1.1 Background to the study
These days business is faced with an ever stressful work environment. Many employees are faced with the challenge of hanging a balance between work and their own family life. Sustaining a healthy work-life balance is an issue that is increasingly recognized as of strategic importance and of significance to employees. Employee performance is a fundamental determinant in the realization of organizational goals. Thus, agencies have devised extraordinary approaches of motivating their employees, so as for them to offer their best to the organization.
WLB includes adjustment of working patterns to allow employees combine work with their different family demands. The demerits associated with WLB can have a negative effect on both the employee and the employer. For employers the results of bad WLB are negative performance, ill leaves, higher staff turnover, and accelerated absenteeism. While on the employee the outcomes include mental health, bodily fitness, and terrible person performance in an organization.
In a highly competitive labour market an employer needs to hold its treasured employees. It’s a strong motivating factor for increased organizational awareness and action in regards to implementing and control of work-life balance strategies. WLB is an area of interest in human resource management and it is receiving lots attention from researchers, trade unions and media.
Work-life balance from the employees’ perspective is the protection of equilibrium between duties at work and at home. Employers view the benefits or the working conditions that they offer to help employees balance their family and the work domains as work life benefits (Okeke, 2017). First of all the idea of work life conflic focused on the effect of own family and personal demands on work. It now extends to the effect work has on individual strain, relationships and family well-being (Russell & Bowman, 2000).
Work-to-family conflict occurs when experiences at work interfere with family life, rigid work hours, work overload, interpersonal conflict at work and unsupportive supervisor within the organization. Family-to-work conflict occurs when experiences within the family interfere with work, life’s primary responsibility for children, elder care obligations, interpersonal conflict within the family unit and unsupportive own family members.
Running efficiently and keeping a well-balanced social life, has to strike a balance between work and emotional wellbeing. This translates to improved organizational, character emotional balance and proper societal functioning (Grady, 2014). Individuals experience more divergence linking work and personal life as they continue to pursue the quality of life that they need (Kim, H. K. 2014). Consequently, successfully balancing work and family life is one of the most important challenges facing modern-day employees (Uusiautti, S., ;Määttä, K. 2018).
Traditionally, work-life balance issues were considered personal issues (Irungu, 2017) and employers have just responded to their employees’ needs by means of presenting extra benefits such as on-site childcare service and paid maternity leave in the work place. Despite the fact that, with environmental shifts and value adjustments of employees, choice for work-life balance has accelerated and employers have started to offer more active help of their employees’ work-life balance (Kim, 2014).
Fortune magazine in its listing of the 100 high performing organizaions to work for identifies agencies that take the time to aid employees in dealing with the obligations of work and family (Firfiray; Mayo 2017). As a result, organizational efforts for ensuring employees’ work-existence balance are required and prized greater than ever.
The multi-tasking between domestic responsibilities and work have assumed increased relevance for employees in the service sector in modern years. That is due to work place and demographic changes, which includes; technological advancement, transformation in family unit structures, increased reluctance for ‘long working hours’, greater number of women in the work force and culture acceptance (Sharma, & et al 2016). End result employees may have stress in prioritizing between their private lives and work roles. poor organizational culture; like commutation of leave of employees, inconvenient period of leave for employees and the inability of employers to stick to leave policy of their employment agreement all these may also result in difficult-pressed workloads which bring about different issues to the employee. Those difficulty involve the psychologically and the emotional well-being of employee and these can bring about reduction in employee overall performance in areas along with, poor service delivery and health associated issues
According to (Ngari, & Mukururi, 2014), many service sector organizations and groups in Kenya have did not recognize the significance of working environment for employee job satisfaction and as a consequence face a whole lot of difficulties during their work. To meet the standards of organization, employees want a working environment that permits them to work freely without problems which restrain them from performing up to the level of their complete capability. It’s therefore essential for the service industry to have a good working environment improving the work, technical, human, and organizational factors vital to enhancing the organization’s competitive role by means of attracting certified human asset.
Sullivan, & Skelcher, (2017), states that the service industry covers a wide area with a myriad of environmental and physical elements that employees work in. This spatial detail affords a unique trouble in occupation health and safety faced by employees together with lengthy travel hours to and from; long operating hours at work, lengthy away time from family, workload, strain, over time, fatigue and boredom are a few elements to reduce employee performance (Caesar, & Fei, 2018). Then again provision of appropriate working environment, refreshment, health & safety facility, fun at workplace and clear work-life balance guidelines and policies which accommodate out of workplace preoccupations will go a long way in growing the degree of employee performance (Hartnell, 2010).
This project therefore intends to evaluate the extent to which work life balance impacts employee overall performance and additionally introduce suitable employment practices to help employees obtain a higher work life balance which can offer tangible benefits to the organization as well as the persons involved. This project additionally examines the way to promote top WLB practices in the service and telecommunication sector of Kenya and highlights a few merits for the agencies.
1.1.1 Work life balance in the insurance industry
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Introduction of the Insurance Act, CAP 487 of the Laws of Kenya, supervision and regulation of insurance business has substantially stepped forward the industry overall performance. The insurance industry has over the last decade continued to check in double digit increase in gross written premium profits with insurance penetration at around 3% that’s similar to nations within the developing countries. These trends have bestowed on the industry some demanding situations and opportunities key of that are the specified human resource capacities and compliment to drive the growth agenda as set out within the imaginative and Vision 2030 (IRA Report, 2015).
