Analysis of job quality
Introduction Job quality is a multi-faceted and worker-centered concept that consists of the set of job characteristics fostering the wellbeing of workers (Pock and Skinner, 2012; Green, 2005). In recent years, the concern about Job quality has increased significantly in worldwide.
Although it is controversial that whether the Job quality has been improved or not, there is no doubt that the creation of good Jobs could result in beneficial outcomes. Therefore, it is meaningful to get a comprehensive understanding on features and outcomes of good Jobs.
This essay will firstly analyze he characteristics of good Jobs based on Handle’s framework, and then discuss the related outcomes in the perspective of employees, employers, and government and overall society with relevant examples and evidences, before talking about the general implication. Characteristics of good Jobs Handle (2005) puts forward with four main components-?material rewards, intrinsic (immaterial) rewards, working conditions and interpersonal relationship to evaluate job quality. Material rewards are composed of wages, career opportunities (e. G.
Rumination and personal development) as well as Job security (Handle, 2005). Jobs with good quality are supposed to offer workers adequate earnings, enough opportunity for advancement and high level of Job security. In terms of wages, a good job should not only provide appropriate levels of incomes that match the value created by employees, but also avoid payment discrimination and unjustified inequality (Green, 2005; Thomas, 2005). In addition to wages, Green (2005) and Sanguine et al (2009) have also outlined that good Jobs also offer bonuses, other fringe benefits, pensions, holiday privileges and sick leaves.
Regarding to career opportunities, only promotion opportunity is not enough, as a good Job, it should also provide employees with learning and training opportunities for particular working skills development and lifelong learning (Thomas 2005). As for Job security, it refers to the probability that employees stay in a proper Job (Clark, 2005).
In this term, a good job with high level of Job security needs to minimize the possibility of the employed becoming unemployed. Green (2005) also declares that Job security is one of the most highly valued aspects of Job quality.
Apart from appropriate material rewards, high laity Jobs always equip workers with good intrinsic rewards, including high level of job interests and Job autonomy (Handle 2005). The level of Job interest is determined by the degree of task variety it contains and the potential it offers to employees to achieve self-fulfillment (Clark, 2005). The level of Job autonomy is more relevant to the workers’ personal discretion over their Job tasks and forms of participation in the workplace decisions (Green, 2005).
Therefore, a high quality Job, in this term, is the one that provides people with capacity and flexibility to accomplish a range of tasks ND affective wellbeing.
Another important feature of good Jobs is a good form of working conditions, including working safety, work efforts and intensification, task difficulties as well as work life balance (Handle, 2005 and Green, 2005). Working safety requires Jobs to ensure employees’ mental health and personal security by providing healthy and safety working environment (Thomas, 2005). In regards to work efforts and intensification, it refers to the workloads of Jobs.
As illustrated by Green (2005), high efforts intensification in work is positively link to stress. It is also reported s the major reason for the growth of occupational healthy hazards in many countries (ibid. ).
Hence, good Jobs are ones with appropriate workloads that would not cause high efforts intensification and stress to workers. As for work life balance, Drowning (2011) argues that work-life balance is currently becoming a central element of a good Job, as it plays an increasingly important role in the wellbeing of workers.
Thus, a good Job should have a reasonable working arrangement especially in respect of working hour as well as supportive services, which allows employees enjoy he work life balance (Pock and Skinner, 2012; Thomas, 2005). A positive interpersonal relation at works is also a significant characteristic of high quality Jobs. Green (2005) also states that ‘having good social relationships at work are the most highly valued aspects of Job quality. According to Handle (2005), interpersonal relationship at works can be classified into two aspects, that is, relations between management and employees and those among coworkers.
Thus, a good Job is the one characterized by harmonious organizational climates and good workplace operation that facilitate employees to develop good relationship with both managers and coworkers. However, according to Pock and Skinner (2012) and Sanguine et al (2009), the quality characteristics of Jobs are paradoxical, in other words, the good Jobs usually develop some characteristics of bad Jobs. For example, professional and managerial Jobs (good Jobs in general views) such as lawyer and executive mangers are characterized by high wages, secured, enough career opportunities, and high level of autonomy.
But people involved in these Jobs are ore likely to burden heavier workload, suffer high stress and poor work life balance. Thus, it is hardly to find an absolute good Job that holds all characteristics discussed above.
Pock and Skinner (2012) also argue that it is hard to standardize characteristics of good Jobs, as Job aspiration of workers varies over life-course and by age as well as genders. This issue derived from the diversification of work force, especially the increasing proportion of women (ibid). Also, changes in household structure are regarded as another factor that driving the significance of the issues ibid).
Hence, a bunch of standardized Job characteristics may be unable to meet the needs of an increasing proportion of employees, as more work-care changes over life cycle. For instance, a woman, who value more in materials and intrinsic rewards when assessing quality of a Job at her twenties, usually prioritize a good form working conditions such as flexible working hours that can ensure reconciliation of work and family after she got married.
Moreover, the view of characteristics in good jobs varies over times and those four aspects of Job quality aforementioned are sighted differently.
