Impact of Work Life Balance on Performance
Disclaimer: This dissertation has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional dissertation writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.
"It's all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family"
Philip Green, British billionaire businessman
In cultured and well developed societies including both eastern and western countries the conflicts of work and life balance has been the main issue in the modern and globalised economy. Apparently, the need to maintain flexible work-life balance has become essential as the number of female workers and part time workers have gained more part in the growing globalised multinational organisations (Shelton, 2006). These conflicts are traditionally from societal norms which still requires a man to concentrate on careers rather than on family issues, and it works vice versa with the female members of the society who are supposed to take care of the family more rather than working towards their career options (Walker et al., 2008).
The work-life pressures and conflict between personal and professional roles has become the primary area for researches to find the impact of organisational performance due to the imbalanced work-life culture and especially the source of disadvantages women faces in the corporate society. It can be justified as the focus was more on low payment, part-time work culture and absence at the top levels of business (Doherty, 2004).
Some more researches of Human Resource and their roles argued that the work-life issue affects the living standards of their employees (Hammer et al., 2004; Shelton, 2006). It was also proved by Shelton (2006), that the working pattern affects the work-life culture and strategies to maintain a balanced structure and the organisational performance. In United Kingdom a variety of work-life balance rules and policies has been implemented by the Labour government since their three successive rules since 1997 (Lewis and Campbell, 2007).
1.1 PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTION:
The main purpose of this research work is to analyse the impact of work-life balance on the organisational performance, especially the retail sector (TESCO), which is operating at a huge scale in United Kingdom and Europe and moving internationally. The main area of this research concentrates on the shop floor workers who work in direct relation with their customers who are the main sources of income for the organisation. This study can be used by the Store Managers and Operational Managers of TESCO to develop and implement various needs and wants of their employees especially the shop floor workers in order to improve the organisational performance.
The following questions are considered to be the main areas of my research:
"How the imbalanced work-life culture affects the organisational performance in the retail industry (TESCO), whose main customers is the general public".
This question leads to some sub-questions which need to be analysed in order to attain the answer for the main area of study, specifically:
- How organisations handle work-life conflicts?
- Is there any influence on the work-life balance strategies on Human Resource and other management practices?
- What are the main strategies to maintain a balanced work-life culture?
- What are the main factors of motivation?
- Is there any relationship between work-life balance and organisational performance?
My research is organised in a flow to understand the needs and wants of an employees who works in direct contacts with customers. In my first chapter the major definitions to terms, role of balanced work-life culture, and its importance in relation with Human Resource Management is discussed before moving to the literature part of my research work. In the next chapter the previous studies relating to my research work has been critically analysed to support my research work and moving down to methodology chapter to state how the data collection work was carried out to support my research. This chapter depicts the ways used to collect data and how it was interpreted. The last chapter of my research work is the crucial one and it analysis all the data and gives empirical results of my research study supported by recommendations and conclusion to my work.
In the developed countries, the work-life balance conflict has gained its prominence as the globalised world tends to increase the level of competition among the rival firms in the same sector. Hence, it is considered that Human Resource Management department has a role to play in maintaining a balanced work-life culture in order to motivate the employees to work committed for the organisational growth. The retail market in the United Kingdom is expected to plunge by 15% by 2011 valuing over £312bn (Datamonitor, UK Retail Futures 2011), showing the slowdown in the annual growth and the increase in the operating cost which acts as the hindrance to utilise the limited available capital. The world economic crisis and changes in the spending perspective of the general public has changed the way the retail industry was operating. Thus, Human Resource is considered as the vital department to tackle this operational changes by finding right people for the right job and ensure they work committed for the organisational growth.
Thus overall view of the retail industry has been a tough challenge for the HRM to provide high standards of training and development programmes to their employees. But at the same time it is necessary to understand the needs and requirements of the employees at the operational level who directly work with the end customers in order to provide quality services.
TESCO, a leading supermarket retailer in the food and non-food sector operating in United Kingdom and in 13 other countries around the world have more than 500,000 employees and moving rapidly with new and potential markets. This shows the importance of Human Resource Management to maintain a balanced work-life culture which will boost organisational growth. There are various motivational factors that gives job satisfaction and helps to maintain a balanced life, which has to be identified in order to concentrate on that to provide quality training and development needs.
This research work concentrates on finding the motivational factors and the level of awareness among the Customer Assistants who work in the shop floor of TESCOs to improve the training and development programmes. The current economic situation has spared the corporate with limited sources and hence it is not wise to spend lot of money on unnecessary and unwanted programmes. The researcher has used the time and resources to collect and discuss some related topics in the literature review chapter before choosing his research methods. After the discussion about the importance of the objectives in the literature review the researcher moves to methodology chapter to know about the available methods and techniques to collect and analyse the data. At last the analysed data is used to interpret and conclude the argument to find out some recommendations for the organisation.
"A day's work is a day's work, neither more nor less, and the man who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman"
George Bernard Shaw
The role of Human Resource Management has increased lately, as the globe has become too small and the brands have moved internationally. This revolution in the global trade has increased the nature of job to be more time bound and customer oriented leaving the employees lot of stress to maintain a balanced work-life culture. Hence, it has become the primary role of Human Resource Department to train and develop their employees to maintain a balanced work-life culture. This chapter finds the literature research works that have been carried out in the past to support the research questions and aims and objectives of the research work.
