The Role of Work Life Programs in Business Strategy
Work life programs refer to practices developed purposely to achieve organizational changes by reducing conflicts between work and life relations among employees. They enable organizational cultural norms to be changed for employees to be more effective and efficient in attaining the firm goals and objectives. Balancing work and life relations is vital as it enables employees to accommodate, care, appreciate, and engage with their colleagues which is a crucial paradigm and in building and attaining business strategies. More so, competition between work and life responsibilities has been increasingly demanding employees to realize demographic and workplace changes. For example, a large number of employed women have to change their family structures in order to accommodate their work schedules. They also have to transform their work and life schedules in line with technological changes and advancements. Ensuring these changes and transitions are smooth without conflicting work and life relations can be challenging. As a result, they design and develop work life programs facilitating how their efforts are fulfilled in personal and professional commitments. Private, public, government and non-governmental organizations have therefore encouraged human resource managers and employers to support work life programs designed by improve employees’ outputs (Preethi, & Venkatarama, 2013).
Work life effectiveness involves either applying or relying on specific organizational practices, programs, and policies guiding by philosophy of actively supporting employees’ efforts in attaining success in their personal and professional lives. Work life programs are therefore forms of employer-sponsored agendas and initiatives. The work portfolio is compromised as the main strategic framework with regards to organizations’ rewards. The employers sponsor the process of designing and developing the work life programs in order to attract, support, motivate, encourage, and retain employees.
Creation of Successful and Sustainable Work Life Programs
The World-at-Work Organization believes building and managing a multifaceted work life program for the firm is a process requiring art and science. The skills enable the program’s effectiveness to be measured to determine if the portfolio is an investment. A program considered as an organizational investment ought to reduce and prevent conflicts between work and life. The program should also yield positive returns by ensuring organizational productivity, and engagements increase. More so, the rate of retaining employees should increase. More importantly, employees should record better health outcomes while evaluating their professional and personal relations. This further enables and motivates them to attain greater shareholder values (WWO, 2007).
Engineering the work life program requires tactical planning abilities. It also requires skills in change management and communication as well as project management, realization, supervision and measuring to ensure the results are promisingly positive. Consequently, employers ought to support effective work life programs that can differ in size as they are implemented diversely across organizational departments. An effective work life program should therefore address the following people practices. Foremost, the program should enhance peoples’ abilities to care for their dependants. Secondly, the program should enhance health and wellness among people across their work and life relations. They should be flexible to allow cultural changes in order to accommodate workplace changes and implementations. The workplace therefore, should also be flexible as organizations rely on growth and development which prompts firms to change and transform (WWO, 2007).
An effective work life program should also balance between paid and unpaid time. Thus, the program should also offer financial support in order for people to lead comfortable and happy and fulfilling personal and professional lives. Finally, an operative work life program ought to allow community involvement. This refers to employees and employers’ interests being closely aligned as the workforce and customers come from communities enabling the organization to operate and function. The community involvement should therefore involve processes building and enhancing the strong sense of belonging and acceptance. For example, organizations should establish community volunteer and matching gift programs as well as disaster relief funds. They should be tasked in cleaning the community, helping disadvantaged members of the society and determining measures to undertake to reduce crime and unemployment rates (WWO, 2007).
Work Life Programs and Job Satisfaction
Charles Cookson asserts that, organizations often spend huge amounts in financial assets and resources to address low job satisfaction among employees. For example, organizations can incur over ten percent losses in pretax income due to employee withdrawal. Financial losses associated with employee turnover however, can increase beyond twenty-seven percent. This notion should therefore encourage organizations to build a quality working life theory understanding the role of work life programs in achieving and enhancing job satisfaction among employees. Managers, directors, supervisors, employers, and employees in an organization should therefore understand work life programs in attaining developing quality and effective business strategies to achieve objectives set by the firm (Charles, 2016).
Modern life requires people to be financially stable in order to derive pleasure and happiness from globalization and technological advances. This has prompted people to seek employment opportunities guarantying they earn salaries and wages after providing their skills to resolve issues in order to attain organizational goals. This therefore develops a connecting relationship between work, family and the organization. The three relations ought to coexist effectively in order for achieve personal and professional goals. As a result, employees rely on work life programs in ensuring that business practices achieve job satisfaction in order to sustain the work life relationship while providing the organizational with impeccable skills in attaining its goals and objectives (Charles, 2016).