In the past, material rewards were regarded as the primary sources for quality evaluation. Green (2005) argues that wage is the single most essential indicator when define quality of Job, due to its positive correlation with other working conditions. Accordingly, a Job is classified as good if it offers worker with good salaries. Nevertheless, other three aspects (intrinsic rewards, other working conditions and interpersonal relationship) start to draw attentions and play an increasingly important role in assessing Job quality.
Evidence illustrated by Clark 2005) points out that people value monetary rewards less than other aspects of Jobs, such as interpersonal relationships, Job interest and autonomy.
Therefore, a well- paid Job in contemporary view is not good enough if it does not possess characteristics such as high level of Job autonomy. Outcomes of good Jobs Characteristics of good Jobs aforementioned can result in a bunch of positive outcomes that benefit employees, organizations and the whole society.
Knox, Warhorse and Pock (2011) states that Job quality would influence health, general life satisfaction, and Job satisfaction of employees. As is said, employees who involved in a good Job have a better mental and physical health than those in bad Jobs, since they work under better working conditions. Moreover, good Jobs allow employees to obtain a higher general life satisfaction, due to the good rewards and good workplace relations, which in turns raise living standards, widen social networks and reconcile work life balance.
Thomas (2005) demonstrates that individual Job satisfaction is positively link to the quality of Jobs. Thus, high quality Job could result in higher level of overall employees Job satisfaction. Take evidence from CODE countries, in countries like Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium where Job quality is relatively high, Job satisfaction of employees was highest that more than 60 percent of the employed asserted they were satisfied, while in countries such Italy, Greece and Portugal where proportion of low-quality Job is relatively high, less than 40 percent of the employed declare they were satisfied (Thomas, 2005).
Beyond outcomes for employees, high quality Jobs usually result in higher productivity, and also enable organization to lower down turnover rates as well as absenteeism (Knox t al, 2011). Productivity, according to Thomas (2005), has a positive relation with Job quality.
Good Jobs causing high productivity and vice versa. Taking evidence from EX. countries, in Austria, productivity in industries with high-quality Jobs is more than 130 percent, while in sectors with low-quality Jobs the productivity is 55 percent (Thomas 2005).
Green (2005) observed that turnover rates and absenteeism are all negatively correlated with Job satisfaction. As is discussed above, the good quality of jobs contributes to a higher level of Job satisfaction, thus decreasing both turnover ND absenteeism within organization. Apart from outcomes mentioned above, high quality Jobs always contribute to a better overall employment performance that benefit the whole society.
Thomas (2005) pointed out that there is a positive relationship between Job quality and overall employment rate.
Since Clark (2005) pointed out that Job satisfaction of individual may affect participation in labor market, the good quality in Jobs that could raise the level of satisfaction can encourage inactive labors back to the labor market. This would result in a robust and sustainable growth in labor market participation, intriguing to an increase in employment rate. Evidence of EX. countries shows that in many member states the increase of employment rates has been accompanied with job quality improvement (Thomas, 2005).
Implications As is discussed above, Job quality plays a vital role in meeting the Job satisfaction of workers. Good Jobs can boom labor Job satisfaction, resulting in higher productivity and better overall employment performance by reducing turnovers rate and absenteeism as well as driving up employee involvement and motivation. Thus, instead of creating any Jobs, government should focus on the creation of good Jobs. Thomas (2005) stresses ‘objectives of raising employment rates and improving the productivity and quality of work were interrelated and mutually supportive. The creation of good Jobs can facilitate government to raise employment rate and productivity that in turns supply country with sustainable social harmony and economic development, which again improve the quality of Jobs. Apart from government, organizations should also put efforts into improving Job quality by conducting accompanied HARM practices that facilitate mutual needs of both company and employees.
Employees, the first beneficiary of Job quality improvement, should take actions such as conduct higher level of education to qualify themselves for the good Jobs.
Conclusion In conclusion, the characteristics of good Jobs can be summarized into four aspects based on Handles’ framework, that is, materials rewards, intrinsic rewards, other working conditions and interpersonal relationship at works. A high quality Jobs is said to provide employees with affluent material rewards, great intrinsic rewards, and good form of working conditions as well as interpersonal relationship at works. However, because of the paradox of Job quality and diversification of labor force, it is hard to standardize features of Jobs with good quality.
Also, the view of characteristics in good Jobs various over times. While material rewards especially wages weight heavily in traditional view, other three are reported to play an increasingly important role when people evaluated Job quality contemporaries.
The outcomes of good Jobs are discussed in the perspective of employees, organizations and the whole society. While employees generate Job satisfaction, general life attestation as well as health from good Jobs, organizations and the whole society are also benefit with higher productivity and better overall employment performance.
Implications are also provided to government, employers and employees. As employment performance, productivity and Job quality improvement are interrelated and mutually supportive, government and organizations should all put efforts on creation of better Jobs by conducting suitable policies and HARM practices. Employees should also take action to facilitate government and employers in good Job creation by improving their personal capability to match the high-quality Job.