2.2 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
The Human Resource Management (HRM) is undergoing significant change in designing management systems to utilise the skilled human talents efficiently and effectively to attain the increased levels of organisational goals. All types of organisations, including from small to big, have to recruit, select, train and manage effectively to attain their individual and corporate goals. Hence, Human Resource is essential to fulfil the requirements of both side employees and employers. On the other hand HR has to abide by the legal systems that has been passed out by the government of the nation, and especially in case of international or multinational business firms. Therefore Human Resource Management is considered to be a vital management department whose prime responsible not only stick to recruitment and placing the employees under job, but extends from job satisfaction and retention till retirement, as they are the main capital of every organisation (Mathis and Jackson, 2007).
The introduction of part time work culture in United Kingdom has been the cause for the improvement of HRM activities as the multicultural society faces lot of legal and other issues from social backgrounds. Especially the retail giants like TESCO, Sainsbury, Primark, and Marks & Spencer are investing lot of their time and money to frame some strategic systems to maintain a balanced work culture which has its direct impact on the organisational performance (Maxwell et al., 2008). On the contrary some people take their employment as their career opportunity to grow within an organisational sector and works dedicated balancing both lives. In such cases the Human Resource Management has to support their employees through training and development programmes to motivate them to go forward with their balanced work life.
2.3 RETAIL INDUSTRY:
The growing technology and internationalisation has been a challenge to most industries including the retail industry which operates all over the west and in direct relationship with their customers. This is one of the major industries which have close contact with the customers daily on face to face basis. Hence, this industry requires the employees to be have well balanced work-life culture to deal smoothly with their customers. Retail internationalisation has gained overwhelming focus during the recent years, as the concept of globalisation has attained maturity. This concept has given the well-established retailers like TESCO, Sainsbury, Wall-Mart, etc., to move into international markets with their strong domestic success. The new concepts in the Human Resource Management and the development in the globalisation has given lots of challenges to maintain employees at peace across culture and across global and international laws (Burt et al., 2005). Until late 1990s products were central to some organisations, including both intangible and tangible assets. Traditionally manufactures were concerned about the designing and production of goods, whilst retailers were engaged in gathering the products for directly selling to the customers.
Moving forward with the economic and cultural changes, the way the retailers work have been changed from just retailing the products and services to manufacture, market, and sell their goods and services and make it available to customers at all convenient levels. Thus the retail market has widened its business from selling to overall business opportunities. The retail industry has split further into various sectors and includes various types of products and contributing a major chunk to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of United Kingdom, both in the production output and employment rate (Varley, 2001). This evolution of retail business in the west especially in the Europe and United States has given lot of opportunities to the retail business to set up lots of projects under pipeline. This developed the construction and food industry in the United Kingdom and in most European countries. The development in the retail industry has widened the opportunities for the international students and the locals studying in United Kingdom. The retail industry in-spite of recession is doing good and pushing the economy from recession to recovery. During 2007, retail industry has produced the highest return in the property business. The retail business has increased the existence of shopping centres accommodating lots of restaurants, entertainment and other complexes which attracts a huge customer base (Dijkman, 2008).
The 2007-2008 economic crisis had shaken the entire industry from its development. Though the economic hit was hard, the retail industry jumped out from the storm to lead the economy towards recovery. The growth of high street business was slowed down during March 2009 and thereon, whereas more than 13% of retailers showed stronger sales during this period when compared to the same period a year ago in 2007. This proved the consumer spending is more in the retail industry and its plays an important challenge to the Human Resource Management to rightly take up this opportunity to develop their business. Hence Human Resource works out to fix employee satisfaction and employees benefit to increase their operational output (Wade, 2010).
2.4 ORGANISATIONAL CULTURE:
Human Resource department has become the back bone of every organisation, and it is vital for the employees to know how it operates. In others view it is urged that Human Resource is an evil, a bureaucratic force enforcing unnecessary rules and regulations, restricting innovation and hinders the required changes. The Human Resource department is responsible in finding the suitable hires for the right job at the right time, which is considered as one of the main reason for increasing job stress and unsatisfactory level of performance (Mathis and Jackson, 2007). Any strategic activity by HRM is done once it has identified and analysed thoroughly the surroundings or environment where it operates. Hence, organisational culture plays a vital role in maintaining work life balance among its employees (Torrington et al., 2005). Human Resource Management (HRM) is considered as the basis of all management and not as the basis for business activity.
The old organisational culture of depending on product or services offered by them to increase the organisational performance does not hold well in modern developed economy. The employees or workers of the company are considered as the major asset to increase the organisational performance and brand image in the market. Managing these resources has to be done constantly by balancing the organisational needs and employees needs that work together to attain the corporate objectives. The changes in the workforce and expectations among the employees and companies HR managers have to work innovatively to convert their organisational background or culture a more friendly and efficient. Especially the employees working in the retail market is considered as the important market in the United Kingdom and are forms the major workforce (Boone, L., and Kurtz, D., 2008).
2.5 E-HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
The modern technological world has witnessed changes in the policies and practices that have been followed in old organisational culture. It is very important for all brick-and-mortar organisations to adopt changes out from the introduction of electronic and web based practices, as the newly introduced web based practices changed the business-to-business practices, the activities of a marketplace, changes in the supply chain, and acts as a catalyst for business. These changes provide HR management with lots of challenges to maintain value in the system to attract the employees and make them satisfied with their work culture in order to maintain a balanced work-life culture to improve the organisational performance. The dot com business has changed the way the business was carried out and it has given a challenging work culture to the employees in all major sectors including the retail market. This revolutionary age has been the reason for Enron to file bankruptcy, and internet age is growing together with the business and globalisation and not going down. The growth in the B2B business and B2C business has enhanced the usage of eHRM within and outside the organisation. This has been a challenge to maintain work-life balance as this web based technology has introduced work from home culture, any time availability for work, etc., which disturbs the personal life at every moment (Torres-Coronas and Arias-Oliva, 2005).
