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15IDEAL WORKER, WORK LIFE EXPECTATIONS

Ideal Worker, Work Expectations and Work Life Conflict of between Employers and Employees Personal Life

Introduction

Employment is a fundamental aspect of humans as it assists in determining what people do during their working lives and preoccupies a lot of what they think. Through work, people are able to engage with others in the society and define one’s sense of identity. Moreover, through work people are offered access to materials necessities of life and benefits and civilization achievement. Therefore, relevance work management, organization, and allocation are of great importance (Frone, Russell, & Barnes, 1996). The manner in which all these aspects are undertaken in gainful employment clearly outlines the views and values that people hold as a society. Aspects such as levels of employment deemed tolerable; way work is undertaken, the solution to conflicting ideas between employers and employees are all matters shaped by opinions and existing cultural borders and other crucial aspects that people hold towards work.

In the idea work myth, it is possible for employees to maintain a single-minded focus at work due to full-time backup at home. The present trend in work statistics indicates that there is a broad array of family working arrangements. As a result, many times the expectations of work are at odds with the needs of a family where workers are expected to give priorities to work, but they lack backstage support (Allen, et al. 2000). In most cases, workers have to provide care at home and other areas and provide income. This indicates that the peoples have changed, but the expectations of what they can offer or do for work have not changed yet.

In the workplace conflict of interest where a worker engages, inactivates that brings benefits contrary to their employers mainly are caused by personal lives aspects such as family. Work-life conflicts allude to the conflict of roles where personal live, family and other aspects demands are in mutual incompatibility to the point that meeting the demands of one area interferes with the way the other side or domain is handled. In this case, work can affect the interest of persons live. In case an employer or work and personal life interests conflict getting rewards from one of the two means that one has to forego the other domain. This form of conflict is seen to have two key components namely; practical issues linked with schedules and times conflicts and the perceptual issues or the overwhelming feeling. As a result, odds with each party conflicts and if an employee has a conflict of interest their judgments are affected in terms of decision making, job duties and employees loyalty to the employer. This form of vulnerability seems to appear from particular elements where labour and capital hold opposing interests (Maxwell, & McDougall, 2004). Some of these elements comprise of control on the manner in which tasks are performed, pay rates, incentives and motivation provisions. However, although there are these corrosive influences, there is the existence of an employment relationship in perpetuity whereby employers are able to hold on a productive and cooperation with their employees.

Project aim and scope

In line with the purpose of the present discussion, it is worth to state that due to employment aspects the lives of workers has changed. However, views and opinions of people and society towards work have not yet undergone substantial change. As it is still evident, work expectations and personal lives especially family issues that put interests of employers and employees at odds. This research project aims to examine this issue closely by mainly focusing on work and family life to have increased insight on it. This will be attained by focusing on a family work/life balance of a cross-country analysis.

Research Methodology and Sample

The methodology is an important level towards a successful research study. It is also crucial to add the research process and guarantee that the study will attain its objective and goal. This section clarifies the data collection techniques and outline (Patton, 2005). Methodology for this study is not complex because the target population is small. The study will collect primary data only. This will be obtained through Interview which will act as data collection instruments where every interview session will last for 20-30 minutes. The system is broken down into segments in order to empower unmistakable comprehension of the entire process. This enhances a rational depiction of the research topic which inspires the data collection system.

The target population for this study will comprise of 12 participants who will be interviewed. Although the study aims to collect data from a cross-country analysis research participants will be selected from Australian setting workforce. The sample selected will comprise of top management representatives, general workers, and work union representatives. Random sampling will be used to select the research participants. In this form of sampling the group selected or sample will be a representation of a larger group or target population (Bhatia, 2000). Every character selected is by chance where every member of the population holds an equal chance of being contained within in the sample. In addition, each probable sample of a particular size has the equal chance of being selected.

Synthesize the key findings

Individuals have all way of conclusions about the occasions they witness in their everyday lives. Such suppositions are constantly moulded by their family and school conditions, the occupations they hold and the associations they work for, the holy places and clubs they belittle, the friend network and groups they have a place with, et cetera (Greenhaus, Collins, and Shaw, 2003). Since work is such a focal piece of individuals’ lives, its inclination and administration is one social wonder that frequently conjures seriously enthusiastic level headed discussion. According to this research the primary focus and research participants comprised of family working characters (Albertsen, 2008). This is because the research intended to get a clear understanding of the nature of life work relationship. This was achieved through the interview conducted. The researcher provided a total of 12 question to the interviewees these comprised of both open and close ended questions. The aim was to get an in-depth understanding of the research topic; therefore 80% of the question presented was close-ended ones where the interviewees were expected to give their opinions and understanding of the work/life aspects. Effective management of employees work life balance needs organizations to account and organize for the non-work roles array that have effects on their working life styles. There has been a lot of attention directed towards work life balance, but modern scholars feel that there is inadequacy in terms of management and definition.