Insurance companies are basically human extensive, and human assets act as an absolute differentiator. Quality manpower and its retention could act as a Litmus test. Turnover of the workforce has been excessive due to low exit and entry barriers within the industry (IRA record, 2016). Taylor et. al. (2017) in a study conducted on the connection among worker commitment and their performance, determined that organizational culture characterized with the aid of excessive adaptability and a HRM system emphasizing excessive overall performance work practices had, a direct and profound effect on employee commitment. Martin and Beaumont (2014) study on employee commitment points out that there may be need for employees to conduct themselves consistent with the requirements of the company’s preferred brand. The success of this hinges at the potential of businesses to win employee loyalty to the brand and growing dedication to the employer.
The upward thrust of technological development ,the move by insurance firms to acquire and merge has led to changes in the social surroundings forcing new organizational restructuring, task re-engineering and ultimately downsizing of employees who had come of age as a result retiring and rendering employees redundant. These changes have expanded pressure on employees, in terms of adjusting to the change itself and managing its ensuing consequences. Increased pressure from workloads and a need to develop new skills is of key challenge in the insurance sector in Kenya. Hence the objective of finding the possible answers to enhancing work lifestyles balance is paramount on this project.
1.1.2 Work-life balance and employee performance in the Mobile Telecommunication industry in Kenya
Kenya’s mobile Telecommunication sector has grown tremendously over the years. The mobile telecommunication sector contributes over KES 300 billion and as much as a in addition KES 100 billion from intangible benefits to clients. It employs roughly 25,000 people in Kenya on permanent and contract terms. Mobile Network operators have undertaken civil works together with contributing to the power roll out (Williams et al., 2016). The mobile Telecommunication sector is very dynamic; there’s cut throat competition in the sector. Employees are faced with challenges concerning their work environment especially their operating hours due to shifts and lack of mobility in the place of work in terms of promotions. With the intention to reach their organizational top performance, the cell agencies need to be capable of create a work environment where employees are encouraged to work.
UNCORP (2012) report indicates that Safaricom PLC has initiated numerous mechanisms to cushion mothers from personal and job related stress. a number of this includes day care facilities, Flexi time for lactating mothers, fitness facilities for both men and women, even prayer rooms for spiritual nourishment. The strategies are deemed to boost work life balance to diffuse employees pressure, beautify performance, and productivity; consequently the want to explore greater work life balance practices at Safaricom in comparison to others in the service industry working under similar circumstances.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Despite the effort to come up with numerous work life Initiatives (WLBI) in the service industry to enhance employees’ overall performance, the performance of most employees has remained dismal. Furthermore, the mechanism and extent to which the flexible work arrangements, HR financial incentives, HR work family support services, work-life balance, employee behavior and attitudes affect employees’ overall performance continues to be doubtful and unclear (Wang and Walumbwa, 2011; Snape and Redman, 2010; Wright and McMahan, 2011; Groen, B. A., van Triest, S. P., Coers, M., & W tenweerde, N. 2018; Wang, E. S., & Lin, C. L. 2018).
Empirical research carried out in developed countries by Wright and MacMahan, (2010); Kuvaas and Dysvik, (2010); Boxall,(2013); Allen, (2013) in addition to studies performed in Kenya by Shitsama, (2011) and Bosibori,(2012) reveal that HR practices have a high effects and statistically relationship with performance. but, those research have centered on HRM functions of employee development and attraction practices such as training and development, performance appraisal, profession career management, recruitment and selection (Teseema and Soeters, 2006; Mutua, Karanja and Namusonge, 2009).There is a scanty empirical study exploring the telecommunication and insurance industry in terms of work life balance on employee performance. This research will try to identify whether there is a relationship between work life balance and employee performances in insurance and telecommunication industry in Kenya so as to add to the existing literature more ingredients that will spice up human resource practices as far as employees are concerned.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.3.1 General objective
The general objective of the study will be to evaluate the effect of work life balance on employee performance in the service industry.
1.3.2 Specific objectives
The specific objectives will be to;
i. To establish the effect of work family priorities on employee performance in the service industry
ii. To examine the influence of Flexible Working Options on Employee Performance the service industry
iii. To determine the effects of Employee Assistance Programs on Employee Performance in the service industry
1.4 Research questions
a) What is the influence of work family priorities on employee performance in the service industry?
b) Which Flexible Working Options are available to the Service industry employee?
c) What are the effects of Employee Assistance Programs on Employee Performance in the service industry?
1.5 Significance of the study
The study will benefit various groups in Kenya and also in other developing countries. First it brings light to HR managers and future managers on the importance of integrating work life initiatives in the strategic objectives of the organization.
The research is of importance to organizational policy makers by providing relevant information about employees’ perception on the availability of work life initiatives to employees and its effect on organizational behavior. Specifically, the government policy makers can use the research findings when drafting statutory polices by including those initiatives not included in the employment Act of Kenya such as flexible work arrangements, onsite and offsite baby care centers as requirements in organizations with a certain number of female employees.
The study is also of use to other human resource management students and scholars who might want to carry out their research in the area of work life initiatives and employees’ performance.
1.6 Assumptions of the study
The study assumes that first, involvement in one role necessarily impedes attention of family and social life and that such interference between role commitments leads to work-life conflict if not balanced. Further the study assumes that Organizations can implement various work-life balance initiatives that may assist employees to better balance their work, family and social life responsibilities, gain improvements in well-being and provide organizational benefits.
1.7 Limitations of the study
The influence of work life balance on employee performance is not restricted to the service industry in Kenya only as there are many industrial sectors whose settings may not be related to the ones in the service industry. The area of study in Kenya is under researched and it may be difficult to compare the different sectors of the population and come up with a cross cutting generalization because different factors could affect one sector and not another. This issue will be mitigated by ensuring that similar questions are asked cutting across the sectoral lines to ensure that uniformity of the answers could be achieved for comparison.
Access to the respondents may also pose a challenge due to the stringent policies by most of the organizations not to allow any form of research within their premises. This challenge will be mitigated by using a research permit from the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation and an introduction letter given by the University which will easily enable access to the organizations under study.