2.6 WORK LIFE BALANCE:
"Work-life balance" is usually viewed as the lack of work-life conflict or mostly the strength in which where work life interferes with family life or vice versa (Grzywacz and Carlson, 2007). Work-life balance relates to the absence of conflict in their personal and professional life (Clark, 2000) as satisfaction and committed and dedicated work without any role conflicts (Guest, 20002). Shaw (2003) has stated that work-life balance extents to individuals who are engaged equally and fully satisfied in both places. It is also considered as "a global assessment that work resources meet family demands, and family resources meet work demands such that participation is effective in both domains" (Voydanoff, 2005; Grzywacz and Carlson, 2007). Work and leisure is no longer related to any certain kind of jobs or market, and it has become an international requirement for every organisation to compete with their rivals and maintain a satisfied employees group (Lewis, 2003). In terms of United Kingdom's department of Trade and Industry, Work-Life balance is defined as the "about adjusting working patterns regardless of age, race or gender, [so] everyone can find a rhythm to help them combine work with their other responsibilities or aspirations" (Maxwell, 2005).
It is always considered that the work-life balance is very essential to maintain a health working conditions for the organisational benefit and for the benefit of its employees (Barnett, 1998; Edwards and Rothbard, 2000). Similarly, it had been proved by so many research works that the conditions of work life balance have its impact on the performance of the organisation (Kersley et al., 2005; Bureau of Labour, 2007). To maintain work and life a in a balanced scale, there are so many factors and so many persons to play in maintaining balance and harmony of their employees (Allen et al., 2006).
Work life balance concerns on employees having a measure to control about where, when and how they work (Clutterbuck, 2003), and the new policies are initiated in strengthening the work life balance in United Kingdom and European Union (DTI, 2002; Lewis et al., 2003) and it has been argued that the employees should co-ordinate various aspects of professional and personal life to have a balanced life. After the introduction of globalisation in the economy, most organisations including the retail firms have started to move across cultures and across oceans to increase their presence and customer base. So, it has seen an intense increase in the working people's working hours and their working life, which has both positive and negative impact on individual's professional and personal life (Lewis et al., 2003; Bryson et al., 2007; Bulger et al., 2007; Fereday, 2007).
This term work-life balance has come out to replicate the concerns the working individuals face to manage their lives equally to improve the living conditions of the society and the performance of the organisation (Greenblatt, 2002; de Cieri et al., 2005; Pocock, 2005; Bryson et al., 2007, Fleetwood, 2007, McDonald et al., 2007). The retail industries have grown to support the community and it has converted the main stores to provide 24/7 services to the society (Pryjmachuk and Richards, 2007). Supple working conditions facilitate autonomy in work place and it improves work-life balance of the employees (Barriball et al., 2007; Dwyer et al., 2007). Many organisations tout work-life balance as a value, and always the workaholics are given more rewards and respect. But this concept holds no good any more as the introduction of globalisation and its cultural impact has turned the organisations to show more interest in maintaining work-life balance for its employees. The modern era has created more leaders to pay their attention towards work-life balance and they moralize the good value of upholding a balanced life inside and outside the organisation.
It helps to improve more productivity while at work. Work and family issues are not the case during survival farmers and their families worked together to make a living. It has started once the family units made a male breadwinner for their house-wives. It was stated that during world war II, when most of the men in the west are out for war, the women population of more than70% were in the workforce, including pregnant women, which had been a hot topic of those times to maintain balance between their family commitments and to make a living (Shilling, 2009). It is very important to maintain a good balance especially when the employees have kids and old people to take care at home.
In the views of Shelton (2006), work-life disagreement is the form of inter-role issue starting due to stress originating from one or more roles and responsibilities. The bonus, pay and other options are great but at the same time every job has got its roles and responsibilities that gives pressures and has direct and indirect effects on the personal and organisational life. This depends on the leadership and managerial skills of the manager who manages the team (Flaum, 2009). Especially women employees are considered more sentimental and dedicated towards their personal and professional life and have less free time as they are tied up with family and society. Shelton (2006) created a hypothetical framework on the constructs based on role conflicts and role involvement to positive plans the effective strategies to reduce work-life conflicts, through influencing roles. The work-life conflict reduces the well-being of the organisational culture and gradually affects the overall organisational performance.
2.7 HISTORICAL OUTLOOK OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE:
Since the introduction of globalisation and free trade, organisations started to move globally and freely with fewer restrictions on investments in the outside market and this has changed the roles and responsibilities of HRM. Originally the issue of work-life was considered as a problem between family and work (Lewis, 2003), and eventually it was argued that it's not the issue between work and life, but between the organisational performance and employee satisfaction and dedication towards work. Furthermore the working timings of the employees were considered as one of the major issue to maintain a balanced work culture and they have introduced flexitime to challenge this issue. This issue broadened along men, women, families, and cultures of the organisations (Bird, 2006). Major research work considers individuals as a unit (Family or Team) and not as separate individual who works without any relationship with their sub-ordinates. Traditionally it is viewed as the absence of conflict among work and family, or the level of intensity or frequency of work interfering family or vice versa (Grzywacz and Carlson, 2007).
2.8 GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC WORK-LIFE BALANCE MODELS:
In many contexts it is considered whether the domestic models hold good in international podium, where the globalisation has changed the international business are carried out. In the global context the main issues to be examined is whether work interferes with life on certain outcomes. In United States it has been proved that the domestic work interferes more on personal life than in any other country, but in other global environments it is considered that personal life interfere with work. This depends on the responsibilities and roles the employees play within an organisation and their role in the family, hence considering both sides from life to work and work to life (Greenhaus, 1988; Dixbury and Higgins, 1991; Frone et al., 1997; Edwards and Rothbard, 2000; Shaffer et al., 2001).
