Quality of work life

24/12/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Quality of work life (QWL) refers to the favourableness or unfavourableness of a job environment for the people working in an organisation. The period of scientific management which focused solely on specialisation and efficiency, has undergone a revolutionary change.

The traditional management (like scientific management) gave inadequate attention to human values. In the present scenario, needs and aspirations of the employees are changing. Employers are now redesigning jobs for better QWL.

Quality of working life (QWL) describes a person’s broader employment-related experience. Various authors and researchers have proposed models of quality of working life also referred to as quality of worklife which include a wide range of factors, sometimes classified as “motivator factors” which if present can make the job experience a positive one, and “hygiene factors” which if lacking are more associated with dissatisfaction. A number of rating scales have been developed aiming to measure overall quality of working life or certain aspects thereof.

The four basic elements of quality of work life are:

(i) The programme is meant for enhancing human dignity and growth opportunities;

(ii) Employees are to work together to achieve the collective goal(s);

(iii) Employees decide on work related issues through total participation;

(iv) The programme integrates the people with the organisation by assimilating individual and organisational goals.


  1. Safer Working Conditions:

Walton considers QWL deeply concerned with provision of a work environment absolutely free from various hazards arising out of natural and un­natural things. He further encompasses the need for reasonable hours of work, favourable physical conditions of work, age restrictions, etc. to be followed by the organizations.

In India, the Factories Act, 1948 and several other labour laws provide the various rules and regulation of protecting the workers from the health hazards at the working site.

  1. Equitable and Fair Pay:

The QWL requires that employees must be paid their due share in the progress of the firm. Compensation system should create a favourable environment whereby the organization utilizes the human resources to the maximum extent and should help the employee to maintain himself and his family with a standard in the society.

  1. Job Satisfaction:

The workers, as they are living beings, desire to work on the job that will utilize their abilities and talents and provide them satisfaction. The management must enrich the jobs and redesign the jobs in such a way that workers feel satisfied.

  1. Job Security:

Employees strongly desire stability of their jobs. The workplace should offer security of employment. Layoffs and retrenchment are opposed by all categories of employees these days.

  1. Autonomy and Control:

As the work has become highly monotonous today, the worker becomes more mechanical towards the machines and lacks controls on them. Walton observes, when sufficient autonomy as well as control are given to workers, who in turn will use their innate skill and abilities for developing the organization, it will lead to improve­ment of QWL in the organization.

Criteria/Characteristics that influence quality of work life:

  • Attitude of the Employee:

Specifies that an employee who is entrusted with a particular job should have sufficient skills, knowledge, and expertise in performing his/her work, willingness to learn, and openness for creativity and team spirit.

  • Fair Compensation and Job Security:

Specifies that employees should be offered compensation in proportion to their skills, knowledge, experience, and performance. If compensation paid to employees is not directly proportional to the performance of the employee, it may lead to greater employee discontent and lack of productivity on the part of employees. Job security provided to employees in the form of permanent employment also improves QWL.

  • Personal and Career Growth Opportunities:

Imply that an organization should provide employees with opportunities for personal development and growth. Proper training and development programs should be organized from time-to-time in order to help employees to accept higher job responsibilities in future.

  • Balance between Personal and Professional Life:

Means that an organization should provide proper leisure and relaxation time to its employees, so that they can maintain a balance between their personal as well as professional life. They should not be overburdened or pressurized with extra work and should not be sent on unplanned business travels or untimely transfers.

  • Nature of Job:

Refers to the type of job allocated to an employee. It means that if routine, dull, and monotonous jobs are allocated to employees, then it would lead to boredom and decline in QWL, but if the nature of job is such that it offers recognition, growth, creativity, and opportunities of advancement then it leads to improvement in QWL.

  • Level of Stress:

Needs to be reduced, as stress is harmful for an individual. If the level of stress, which an individual faces on job is high, his/her productivity and efficiency to work would decline, thus, leading to a decrease in QWL. An organization should provide a stress-free environment to its employees so that they can work productively towards the goals of the organization.

  • Risk and Reward:

Means that a job, which is risky and challenging, is paid more, as Compared to the job that requires less risk, challenge, and enthusiasm. Rewards provided to an employee must be directly proportional to the risk and responsibilities involved in that job. Rewards act as a proper motivational tool to enhance the morale of its workers.

  • Participative Style of Leadership:

Encourages employees’ participation and involvement that is employees feel themselves as a part of the organization and this develops a feeling of belongingness in them. They offer innovative and creative ideas and suggestions to managers, which in turn helps in improvement in overall work processes and environment. Recognition provided to them, in turn, helps in motivating them to perform better.

  • Career Prospects:

Refer to opportunities for career growth and advancements. If an employee is performing well, he/she should be rewarded by providing growth prospects.

  • Fun at Workplace:

Refers to various contests, games, and quizzes that should be organized from time-to-time among employees, so that they enjoy while working. Games, such as tambola, dumb charade, can be planned at times, so that employees feel relaxed and tuned to their work.

  • Alternative Work Arrangement Techniques:

Refer to programs, such as flexi-time and compressed workweek, play a vital role in enhancing QWL of employees.

Thus, it can be rightly said that QWL is related to job satisfaction and improvement in overall efficiency and productivity of employees. It ultimately leads to a decrease in absenteeism, turnover, and higher quality and quantity of work output. It further helps in making workforce happy and satisfied and in turn, improves physical and psychological health of employees.