Some respondents are likely to be reluctant to give confidential information which would be vital for the study. The Researcher will assure the employees that the information given would be treated with confidentiality and would not use the information for other purposes other than for the research.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Employee performance- The favorable expected employee outcomes in terms of productivity and efficiency in the organizations
Flexible work arrangements- Working arrangements which allow the employee to differ the amount, timing and location of his/her work.
Human resource practices- Human resource management control activities.
Organizational performance- Refers to achievement of Human resource management short and long term goals and objectives in terms of employee performance, retention of employees, provision of quality services and the ability to attract better applicants.
Productivity- Refers to the perceived work effort expended by an employee.
Service efficiency- Employee service behaviors such as carrying out the right task at the right time with the right speed of delivery.
Work life balance -Managing work and family responsibilities without the influence either into work and family responsibilities.
Work life conflict- The interference between work and non-work responsibilities
Work life initiatives- Practices and programmes beyond and above the statutory requirements offered by the employer for the use and benefit of the employ
2.1 Theoretical Review
This study is anchored on three theories; spillover theory by Guest (2002), Hertzbergs Two Factor Theory by psychologist Frederick Hertzberg (1959) and The Demand–Control Model by Karasek (1979).
2.1.1 Spill over theory
Spill-over may be defined as a procedure through which work and family impacts each other, which in turn, generates similarities between the two domain names (Edwards and Rothbard, 2000). it can be both positive and negative. If work family interactions are rigidly structured in time and space, then spill over in term of energy, time and behavior is negative. When flexibility occurs which permits individuals to integrate and overlap work and family responsibilities in time and space result in positive spill over that is instrumental in reaching healthful work life balance.
According to guest (2002), the determinants of work life balance are placed in the work and domestic contexts. Contextual determinants consist of needs of labor, culture of labor, demands of home and culture of home. Individual determinants consist of work orientation (i.e. the extent to which work (or domestic) is a primary life interest), personality, energy, personal control and coping, gender and age, life and career level. The variables of the have a look at are under the contextual determinants, which are leave policy and service delivery. The leave policy is the culture of work, while the service delivery is the demand of work.
The nature of work life balance was described both objectively and subjectively. The objective indicators encompass hours of labor and hours of uncommitted or free time out of work.
Subjective indicators refer to the states of balance and imbalance. He additionally stated that balance may be reported while identical weight is given each to work and domestic or, when domestic or work dominates by choice. Spill over occurs while there is interference of one sphere of life with other. Additionally, several outcomes of work life balance which include personal satisfaction and wellbeing at work, domestic and entire existence, overall performance at work life, impact on others at work, family and friends.
The relevance of this theory to the study is that organizations are expected to adopt positive work life balance policies that will enable employee have a positive work life balance which will make them be effectively committed to achieving the organization’s goals.
2.1.2 Hertzbergs Two Factor Theory
The Two Factor Theory was developed by a psychologist Frederick Hertzberg in 1959, who theorized that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction act independently of each other. The characteristics related to job satisfaction included advancement, recognition, the work itself, achievement, growth and responsibilities. Hertzberg referred to these characteristics as motivators. The characteristics related to dissatisfaction, which included working conditions, supervision, interpersonal relationships, company policy and administration were referred to as hygiene factors. It states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction. The theory perceives workplace as independent variable and job satisfaction as dependent variable. These variables concur with the study variables which are technical environment, physical environment and organizational environment and job satisfaction (Spearritt, 2010).
According to Schermerhorn (2003), Herzberg’s two-factor theory is an important frame of reference for managers who want to gain an understanding of job satisfaction and related job performance issues. Schermerhorn asserts that Herzberg’s two-factor theory is a useful reminder that there are two important aspects of all jobs: what people do in terms of job tasks (job content), and the work setting in which they do it (job context). Schermerhorn suggests that managers should attempt to always eliminate poor hygiene sources ofjob dissatisfaction in the workplace and ensure building satisfier factors into job content to maximize opportunities for job satisfaction. Therefore, this theory is relevant and significant to this study in that it recognizes that employees have two categories of needs that operate in them and that both should be addressed. This theory therefore can guide a researcher in establishing work life balance and its effects on employee performance in the Service industry
2.1.3 The Demand–Control Model
The Demand–Control Model by Karasek (1979) points out that job demands and job control jointly predict the occurrence of individual mental strain. Based on comparative empirical findings, the causal relationship between job characteristics and strain outside the work-sphere is furthermore essential to the model. Karasek (1979) however implicitly acknowledged a wider range of demands and resources. Accordingly, the Job Demands–Resources Model (Bakker and Demerouti, 2007; Demerouti, 2001) claims that demands and resources determine job-related stress. Although the Job Demands–Resources Model exclusively refers to work-related demands and resources – given the bi-directional nature of work–family conflict – a conflict occurs if demands from the family and/or the work sphere compete with and exceed individual resources (Demerouti, 2007).
According to Greenhaus and Parasuraman (1999), a high level of involvement in unpaid work leads to a high level of conflict in paid work. Similarly, previous research revealed that children in the household – inducing higher family demands – are associated with a higher level of conflict (Crompton and Lyonette, 2008; Greenhaus and Parasuraman, 1999), particularly for women (Hennig et al., 2012). Martinengo et al. (2010) reveal that younger children – who demand more time – are predictors of family to-work conflict. As women still tend to be more responsible for childcare than men (Sayer, 2010), regardless of hours worked in paid employment, they work a second shift at home (Asher, 2011; Hochschild, 2003). Thus, household and family responsibilities are family demands which potentially increase the family-to-work conflict. The work-related demand that is most often discussed is the number of working hours, possibly causing work-to-family conflict (Sayer, 2010).