The point of this project and interview was to show how different people looked into the same phenomena and reached into unanimous answers and very different conclusions on the research topic (Carlson, Kacmar, & Williams, 2000). The most observable aspect is that 90% of the interviews agreed and gave similar answers and although they drew different assumptions and opinions and values in certain questions while reaching to their conclusion. In this regard it is clear that there are diverse concepts that people have based on the values and assumptions of the nature of work, working place, ideal worker, work conflict and explanatory conclusion on the issue. The areas that all interviewees had unanimous ideas, opinions, and conclusion, as well as those that had conflicting conclusions, are analysed below based on the answers given in the interview.

Research Participants Personal perspective

The project managed to note that there are numerous existing knock-on impacts for organizations in a number of areas due employees’ experience of work-family conflict. Employer and employee work-life conflicts have been seen to be connected with aspects such as reduced employees’ satisfaction, increased rate of employee turnover, increased stress and intention to leave the employer (Joyce, et al. 2010). It is notable that 80% of the participants felt that through the implementation of numerous work-life balance initiatives workers can be provided with improved control of the workplace and the way they work. This eventually translates to increased satisfaction for employees work life balance.

There is a noteworthy number of labourers who encounters challenges in while performing family obligations to the power of work and time. For instance, a high number if the interviewees indicated that they are tired from work and family chore while others felt that the time they spend at work affects their family responsibilities. More than 50% of the respondents indicated that work and family time demands are overlayed because of work pressure either at home or workplace (Thomas, & Ganster, 1995).). In general, this project identified that a conflict of ideas results in when all parties try to have a balance between work and family life balance. These two aspects come into conflict with employers’ interest which was identified to be directed towards meeting set organization objective and goals.

According to the interview participants, employer-employee expectations conflicts at one time due to interests’ scope. Employers are much into attaining the set organizational goals and objects. Expectations can be planned in numerous ways, however, must cover work and life expectations and to more important to the concerned people. These expectations are based on management directions, organization resource assistance, personal expectations, expression, and development. In most cases, employers or managers provides employees with ideas thinking that they are encouraging their initiative, autonomy, and development. In this case, an employee is frustrated due to lack of thinking and direction and the manager is either unwilling or unable to make organization pledges for employee performance and reward. In a performance review, an employer feels that an employee has not done well in the job and gives him or her average review. On the other hand, an employee feels that the employer has not their job effectively and is being subjective in the review. Therefore discussing the employer-employee expectations and differences style is probable to have made both parties more effective.

Reducing Work-Life Conflict

In one on the interviewee questions respondents’ view on how work expectations and personal lives interests of employers and employees can be improved to ensure that conflict does not exist (Stewart, & Barling, 1996). The project results from this analysis were unequivocal in that family strategies, benefits and flexibility in work organization alone were found to have little effect on employees’ capability to have a balance between work and life. The issue is clear that those employers that want to handle the issue of work-life conflict within the workforce should increase focus on the organization culture and their manager’s behaviours. Finally, the data collected was in support of the fact that there is no one full solution to the issue of this form of conflict (Zuzanek, 2000). However, employees should put the type of work-life conflict into consideration when they are developing their strategies and practices. There is an increase in the management of the employees work life balance in terms of demographic aspects and employment contracts. Achieving these concepts has been achieved through the adoption of strategies telecommuting opportunities. All the attempts made have been directed to the increment of flexibility where employees can enact their job roles effectively despite the fact that they simultaneously enable them to enact their family-duties to the necessary levels.

