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EFFECT OF WORKLIFE BALANCE ON ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF THE MANUFACTURING FIRMS
History of work-life programs can be traced back to 1930s, when introduction of reduced working hours with four shifts of six-hours instead of the usual three daily eight hours shifts in W.K. Kellog Company resulted to enhanced employee morale and productivity (Lockwood, 2003). Still, it took the next decades (1980s) for the concept to gain importance with the consideration of certain aspects as job satisfaction, reward systems, physical work environment, worker participation, rights and esteem needs.
Most of them, particularly textiles, cement, bakery, leather, paper manufacturing and many others are all producing with machinery that were procured in the 1960s and 1970s, giving rise to frequent breakdown and reduction in capacity consumption rates (Anyanwu, 2007). Low technology is responsible for the inability of local industry to produce capital goods such as raw materials, spare parts and equipment, the bulk of which are imported. Low Level of Capacity Utilization Rate: Capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing sector is between 30 and 40 per cent, indicating gross under-utilisation of resources. This has been liable largely on recurrent power outages, lack of funds to procure inputs, fallen demand for manufactures and frequent strikes and lockouts by workers and their employers.
Low savings: Lack of funds has made it hard for firms to make investments in modern machines, information technology and human resources development which are critical in reducing production costs, raising productivity and improving competitiveness. In addition, banks perceive manufacturing as a high risk venture in the Nigerian environment, hence they prefer to lend to low-risk ventures, such as commerce, in which the returns are also very high (Anyanwu, 2007). High Price of Production: Giving that the introduction of SAP, high and growing cost of production has been recorded by most business organisations as a major limitation on their operations (CBN Business Surveys, 2010). Increased cost, traced mostly to poor performing infrastructural amenities, high interest and exchange rates and diseconomies of scale, has resulted into increased unit price of manufactures, low effective demand for goods, liquidity squeeze and fallen capacity utilization rates.
Inflation: This can be described as constant increase in the general price level constitutes a discouragement to saving for future use and thereby retards investments and growth. It also encourages speculative activities and diverts resources from productive ventures.
Poor Performing Infrastructure: Poor performance of infrastructural facilities, characterized by frequent disruption in electric power and water supplies and incompetent telecommunication and transportation systems, is a major constraint on productivity. As firms have to invest huge capital to provide alternative infrastructural facilities to run their businesses, enterprises are forced to carry high cost structure which reduces efficiency and results in loss of competitiveness for their products (Anyanwu, 2007).
The individuals who form the human capital of an organization are an integral part of the family in particular and the society in general, and these two parts may be difficult to separate. In today‘s business world, employee performance is a key determinant in the achievement of organizational goals. As a result, organizations look for different and modern ways of motivating their employees, in order for them to give their best to the organization. One of these ways is recognizing that the heart is as good an asset, as the head of the employee.
Since home is where the heart is, organizations, especially in the developed economies, are beginning to realize that employee welfare transcends the work environment and extends to the homes and families of employees (Azeem and Akhtar, 2014). Such sayings as east, west, north and south, home is the best; charity begins at home; and even Igbo sayings such as ―ana e si n’ulo ama mma puta iro” . emphasize the influence of the family and home on the work-life of the employee. Also, studies indicate that when workers come from happy homes, the work environment tends to be conflict free (Kotter, 2001; Eby, Casper, Lockwood, Bordeanx and Brindley, 2005).
However, discovering an appropriate balance between work and life is a challenge for both employer and employees in an organization. Work-Life Balance (WLB) is a very important phenomenon that is of great concern to various employees in both private and public sectors (Orogbu, Onyeizugbe and Chukwuemeke, 2015). It goes beyond prioritizing the work role and one‘s personal life; and also affects the social, psychological, economic and mental wellbeing of the individual.
The term gained importance in the late 1960s due to concerns about the effects of work on the general wellbeing of employees (Maurya, Singh, Reddy, Singh, Maurya and Arora, 2015) Karatepe & Tekinkus, 2006 reveal that employers‘ concern was on work design and working conditions improvement until the mid-1970s. In this period, study on working mothers and dual earner families came into light as women‘s contribution grew significantly in the workforce (Lewis, Gambles &Rappaport, 2007).