The United Kingdom is facing lots of political issues out from people living longer, the changes in the needs of men and women in the labour market in terms of private life and other ways of working. Lots of models have been framed to calculate the work life balance of both genders at various periods and requirements of life. Shelton (2006) created a notional structure supporting role involvement and conflict to envisage the importance of strategies to lower the impacts of conflicts on balanced work culture or manoeuvring roles. This conflict is positively correlated with both organisational performance and family commitments. It is always considered that soaring levels of conflicts are expected for the female employees who have huge targets.
2.8.1 SCIENTIFIC MODEL:
Frederick Taylor (1911) proposed that every job possibly will be measured by the amount of work completed and it is always linked with the number of 'pieces' finished or 'piece rate'. This theory is based on the concept that harder the employees work the more rewarded they are. Taylor considered that monetary benefits serve as the motivational factor for the committed employees to work more efficiently and effectively.
2.8.2 TWO FACTORS MODEL:
Frederick Herzberg's two factor model or motivation-hygiene theory states certain motivational factors that will have positive impact on the role of employees towards organisational development, like the good basic pay and clean work environment. It was considered that once these factors are in place it automatically keeps up the strengths of the employees to work dedicated for the organisations and stays with the organisations for a long time.
2.8.3 HIERARCHY OF NEEDS:
The above two theories were criticised by another great management guru, Maslow, where he showed that people needs to have certain basic needs like safe and secure workplace, emotional fulfilment, self esteem, relationship etc., to be with the organisation with their full committed minds and souls. This concept has gained its attraction since globalisation as it turned up many organisations to go international and grow parallel with the increasing technology and changing market culture.
2.9 LONGITUDINAL EFFECTS OF GLOBALISATION ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE:
Globalisation has changed the way the works are being carried out and it has changed the roles and responsibilities at each level of hierarchy, giving both positive and negative effects in their balanced life. This also includes the mental strength, changes in the physique, health effects, etc., which might be a reason out of its increased job pressure or imbalanced work-life.
2.10 IS ORGANISATIONAL INTERVENTION IMPROVES WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
The world worst economic crisis has given fears in the minds of workers at all levels of management and the management has restricted and reduced the spending on the organisational development in terms of employee benefits and other allowances, by considering cost effectiveness and cost cutting programmes to effectively handle the risked finance to reduce the risk of being cut. The increased concern about the security, family preferences, the multinational organisations are trying to implement various strategies to effectively use their capital for the retention of its skilled and talented employees by providing balanced work-life.
However, it is not the only remedy to be auctioned to gain a balanced work group (Harris and Brewster, 2003; Poelmans, 2005). In the perspective of employees, Work Life Balance is maintaining balance between the roles and responsibilities at home and at work. "Work Life Balance is the principle that paid employment should be integrated with domestic life and community involvement in the interests of personal and social well-being (Heery and Noon, 2008). Work Life Balance is not only the time we spend working against non-working. It is about how employees use their time to relax, work and energies themselves and spends time with their family and kids (Morgenstern, 2008). It is considered that there exist a direct relationship between the work life balance of the employees and the organisational performance. Work Life Balance is considered as a strategic model to implement lots of Human Resource polices and rules in order to change the organisational atmosphere and organisational culture of how the hierarchy works, i.e., either in the vertical way or horizontal way, leading to satisfied employees and managed which in turn leads to organisational success and improved growth.
Strategies of Work Life Balance in organisations includes roles and polices including flexible work arrangements, childcare, depends care and other personal and parental benefits (Blari-Hoy and Wharton, 2002; Hyman and Summers, 2004; De Cieri et al., 2005). It is considered that the widespread changes in work-life issues and changes in the workforce demography in developing and developed societies have increased issues of work-life balance (Fleetwood, 2007; Lewis et al., 2007). The increased pressure towards the multi skilled employees out from roles and responsibilities has changed the organisational environment and work culture (Campbell and Charlesworth, 2004). Emphasis on family is considered as more important and higher quality and any imbalance caused by work has a negative effect on both personal and professional life (Frone et al., 1992; Greenhaus et al., 2003; Singh, 2010).
Every job is considered to have an element of fun and it gives satisfaction and pleasure instead of stress and pressure. This directly and indirectly leads to the increased organisational output and innovation for the long strategic roles. The term has been in the field of Human Resource over the last two decades and it is considered a vital one in the developed and improve technological world. Work-Life balance is one of the major things to maintain balanced and motivated employees whom even monetary benefits cannot afford to improve the organisational performance. At times salary will not be an attractive one to hold back the employees within the organisation as a committed employee, but the balanced work-life culture provided by the organisations will hold the employees with commitment till their retirement in the same organisation (Mehra, 2010). Human Resource plays a vital role in maintaining transparency to ensure that the office environment doesn't create pressure on their employees and their nature of work.
Work-Life balance has been very famous for the last two decades where technology started encroaching people's time more and more. It is considered that the term itself inherent some problem which presupposes a separation among work and life. In United States most companies offer work-life balance programs to attain competitive advantage whereas in Europe and United Kingdom it is considered as a social responsibility but it is considered that both these terms are not different and the goals are intertwined wherein competitive advantage can be gained through recruiting skilled employees and retaining with socially responsible activities to enhance the reputation of the organisation.
2.11 IMPACT OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE ON EMPLOYEES:
Every organizations sets their workplace to be more attractive than their rivals to gain the competitive advantage through satisfying the employees needs and wants by providing balanced work-life culture. Some organisations still believe on the importance of money for the employees as they consider only monetary benefits motivate the individuals to work committed. Some companies find increasing resistance of people if the monetary benefits are more and the employees sacrifice their non-work life including the family and dependent people.
