Quality of work
|Quality of work|
|Methods and techniques|
The quality of work is an ambiguous concept. T. Kotarbiński defined this concept as an activity or a set of activities that someone is obliged to perform. K. Marx, however, indicates that work should be a deliberate activity providing utility values from the adaptation of nature's goods to human needs. The purposefulness also appears in the definition of the Dictionary of language: "purposeful human activity aiming at the creation of specific material or cultural goods being the basis and condition for the existence and development of society", however, economic distinction is distinguished here: "productive work - work which aim is to adapt natural assets for human needs: activities in the field of material production, which results in usable value ". These definitions capture work from the point of view of tasks to be performed or the expected effect of these tasks.
A much broader understanding of the work, from the point of view of satisfying human needs and the development of society, is presented by John Paul II. In his opinion, a man is called to work. Every human activity is a job, regardless of its nature and circumstances. Through work, on the one hand, man gains the means of subsistence, and on the other hand, he contributes to the continuous development of science and technology and the continuous improvement of the cultural and moral level of society. In this sense, the goal of every human work is man. The objective effect of the work may have different values, but the basic measure in this case is the measure of the dignity of the entity performing it.
Considering the ambiguity of the concepts of quality and work, it should be stated that the quality of work can not be defined without a specific point of view. B. Suchodolski defines this concept from the point of view of the employee and the workplace, claiming that a good job is one that is adapted to the needs of the employee. This adjustment is to fulfill two conditions:
- 1. the worker has a sense of the value of what he produces,
- 2. the process itself is pleasant and valuable for him.
There is no reference to the work effect in this definition, without which, in the light of previous considerations, the notion of quality of work is incomplete. BM Sucharzewski takes into account the product being created, however, ignores the manufacturer, stating that the quality of work "includes the complexity of work, its usefulness in the national economy as well as professional mastery expressed in the characteristics of products and services rendered". J. Kordaszewski includes in its definition participants of the work process, clients, organization and the environment. He notes that improving the quality of work means increasing the benefits for each of these groups. For employees, this means raising safety, eliminating threats and nuisances, appropriate medical and social conditions, the sense of the content of the work, awareness of its usefulness, creating spiritual and material values. Additional benefits are decision-making participation, establishing and observing standards, working and organizational rules, and objectivism in remuneration. The company obtains rationality in the operation and disposal of resources and a better economic result. The customer receives a better product, characterized by a higher level of implementation of the functions important to him.
Quality of work and efficiency
The quality of work can also be seen through its effectiveness. T. Kotarbiński perceives efficiency as a combination of efficiency - proficiency in a given field - and effectiveness - enabling the achievement of a goal. J. Zieleniewski combines three concepts: advantage - the value of useful results is greater than the value of costs, economics - quotient of useful results and value of costs greater than unity and economization of operations - increasing results or reducing costs.
Quality of life in the context of quality of work
The quality of work is closely related to the concepts of product quality and quality of life. A man who reasonably rational tries to improve the quality and productivity of his work, because in this way he can improve the quality of life. Therefore, it reduces the expenditures necessary to achieve the set goals and tries to improve the conditions in which the work is done.
As noted by J. Tischner, the once perceived value of work was to sustain life, while cultural values, such as the achievement of truth, beauty and good, were defined separately. Nowadays, work is one of the ways of striving for the truth, without which one can only talk about "working without any sense". Work can only be meaningful if it takes into account, in addition to the economic dimension, also personal, social and metaphysical. Because every product participates in the value creation chain, work can be seen as a form of social dialogue. Developing WE Deming's thesis about the strong influence of management on the quality of products, T. Wawak states that the quality of work depends in 60-70% on the quality of management, and only on the rest of the quality of executing orders. The relationship between these concepts is presented in Fig. 1.
The quality of life is defined by the authors through spiritual, intangible and material values. R. Kolman proposes several definitions of quality of life:
- the degree of satisfying the spiritual and material needs of man,
- the degree of satisfying the requirements defining the level of material and spiritual existence of individuals and society as a whole,
- the degree of meeting the expectations of contractual normality in the activities and situations of everyday life of individuals and communities.
E. Skrzypek perceives the quality of life as a physical being, but with the possibilities of enriching the spirit, mind, educational opportunities and creativity. In turn, A. Nieścior believes that this is a function between existing expectations and their implementation. He calls for the quality of life to be defined in terms of time perspective, social context and personality factors. J. Tischner notes that it can also be defined by faith that indicates the quality of life criteria.
J. Majka introduces the division of values defining the quality of life into categories. The first includes psychological-moral and religious values. In this view, work is all human moral efforts that are aimed at its improvement and fuller participation in spiritual values. The effect may be job satisfaction. The second is socio-cultural values, contacts with people, acquiring skills and abilities. Work through the prism of these values is an activity creating new cultural values while improving cooperation and co-existence between people. The last category consists of technical and economic values, such as the level of income from work, the level of quality of purchased goods or quality costs. In this case, the definition of work will be included in the subject as a deliberate action of man striving to transform nature and subordinate it to rational use by man.
Summing up the considerations on the definition of the quality of work, it should be recognized that definitions using only one point of view have a limited application. The attempt to create a universal definition, if possible, should take into account all relevant aspects. However, it would then be too developed and therefore inconvenient in practical use.
Quality management of the work of organization members
Under these circumstances, organizations must demonstrate a strategic approach to employee management. Strategic management of human resources is defined as gaining the best staff and keeping it in the organization. The company should provide employees with the opportunity to develop, adequate remuneration and high psychophysical and professional level. In addition, the organizational unit should focus on creating the right interpersonal and inter-human relations and develop such behaviors in human resources that will develop the company. To achieve this goal one should delve into the features of contemporary enterprises, focus on the evolution of the personnel function, look at the models of appropriate strategies and directions of changes with regard to the implementation of the personnel strategy.
- Nadler D.A., Lawler III E.E., (1983) Quality of work life: perspectives and directions, Organizational Dynamics Volume 11, Issue 3
- Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.
- O’Neill, P., Sohal, A., & Teng, C. W. (2016). Quality management approaches and their impact on firms׳ financial performance–An Australian study. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 381-393.