees to ensure agencies meet organizational goals and to help employees balance personal needs. (5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapters I and II; 5 CFR part 610)
v Agencies should establish:
v Full-time, part-time, intermittent, and seasonal work schedules.
v Hours of work for employees, including traditional day shifts, night and weekend duty, rotating shifts, and “first-40” schedules.
v Paid and unpaid breaks in the workday. (See link on page 3.)
v Overtime hours. Employees generally earn overtime pay or compensatory time off for hours of work in excess of 8 in a day or 40 in a week under title 5, United States Code.
Alternative work schedules, which can replace traditional schedules (i.e., 8 hours per day/40 hours per week, with fixed starting and stopping times). The Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules provides a framework for Federal agencies to use in establishing alternative work schedules and provides information to assist agencies in administering such programs. Also, information on negotiating alternative work schedules can be found in the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) Labor-Management Relations Guidance Bulletin “Negotiating Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules.” (See links on page 3.)
Alternative work schedules include:
Flexible work schedules (FWS). FWS allow an employee to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays. FWS consist of workdays composed of core hours and flexible hours. Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work. Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may (within limits or “bands”) choose their times of arrival and departure. The authority for FWS is contained in 5 U.S.C. 6122.
v An agency’s FWS plan may permit employees to earn credit hours. An employee may elect to earn credit hours for working hours in excess of the employee’s basic work requirement (e.g., 40 hours a week). An employee may use earned credit hours to take time off and vary the length of a workweek or a workday.
For more information on the administration of credit hours, refer to The Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules.
– Compressed work schedules (CWS). CWS are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays. These schedules are authorized by 5 U.S.C. 6127.
Agencies may adopt either flexible or compressed work schedules for their employees. An employee may not be permitted to work on a “hybrid” schedule that combines aspects of both programs.
v Adjusted work schedules for religious observances, which are available for employees whose personal religious beliefs require they abstain from work at certain times of the workday or workweek. Modifications in work schedules must not interfere with the efficient accomplishment of an agency’s mission. The hours worked in lieu of the normal work schedule do not create any entitlement to premium pay (including overtime pay).
Tele work/Telecommuting :
With portable computers, high speed telecommunications links, and ever-present pocket communications devices, many employees today can work almost anywhere at least some of the time. Telecommuting, also referred to as Tele work,
Allows employees to work at home or at another approved location away from the regular office. Sometimes an employee may work at a telecenter. A telecenter is a multi-agency facility that provides a geographically convenient office setting as an alternative to the employee’s main office. A telecenter can also serve as an administrative support center for employees working at home.
Telework/telecommuting Web sites:
Federal leave programs include the following:
v Annual and sick leave programs provide most employees with a total of a) 13 days of sick leave each year (which accumulates without limit in succeeding years), and b) 13, 20, or 26 days of annual leave, depending on years of service. (A maximum of 240 hours may be carried over to the next leave year.) Under expanded sick leave policies, employees may use up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave each year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
In addition, an employee may use limited amounts of sick leave each year to care for a family member who is incapacitated by illness or injury, accompany family members to routine health care appointments, arrange for or attend the funeral of a family member, and for absences related to adopting a child. (5 U.S.C. chapter 63, subchapter I; 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, C, and D; 5 CFR 630.401 and 630.1202)
v Annual leave enhancements were made per Section 202(a) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004, which adds a new paragraph (e) to 5 U.S.C. 6303. This paragraph provides that a newly appointed employee’s prior non-Federal work experience may be creditable in determining the amount of annual leave the employee will earn each biweekly pay period. Qualified non-Federal work experience must have been performed in a position with duties directly related to the position to which he or she is being appointed and must meet other requirements as prescribed by OPM. Additionally, the head of the agency to which the new employee is appointed must determine that the granting of such service credit is necessary in order to achieve an agency mission or performance goal. Section 202 provides that not later than 180 days after enactment of the Act (April 28, 2005), OPM must prescribe regulations to allow the credit of non-Federal service for the purpose of determining an employee’s annual leave accrual rate.