Work life Balance Strategies
Job satisfaction is achieved among employees able to balance between their personal and professional lives thus enabling them to be more productive and pleased in their jobs. Consequently, organizations record higher employee retention rates. Consequently, the productive and committed employees develop and rely on business strategies enhancing job satisfaction and attaining organizational goals and objectives. The working life theory offers strategies to improve the quality of working life among employees. The theory however, also expands and evaluates the motivational aspects necessary in ensuring people achieve health and well being in their professional and personal lives. For example, some people can be very happy and fulfilled when at home. They however affirm being miserable, unhappy, stressed, and lacking motivation at the work places. The lack of balance in the work and family lives can therefore adversely affect or influence how they experience their professional and personal relationships (Haar, Russo, Suñe, & Ollier-Malaterre, 2014).
Consequently, they lack motivation to ensure they are productive as they lack commitment required in attaining organizational goals and objectives. Job dissatisfaction is as a result of employees lacking motivation. Thus, employees fail to seek happiness, comfort, and fulfillment in their job. This increases the likelihood of the employee leaving the organization. Consequently, they cannot derive happiness and satisfaction without a job or a regular source of income crucial in fulfilling their daily needs and wants. The satisfaction theory of Maslow and motivation theory of Herzberg should therefore be applied in developing effective work life programs. The theories will ensure employees their feelings towards work life support and enhance their positive attitudes in leading happy and fulfilling personal lives (Charles, 2016).
Stress can also result to negative social behaviors. These behaviors include people embracing drug and substance abuse as well as alcohol addiction. The negative economic consequences associated with such adverse social behaviors affect the employees, organizations, communities and the economy at large. Negative social behaviors can be discretely manifested by employees at work due to lack of balance between professional and personal lives. For example, some employees embrace alcohol consumption in order to cope with stress levels at the work and family settings. Consequently, they become accustomed as functional alcoholics. This translates to lack of job satisfaction and elevated stress levels either at work or at home. As a result, they commence the use and abuse of substances as they believe they will numb their stress levels. These negative behaviors however incur the employee and the organization financial losses. This is because the employee become careless in their work and less productive as they lack the will, desire, and motivation to be committed in attaining organizational goals and objectives. This prompts the body to choose either retaining the unproductive employees or increasing turnover rates. Ultimately, the work life programs ensure employees and organization attain their goals without being overbearing as they balance professional and personal requirements to be fulfilled by employees (Mark, & Smith, 2011).
Job satisfaction enables employees to derive pleasure and fulfillment while working in the organization. Thus, employees relying on work life programs to achieve job satisfaction are not stressed as they are able to balance their professional and personal, family, and social expectations. Stress produces diverse physical symptoms that often limit employees from being productive, effective, and efficient in attaining their personal and professional requirements. Some employees for example, experience muscokeletal pains, high blood pressure and develop cardiovascular complications due to elevated stress levels. Thus, they are neither productive at work nor happy and contented at home as they have to undergo medical checkups which are painful and costly. Consequently, they can develop heart diseases and suffer from depression as they come to know they cannot balance their work and family lives successfully. This acknowledgement also prompts some people to develop eating disorders which can lead either to obesity or bulimia (Amanda, Diana, & Stephen, 2012).
Thus, work life programs ensure organizations retain skilled, qualified, committed, motivated, and productive employees able to balance their work, family, and social lives. Consequently, they are able to derive job satisfaction and they strive to achieve organizational goals and objectives by relying on business strategies supporting their endeavors in balancing their work, family, and social lives. As a result, organizations thrive and expand as employees are effectively and efficiently undertaking firm operations and functions. This further enables the organizations to meet their corporate social responsibilities (Najmeh, Mohammad, & Hossein, 2014).
Gus, Ann, Sherry, Jerry, and Afton assert that, quality of work life programs depends on employees’ perceptions towards them. They should therefore address aspects influencing employees work, family, and social lives in order to be perceived as quality, effective and efficient in attaining the balance required. Thus, work life programs should be developed to reduce stress levels among employees. More so, they should be striving to help employees to attain job and career satisfaction. Additionally, they should develop a work versus home interface guarantying employees’ wellbeing and health is achieved and enhanced depending on the diverse experiences and conditions they face in attaining work and family balance (Gus, Ann, Sherry, Jerry, & Afton, 2014).