Long working hours limit the time resources for one’s private life (Chung, 2011; Golden and Wiens-Tuers, 2006; Jacobs and Gerson, 2004; Tausig and Fenwick, 2001), while shorter working hours and part-time employment might contribute to a better work–life balance (Bonney, 2005; Crompton and Lyonette, 2008). In a European comparative study, Fahlén (2012) discovers that shorter working hours reduce conflict in both directions; that is, home-to-work and work-to-home. Related to high work demands, job position/level (Crompton and Lyonette, 2008; Steiber, 2009; Tausig and Fenwick, 2001) and educational level (Jacobs and Gerson, 2004) were also found to increase work–life conflict.
Along the same line of reasoning, Bakker and Demerouti (2007), Bakker and Geurts (2004), Demerouti et al. (2001), Parasuraman, (1996) and Pocock (2005) interpret individual temporal, spatial and organisational control over the work sphere as a job resource. Relating individual control to work flexibility, Hill et al. (2008) defined workplace flexibility as ‘the ability of employees to make choices influencing when, where, and for how long they engage in work-related tasks. Thus, individual flexibility can be seen as a job resource since flexibility allows control over devoting resources to one or the other life spheres. This in turn decreases the likelihood of negative interference. Control in this context can have a buffering effect on job-related demands such as long working hours (Gerson, 2004).
2.2.1 The effect of work family balance on employee performance
Work and family are most important parts in human life that are not easily separated. When trying to balance between the work and family, the employees often end with conflict and dilemma in giving priority to both career and family. The incompatible of demand between career and family seem to create a personal pressure to the employees. More often than not, conflict tends to create pressure to the employees as they try to balance the two roles that need to be performed simultaneously. The last decades have seen dramatic changes in family life, including increases in dual-earner households and single-parent families as well as greater numbers of employed adults who are also caring for elderly or infirm relatives (Neal ; Hammer, 2007), that mean many employees are simultaneously juggling paid work and unpaid family work.
Work–family conflicts are a common source of stress and have been linked to employees’ health and family functioning, as well as labor market decisions and fertility decisions (Gornick& Meyers, 2003). Stress has the implications for the individual as well as the organization and it can no longer be considered merely as the individuals or managers problem (Menon and Akhilesh, 2007). It is now generally accepted that prolonged or intense stress can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental and physical health. When trying to balance work and family responsibilities, many employees experience conflict between these two roles (Day and Chamberlain, 2006). Work – family conflict has been defined as a mutual compatibility between the demands of the work role and demand of the family role. Juggling work and family responsibilities is a common experience for many employees. Although engaging in both work and family roles can have positive effects for individuals, but if employees are unable to balance the responsibilities associated with both roles, the potential for conflicts between roles increases (Frone, Russell and Cooper, 2010).
In the work setting, Rees (2005) researched on the uneven development of gender mainstreaming in Europe and found that women encounter more stress as compared to men. The main reason is women have to balance their responsibilities towards their work and family. While Carnicer et al., (2004) have found that gender is not a significant variable to explain work-family conflict. As the consequences of work – family conflict, De Janasz (2007), found that the conflict of work and family may lower job satisfaction and it may decrease the organizational commitment. In order to overcome the work – family conflict, Boyar et al (2008) suggested that organizations can work to reduce work family conflict by adopting family-friendly programs that help employees balance work and family demands. Specifically, their study implies that organizations should find ways to hold constant or reduce perceptions of work and family demand, along with other direct antecedents of work interfering with family and family interfering with work (Cooper, 2010).
2.2.2 The influence Flexible Working Options on Employee Performance
Pruchno, Litchfield and Fried (2007), conducted a research to find out impacts of workplace flexibility which shows that the most workplace flexibility turns into a win-win situation for both the company and the employee, the research also concluded that flexible working hours increases the employee productivity and allow him to do proper scheduling to move with official and personal life. Employees who are using alternative work schedule are conscious that all the other staff has not been able to utilize it. It is the responsibility of the managers to recognize the staff that will be more productive for opting flex schedule (Fried, 2007).
Employees, who are giving maximum output, will continue to sustain the same output. Supervisor evaluates an employees capability and job performance with the flexible work schedule while maintaining productivity. By decrease in the time, supervisor believes that they can improve employee confidence, loyalty, thus enhancing productivity. Flexible working intended at making convenience for employees to change when, where and for how many hours they want to work. Flexible working persuades employees to bring in new ideas for the conflicts occurring and they convinced line managers to take flexible working options more sincerely. According to the research when organization environment are not reactive to the needs for substitute work schedule, the probability is that staff work less than their capability (Nkereuwem, 2006).
Broadly acknowledged statement is that better workplace environment produces better results. It is considered with due significance to the nature of job and the individuals that are going to work in that office. The employee performance is actually considered by the output that the individual produces and it is related to productivity. Efficiency is affected at business level by such factors such as employees, technology and objectives of the organization. Employees performance and health also affected by the physical environment of the organization (Nkereuwem, 2006).
Morgan (2014) found that flexible time effects on employee behavior. The impact of flexi time is also highly dependent on nature of job like low wage employees get waged on daily basis at hour regulation so they could not make full use of flexi timing. Scandura and lankau (2007), in their research show the relationship between flexible working hours, personal (family) responsibilities and gender differences to job satisfaction and commitment toward organization.
According to Hurtz and Donovan (2000), Better significance is the opportunity that the relationship between personality characteristics and specific work environments may influence performance. Researchers distinguished that the effects of exhaustion, are mostly related to a wide range of physical and mental health problems. People cannot give their output to maximum capacity without good health and proper functioning conditions, which cause failure for the employees’ to reach their own proficient potential and the output required to make the organization perform efficiently and effectively. The secret to the job satisfaction is our ability to control our moods on a daily basis strain. Emotional balance enhances the employees’ ability to handle work pressure and stress, to consistently carry out the responsibilities, and self-indulgence (Worral, 2009).