Studies across US and UK have shown that the monetary benefits will attract people in the short run and only a balanced work life gives the employees the satisfaction and commitment to work with the organisations in the long run, i.e. surveys done with jobtrak.com, PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2000 (Clutterbuck, 2003). Many scholars have projected many roles of organisations to maintain a balanced work culture with differentiates them from their rival organisations (Kofodimos, 1990, 1993; Marks and MacDermid, 1996; Clark, 2000; Krichmeyer, 2000; and Hill et al., 2001). It has been argued that the balanced life will improve the energy and dedication of the employees in their professional and personal life which in turn reduced absenteeism, improper working styles, ideal time, and work lags.
Women employees share a major skilled force especially in United Kingdom and they account for more than 51% in United Kingdom (Labour Force Survey, 20002). On the other hand women employees are dedicated in the retail sector where customer service is one of the major roles to attract and retain customers in the long run (Audit Commission, 2003). It is argued that there is no one single way to have a balanced work-life at all times, as the employee today who is single will be married and have kids and social responsibilities in another 5 years time. Therefore there is no one-size perfect fit for all at all times and everyone strives to have a balanced work life (Bird, 2003).
2.12 DOES WORK-LIFE BALANCE INCREASES QUALITY EMPLOYEES?
It is believed that the flexible working is the base to have a balanced work life (Felstead et al., 2002). The normal life expectancy of people in west is approximately 75 years or 27,000 days, wherein most of the time has been spent in work place than they have for their personal life. This shows the importance of maintaining work-life balance between the personal and professional life. This harmony leads the organisational performance in total and gives the management a healthy support from its employees in difficult times. This gives support within the union or organisation, flexible relationship among the individual workers, between all levels of management, etc.. It is considered that the requirements and needs of the work are evaluated in creating an equal share of occasion to complete the professional work and have a private life attended when it is needed. It is considered that work often separates children from their parents and family to manage agendas of professional conflicts (Heckerson, 2006).
It is considered that the balanced life improves mental health, physique, relationships, innovation and productivity of the individual. This is mainly a lifestyle concern of how we divide the pieces of life to allow for multidimensional homeostasis.
It is considered that both work-family and occupational health have their importance in controlling the time for multiple responsibilities in both places without forgoing any important activity of life (Moen et al., 2008). Extensive research proposes gender influences work-family associations (Eby et al., 2005), where female employees face superior stress out from family and work rather than the male employees (Parasuraman and Simmers, 2001), perhaps the women have commitment to take care of their dependents. Thus sex differences enhanced commitment for female employees but improved for male while informal organisational support was more (Butts et al., 2007).
2.13 IS THERE ANY IMPACT ON ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE?
Retail industry is one of the most important and growing industry in United Kingdom. It is considered that the retail industry is the retail industry is at its growing stage and been a place where lots of employment opportunities are increasing. At the same time, it deals with lots of customers in face to face, where the employees daily deal with 1000 of customers queries. Hence, the work-life balance of its employees is considered to be very important to increase the performance of the organisation.
There seems a positive relationship among the balanced work-life and performance of the organisation, especially the retail market (Kersley et al., 2005). But some researchers have stated that there is no relationship between these variables (Allen, 2004; Schutte and Eaton, 2004). In some organisations, many people carries out their task reactively and actively without any thinking or without any work-life balance which eventually let alone the productivity to rise and makes the creativity to suffer. This leads to failure in strategic thinking, global view etc., in their professionally skilled employees. It is considered essential to have discussion during the interview process with the Human Resource People, to know whether the company follows any policies to maintain work-life balance and gives employees flexible and free working atmosphere. Most talented and skilled individuals in the current situation takes more care while entering into any organisation.
Thus, human resource department have taken up strategic importance to maintain work-life balance measures within the organisations to attract right people for the right job at the right time. In the current trend most organisations are offering so many benefits of work-life balance to increase the organisational performance and employees' health and innovative life. Organisations offer work-life balance to facilitate positive outcomes and hence it is important to understand whether this goal is being achieved or not (Osterman, 1995; Casper and Harris, 2008). Many researchers had stated that work-life balance have increased vital products including increased dedication and reduced turnovers, an example when onsite childcare was introduced in most organisations it reduced turnover and increased employees dedication and commitment (Casper, 2008).
It has been proved that work-life balance has a positive impact on the organisational performance as the level of quality life and level of satisfaction at work motivates the individuals to centre their views on their commitments towards work and sentiments of life, especially in the retail industry it has its major impact (Kersley et al., 2005). Contrastingly, it has been argued that there exist no relationship between these two variables, the balanced work-life and organisational performance as these variables are unclear to be compared (Allen, 2001; Schutte and Eaton, 2004). Beauregard and Henry (2009) have used comprehensive narrative review measures to fix the literature relationship between these variables. Moore (2006) have supported his views using semi-structured interviews, focus groups, questionnaires to determine the role of Work-Life balance on the organisational performance in order to enhance the roles and policies of Human Resource Management.
Multiple data approach was used to support the strong relationship of Work Life Balance during the late 1980s, before the introduction of globalisation and internationalisation of trade which proved effective even at that stage (Knafl and Breitmayer, 1989). The organisational performance was compared with both conditions, balanced and imbalanced work-life to find whether there exists any relationship between these variables in both short and long run in various sectors (Saltztein et al., 2000). Hill et al., (2001) has used five scale to assess the relationship between these variables and found positive outcomes. It has been argued strongly that the balanced work-life promotes well-being and in turn shows up a positive sign for the organisations to perform (Cummings, 2001; Izzo and Withers, 2001).
