Factors impacting on the quality of work life : a case study of university "A"
Letooane, Mpho Kenneth
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Poor quality of work life is a challenge in higher education institutions (HEIs) and it impact negatively on performance, attraction and retention of quality staff. The purpose of the research was to report on the factors that impact on the quality of work life of employees at the University “A”. The findings from this investigation will assist employees and management alike to understand factors that can improve performance and assist University “A” to be an employer of choice to attract, develop and retain suitably qualified employees. The rationale for the study was to investigate and obtain a better understanding of the quality of work life status in University “A”. Higher education institutions face a serious challenge of retaining adequately qualified and competent staff due to regular resignation and termination of employment contracts of employees. This has resulted in a steady backlog of vacant positions and which has a detrimental effect on the quality of teaching and learning. The deficit of staff leads to increased teaching workloads and consequently impacts negatively on the quality of service being offered including teaching and learning. This study is grounded in both quantitative and qualitative research traditions whereby a survey was conducted in the form of a structured questionnaire and in depth-interviews to university employees. The structured questionnaire was analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Scientists version 12 generating the reliability coefficient Alpha of 0.898 indicating the high degree of acceptance and consistent of the results. This study used the probability stratified random sampling whereby 160 structured questionnaires were distributed to both academic and non-academic employees with 142 returned successfully generating the response percentage of 89%. The findings of this research suggested that career advancement was one of the main reasons that were identified to lead to poor quality of work life. Furthermore, another primary concern was job insecurity, employees felt that their jobs are not reliable and secure. It was also noted in the research outcomes that a high proportion of the respondents were generally not well. The study findings suggest that respondents were not involved in decisions that affect them in their area of work and they feel that they are not given a lot of freedom to decide how to do their jobs. The research results indicated that the increase percentage of the respondents disagreed that their employer provides adequate facilities and flexibility for employees to adjust their work with their family time. It was evident from the responses that even though some policies exist, employees were unaware of their application and also the absence of performance management systems. Another prominent finding from the study was that employee expressed that their health and safety of their working conditions should be improved. The findings and results will assist management and employees alike in the practical implementation of quality of work life programmes with the aim of improving the retention of current employees and attracting potential employees. This study will contribute to the body of knowledge as published studies on the quality of work life is scant in higher education institutions. There is minimal research that has been conducted on the QoWL of employees in higher education institutions, and the results from this research could be utilized by management and supervisors, in order to minimize the potential factors that could negatively impact on the QoWL of employees in HEIs.