Emotionally stable people are able to sustain an analytical approach when dealing with a nerve-racking work conditions. Costa and McCrae, (1985, 2002) say that people with neuroticism behavior are those who experience more negative emotions, which would be reflected in poor job attitudes and high levels of job stress. Neuroticism is a propensity to experience harmful effects such as panic, depression, humiliation, annoyance, guiltiness, and hatred. The findings of Van Vianen and De Dreu in 2001 are that high levels of emotional balance contributed to social consistency in teams, and high levels of neuroticism predict irritation and ignorance in relationships. James and Galinsky, 2006, the higher income employees are more offered with the flexible work arrangements than the lower income. This creates a sense of inequality at the workplace and decreases the motivational level.
Worral and cooper (2009) conducted a research to find out effects of working hours patterns in general and by managerial level, and the way they tradeoff between official work and personal life related issues like health, moral, time to family and productivity. The research shows a strong relationship between working hours and increasingly negative impact. Findings regarding tradeoff clearly demonstrate that it’s a very difficult for many managers. The results also disclose the fact that specifically the junior managers and those who are working in non-profit organization are more concerned toward their social life but picture is different for senior managers who works for profit oriented firms they are more concerned toward their office. The research also concluded that long working hours have negative impact of managers’ productivity and on their social life like with family and moral (Cooper, 2009).
2.2.3 Employee Assistance Programs
Employee assistance program can be defined as work-based intervention program designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems (e.g., marital, financial or emotional problems; family issues; substance/alcohol abuse) that may be adversely affecting the employees performance. Employee assistance program plans are usually 100% paid by the employer and can include a wide array of other services, such as nurse lines, basic legal assistance and referrals, adoption assistance or assistance finding elder care services. Employee assistance services can be made available to not only the employee but also to immediate family members or anyone living in their home. (SHRM, 2015).
Employers are recognizing that a holistic approach to wellness results in a happier, more productive employee. According to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, an employee assistance program utilizes specific core technologies to enhance employee and workplace effectiveness through prevention, identification, and resolution of personal and productivity issues. An employee assistance program, typically consists of a group of professionals, such as lawyers, therapists, counselors and financial experts, who contract with an employer to provide advice and guidance to employees. EAPs help them address personal, non-work issues, and concerns that could possibly affect their work life. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) began in the 1940s by providing employee services that primarily focused on the affect of alcohol use and abuse on job performance.
Over time, this emphasis was broadened to include other personal issues that negatively affect job performance. Tremendous growth in EAP services began in the early 1970s. During that period, EAPs helped employers address a growing list of employee concerns and proactively deal with workplace problems that could lead to violence, physical and mental health issues or declining morale among employees. Today, the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies offer EAPs that deliver a variety of health and productivity services to improve organizational performance, as well as assist individual employees and their dependents. (Attridge, 2005).
Worsening health status and stagnating productivity are major concerns of large employers nationwide. Some employers are experiencing alarming increases in absence rates due to the growing number of claims for short- and long-term disability and Family Medical Leave (FML). Stress is a major concern for employers and managers, and mental health and substance-use conditions continue to be a leading cause of illness and lost productivity for most employers (Nkereuwem, 2006).
According to Roman (2005), factors such as mental health conditions, sleep problems, mental health stigma and substance use and abuse affect business performance by reducing productivity and increasing both planned and unplanned absences. Many of these factors are either preventable or modifiable. While stress is known to affect productivity, few employers have found successful strategies to reduce the negative effects of chronic stressors. Many employees experience damaging levels of stress due to problems they experience in their home or work lives (Roman, 2005).
Todays workforce faces many new causes of stress, including the economy, long commutes, the time and energy required to care for ailing parents or young families and the availability of new technologies that blur the line between work and home. Furthermore, common behavioral health conditions such as depression can negatively affect productivity. Depression itself can be life-threatening, but it may also increase an individual’s risk for developing common medical conditions such as heart disease. Two decades of research show that persons with depression are at a greater risk for developing heart disease than healthy persons. Left untreated, depression may have a negative impact on comorbid (co-occurring) disease outcomes and reduce an individual’s ability to comply with treatment. (Rees, 2005).
2.3 Empirical Literature Review
2.3.1 Work life balance
Iqan, (2010) Conclude that, a successful balance between work and non-work roles are beneficial for both employee and employer. And this balance in work and life domains enhances quality of personal relationship and organizational outcomes. Work/life balance is a broad concept that encompasses prioritizing between work (including career and ambition) on one hand, and life (including areas such as health, leisure, family, pleasure and spiritual development) on the other. There are also two key concepts related to work/life balance – achievement and enjoyment (Bowman 2013).
According to Susi (2010), Work life balance is drive for satisfaction of employees. Many organizations feel the need of work life balance which include retention of valuable work force, reduce work family conflict, and reduce employee stress, job satisfaction and better life balance. Work life balance practices need to be supported and encouraged at workplace culture. Strong and supportive organizational culture increase employee intent to remain in the organization. Felicity, Asiedu, Appiah, (2013) concludes that work life balance is important in enhancing employee performance at work and home. Gender difference exists in work life balance needs because work and non-work responsibilities are different for male and females. Some research results show that female demonstrated more need for work life balance as compared to male. An individual derive satisfaction in life from work and family domains. Researches find that work balance practices effect overall organization and individual performance.
