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 they do go to the credit of the teamwork.
The concept of teamwork has evolved from the organized 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 globalised deployment
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
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.
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.
Involvement and Communication
Multi-skilling 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.
Overwork is tolerated in emerging industries unlike government departments as part of the game and work culture. This is so, what the soaring competition among the tightly contested players. The point is empowerment of workforce in the area of involvement. All said and done, the workers are considered as the invisible branch ambassadors and internal customers in certain industries. It is already high time the older theories of industrial relations should be unlearnt.
Tags : Management Education in India