v SES and SL/ST annual leave accrual was updated per Section 202(b) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004, which adds a new paragraph (f) to 5 U.S.C. 6303. This paragraph provides that members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), employees in senior level (SL) and scientific or professional (ST) positions, and employees covered by an equivalent pay system, as determined by OPM, will accrue annual leave at the rate of 1 day (8 hours) for each full
v Biweekly pay period. This provision became effective on October 30, 2004. SES and SL/ST employees may accumulate up to 120 hours of annual leave.
v Leave sharing programs allow an employee who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her own leave to receive donated annual leave from other Federal employees through the voluntary leave transfer or leave bank programs. (5 U.S.C. 6331-6340 and 6361-6373; 5 CFR part 630, subparts I and J)
v The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 entitles an employee to a total of 12 administrative workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for: September 2005 5
v The birth of a son or daughter and care of the newborn
v The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care
v The care of an employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent with a serious health condition
v An employee’s own serious health condition that makes him or her unable to perform the duties of his or her position.
v Employees continue to be covered by the Federal Government’s health insurance program while using family and medical leave. (5 U.S.C. 6381-6387; 5 CFR part 630, subpart L)
v Leave for bone-marrow and organ donation allows a Federal employee to use up to 7 days of paid leave each year (in addition to sick or annual leave) to serve as a bone-marrow donor and up to 30 days of paid leave each year to serve as an organ donor. (5 U.S.C. 6327)
v Time off for volunteer activities. Federal agencies can support employees’ commitment to community service by ensuring all employees are aware of the various flexibilities available to them to participate in volunteer activities. Agencies may permit employees to make maximum use of existing flexibilities such as alternative work schedules, annual leave, credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off, and excused absence (administrative leave), where appropriate, to perform community service. OPM advises the granting of excused absence for volunteer activities should be limited to those situations in which the employee’s absence, in the department’s or agency’s determination, is not specifically prohibited by law and satisfies one or more of the following criteria:
v The absence is directly related to the department or agency’s mission
v The absence is officially sponsored or sanctioned by the head of the department or agency)
v The absence will clearly enhance the professional development or skills of the employee in his or her current position
v The absence is brief and is determined to be in the interest of the agency.
v Federal leave programs Web sites:
Job sharing is an available option that may help balance some employees’ work and family responsibilities. Under such an arrangement, two employees each work less than full-time, but coordinate their schedules and assignments so together they “share” a work role and ensure the duties and responsibilities of what would otherwise be one full-time position are properly carried out.
Employee Assistance Programs:
Licensed or regulated by State or local authorities. (Public Law 107-67, November 12, 2001, and 5 CFR part 792)
Child Development Centers
Many Federal agencies also provide on-site or near-site child development centers. There are approximately 1,000 worksite child care centers sponsored by the civilian and military agencies.
Federal agencies offer qualified employees a transportation fringe benefit program that includes the option to exclude from taxable income employee commuting costs incurred through the use of mass transportation and van pools. Agencies in the National Capitol Region offer employees “transit passes” in amounts approximately equal to employee commuting costs, not to exceed the maximum level allowed by law. (Executive Order 13150)
Agencies may establish health services programs, including preventive health services, at the worksite. Many of these services may be made available to employees without charge. They are beneficial to individual employees as well as to agencies. Maintaining a healthy, productive workforce enables agencies to meet their vital missions on behalf of the American people.
v These programs provide a variety of confidential services, including counseling and referrals, to employees who are experiencing personal problems such as work and family pressures, substance abuse, or financial problems that can adversely affect performance, reliability, and personal health.
v Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) help employees and, where feasible, their families with problems that may affect their well-being and their ability to do their jobs. These worksite programs, which are generally available to all Federal employees, offer cost-free, confidential employee counseling and referral to community treatment and/or professional services, as appropriate. Although
agencies are only required by law to establish and administer employee counseling programs that deal specifically with alcohol and drug problems, most agencies have “broad brush” EAPs that offer help for a variety of other problems. These EAPs offer counseling and referral services for problems such as mental, emotional, family, financial, dependent care, and legal difficulties.