Lockwood (2012) defines work life balance as a managing work and personal responsibilities. Work-life programs require support from senior management. For work/life benefits in work environment it is helpful to have a corporate culture that encourages employees to look at business in an entirely different way and supports and accepts employees as individuals with priorities beyond the workplace. Work life balance programs increased employee motivation and productivity. Work-life environment is a concept that supports the efforts of employees to split their time and energy between work and the other important aspects of their lives. Work-life environment is a daily effort to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace. Organizations are social systems where human resources are the most important factors for effectiveness and efficiency and need effective managers and employees to achieve their objectives. Organizations cannot succeed without their employees efforts and commitment (Hobson, 2009).
Job satisfaction is critical to retaining and attracting well-qualified employees. Exceptional organizations have leaders that create work environments where people can achieve work-life balance and well-being as they define it for themselves (Spinks, 2004). A satisfied work force is essential for the success of organizations and their businesses. Dissatisfied employees make organizations dysfunctional, damaging their financial performance. Job satisfaction and work life balance are more likely to drive employees to remain with their current employers than Work-life balance is assisted by employers who institute policies, procedures, actions, and expectations that enable employees to easily pursue more balanced lives. The pursuit of work-life balance reduces the stress employee experience. When they spend the majority of their days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting the other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Work-life balance enables employees to feel as if they are paying attention to all the important aspects of their lives.
Because many employees experience a personal, professional, and monetary need to achieve, work-life balance is challenging. Employers can assist employees to experience work-life balance by offering such opportunities as flexible work schedules, paid time off (PTO) policies, responsible time and communication expectations, and company-sponsored family events and activities. Managers are important to employees seeking work-life balance. Managers who pursue work-life balance in their own lives model appropriate behavior and support employees in their pursuit of work-life balance. They create a work environment in which work-life balance is expected, enabled, and supported. They retain outstanding employees to whom work-life balance is important (Spinks, 2004).
Literature shows that managers have valuable role in encouraging employees to manage their work and life activities. Strong relationship exists between work life balance and employee satisfaction, hence companies should make policies and programs for employees. Managers can apply different roles of work-life balance to manage employees work life balance and provide success to the company (Rani 2011). When employees are not clear about their roles to be performed then employees are unable to meet organizational goals and it also has an impact on their personal life and employees become dissatisfied towards their job and organization faces lack of effectiveness (Spearritt, 2010).
A study conducted in Pakistan by Nadeem and Abbas, (2009) on the relationship among work life conflict and employee job satisfaction at all levels of the management in public and private organizations, showed that job satisfaction at top level of management has negative correlation with family to work interference, family to work interference and stress and job satisfaction has positive correlation with job autonomy. Job satisfaction at the middle level of employees decreases when work life conflict and stress increases. Job satisfaction at the lower level of employees has negative correlation with stress and family to work interference and positive correlation with job autonomy.
A study by Hanglberger (2010) on the effect of work-life balance, specifically working hours on employees’ job satisfaction found a positive relationship between them. The same was analyzed by Gash, (2010) for women in UK and Germany and the findings supported Hanglberger studies, showing a positive effect of reduced working hours on employees’ life satisfaction. Another study (Malik, 2010) was conducted in Pakistan to investigate the relationship between work-life balance, job satisfaction and turnover intentions among medical professionals in hospitals.
The level of employees’ job satisfaction increases by many factors and when employees are satisfied with their work, they feel motivated (Noor, 2011). The demand of employees work life balance is increased by change in trends in the business such as change in organizations structure, diversity of work force and female employees working in organizations. Organizations should provide work life balance facilities to their employees so that employees can perform their duties effectively and leads organization to the success (Parvin and Kabir, 2011).
Another study by Dev 2012, conducted in India indicates that work-life balance is significantly correlated with job satisfaction in the service industry. It suggested that female employees should be given more facilities such as flexi time, job sharing, child care, etc. to gain their organizational commitment. It was revealed that those doctors who are better in managing their work-life shows higher satisfaction with jobs and less turnover intentions. Job satisfaction has negative correlation with work stress, family to work interference and work to family interference but have positive correlation with workload. Employees productivity is reduced and their turnover and absenteeism are increased due do work life strain and most of the institutions also complain that they cannot much facilitate their employees to balance their work and family responsibilities (Dev, 2012).
Fatima and Sahibzada (2012) conducted a study on work-life balance in the universities. They concluded that due to heavy workload in universities, staff becomes dissatisfied. Hence, universities should develop strategies that could facilitate faculty needs to balance between work and life activities to achieve competitive advantage. A study was conducted by Maren, (2013) to analyze work-life balance and job satisfaction among teachers exposed a negative relationship between work-life conflicts and job satisfaction. The study suggested that if organizations offer facilities to reduce work-life conflicts, it will lead to improvement in employees job satisfaction. Chahal, (2013) suggested to increase the efficiency of the employees bank should timely appraise their employees and encourage them to work hard because satisfied employees are reason for the success of the organization. When employees are satisfied with their jobs they become loyal and committed to the organization. Saleem, (2013) say that organization should make strategies and policies that will help employees to have clear understanding regarding their job tasks and objectives and if employees are not satisfied with their job they will not pay attention to their work and will not make customers happy.
2.4 Summary of Literature
Konrad and Mangel, (2000), found no relationship between a composite measure of work-life initiatives and productivity. However, while there is not strong evidence for the universalistic approach for work-life policies regarding their effects on job performance; Perry, Smith and Blum (2000), provide evidence for the configuration approach. Specifically, organizations with a greater range of work-family policies (including leave policies, traditional dependent care and less traditional dependent care) had higher organizational performance, market performance and profit-sales growth.
Furthermore, the research has been dominated by North American and North European academics. This reflects the fact that the contemporary debate is partly about affluence and its consequences and according to Crompton (2006), Work Life Balance may be a misleading phrase as it implies that employees.
