It is important that organisations understand the importance of providing a conducive environment for employees in order to improve their job satisfaction. This can improve the strength of the organisation and ensure that it develops innovative ways to meet the diverse needs of the customers (Raziq & Maulabakhsh, 2015). Human resource management is an important component of an organisation achieving its mission and vision. In order for the employees to meet their standards of work, they need to have a working environment that allows flexibility and ensure that they meet their potential (Wood, Brewster, & Brookes, 2014). The purpose of the study will be to determine the extent to which job quality and work environment affect employee well-being and work efficiency.
Background and Significance
Employee well-being is a term that has different definitions and understanding. Ryan & Deci (2001) concluded that there are two philosophical perspectives on well-being. The first is happiness-oriented and the other concerns human potential. This regards well-being as something that results from personal achievement, self-esteem and self-actualisation (Pierce & Gardner, 2004). Biggio & Cortese (2013) also assert that individual personal characteristics have an important role to play in the development of well-being. There is an interaction between the subjective factors and characteristics of the workplace which assert that a person-organisation fit can help in generating well-being, thereby ensuring better work efficiency (Mininni, Manuti, Scardigno, & Rubino, 2010).
This study will enrich literature on factors impacting employees’ well-being and efficiency. Little research has focused on job quality and work environment as an influence on employees’ performance. The research offers valuable contribution to the management of organisations in developing strategic initiatives to promote human resource best practices in ensuring efficiency of the human capital.
Job satisfaction is an approach that has been used to study the relationship between workplace well being and job environment (Biggio & Cortese, 2013). Job satisfaction is closely associated with employee-fit with the organisation, and the quality of the job. Job quality is a multi-dimensional construct that includes different parameters such as content of work, autonomy in decision-making and the compensation accrued from the job (Hill & Clarke, 2012). It is important that employees work in an environment that takes care of their needs.
Work environment involves the different aspects which act and react to the mind and body of the employee. This affects employees’ efficiency and performance. The main purpose of an organisation is to ensure that the environment eliminates all forms of frustration, worry and anxiety. This is because if the environment is monotonous and boring, then this may reduce performance (Jain & Kaur, 2014). Pravamayee (2014) outlined the strategies that organisation can use to develop an effective work environment. Some of the strategies include communication, improving the autonomy of workers, understanding the role of employees and providing them with resources that they need to perform their tasks, and building and maintaining good relations with the workers. Pravamayee (2014) asserts that a healthy work environment should satisfy the physical, psychological and emotional needs of employees. This makes them more active.
As has been mentioned, well being is affected by internal and external factors. According to Graham & Shier (2010), well being can be stimulated by management policies and also through personal attributes demeanour that are exhibited in the people’s endeavour. The results of the study by Graham & Shier are supported by Loftus & Higgs (2010) who assert that employees’ mental factors contribute to their well being at the workplace. It is important for strategic human resource management to promote an environment where both management policies and people’s attributes positively influence the outcome of their work (Martin, 2010).
Organisations incur several costs in terms of trainings, conferences and rewards like pensions, salaries and medical covers in order for them to retain their employees. It is important for an organisation to be able to retain these employees by providing an environment through which they are satisfied and productive (Norman, Gardner, & Pierce, 2015). The organisation may incur significant financial losses when it loses the employees (George, 2015). It is therefore important that organisations improve the efficiency of their workers. Efficiency ensures that workers use minimum resources while returning maximum output (Bradley, 2012).
Objectives of the Study
To explore the meaning that employees attribute to well being and work efficiency
Identify the different factors that may affect or influence well being and work efficiency
Identify the employer practices that have the greatest positive impact on well being of employees in the workplace.
Research Design and Methods
Focus groups of employees from different industries including telecommunications, hotel and travel, and beverage industries will be used for the study. The focus groups will last 2 hours each. A set of open-ended questions will be used during the focus group sessions. The questions will be listed as follows: (a) subjective meaning of well being (what does well being mean to you; how would you describe well being; what factors do you think influence your well being; how has your organisation improved your well being; (b) factors that influence well being (how do you think the organisation can change the workplace in order to better influence your well being; (c) presence of other personal factors that may influence well being (do you believe that there are individual characteristics which may influence well being? if you agree, what do you think are these individual characteristics?; (d) the effect of well being on efficiency and performance (do you believe that your performance is influenced by your well being? If yes, how?
Informed consent will be obtained from the participants before embarking on the study. The participants will be informed of the objectives of the study. The research will not expose the participants to any form of harm. They will be informed that they have a right of withdrawing from the study at whatever stage they deem fit. However, they will be encouraged to complete the study. Data will be coded and stored in a secure environment to ensure that it is not accessed by unauthorised persons.
Potential Implications and Conclusion
It is expected that there will be subjective factors that influence well being. It is also expected that the factors are related to the workplace environment. These are the organisational factors which should be improved by the management in order to improve the efficiency of workers. The effect of this is the improvement of efficiency, effectiveness and performance of the organisation.
- Biggio, G., & Cortese, C.G. (2013). Well-being in the workplace through interaction between individual characteristics and organisational context. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 8(1), 19823-19835. doi: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.19823
- Bradley, J. (2012). Improving business performance with lean. New York: Business Expert Press.
- George, C. (2015). Retaining professional workers: What makes them stay? Employee Relations, 37(1), 102-121. doi: 10.1108/ER-10-2013-0151
- Graham, J.R., & Shier, M.L. (2010). Social work practitioners and subjective well-being: Personal factors that contribute to high levels of subjective well-being. International Social Work, 53(6), 757-772.