Rappaport and Bailyn (1996) studied how in the agrarian societies, work and family were closer to each other and how the industrial revolution in the 18th and the 19th century created a divide between work and personal life, and further how electricity and machines made mass production possible which essentially meant setting up of factories away from home. Their research studied segmentation of work and family life due to movement of work away from home/family to the factories and cities. Also, their study covered a limited scope of work-life balance as it was primarily concerned with work and its impact on family and did not relate work to its impact on other aspects of life.
Still, theirs was a significant beginning and more research followed soon as prior to then, ‗work‘ and ‗family‘ were primarily treated as separate segments (Blunsdon, Blyton, Reed and Dastmalchian, 2006). Interdependence of ‗work‘ and ‗family‘ was highlighted by Kanter (1977) who decked aspects of work affecting family life and aspects of family life touching work.
During the same time, Pleck (1977) analyzed work-family role system as a compilation of male work role, female work role, male family role and female family role. He further stated that women knowledge spill-over from family role into work role and men experience spill-over from work role into family role. Much of this development is alluded to changing demographic makeup of the workforce, changing social roles, the changing responsibilities of organizations and legislative pressure. This is illustrated by the increasing number of women in the workforce wishing to combine family and work responsibilities.
An ageing workforce became another demographic factor which raised the importance of the work-life balance discourse for older employees who may wish to remain at work, but work less hours or different change patterns. Maurya et al (2015) argue that the most popular reason employers introduce work-life balance policies were recruitment and retention.
Despite the increased interest in developing WLB policies, a survey by Strathmore Business School (2011) on WLB in Kenyan organizations shows that 41% of managers felt that the value of working life had got poorer over the years. The review concluded that most companies in many countries like Kenya, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bhutan lack human resource policy that supports the well-being of their employees. Corroborating this position using India as an example, Maurya et al (2015) avers that most major nationalized banks in India have their busiest branches in the metro and considerably bigger cities which implies that employees work longer hours under pressure because of huge number of customers; and experience more complex and intensified work.
The study found that employees were experiencing nervousness, workload, loss of control, pressure, long hours and inadequate personal time. This has been blamed on the competition for market leadership in the manufacturing sector (Karatepe and Tekinkus, 2006) which compel line managers to give their workers unnecessary work load in order to meet up with set targets. Employees try their best to be retained in the organization by putting in more time at work which may be at the detriment of their personal life.
All these may affect the nurture of children, lead to broken and unhappy homes and poor social life (Azeem, et al, 2014). This is peculiar to developing economies like Nigeria, faced with serious economic challenges and labour market pressures added to poor social infrastructures, poverty, high joblessness and dishonesty. These conditions further worsen the work and life of the common Nigerian worker whose aim is to make a living and who may have to laboriously build up accommodating arrangements and cognitive mental coping behaviours that stimulate desirable satisfaction and effectual functioning both at work and at home (Fapohunda, 2014).
Epie (2011) states that the Nigerian manufacturing industry is known for its long hour culture, and high work load of employees. NASCO group, Zuma Paint and Chemicals, and Tito Yoghurt Limited may not be exempted from this culture. They are accountable to issues of work-life balance, due to the nature of the work environment and the competitiveness of the market. Policies exist to improve work-life balance, but its implementation has become an issue that needs to be looked into.
The Nigerian economy is in a state of recession and organizations are experiencing incremental production costs while facing the challenge of maintaining output and value point. It is more difficult to import production components and raw materials given the dwindling value of the Naira in addition to high and frequent expenditure on alternative power supply. All these have led to managers having higher expectation of employees‘ contribution to organizational performance at the cost of their personal life.
The proposition is that work-life balance incentives like, leave entitlement, flexi time, and family and welfare policies, are not adhered to organizational management which are also increasingly under pressure to deliver. These entail that employees work round the clock with little attention to themselves and their families. Clarke, Koch and Hill (2004) allude that such a situation may result to broken homes and poor parental upbringing with subsequent societal implications. This multifaceted demand between work and home responsibilities have assumed increased relevance for employees in the Nigerian manufacturing industry in recent years.