v In addition to providing individual counseling, EAPs also play a key role in educating employees on a variety of health and assistance topics such as HIV/AIDS, money management, parenting, caring for aging parents, stress management, and selecting quality child care.
v The basic services of EAPs include:
v Confidential, free, short-term counseling to identify and assess the problem(s) and to assist employees in problem solving.
v Referral, where appropriate, to a community service or professional resource that provides treatment and/or rehabilitation. With the exception of illness or injury directly resulting from employment, medical care and treatment are personal to the employee and, therefore, payment may not be made from appropriated funds unless provided for in a contract of employment or by statute or regulation.
v Follow-up services to assist an employee in achieving an effective readjustment to his or her job during and after treatment, e.g., back-to-work conferences.
v Training sessions for managers and supervisors on handling work-related problems that may be related to substance abuse or other personal and/or health-related problems.
v Orientation and educational programs to familiarize all employees with the services of EAPs and how to access them.
v Briefings to educate management and union officials on the role of EAPs.
Child and Elder Care Assistance:
v Child and elder care are available to help employees with child and elder care needs. Many agencies offer referral assistance to community resources, provide lunch and learn seminars, and sponsor caregiver fairs. OPM developed a Handbook of Child and Elder Care Resources, which provides employees, managers, and employee assistance counselors with information about organizations and agencies across the country that can help employees locate quality child and elder care services.
In addition, OPM recommends two resource and referral services that direct callers to local services providers and community resources:
v Child Care Aware on 1-800-424-2246
v The Elder Care Locator on 1-800-677-1116.
v Child Care Subsidy Authority
v Congress enacted a provision that permits agencies to spend appropriated funds to assist lower income employees with the costs of child care. For those agencies offering child care subsidies, children must be enrolled in child care facilities
Agencies must be prepared to protect employees in the workplace in the event of an emergency situation. Each Federal facility has unique requirements that must be met by its managers. OPM has produced a series of guides that address the general issue of emergency preparedness, including guides for employees and their families, inside or outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
1.13 Factors of Quality of Work Life:
There are six factors that interact to explain and predict quality of working life. They are:
- Career and Job Satisfaction (CJS)
- Working Conditions (WCS)
- General Well-Being (GWB)
- Work Life Balance (WLB)
- Stress at Work (SAW)
- Control at Work (CAW)
The extent to which you are content with your job and your prospects at work Career and Job Satisfaction is a very important factor in overall quality of working life. How you score on the Career and Job Satisfaction (CJS) factor relates to whether you feel the workplace provides you with the best things at work – the things that make you feel good, such as: a sense of achievement, high self esteem, fulfillment of potential, etc.
Your score for the WCS factor indicates the extent to which you are satisfied with the fundamental resources, working conditions and security necessary to do your job effectively. This includes aspects of the work environment such as noise and temperature, shift patterns and working hours, pay, tools and equipment, safety and security. Dissatisfaction can have a significantly adverse effect on your overall WRQoL score. The WCS factor is related to CJS, in that CJS reflects the degree to which the workplace provides you with the best things at work, whilst the WCS factor by contrast, reflects the degree to which the workplace meets your basic requirements.
General Well-Being (GWB) assesses the extent to which you feel good within yourself. As such, that sense of GWB may be more or less independent of your work situation. General well-being both influences, and is influenced by work. GWB reflects psychological well-being and general physical health aspects.
How much you think the organization understands and tries to help you with pressures outside of work. Work Life Balance is about having a measure of control over when, where and how you work. It is achieved when you feel you have a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work, to the mutual benefit of you and your work. A poor work-life balance can have negative effects on your well-being.
The extent to which you see work pressures and demands as acceptable and not excessive or ‘stressful’. The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) define stress at: “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. Work pressures and demands can be a positive of aspect of our work experience, providing challenge and stimulation, but where we see them as excessive and beyond our ability to cope, we are likely to feel overloaded and stressed.
6. Control at Work (CAW):
How far you feel you are involved in decisions that affect you at work. Control at Work (CAW) reflects the level to which you feel you can exercise what you consider to be an appropriate level of control within your work environment. That perception of control might be linked to various aspects of work, including the opportunity to contribute to the process of decision making that affects you. Leading authors in the field suggest that perception of personal control can strongly affect both an individuals’ experience of stress and their health. Research also suggests that there is a strong link between personal control and job satisfaction.