The last two decades has seen the increase in the scope and services offered by organisations and in turn an increased need to have a quality customer service to attract major customers in the pre stages and to retain at the past sales stage of goods and service.
The retail industry in the United Kingdom has grown to its heights and shares a major share in the industry to provide employment opportunities for major population of the nation. Hence, retail market is considered to cover major share of the population who works in direct relationship with customers and acts as a customer. This shows that the employees of the retail market face major distractions due to imbalanced work-life culture (Ehrhart and Chung-Herrera, 2008). There is a positive correlation between the organisation roles and personal role which has to be a balanced one in order to increase the organisational performance. However the conflicts can be reduced by introducing new strategies by the management by altering the demands in the venture to keep motivated and helps them to have a contented life.
These strategies attempts to reduce the conflicts that arises between the transformation of work-life system through interfacing, organising, delegating roles and responsibilities and maintaining a substantial work and family culture, etc.. It is important to understand that the strategies of the management thrive to control the emotional thoughts of its employees to assist them to maintain a balanced work-life culture.
2.14 WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT:
There exist three kinds of work-life conflict, which affects the personal and professional life of an employee, including job-parent conflict, job-spouse conflict, and job-homemaker conflict (Kim and Ling, 2001; Poelmans, 2005). However, of these three the role of job and homemaker conflict and job and parent conflict are the most vital situations that needs be to taken in to account for setting up strategies as the intensity of performance changes depending on the kids or dependents in the family. The negative part of the work-life balance has its extensive consequences which can be grouped in four major headings,
- Health (Physical and Mental issues)
- Performance of both the individual and the organisation
- Commitment in work domain (i.e. work productivity, turnover intensions, burnout, etc.).
2.15 MODERATORS OF WORK-LIFE CONFLICT:
After lot of research works it has been revealed that the moderator affects the work-life balances in two different ways, including the gender and the roles and responsibilities an individual hold in the organisational structure. It has been tested under various studies that the pressures and demand from these conflicts varies from male individuals to female employees of the organisation and certain other 'outcomes' like psychological strain, and satisfaction from the work they carry out and the responsibilities that comes up in their personal life.
Hence, from various literature works it has been a positive statement that the work-life conflicts varies from two main moderators, especially the gender and the social attention an individual has to maintain between its personal and professional life (Poelmans, 2005).
2.16 TRENDS IN WORKING HOURS IN UNITED KINGDOM:
A century ago an average working hour of a week was 50 and it was not thought that the working patterns and working hours would have any impact on the work-life balance of an individual and on organisational performances. Eventually the concept of internationalisation and free movement of trade, United Kingdom was transformed as an multicultural place to work and live. On the other hand United Kingdom has become the place of dream post graduate education, especially business and management courses which has given the companies to opt for part time and evening workers to keep flexible working culture. More women employees started to compete with male workers and increased their presence in all kinds of work. Moving forward the working patterns was seemed to have an impact on various factors, like individuals commitment and determination towards work and their role as a family member, the downturn of working hours came to a stop, as the above factors was accompanied by more self employed managers and professionals, working more to compete hard with the growth of globalisation. The Office for National Statistics has stated that the full time workers averaged 37 hours per week and Part timers averaged 15.5 hours in December 2008. The long working hours is considered to have major effects on many things including the personal health, mental pressures, job performance, relationships, etc.
This changing trend has altered the ways the employers used to treat their employees, and they are being free to accept changes to maintain healthy working conditions including flexible working hours. The introduction of new government policies in United Kingdom like the right to request a flexible working agreement, has encouraged the organisations to respect the needs of its employees despite worrying about cost cutting techniques, pressuring up its employees to increase organisational performance. Basically, in United Kingdom legislation helps the parents or guardian with a child below 16 years of age or a disabled child or anyone who takes care of others including parents, partners or relatives, and so on (Haurant, 2010).
2.17 WORK-LIFE BALANCE: WHO'S RESPONSIBILITY??
Even at the best of times, getting fulfilment from the job you work is hard enough. The world economic recession has still worsened the situations and moving from one job to another to balance work and life has been a night mare. Hence, it is considered that the work-life balance is the prime responsibility of both the management and the individuals to accomplish their goals. Some arguable debates have been carried out to debate about who is responsible to maintain a balanced work-life. They argue that it is the primary duty of an individual employee to balance life through practising certain do and don't to cope with the requirements of personal and professional life (Snowdon, 2010). The employees should get some good sleep, analyse their Strength and Weakness (SW) to refocus on achieving a balanced life, and embrace constraints like money problem, time and people. It is good to ignore your unhappiness and tries to takes up opportunities to change your work culture and reduce the huge wish lists that need to be carried out within a short period of time and leap from the frying pan into the fire, which keeps the employee unhappy at work and not satisfied in life. The annual Office for National Statistics (ONS) has given reports about the working hours in United Kingdom, which has been reduced from 37.9 hours in 2000 to 36.8 hours in 2009. This shows that the organisations are more flexible and concentrates more on the employees' balanced work-life culture. The growth of multicultural societies and the opportunities that were opened up for skilled individual has given UK a challenging task to control a balanced work culture, including the increased level of women employees at work, and especially the growth of part time workers when compared to the full time workers (Snowdon, 2009). The main areas of concern in maintaining work-life balance was considered as,
- The means of commuting
- Do they get on their bikes?
- The ageing population of United Kingdom
- Do they work for themselves or for the organisation?
- Are they happier?