This is amidst the difficulties they face in prioritizing between work roles and personal lives. Hence, the study of work-life balance and organizational performance is essential. Organizational performance highlights achievements influenced by its operational activities in utilizing the resources owned (Helfert in Rivai, 2007). Nigerian governments (past and present) have always acknowledged the performance issues of its manufacturing industry. In addition, the performance issues of the Nigerian manufacturing industry is not without precedence in literature. Olugbemi (1987), Phillip (1988) and Olusanya (1997) all find a middle ground in the argument that the manufacturing sector is characterized by low efficiency in relation to universal best standards. They suggest that most Nigerians usually prefer foreign made goods to locally produced ones ranging from rice to cars and the situation is made worrisome considering that Nigeria still imports ordinary toothpick and wooden ruler from other countries. Manufacturing remains one of the most powerful engines for economic growth.
It acts as a means to change the economic structure of countries, from simple, slow-growing and low-value actions to more productive activities that enjoy greater limits, are driven by technology, and have higher growth prospects. But its potential benefits are even greater today. Nigeria‘s developed manufacturing has suffered from neglect, since the country‘s economy has depended on the petroleum sector since the 1970s. As the government tries to expand the economy, it is working to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector so as to increase its contribution to Nigeria‘s prosperity.
Lagos and its surroundings are home to about 60% of Nigeria‘s industrial base (Bureau of Public Enterprise, 2006). Other key industrial centres are Kano, Ibadan and Kaduna. Nigeria‘s most significant manufacturing industries include cement, food processing, textiles and detergents. Manufacturing contributed about 4.2% GDP in 2009, up from 3.6% in 2008. The sector‘s contribution to GDP has changed little over the course of the decade.
Even as industries like cement and beverages draw venture from home and abroad, other industries are closing up shop; between 2000 and 2010, more than 850 manufacturing companies either shut down or temporarily halted production. Capacity utilization in manufacturing is around 53%. Imports of manufactured goods dwarf sales of homegrown products – manufactured goods have constituted the biggest category of imports since the 1980s. Billion fund to help banks extend credit to the manufacturing sector, following the decline in available financing after the onset of the global economic crisis. The biggest problem facing manufacturers over the past decade has been inadequate infrastructure in general and lack ofpower supply in particular (BPE, 2006). The country set the aim of generating 6,000 MW of electricity by the end of 2009, but expected national demand is 25,000 MW. Yet, that target was not met as manufacturers have mainly installed their own generators to compensate for spotty supply from the state.
The manufacturing industry as a whole generates around 72% of its own energy needs (Elbadawi and Mwega, 2000). Operating these generators greatly increases the cost of manufacturing goods, and the cost increase is passed on to the consumer, making it difficult for Nigerian goods to contend with cheaper imports. Anyanwu (2007) recounts that high organizational performance in the Nigerian manufacturing sector has been constrained by many factors which include the following: Low Level of knowledge: This is conceivably the greatest barrier constraining performance in Nigeria as developments in knowledge and innovations are the primary forces propelling industralisation today (Anyanwu, 2007). Unfortunately, industries in Nigeria cannot acquire modern machines that have reduced processes.
These are the issues that prompted an investigation into the effect of work-life balance on organizational performance in selected manufacturing firms in Nigeria. The essence is that the majority of research on the correlation between work and family life refers to WLB and organisation policies, WLB and organisation culture, WLB and HR management, WLB and work commitment, WLB and job satisfaction, WLB and gender equality, WLB and family life, and many more (Casper, Eby, Bordeaux, Lockwood and Lambert, 2007). There are a number of studies exploratory WLB and workers wellbeing too.
These studies however were mainly conducted in the United States (Grzywacz and Marks, 2000), the United Kingdom (Wise, Bond and Meikle, 2003), Australia and New Zealand (Bochner, 2003). This leaves a significant gap with respect to effect of WLB on organizational performance with special emphasis on the manufacturing industry of a developing economy like Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is a growing interest in the importance and ramifications of WLB among organization experts. This growing interest may be attributable to the current shift from public sector to that of private sector driven economy. Consequently, organizational development expert‘s focus is on issues that enhance the compettivenees of growth sectors like manufacturing industry.