1.14 Quantity of Work Life as HR Strategy – An Analysis:
Today’s workforce consists of literate workers who expect more than just money from their work.
In the modern scenario, QWL as a strategy of Human Resource Management is being recognized as the ultimate key for development among all the work systems, not merely as a concession. This is integral to any organization towards its wholesome growth. This is attempted on par with strategies of Customer Relation Management.
Strategy and Tactics:
Over the years, since industrial revolution, much experimentation has gone into exploiting potential of human capital in work areas either explicitly or implicitly. Thanks to the revolution in advanced technology, the imperative need to look into QWL in a new perspective is felt and deliberated upon. Major companies are tirelessly implementing this paradigm in Human Resources Development (some call it People’s Excellence).
Globalization has lowered national boundaries, creating a knowledge-based economy that spins and spans the world. Major economies are converging technologically and economically, and are highly connected at present moment. The new global workplace demands certain prerequisites such as higher order of thinking skills like abstraction system thinking and experimental inquiry, problem-solving and team work. The needs are greater in the new systems, which are participative ventures involving workers managed by so-called fictional proprietors.
In simple terms, all the above requirements can be easily achieved by providing improved quality of work life to the workers available on rolls. Workers are often referred to as teams or groups in general parlance and whatever the do go to the credit of the teamwork.
The concept of teamwork has evolved from the organised toil that has its own social dimensions. Good teams can hardly be imported from outside. They usually occur as an indigenous incidence at the workplace and nurturing the same over time is the responsibility of management. Here, it may also be discerned that the composition of available workers in no more a local phenomenon as in the past. Mobility is caused by migration beyond culture barriers and isolation, relocation and globalizes deployment. This phenomenon has become universal and is causing great changes in the work environment at factories as well as offices. The new influx of skilled workers seeking greener pastures is even questioning the skills of new employers and thereby restructuring the new environs on par with those of best in the world, unwittingly though.
For good QWL, cash is not the only answer. Today, the workers are aware of the job requirements of job as also the fact that the performance of the same is measured against the basic goals and objectives of the organization and more importantly, wages are paid according to the larger picture specific to the industry and the employer’s place in the same.
The increased share of workers in wages and benefits through legislation as well as competitive interplay of superior managements in various fields of industry and business on extensive levels has reshaped the worker’s idea of quality of work life. Moreover, other things being equal, the employers are increasingly vying with their rivals in providing better working conditions and emoluments. This may be owing to many reasons besides the concern for the human angle of workers, like the employer’s tendency to climb on the bandwagon, to reap to the desired dividends or to woo better talent into their fold as skill base addition and other non-economic inputs like knowledge bases. Doubtlessly, the increased tendency of recruiting knowledge bases is giving the modern managements payoffs in myriad ways. Some of them are intended potentials for product innovations and cost cuttings.
Talking of product, it may appear far-fetched to some that product is being assessed in the market for its quality and price by the environment created in the areas where workers and customers are dealt and transact, like ambience in facilities / amenities as also the company’s pay scales. This goes to prove that QWL of manufacturer / service provider is synonymous with the quality of product.
Non economic – ‘Job Security’
The changing workforce consists of literate workers who expect more than just money from their work life. Their idea of salvation lies in the respect they obtain in the work environment, like how they are individually dealt and communicated with by other members in the team as well as the employer, what kind of work he is entrusted with, etc. Some of these non-economic aspect are: Self respect, satisfaction, recognition, merit compensation in job allocation, incompatibility of work conditions affecting health, bullying by older peers and boss, physical constraints like distance to work, lack of flexible working hours, work-life imbalances, invasion of privacy in case of certain cultural groups and gender discrimination and drug addiction. One or more of the problems like above can cast a ‘job-insecurity’ question, for no direct and visible fault of the employer. Yet, the employer has to identify the source of workers problems and try to mitigate the conditions and take supportive steps in the organisation so that the workers will be easily retained and motivated and earn ROI. The loss of man-hours to the national income due to the above factors is simply overwhelming.
