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A Study on Quality of Work Life among Employees

Associate Professor, Bharath School Of Business, Bharath University, Chennai, India
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Work is an integral part of everyday life, as it is our livelihood or career or business. On an average we spent twelve hours daily life and it is the one third of our entire life. Research on quality of work life is considered to be more important at the individual and organization level. Quality of work life is considered for both the employees and organization and it is involved with job satisfaction, productivity, job involvement, job enrichment etc. The success of any organization is highly dependent 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. This study is made attempt to analyses the “Quality of work life among employees”. In order to improve quality of work life, various coping techniques have been suggested to upgrade the employee’s attitude towards their job and the working environment in the organization


Quality of work life refers to the level of happiness or dissatisfaction with one's career. Those who enjoy their careers are said to have a high quality of work life, while those who are unhappy or whose needs are otherwise unfilled are said to have a low quality of work life. Quality of work life is viewed as an alternative to the control approach of managing people. The quality of work life approach considers people as an ?asset' to the organization rather than as ?costs'. It believes that people perform better when they are allowed to participate in managing their work and make decisions. This approach motivates people by satisfying not only their economic needs but also their social and psychological ones. To satisfy the new generation workforce, organizations need to concentrate on job designs and organization of work. Further, today's workforce is realizing the importance of relationships and is trying to strike a balance between career and personal lives.


In today’s competitive business environment, employees of organizations can be viewed as representing a unique organizational resource, which can be used for gaining competitive advantage under a work environment that is conducive for human work. An organizational environment conducive for human work requires the creation of work conditions that can enhance the quality of an employee’s work life in the organization towards increased performance and productivity. In other words, the organizational environment must have the capacity to satisfy meaningfully an employee’s organizational and personal needs, and also the ability to shape’ organizational values that better support and promote employees’ health and well-being, job security, job satisfaction, competency development and balance between work and non-work life.
Quality of Work Life Constructs
There are many “quality of work life” constructs in literature. Hackman and Oldhams (1980) consider “quality of work life” as a work environment that is able to fulfill employees’ personal needs by providing a positive interaction effect between their physical and mental well-beings. Therefore, “quality of work life” can be considered as a complex organizational issue, since it concerns the challenge of creating positive interaction between the physical and mental wellbeings of employees towards increased productivity (Lawler, 1982). In this regard, “quality of work life” represents the level of freedom that employees have in ensuring that their job functions match their personal needs and interests. The “quality of work life” is a program designed to increase employees’ satisfaction with their work environment along with their productivity (Carrell & Heavrin, 2009). “Quality of work life” is a reflection of the way of thinking about people, work and organization involving a concern for employees’ wellbeing and organizational effectiveness.
Quality of Work Life in Organizational Work Designs
“Quality of work life”, as a philosophy, holds that employees are the most important resources an organization can have and so seeks to have an important concern for the creation of an environment devoid of stress and management of stress. The concept emphasizes the importance of employees having a positive attitude to work. When employees become less satisfied, they are less committed to the goals of the organization and this definitely can have an impact on organisational performance. The management of stress is both an organisational and individual responsibility. Employees must resort to relaxation, exercising, managing their time and role, developing and maintaining support groups. Most organisations have also seen the importance of getting involved in the process of managing stress. The “quality of work life” concept is multidimensional and can include many programmes. Aside what has been stated in the literature, employers or managers have a duty to identify other needs of employees as they evolve at the workplace. The prevailing organizational environment and culture as well as the socioeconomic influences on the needs and expectations of employees can have either a positive or negative effect on the way they perceive the quality of their organizational life, with a consequential impact on their commitments to the organization.
Work Scheduling and the Sociology of Work Life
Work life balance involves the ability of an employee to have a meaningful daily work life in a state of self-achievement, satisfaction, and enjoyment derived from the positive association between the employees’ emotional-self and his/her work, friends, family. Work should be designed so that employees’ work schedules, career demands, and travel requirements do not take up leisure and family time on a regular basis (White & Bednar, 1991). A job design consists of a job’s content, the methods that are used on the job and the way in which the job relates to others in the organization. The job design typically is a function of the work to be done and the way in which management wants the job to be carried out (Hodgetts & Luthans, 2000). A good job design creates opportunities for workers to achieve high levels of job performance (Schermerhorn, 1996), and is therefore, a good approach for improving the quality of work life of employees. Alternative work schedules attempt to increase productivity or decrease cost. These schedules are a trend toward responsiveness to employee needs (Boone & Kurtz, 2009).


