Employee Welfare and Quality of Work Life

The term employee welfare means the efforts to make life worth living for workmen. It includes various services, facilities and benefits offered to employees by the employers, unions and government. The purpose is to improve the living standard of workers and thereby improve the quality of work life. Employers voluntarily extend a number of benefits to employees in the hope that these indirect compensation plans motivate employees to perform better. Over the years the types of benefits offered have been expanding in line with competitive pressures, changing job market trends, employees’ expectations, union demands and legislative requirements.

QWL efforts are systematic efforts by organizations to give workers a greater opportunity to affect the way they do their jobs and the contributions they make to the organization’s overall effectiveness. It is a way of empowering employees by giving them a greater say in the decision making process. QWL means having good working conditions, good wages, benefits, good leadership and interesting challenging jobs. QWL efforts include the following:

1) Employees’ involvement: Employees are given the opportunity to participate in the decisions that affect them and their relationship with the company.
2) Quality circles: These are small groups of employees who meet regularly to find, analyze and solve quality and other work related problems of a particular department / section/ area.
3) Socio technical systems: These are interventions in the work situation that redesign the work, the work groups and the relationship between workers an the technologies they use to perform their jobs.
4) Co-determination: In this method, representatives of workers meet the management in a formal way to discuss and vote on important decisions that affect the lives of workers.
5) Self managed work teams: These are employee groups (also called autonomous workgroups) with a high degree of decision making, responsibility and behavioral control for completing their work. The team is usually given the responsibility for producing an entire product or service.
6) Suggestion programs: It is a formal method for generating evaluating and implementing employees’ ideas.
7) Open door policies: Where open door policies exist employees are free to walk into any manager’s office with their problems and seek solutions to such problems.

HRD systems focus on employee welfare and QWL by continually examining employees’ needs and meeting them to the best possible extent.

Human resources information system: Human resource information systems (HRIS) are a method by which an organization collects, maintains and reports information on people and jobs. The information is generally stored in a central human resource data bank, preferably in a computer containing the following details:

1) Personal data: identification education, reserved category , place of origin etc.
2) Recruitment data: entry date, grade in aptitude test, grade in leadership tests;
3) Experience data: placement history promotions tasks performed grade wise;
4) Appraisal data: appraisal on each job, ratings of behaviors in a group, commitment to overall goals etc;
5) Training data: nature of training at each levels, current training assignment etc;
6) Miscellaneous: health status, personal problems security needs record of incentives received absence and sickness date etc;

This information is put to use whenever there is a need to identify employees for certain special assignments.

Each of the subsystems described contribute to the achievement of overall HRD goals. Performance and potential appraisal helps an employee develop his role capabilities and prepare himself for future changes. Training improves his learning abilities. Feedback and performance coaching helps him correct mistakes and improve interpersonal relationships. OD promotes the collaborative spirit and self renewing skills. Rewards and welfare amenities enrich the life of employees and help them carry out the assigned tasks with zeal and enthusiasm. It should be remembered that the subsystems discussed above should not be viewed in isolation. They are all inert connected and interdependent parts. When viewed in isolation they do not offer the synergetic advantages of a well developed HRD system.

Source: HRM