There have been a lot of hot debates on the topic of work life balance in the media, as the global recession has still not under control and making lot of employees to be redundant and shaking the employees to be on their nerves to hold on with the job rather than loose the work, though the work life balance is not attained. Various economics and management gurus like Karl Marx and Keynes have imagined a world where the citizens of United Kingdom, would be having a work culture of less strained and quality life, and Keynes fancied by 2030, British would be working less than three hours per day. Recent research works have stated that the normal working patterns remains to be 9 AM to 5 PM in United Kingdom and various other European economies. It is considered that work brings in money which can be used to buy stuffs and have a happy life, and the love for money among the young generation (The Guardian, 2010). The new legislations support both the male and female workers to maintain a balanced work-life culture especially those with infant kids. In United Kingdom, the government has passed new policies to support female workers where fathers can avail six months paternity leave whist the mother proceeds to work (2010).
This study is partially based on Powell and Ling where they have discussed about the issues of work-life conflicts that have been distracting the oriental society, and western America to know about the impacts of balanced work life culture on organisational performance. Work-life conflict has negative influence on the social well-being of the employees. There are two factors which affect the dynamics of work-life issues like the coping strategies used between the work and personal roles, and the second factor is the social support gained from the roles an individual hold in the organisation and as a partner of a family.
2.18 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK:
The previous studies by Shelton, Ling and Powell, features the work-life issues where the roles demands in professional and family causes work-life conflict, and it has adverse effects on the well-being of the organisation and the individual employees. However effective and efficient work-life strategies framed by the Human Resource can reduce the conflicts to increase the organisational performance.
The above topics under this chapter discussed the role of work-life balance in individual life to improve the quality workers and organisational performance. This chapter also looked into various academic resources that are available in the related field. This is used to collect the secondary data and methods that were used to analyse the role between various variable under discussion.
The work-life balance is important for every level of management as it is essential to provide dedicated and committed work to improve the organisational performance. The Human Resource Management is considered as the backbone of every organisation as its role is not limited to recruitment and selection, but also exceeds to training and development needs to maintain the performance level of the employees along with their personal commitments.
This chapter rationalizes the methodology used in my research, initialling by reinstating the research objectives and research questions and eventually moves further to explain the approaches, design, data collection techniques and analysis part to select the most effective technique to continue my research activities.
There have been lots of research techniques to find the relationship between work-life balance and organisational performance, carried out using comprehensive narrative review techniques (Beauregard and Henry, 2009), semi-structured interviews, focus group and questionnaire (Moore, 2006), to achieve that work-life balance improves the performance and motivational outcome of the individual in the context of organisational performance. The samples are drawn from the normal working employees of TESCO i.e. the Customer Assistants (CAs), Duty Managers, and the Managers who are directly related to the performance of the organisation. These semi-structured interviews are very interactive and give lots of opportunities to collect data and to practically see how the employees are maintaining work life balance (Moen et al., 2008).
Though it is considered that work-life balance have a relationship on organisational performance, it is considered that a self-interest model (Lind & Tyler, 1988) shows that the performance is affected when the employees find the balanced life is useful for them. The users of work-life balances have less turnover intentions (Kossek et al., 2006).
3.2 RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVES:
In the stream of Human Resources there have been various kinds of research activities that have been carried out so frequently and one among them is the work-life balance and its impact on the organisational performance. My research is aimed at achieving certain objectives which are stated below. Objectives are the main purpose based on which the research activities are carried out in order to rationalize the research questions. These objectives lead to better specialised answers rather research questions (Saunders et al., 2009).
How the imbalanced work-life culture affects the organisational performance in the retail industry (TESCO), whose main customers is the general public
- How organisations handle work-life conflicts?
- Is there any influence on the work-life balance strategies on Human Resource and other management practices?
- What are the main strategies to maintain a balanced work-life culture?
- What are the main factors of motivation?
- Is there any relationship between work-life balance and organisational performance?
In order to accomplish these objectives, the researcher used both primary and secondary methods of data collection. Primary or the first hand data was gathered through online and physical questionnaires whilst the secondary or used data was congregated among various other sources including the academic books, internet, articles, magazines, etc.
3.3 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY:
The approach to research was confirmed by considered the philosophical view points as there are various research methods and approaches are available in the hands to carry out the research activity. Thus, the research philosophy and the research approach rely on the development of knowledge (Yin, 2003; Kothari, 2008; Saunders et al., 2009).
Crossan (2004) has identified the importance of research philosophy and he states that it make possible for the researcher to analyse the research methods to identify the origin and kinds of evidence that are collected and interpreted. The above literature review proposes various main approaches that were used to work on the related questions to identify the role of Human Resource Management on maintaining work-life balance for their employees and its impact on the organisational performance. These research works were based on the Realism, Positivism, and Phenomenology.
Creswell (2009) mirrors the traditional methods and techniques of doing research which intakes a clear quantitative approach in order to analyse the research questions rather going for a qualitative approach. It is argued that positivism is considered as the main approach in social science research (Remenyi, 2002). On positivism methods of philosophy things are most commanding rather than ideas to reach the goals of our research activities. To innovate new ideas and support them, the researcher needs some proved or previous research works to support the results. Positivism is considered as the most famous research philosophy for generating innovative ideas. Thus, this philosophy aims to recognize whether the work-life balance have any impact on the performance of TESCO, a super market giant.
On the other hand realism is also another method which stands along with the scientific research (Saunders et al., 2009). "Realism is the unlimited ideas, opinions and beliefs of human" (Kothari, 2008). The researcher has sought realism in order to understand the roles of Human Resources on training and development needs to maintain a balanced work-life culture. The researcher has used questionnaires to identify the roles of Customer Assistants and their knowledge about the work-life balance to increase the performance of TESCO.