A survey approach was used in conducting the study. The survey sought to inquire from employees their perceptions about the availability and functionalities of a range of indicators of the “quality of work life” concept. Guided by Patton’s (1990) snowballing technique, the study participants were sampled from both public and private organizations in the finance, education, health, and communication industries.
Data Collection
Data was collected through the use self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The first section consisted of demographic indices that collected information on the respondents’ demography. The second section consisted of the following thirteen “quality of work life” indicators derived from the literature whose availability is and functionalities in organizations are measured: Adequate and fair compensation; Trust in senior management; Good job design; Good personal relationships; Career advancement; Health and safety standards; Good work life balance; Less stress at work; Participatory management; Constitutionalism; Training and development; Good leadership; Management social responsibility to all stakeholders.
In the data collection procedure, the questionnaires were distributed to 150 participants. The participants were instructed to answer the questions posed in the questionnaire to the best of their knowledge. All the 150 questionnaires administered were returned, but only 128 were found to be fully completed and, thus usable, representing a response rate of 85.33 percent. This response rate was considered a success. A total of 22 questionnaires were rejected, because not all sections in them were fully scored. This might be ascribed to the reluctance of most employees in Ghanaian organizations to comment or share their opinions on organizational issues. In this study, the participants were assured of the protection of their identities and also the confidentiality of their responses to the questions posed in the questionnaires.


Kaiser-Meyer-was used to determine the sufficiency of the sample size, and Bartlet test of sphericity was applied to calculate the meaningfulness of the correlation matrix. Then, the exploratory factor analysis was performed with maximum probability approach to identify the rate of loading of variables recognized in the component, and Varimax orthogonal approach was used to interpret the variables. Subsequently, the confirmatory factor analysis was used, with application of Lisrel 8.7, to verify the fitness of factors achieved during the explanatory factor analysis. The fitness indexes are as follows: Chi square index, goodness of fit index (GFI), comparative fit index (CFI), normed fit index (NFI), nonnormed fit index (NNFI), incremental fit index (IFI), related fit index (RFI), adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI), root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) and root mean square residual (RMR). However, if CFI, GFI, NFI, NNFI, IFI, RFI and AGFI are higher than 0.90, and RMSEA and RMR are less than 0.50, it proves a desirable and appropriate fitness (Alexopoulos and Kalaitzidis, 2004).


In the first step, the correlation of each identified variable and the internal consistency of all variables were calculated in the component “Quality of working life” for the data.
Quality of Working Life Experiences
Before the explanatory factor analysis, the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin approach was used to determine the sufficiency of the sample size for the component, while Bartlet test of sphericity was used to establish whether the correlation matrix has meaningful difference with zero or notrespectively. It showed that the exploratory factor analysis was permissible. Then, the explanatory factor analysis was performed with maximum probability approach.
The variables were interpreted with Varimax rotation approach. The results showed that three factors came out from the “Quality of Working Life Experiences” component with special values bigger than 1. The first, second and third factors explained 46.322, 12.982 and 11.9800% of the total variances of variables, respectively. Therefore, these three factors explained 62.865% of the total variances of variables for the component “Quality of Working Life Experiences” from various organizations.
Regarding this component, the following variables formed the 1st factor:
1. Job Satisfaction
2. Family-Responsive Culture
3. Employee Motivation
4. Organizational Support
5. Compensation
The 2nd factor was formed by the following variables:
1. Career Development & Growth
2. Flexible Work Arrangements
3. Emotional-Supervisory Support
The 3rd factor was formed by the following variables:
1. Communication
2. Organizational Commitment
3. Organizational Climate
4. Emotional-Supervisory Support
In Table 1, the confirmatory factor analysis was made with the use of the software “Lisrel 8.7” for ‘Quality of Working Life Experiences’ and then the fitness of the factors achieved was determined (Table 2). Subsequent to the earlier stated stage, the first, second and third factors of the component “Quality of Working Life Experiences” were the approved factors named: “Relationship-Sustenance Orientation”, “Futuristic and Professional Orientation” and “Self-deterministic and Systemic Orientation”, respectively


This study provides valuable implications for the banks that have growing interest in maintaining gender equity for attracting and retaining quality human resources. The study revealed significant differences in overall QWL and the determinants of QWL i.e. compensation, flexibility in work schedule and job assignment, attention to job design, and employee relations. So the private commercial banks should try to eliminate these differences to improve the overall QWL among all the employees regardless of sex differences.