Employer should instill in the worker the feeling of trust and confidence by creating appropriate channels and systems to alleviate the above shortcomings so that the workers use their best mental faculties on the achievement of goals and objectives of the employer.
To cite some examples, employers in certain software companies have provided infrastructure to train the children of workers in vocational activities including computer education, so that the workers need not engage their attention on this aspect. Employee care initiatives taken by certain companies include creation of Hobby clubs, Fun and Leisure Clubs for the physical and psychological well-being ness of workers and their families. After all, the workers are inexorably linked to the welfare of their families, as it is their primary concern.
Dual income workers, meaning both spouses working are the order of the day. The work life balance differs in this category and greater understanding and flexibility are required with respect to leave, compensation and working hours in the larger framework.
Teamwork is the new mantra of modern day people’s excellence strategy. Today’s teams are self-propelled ones. The modern manager has to strive at the group coherence for common cause of the project. The ideal team has wider discretion and sense of responsibility than before as how best to go about with its business. Here, each member can find a new sense of belonging to each other in the unit and concentrate on the group’s new responsibility towards employer’s goals. This will boost the coziness and morale of members in the positive environment created by each other’s trust. Positive energies, free of workplace anxiety, will garner better working results. Involvement in teamwork deters deserters and employer need not bother himself over the detention exercises and save money on motivation and campaigns.
Gone are the days when employers controlled workers by suppressing the initiative and independence by berating their brilliance and skills, by designing and entrusting arduous and monotonous jobs and offer mere sops in terms of wages and weekly off. Trust develops when managers pay some attention to the welfare of the workers and treat them well by being honest in their relations. The employer should keep in mind that every unpaid hour of overtime the worker spends on work is an hour less spent with the family.
New performance appraisals are put into vogue to assess a worker’s contribution vis-à-vis on employer’s objectives and to find out the training and updating needs and levels of motivation and commitment. As observed in some advanced companies, the workers themselves are drawing their benefits by filing appraisal forms and drawing simultaneously the appropriate benefits by the click of the mouse directly from their drawing rooms, courtesy e-HR systems. In addition, there are quite a number of channels for informal reviews. Feedback on worker’s performance, if well interpreted and analyzed, could go a long way in improving ethics at workplace.
Involvement and Communication:
Multi-schilling and exposing workers to different lines of activity in the unit indirectly leads to the greater involvement and better job security of worker in the organization. The employer too, can make use of the varied skills to any altered situations of restructuring and other market adaptations. Thus, the monotony of work life can be alleviated. The employer, armed with the depth of cross-trained human resources, need not go hunting for new talent and thus save on the unspent pay packets, which can be spent usefully on the amenities for workers. No doubt, rivals should be envying him for this edge.
The change should be apparent in mutual trust and confidence towards effective understanding of the needs of worker and employer. The new knowledge-based workers are mostly young in the fields of technology and management. They are more forthcoming in trusting the boss and older peers. Now, all modern managements are cognizant of the innate desire of workers to be accepted as part of the organization for identity and other social reasons.
Effective dialogue is put into play between management and those who execute through well-organized communication channels paving the way for improved co-operation and participation on emotional level. The decision making level is nose diving to the floor level manager, where the poor guy has to think of n number of quick decisions on behalf of the organization. Unless the team is behind and involved with commitment, the manager cannot implement the new tasks in production, distribution, people’s excellence, customer relations, etc., thanks to the ‘e’ factor prefixed to the names of majority of departments. Logically, harmony plays its part in cost efficiency. Successful managers are those who listen to their workers.
Overwork is tolerated in emerging industries unlike government departments as part of the game and work culture. This is so, what with the soaring competition among the tightly contested players. The point is empowerment of workforce in the area of involvement.
All said and one, the workers are considered as the invisible branch ambassadors and internal customers in certain industries. It is evident that most of the managements are increasingly realizing that quality alone stands to gain in the ultimate analysis. Restructuring the industrial relations in work area is the key for improving the quality of product and the price of the stock. Without creating supportive environment in restructured environment, higher quality of work cannot be extracted. It is