It is also argued that the conceptualization of work-life balance is not applicable to all types of people, for certain low income employees the concept of work-life balance may be unthinkable if they must struggle to find enough work to make ends meet (DeBruin and Dupuis, 2004). Employees may work longer hours because flexible arrangements increase their availability for work and reduce their commuting time, or because they are exchanging leisure time for flexibility. There is also ambiguity around the definition of work. The term work often refers to paid employment but may also refer to that which includes unpaid work at home and in the community (Eby, 2005). Greenhaus,(2003) have also questioned the self-evident assumption that work-family balance always leads to favorable outcomes since according to them this is an empirical question which has not yet been firmly answered due to miscellaneous definitions of work-family balance.
Additionally, the use of family-friendly provisions such as regular leave entitlements, flexibility and part-time work may inadvertently indicate less career commitment, reducing the likelihood of career progression (Hosking and Western, 2008). While part-time work is likely to reduce general experiences of work-life conflict, it is also widely observed that part-time hours often involve work that is lower paid and less secure, involving less autonomy and skill discretion (Bardoel, 2007). Hence, reduced hours may improve work-life outcomes, but other important aspects of job quality, opportunity and financial security are substantially reduced.
2.5 Research Gap
Researcher(s) Focus of the Study Research Gap
Beauregard Henry (2009) Making the link between work life balance practices and organizational performance These scholars have concentrated their studies in the developed countries; it is with this in mind that this study will attempt to fill this gap by addressing work life balance and employees performance in the service industry in Kenya.
Mordi, (2011) Extent to which work-life balance policies/practices are a reality for employees in the banking sector Study sought to establish the levels of awareness of the availability of work life balance policies in the banking sector in Nigeria. Thus does not look at the effect these policies have on the performance of employees. This study will therefore seek to fill these gaps.
Lilian, Menezes and Kelliher (2011)
Flexible working arrangements, work related outcomes and employee outcomes
Study looked at performance at organizational level, and individual level which mostly inferred large surveys done making it secondary data hence mixed findings reported. Generalizing the findings is therefore a problem for this study.
Gillian andMarilyn(2004) Connections between macro, organizational and individual levels of WLB policy and practice in UK Carried seven case studies–five in the public sector and two in the voluntary sector. They found a connection between organizational and individual levels in terms of mutuality in both needs and benefits are arguably necessary for the effective development and implementation of WLB. While this study recognizes the connectivity of organizational and individual levels in the use of WLB practices it does not concentrate on these connections but on the effect of these practices on the performance of employees. This study seeks to investigate this in Kenyan companies as opposed to UK with specific WLB practices under scrutiny.
Lockwood(2003) Work life balance: Challenges and solutions in the USA Identifies three factors-global competitions, personal lives/family values, and an aging workforce–as present challenges that impair work life balance. Suggests companies capitalize on factors using work/life initiatives to gain a competitive advantage .Recognizes the importance of organizational culture in the use of work life balance practices, but did not point the role it plays on performance of employees when specific WLB practices are used. This study seek to address this and focus on specific WLB practices and how they affect the performance of employees in the service sector in the developing countries context
Quazi, Koh and Huang, Khoo(2011)
Flexible work arrangements, child care facilities, employee support schemes, perceived supervisor support
Study used hierarchical regression analysis indicating both perceived availability and utilization of work life initiatives were positively related to job satisfaction, commitment and negatively associated with turnover intentions. Questionnaire was developed from scales developed by other researchers and were tested for content validity and clarity by subject experts, this is a large number which is good for any research. The study suggested a further study to incorporate moderating and mediating variables such as gender differences and perceived organizational support.
2.6 Conceptual Framework
Independent variables Dependent variable
Source: Author, 2018
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
This chapter outlines the research design, study area, study population, sampling techniques, instruments, data presentation and data analysis and ethical considerations of the study.
3.1 Study Area
To achieve the study objectives the researcher will use the employees in Safaricom PLC Ltd and Jubilee Insurance Kenya which will comprise of the managerial staff and non-managerial staff.
3.2 Research design
The study will employ descriptive survey method as this method gives wider room for the researcher to study the subject matter. It also ensures that inferences can be made on characteristic, attitude and behavior of the population under study. Kasomo (2007) defines descriptive research methods as methods that are concerned with the conditions or relationships that exist. Such methods are designed to investigate the current status and nature of the phenomenon.
3.3 Target Population
The target population is the entire set of units for which the data are to be used to make inferences. For this study the target population will be drawn from a population of 593 employees working in various positions in the selected companies. The study will target key informants like the managers, supervisors and other employees who have an understanding of the operations of the company.
Company records (2016) indicate that Safaricom PLC has over 4,000 employees spread across the country employed as either permanent or contractual employees and the Company records (2016) of Jubilee Insurance Kenya Ltd also has 878 employees employed on either permanent or contract terms. This study will focus on permanent employees of both organizations.
Table: 3.1 Target population
Insurance Jubilee Insurance Kenya Ltd Top level
Section heads 30 6
Other staff 210 42
Total 268 54
Tele -communication Safaricom PLC Top level
Other staff 235 47
Total target population 593
Sample size 119
Source: Company records 2016
3.4 Sampling Procedure and Sample Size
The technique to be used is stratified random sampling which according to Kasomo (2007) helps in identifying groups in the population. Sampling is to be used on about 20% of staff in each category of the selected companies. This will ensure that the sample is a good representative of the study population as Kerlinger (2003) recommends 10% minimum sample for a descriptive research. Purposive sampling will also be used to identify the various managers for interview since they will be key informants who may have certain information, because of their expertise, that employees may not have or allowed to give (KIM,2015).To arrive at the sample size of the respondents, the study will adopt a sample determination table used in social research. From Table3.1, a total of 593 populations is equivalent to 119 sample size.