The authors further assert that, organizations perform at optimal levels by providing employees with job conditions allowing them to fulfill their physical, emotional, social, psychological, and financial needs. The work life programs are designed to assist employees in being productive in order for organizations to succeed in growing and expanding. Eustress is relied on by managers and supervisors in pressuring and motivating employees to devote energy in undertaking a particular organizational task. It should however be distinguished from distress as it neither motivates nor encourages employees. Instead, it interferes with employees’ abilities to complete organizational tasks. Work life programs should therefore be developed to assist employers in distinguishing eustress from distress. This will enable employers to develop organizational cultural norms and practices to be applied by managers and supervisors in motivating and supporting employees. The programs also ensure employees are not tasked with responsibilities interfering with their family and social lives. Employers should therefore embrace work life programs as they ensure employees are allocated tasks and responsibilities they can finish within the time given. This further ensures the employees utilize the resources at their disposal effectively and efficiently. This therefore, reduces wastage of organizational resources while providing employees with favorable working environments and conditions enhancing their productivity both at work and home (Lucie, & Saerah, 2013).
Organizations also strive to achieve a competitive industry in the market. However, this requires the organization to attain its goals while operating and functioning in line with the market requirements. As a result, organizations hire and train employees with the potential to compete and attain the competitive advantages required in order for the firm to be recognized as successful in its niche. Hiring and training employees however should be complemented by developing the work life programs. The programs will ensure employees apply their qualified and experienced skills in relying on information technologies to attain organization goals and objectives. This will also enable them to achieve job satisfaction enabling them to derive pleasure and satisfaction both at work and home. As a result, they will identify and utilize resources at their in ensuring they seize opportunities guarantying the organizations succeeds in attaining competitive advantages. It is therefore vital for organizations to embrace work life programs as they support the process of attaining competitive advantages across diverse industrial settings firms are striving to mark their niche (Ioan, Codruta, & Patricia, 2010).
Businesses are developed based on the strategy that, they will survive, thrive, expand, and mark their niche. This requires the businesses to identify their operations and functions crucial in attaining the setout goals and objectives. Employees are however critical as they undertake the operations and functions of the business. Businesses should therefore strategize on how to support, encourage, and motivate employees in order to be productive. As a result, they should embrace work life programs as they ensure employees derive job satisfaction as well as happiness and comfort both at work and home. The balance is vital as it empowers them to be committed in attaining the goals of the business in order to reap the physical, psychological, mental, social, and economic benefits associated with a successful business venture.
Amanda, S. B., Diana, R., & Stephen, T. (2012). Job Stress, Wellbeing, Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Conflict among Australian Academics. Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology, 8(1): 25-37. Retrieved on 13th April from: http://sensoria.swinburne.edu.au/index.php/sensoria/article/viewFile/320/316
Charles, C. (2016). The Role of Work-Life Balance Programs in Job Satisfaction. Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. Retrieved on 13th April from: http://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3065&context=dissertations
Gus, G., Ann, G., Sherry, A., Jerry, W., & Afton, B. (2014). Employee Perceptions of the Manager Behaviors That Create Follower-Leader Trust. Management and Organizational Studies, 1(2), 44-58. Retrieved on 13th April From: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiB-t3hsIrMAhWIFJoKHcvWBboQFggkMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciedu.ca%2Fjournal%2Findex.php%2Fmos%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F4719%2F2734&usg=AFQjCNE4I3bcBKe-KFejtj3og16l_Fzk5g&sig2=VDxUPR6auByzOlbP-vC3Wg&bvm=bv.119408272,d.bGs
Haar, J. M., Russo, M., Suñe, A., & Ollier-Malaterre, A. (2014). Outcomes of Work–Life Balance on Job Satisfaction, Life Satisfaction and Mental Health: A Study across Seven Cultures. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 85(1), 361–373. Retrieved on 13th April from: file:///C:/Users/Wangeci/Downloads/32273_Haar_JVB2014_Outcomes.pdf