Most organizations in the manufacturing industry have been bedeviled by various challenges that border on WLB issues. Due to high cost of doing business arising from shortage of manufacturing inputs due to inflation and foreign exchange procurement issues, most manufacturing firms have trimmed down (downsized) their staff strength. The effect is long hours of work for the same pay for those still in service, high performance targets, reduced incentives and delayed or denied promotion The immediate to long term consequences of these are burnout, frequent ill-health and generally, work dissatisfaction. Several employees react differently to these. Some play truancy and absenteeism, others resort to cutting corners and indulge in fraudulent practices and worse still, others leave the organization entirely. All these impact negatively on the objectives of the organizations and on the WLB of the employees.
There have been a considerable number of studies on WLB among developed countries (United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand) on almost all aspects of WLB.
The same however, cannot be said of the developing economies. In Nigeria, the interest in WLB is growing but most of the earlier studies were on the banking industry which is largely owned by Nigerians of southern origin. Again most, studies seem to focus on the female workforce, individuals with children or single-parent families, rather than on all employees. Consequently, there is little research efforts on WLB for all employees in the manufacturing sector of the North Central Zone of Nigeria. It is this gap that this study intends to fill.
1.3Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to determine the effect of work-life balance on organizational performance of the Nigerian manufacturing firms. The specific objectives of the study are to:
i.Determine the effects of leave policy on employee turnover in the Nigerian manufacturing firms.
- Ascertain the relationship between flexible scheduling and effective service delivery in the manufacturing firms.
- Highlight the effect of emotional intelligence on organizational commitment in the manufacturing firms.
- Assess the relationship between workplace support system and willingness to work longer hours in the Nigerian manufacturing firms.
- Identify the key challenges to effective work-life balance programme in the Nigerian manufacturing firms.
The following research questions guided the investigation:
i.To what extent does leave policy affect employee turnover in the Nigerian manufacturing firm?
- What is the relationship existing between flexible scheduling and efficient service delivery in the Nigerian manufacturing firm?
- What is the effect of emotional intelligence on organizational commitment in the Nigerian manufacturing firm?
- What is the relationship existing between workplace support system and job pleasure in the Nigerian manufacturing firm?
- What are the key challenges to effective work-life balance programme in the Nigerian manufacturing firm?
The research hypotheses were formulated as follows:
i.Leave policies significantly affect employee turnover decisions.
- There is significant relationship between flexible scheduling and efficient service delivery in the manufacturing firm.
- Emotional intelligence significantly affects staff commitment in the manufacturing firm. Workplace support significantly influences staff willingness to work longer hours
- Organizational culture and poor communication processes are the key challenges to effective work-life balance programme in the Nigerian manufacturing firm.
Significance of the Study
This study has both theoretical and practical significance. It is significant theoretically because its findings serve to enrich literature in this area of research interest. It is empirically significant to scholars in the sense that it will generate original and indigenous data on the effect of WLB on managerial performance in the manufacturing industry in Nigeria.
Practically, the findings provide an objective outlook to the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) on the relationship between WLB and organizational presentation in the Nigerian manufacturing industry.
The findings and recommendations of this study will help the firms and other manufacturing firms in Nigeria to map out strategies of dealing with WLB issues within their organizations. The study is equally beneficial to future researchers who will find it a relevant research material for their study.
It serves as a reference material for students on similar topics by providing them with empirical insight into the effect of work-life balance on organizational performance in the Nigerian manufacturing firm.
Scope of the Study
The study focused mostly on the aspects of WLB that is yet to receive much literature attention in the Zone such as leave policies and practices, work scheduling, emotional intelligence and workplace support. The area of the study is delimited to the North Central Zone where there is a dearth of studies on WLB in the manufacturing industry. Specifically, the study was restricted to Plateau, Abuja and Benue states respectively because it is where the head offices of the selected companies are located Using the appropriate fully explained in chapter three the following firms were selected for this study: NASCO group, Zuma Paint and Chemicals, Queensway Aluminum, Lucky Fibres Limited, UAC Foods, I-Tex Furniture Limited, Sarplast Fiberglass Company,
Dangote Cement Plc and Tito Yoghurt Limited all located in the North Central zone of Nigeria. The researcher chose these companies because they represent significant sectors of the Nigerian manufacturing industry. Secondly, they are world class companies whicho are expected to observe global best practices in their operations.
The time scope covers a period of 17 years (1999 to 2015), representing the situation as it stands since inception of this democratic period.