3.3 Data Collection Instruments
Kasomo (2007) defines a questionnaire as a carefully designed instrument (written, typed or printed) for collecting data direct from people. That a typical questionnaire consists of questions and statements. Two types of questions are normally asked; close ended questions and open ended questions. Closed ended questions are normally questions that are structured in such a way the respondents are provided with a list of responses from which to select an appropriate answer. The open ended questions enable the researcher to receive the answer open to what the respondent wishes to give. The advantage of using this type of instrument is the ease with which it accords the researcher. Moreover, they are easy to administer and economical to use in terms of time and money.
In this study the both questionnaires will be used to get uniform responses from given companies since the study targets persons in management who have adequate information (managers/supervisors) and the employees under them. The structured questionnaires are accompanied by a list of all possible alternatives from which respondents will select the suitable answer that describe their situation by simply ticking.
3.4 Measurements of Variables
According to Kothari (2004) measurement is the process of mapping aspects of a domain onto other aspects of a range according to some rules of correspondent. It involves devising form of scale in range and then mapping the properties of the object to be measured on this scale. The study seeks to investigate the effect of work life balance on the performance of employees in selected companies in the service industry in Kenya specifically in Nairobi County. The Likert scale will be calibrated to adequately bring out the most fairly honest opinion of the respondents regarding the questions covering the dependent and independent variables. Kothari (2004) argues that a Likert scale is relatively easy to construct and permits the use of statements that are not manifestly related. He further explains that they are not only useful with respondent centered studies but are also considered more reliable.
Table 3.2: Summary of the Operationalization and measurement of the study variables
i) Work Life Balance Practices
Work Family Priorities
Adopting family-friendly programs that help employees balance work and family demands with other direct antecedents of work interfering with family and family interfering with work
• Balanced work and family
• Higher Role Conflict
• Tensioned interpersonal Relations
Questionnaire Likert Scale
Flexible Working Options
Programmes /schedules that enable employees to vary the number of work hours daily as long as they maintain regular number of work hours on a weekly basis. • Flexible work schedules/
Programmes and Working Hours
• Childcare Facilities
• Leave policy
Questionnaire Likert Scale
Employee Assistance Programs
An arrangement where employees share the duties and responsibilities of one job.
• Professional referrals
• Financial backups
Questionnaire Likert Scale
ii) Employee Performance
Performance The outcomes of activity and endeavor which can be assessed qualitatively by reference to standards of performance defined in the form of meeting the required standards. • Competence
• Customer satisfaction
• job satisfaction
• improved service delivery
• Employee loyalty and commitment
• job satisfaction
• improved service delivery
• Employee loyalty andcommitment
Questionnaire Likert Scale/nominal scale
3.5 Validity of Research Instruments
In research, the fundamental rule of the thumb is that every information collected must be accurate (Kasomo, 2007). This implies that what is used to obtain that information must also be accurate thus the concept of validity. It implies that if whatever is used in the study makes it possible to get what should be gotten then there is validity. Fraenken (1993) explains that the instrument should be given to an individual who can be expected to render an intelligent judgment about the adequacy of the instrument. The instrument is then amended according to the expert’s comments and recommendations before being administered. For the validation of the instrument therefore, the researcher will consult supervisors and experts in the Human Resource Department who will give expert advice and suggestions on the instrument. The aim is to determine whether the items are adequate in content, wording, sequence, form, layout, question difficulty and instruction. The feedback obtained will be used to correct the questionnaire.
3.6 Reliability of the Instruments
According to Kosomo (2007), reliability refers to how consistent a research procedure or instrument is. It is the degree of consistency demonstrated in a study. In this study therefore the provisional draft of the questionnaire will be pre-tested on a pilot group similar to the sample to which the questionnaire will be given. The test–retest method will thus be used on the pilot group. The score on the two sets of measures will then be correlated to obtain an estimated coefficient of reliability. The coefficient will be computed using the Karl Pearson’s product moment coefficient of correlation given as r. A coefficient of between 0.5and 0.7 will be acceptable for this study. The items will be scored individually and aggregated to get the total score on the whole instrument for both test and retest administration.
For this purpose then ten questionnaires will be used for piloting by the researcher. Cronbach’s alpha, ? (or coefficient alpha), developed by Lee Cronbach in 1951, measures reliability, or internal consistency. “Reliability” is how well a test measures what it should. For example, a company might give a job satisfaction survey to their employees. High reliability means it measures job satisfaction, while low reliability means it measures something else (or possibly nothing at all).
Cronbach’s alpha tests to see if multiple-question Likert scale surveys are reliable. These questions measure latent variables — hidden or unobservable variables like: a person’s conscientiousness, neurosis or openness. These are very difficult to measure in real life. Cronbach’s alpha will tell you if the test you have designed is accurately measuring the variable of interest.
N = the number of items.
c? = average covariance between item-pairs.
v? = average variance.
3.7 Data Analysis Techniques
Data analysis will be done at two levels; first the data collected through questionnaires will be coded manually and analyzed using SPSS (statistical programme for social sciences).The data will then be organized under different variables and the frequency established. Percentages and the ratios will be calculated to allow for the use of descriptive statistics. The results will then be presented in the frequency tables and charts. The second level of the data analysis will involve inferential statistics where the Pearson’s coefficient of correlation will be used to establish the relationship among the variables.
3.8 Ethical Considerations
The study will put in place a series of ethical considerations. A letter of introduction from the University will be provided to the researcher to identify her as a bonafide student permitted to carry out the research. The researcher will then obtain a research permit and a letter from the National Commission for Science; Technology ; Innovation copied to the top management of the companies clearing her to collect data from the target respondent highlighting the topic of research. On all the questionnaires to the various respondents, there will be a forward note assuring them on anonymity, confidentiality and the voluntary participation.