The roles of Human Resource Management is not only limited to recruitment and selection but also extends to training and development of their employees to make capable to work with the team and towards the organisational group and individual goals. On the other hand it is the primary role of the Human Resource department to understand the needs and wants of the employees within the organisation which may have direct or indirect impact on the organisational performance. Hence, the role of Human Resource has changed from its basic values to strategies approaches. There are various innovative methods and techniques available to motivate employees to maintain a balanced work-life and competitive environment is changing so rapidly.
On the needs of the research question, a positivism approach has been chosen as the perception of the globe has been changing rapidly due to the concept of globalisation and free trade. Contrastingly, positivism gives the researcher the freedom to do his/her research based on measures, and the responses are un-biased as the not influenced by his/her experiences and beliefs (Proctor, 2006).
3.4 RESEARCH DESIGN:
Research design is the procedures and strategies to carry out the research activities. These includes the decision making part to support the research activities. This includes the strategic approaches of data collection methods in order to analyse them to support the above stated research questions. The research design is shaped based on the personality of the research study. Once the research problem is formulated the research design used specific methods to collect data and carry out the research analysis process. (Emory, 1976). The above literature review showed various methods to do data collection and analysing the collected data to find whether is there any impact between balanced work-life culture and on the organisational performance. Research can be either Qualitative research or Quantitative research, meaning the qualitative research is a descriptive analysis as to check the quality of the already said information, whereas the quantitative research is to analyse the primary data to find the hypothesis (Bryman and Bell, 2007).
3.4.1 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH:
Qualitative research is mostly used to collect data through e-mail and contains non-numerical data and it works out to be a case study approach to prove the quality of the question under discussion (Saunders et al., 2009). Qualitative research is used to gather information from the Mangers of TESCO to analyse the impacts of maintaining balanced work-life culture on their organisational performance. These interviews were used to support the questionnaires answered by the shop-floor employees of TESCO.
3.4.2 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH:
Quantitative research investigates the association between various variables which are used to measure the output using statistical and mathematical procedures (Creswell, 2009). Quantitative method is used to collect data using survey methods like the questionnaire or data analysis that uses numerical data to support the arguments (Saunders et al., 2009). The researcher used questionnaire to collect data from the Customer Assistants of TESCO to know the relationship between the Work-Life Balance and Organisational Performance and various methods to motivate employees to maintain a balanced work-life culture.
There exist various kinds of research designs, including the exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. Each research design has its own individual purpose (Saunders et al., 2009). Hart (2006), states that research design should be shaped according to the goals each research design holds. The below table distinguishes between the exploratory and descriptive designs.
Apart from exploratory and descriptive designs there exist two more approaches, the deductive and inductive approach, and one to develop theory and to frame a research strategy while the other one is necessary to gather data which then used to do analysis (Thornhill, 2009).
3.5 DEDUCTIVE APPROACH:
The deductive approach uses the scientific principles to support the argument and it moves from the academic theory to data. This helps in gathering of quantitative information and it ensures the validity of the data. This approach provides the research an independent strategy to measure the responses. This approach indicates the necessity of sample size that needs to be gathered to generalise the conclusion.
3.6 INDUCTIVE APPROACH:
This approach understands the meaning of every event and a closer understanding provides lot of insight approach to our research question. This helps in collection of qualitative data and helps in analysing the gathered information to support the research questions.
3.7 DATA COLLECTION METHODS:
Data collection is essential to draw conclusion, and it depends on the methodology and research methods (Zikmund, 1997). It can either be primary data collection or secondary data collection (Emory, 1976). Primary data is the way of collection first time information using questionnaires, samples, interviews, etc., (Saunders et al., 2003). The secondary data collection can be done using the second hand information or information ready available (Emory, 1976; Zikmund, 1994).
3.7.1 PRIMARY OR UN-USED DATA:
In case of primary data collection, the questionnaires and in-depth interviews are the most effective tool to collect the first hand information. In this method the four main issues needs to be analysed, viz.,
- Choosing appropriate communication channel (Phone, mail or Personal interviews)
- Improving responses
- Designing the Questionnaire
- Framing Questions to ask the respondents (Lancaster et al., 2002)
3.7.2 SECONDARY OR USED DATA:
This method collects the already analysed data and already been provided to the external environment. This data supports the researcher to recognise the research question and an in-depth understanding to the research activity (Saunders et al., 2009). There are various resources where one can search for the secondary data, including the documentary data, academic journals, books, etc..
In this research study the researcher has used both the primary and secondary data collection techniques to carry out the research activities.
3.8 QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN:
The questionnaire was framed out by the researcher based on the directions enhanced by the module guide Cilliers Diedericks. Once it was approved, it was given to the respondents through physically and through e-mails to collect the required data. Malhotra (2004) recommends that questionnaire serves to be most widely used instrument to gather the primary data. The questionnaire was based on certain necessary concepts, like the need for information, importance of individual and group questions, avoiding vagueness of questions which makes the respondents' to be unable to answer, identifying the layout, and the presentation.
All primary methods of data collection techniques include all genders, un-biased age group, new joiners, managers, etc to see whether there is any relationship between the work-life balance and the organisational performance.
3.10 RESEARCH LIMITATIONS:
Every research activity is assumed to have some limitations either due to personal or external reasons. In this research the researcher has faced certain limitations like the time, which is very less to study the entire concept of how the variables affect each other. In response to that finance and the accessibility to various resources like the books and academic journals were too less. All these limitations were joined with personal and family constraints and the accessibility to the performance charts of the stores are not accessible due to confidentiality under which the organisation didn't provide any information.
Conclusively, this research adopts positivism approach to carry out its research objectives. It anchors the descriptive design and supports the deductive study to carry out the quantitative research using ques
Cite This Dissertation
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: