Quality of work life programs are organization-wide initiatives. Most QWL programs are designed and implemented based on organizational demographics, structure and goals. These programs are designed to impact the organization as a whole. The primary goal of QWL programs is to improve the overall well being of the employee, while achieving organizational objectives, such as increased productivity. In addition to this, QWL programs were developed to reduce absenteeism, turnover and increase productivity (Martinez, 1997).
Although it is difficult to come up with an all-encompassing definition of QWL, many researchers describe QWL in term of its major content areas. For example, May, Lau and Johnson (1999) define QWL companies as organizations that promote job security, employee growth, rewards and employee satisfaction. Overman (1999) suggests that QWL programs fall into two categories. The first category are work reorganization programs. These include things such as restructuring jobs and duties, telecommuting, job sharing, and flextime. The second category are employee benefit policies.
These include things such as on-site childcare/eldercare and/or referral services, paid family and medical leave, release time and limits on business travel. Furthermore, Greenfield and Terry (1995) describe QWL programs around six initiatives: Helping employees manage their physical and mental health and helping employee’s care for dependents. Flexible leave policies (e. g. personal days, gradual return to work programs). Saving employees time (e. g. on-or-near-site banking) and supporting employees’ thorough the financial life cycle (e. g. financial and retirement planning).