Improvement of the quality of work life




Improvement of the quality of work life

The earlier approach to human resource development emphasized individual development through training and proper supervision. However, with the increasing complexity of organizations and society, it was soon realized that training individuals plays only a limited role in the development of organizations. The need for improving the quality of work life through making the job more satisfying and productive has been greatly felt. Factors such as the nature of the job or the role and involvement of employees in work decisions are important for improving the quality of work life. The methods used to do so are job enrichment, job design, and role interventions (Pareek, 1993). An understanding of these methods and their application in extension organizations are essential for extension managers to improve the performance of extension agents. Studies have shown that the work environment of extension organizations is poor and needs improvement (Jhamtani & Singh, 1989, 1992).

Job Enrichment and Job Design

Job enrichment refers to detailed analysis of the work to know the factors which make it a satisfying experience. Job enrichment uses the job as the medium of developing employees and changing organizational practices. Some of the factors which increase job satisfaction are a sense of achievement in the job, recognition for the job, the nature of the work itself, and opportunities to learn new things and grow.
The principles of job enrichment, according to Herzberg (1966), are removing controls while retaining accountability, introducing new tasks, giving a complete unit of work, granting job freedom, and helping employees to become expert in their tasks.These principles can be practised by extension managers to increase the quality of work and job satisfaction among extension personnel.

Job enrichment programmes were successful in improving the quality of work and job satisfaction. However, it was found that job enrichment had a limited view of the job, and the need for greater emphasis on human values was realized. This led to the concept of job design, which refers to structuring a job to satisfy the technical, organizational, social, and human requirements of the person performing the work (Davis & Taylor, 1979). Based on the humanization of work, job design aims at increasing the quality of work life through treating the employees as human beings and emphasizing their development and involvement in work decisions.
It emphasizes the use of extrinsic and intrinsic job factors, employee participation in management, autonomy, adaptability, and variety. The concept of job design can be used by extension managers to increase participation of extension personnel in the planning and management of extension programmes, which will improve the quality of their work life.

Role Interventions
The study of roles, which are the positions employees hold in an organization, as defined by the expectations of significant persons and the individuals occupying the positions, is a comparatively neglected aspect of organizations. Roles are an important dimension in increasing organizational effectiveness. Through their roles, people are linked with the organization. This linkage increases organizational effectiveness by integrating the individuals with the organization. Such integration increases mental well-being and personal effectiveness (Pareek, 1993). The purpose of role-based intervention is to increase the mutuality of roles in organizations. Role-based interventions are done through learning situations such as process laboratory, group discussion, and use of questionnaires and schedules. Role-based interventions in extension organizations will result in increased work commitment, motivation, creativity, and team spirit.


Facts
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It doesn't matter what size company you work for; flexibility matters. Workplace flexibility programs benefit employers of all sizes and industries, resulting in increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs, according to the new report from The Society for Human Resource Management and the Families and Work Institute.

An estimated 15 to 20 million U.S. workers telecommute from home at least part of their work time. The advantages of telecommuting include better recruitment incentive for hiring, higher worker productivity resulting from less commute time, and better office space use efficiency. A disadvantage of telecommuting is the decrease in synergy achieved when workers are physically near one another.


Gender diversity acceptance
Companies are realising about the importance of gender diversity at workplace, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In support of LGBT community, different countries recent judicial judgements created awareness about the feelings and their acceptance in the society.

India: Many companies have started preparing friendly workplace, which supports LGBT community like that of normal people. Companies have realised about their feelings and workplace inferiority of LGBT and even unable to disclose their identity due to fear of separation from normal work environment and relationship breakups.

There are employees belonging to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT ) community, but their identity is undisclosed in the organization due to fear of isolation and sometimes may lose the job. Now the companies realised the need to support LGBT community at workplace to hold the talent among them, productivity can be increased to 30% to 40% by LGBT community when they need not hide his/her identity in their organizations, HR experts says. Multinationals companies like IBM (International business machines), Google and Infosys has started sensitization programmes for their employees to build awareness about LGBT among them. IT giant Google started Google’s employee network group for LGBT in India in 2010 for talent inclusion. Many other multinational companies feel that if company is not gay friendly, may start losing talented employees of this community, future clients and subsequently revenues. To make good business should accept gender diversity and culture. As an example of this, Bangalore-based IT company employee, before leaving job, he mentioned in an exit interview that “I quit because the firm didn’t have support for the LGBT community”. Thereafter the company did not respond for it.

Infosys, well-known IT company employee setup Infosys Gay, Lesbian, and You (IGLU) was set up in the year 2011. IGLU focus is to ensure employees having a safe and harassment free workplace, irrespective of their sexual orientation. The members are given choice to know about them or to remain undisclosed.