In a bid to have an in-depth understanding of this conception a large number of studies have been conducted with the aim of trying to get how workers deal with stressful circumstances by devoting a great deal of understanding. For instance, Pearlin and Schooler (1978) stated some coping responses which have acted as the basis of the subsequent theory. One of the most direct methods identified is on identifying the stress source and taking action to eliminate the subsequent theory has not been left behind where researchers have tried to clarify the numerous coping response dimensions which are available to people (Trost, et al. 2002). One of the most accepted typologies on this issue is from Folkman and Lazarus (1980).As a result of two coping behaviours that can be used by employers in the workplace that is based on proactive whereby an individual tries to influence a stressor and the mitigating processes. According to Latack and Havlovic (1992) insights, employers can as well focus on methods such as behavioural and cognitive coping in their bid to minimize the work-life conflict. The aspects that surrounds the management of this form of conflict the’ theme from compartmentalisation requires that the work life balance literature include the employees tendency to physically distinct the depiction of their non-work roles from the working obligations. The most important thing to note from the project is that as much as the respondents feels that there are conflicting aspects as they try to balance the two aspects there is little known on how to contain the situation. The conflicting aspects of work and personal interests or work family balance the boundaries existing among the two especially on working and non-working lives does not overlap. The respondents involved in the interview were in a position to compartmentalise in a successful way their conflicting work and non-work roles.

Organisational Perspective on work life

As indicated earlier there has been a dramatic change in the employees’ demographic profiles and labour market. Families have shifted from the tradition concept where males were the sole providers of a family to a dual earners situation. Relatively, in the workplace employers are demanding for an increased employees productivity and flexibility (Crouter, et al. 1999). This has changed the traditional job for life to that of job uncertainty and economic environment instability. The expectations of workers and expectations have also changed whereby novel orientations on expanded requirement for a parity concerning work and life have affected associations through influencing the establishment of techniques, for example, adaptable working. In regard to these organization, demographic and employment trend men and women have practiced an increased demand from the work domains and households. It was also notable that work-life conflicts can result in economic costs for society, organization, and individuals. Some of these in related cost would result from reduced productivity and absenteeism.

This Perspective on work life can be supported by theoretical views as well, and a major focus will be on Unitarian and pluralism. Unitarian embarks from values and assumptions that hold that conflict in a workplace is an inevitable character between employees and managers (Collins, 2005). This form of conflict emerges periodically between the two parties. However, occurrences like these are taken to be deviations in an inherent relation that is disposed to be cooperative. Employees and managers are seen by those who hold this perspective as holding common interest to their organization’s survival such that in the case of a conflict occurrence its manifestation cannot reduce a firm into insolvency (Provis, 1996). Existing divisions are taken as the personality products and poor communication. In order to make sure that these aspects do spoil the natural being of things, the rational management is expected to carefully address them by eliminating the sources of possible conflict. This can be achieved by making sure that aspects related to promotion and recruitment are discussed in a fair and in an equitable way. In addition, communication aspect must be in place to update employees on areas where their actual interest is based, and those individuals prone to conflict personalities are dismissed (Collins, 2005). Finally, the organization should be promoted between the workforces as a solitary source of authority while other power sources are eliminated.

Pluralism does not concede with Unitarian in that through a set of values and assumptions that conflict in a workplace is inevitable. Business organizations are seen as complex social constructs that comprise of diverse interest groups. These two groups are constituted of employees and management are seen to be invariably pledging to various values and objectives. In regard to this frame of reference, the assumptions are that existence of diverse sources of power within an organization are in raising the likelihood of a conflict to exist on issues such as perspectives, problems, and work tasks (Provis, 1996). Having recognized the inevitability of workplace conflict, this point of view takes conflict as essential in that it assists in the presentation of workers grievances to the surface. The possibility of a conflict challenges managers to search for innovative ways to handle it in a manner that produces best results (Collins, 2005). Accepting the presence of sources of power that are in competition pluralist’s sees this as a source of benefit that allows organizations to a pact with modern dealings issues on an aggregate premise. In such manner, it is contended that contention in a working environment does not just offer administration with the most effective means for establishing vocation standards and diminishing the working environment struggle levels however empowers sensible results by permitting representatives to offset the administrator’s power of directors amid work environment contracts arrangement (Provis, 1996). In accordance with the premise of originations talked about pluralism, as a rule, recognizes the representative’s correct authenticity to have an aggregate deal, and additionally, exchange unions to act in this limit for their benefit.

Conclusion

In a personal perspective, it is clear that the worker’s lives have changed when focused on a pay rise, working environments, working hours and other crucial aspects that involve the well-being of workers. Work life and family balance which has dominated most of this project, evidence from the interview respondents confirm that conflict of interest is in existence between the employer and employees as both try to have a balance between work and personal life such as family. It is not easy to balance work aspects and family responsibilities an aspect that results into conflicts. However, through a connection between the two parties solutions to these aspects are possible. Some of the practical advice to both has proven to be some of the intervention examples in the working hours as a way of improving the work-life parity. Through low maintenance lessened working hours that are compensated for are some of the aspects that need to be adopted in order to make the living standards of workers even much better. Management should try and understand that the basis for the institution of work-life balance programs and acknowledge it into their systems. Therefore managers need to include ideas of work-life balance training sessions for managers and other management figures. On the other hand, as seen from, the project workers have diverse strategies and practices which have the capacity to increase work-life balance in day to day life. Employees should try and find the kind of policies offered by their employers ranging from flexibility in working hours to compressed weekends, and an annual review work and end of another venture might be great chances to talk about in work plans with businesses.

References

Albertsen, K. (2008). Working Time Arrangements and Social Consequences: What Do We Know?. Nordic Council of Ministers.

Allen, T. D., Herst, D. E., Bruck, C. S., & Sutton, M. (2000). Consequences associated with work-to-family conflict: a review and agenda for future research. Journal of occupational health psychology5(2), 278.

Bhatia, D. P. (2000). Random sampling techniques. In Workshop on criticality calculations using different techniques.

Carlson, D. S., Kacmar, K. M., & Williams, L. J. (2000). Construction and initial validation of a multidimensional measure of work–family conflict. Journal of Vocational behavior56(2), 249-276.

Collins, D. (2005). Organisational change: sociological perspectives. Routledge.

Crouter, A. C., Bumpus, M. F., Maguire, M. C., & McHale, S. M. (1999). Linking parents’ work pressure and adolescents’ well being: Insights into dynamics in dual earner families. Developmental Psychology35(6), 1453.

Frone, M. R., Russell, M., & Barnes, G. M. (1996). Work–family conflict, gender, and health-related outcomes: A study of employed parents in two community samples. Journal of occupational health psychology1(1), 57.

Greenhaus, J. H., Collins, K. M., & Shaw, J. D. (2003). The relation between work–family balance and quality of life. Journal of vocational behavior63(3), 510-531.

Joyce, K., Pabayo, R., Critchley, J. A., & Bambra, C. (2010). Flexible working conditions and their effects on employee health and wellbeing. The Cochrane Library.

Kuchařová, V., Kotowska, I. E., Matysiak, A., Styrc, M., Pailhé, A., Solaz, A., & Vignoli, D. (2011). Second European Quality of Life Survey: Family Life and Work.

Maxwell, G. A., & McDougall, M. (2004). Work–life balance: Exploring the connections between levels of influence in the UK public sector. Public Management Review6(3), 377-393.

Patton, M. Q. (2005). Qualitative research. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Provis, C. (1996). Unitarism, pluralism, interests and values. British Journal of Industrial Relations34(4), 473-495

Stewart, W., & Barling, J. (1996). Fathers’ work experiences effect children’s behaviors via job-related affect and parenting behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 221-232.

Thomas, L. T., & Ganster, D. C. (1995). Impact of family-supportive work variables on work-family conflict and strain: A control perspective. Journal of applied psychology80(1), 6.

Trost, S. G., Owen, N., Bauman, A. E., Sallis, J. F., & Brown, W. (2002). Correlates of adults’ participation in physical activity: review and update.Medicine and science in sports and exercise34(12), 1996-2001.

Zuzanek, J. (2000). The effects of time use and time pressure on child-parent relationships. Health Canada Research Report. Waterloo: Optium Publications39.

Appendix: Interview Questions

Interview Questions

  1. Individuals

Kindly indicate

  • Relationship

  • Type of job

  • Type of Organisation

Personal Perspective

  1. lives of workers have changed?Do you believe that the

  2. In your view how has this changed?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  3. According to you what constitutes of an ideal worker?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  4. work and home life?Is there a way conflict that results between

  5. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….can work be changed such that work expectations and personal lives interests of employers and employees does not conflict?How

Organisational Perspective

  1. what is available in the workplace to support work/life balance

  2. What do see as features of the workplace and which acts as barriers to work/life balance?

  3. What do you believe needs to be changed in order to support work/life balance?

Union representative Perspective

  1. What work/Life issues are you conversant with and the concerns on the practices and policies?