1.2 Statement of the problem
Despite the effort to come up with several work-life initiatives (WLBI) in the service industry to enhance employees’ 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’ performance remain unclear (Wang and Walumbwa, 2011; Snape and Redman, 2010; Wright and McMahan, 2011; Groen, B. A., van Triest, S. P., Coors, 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), as well as studies carried out in Kenya by Shitsama, (2011) and Bosibori,(2012), reveal that HR practices have a positive and statistically significant relationship with performance. However, these studies have focused on HRM functions of employee development and attraction practices such as training and development, performance appraisal, career management, recruitment and selection (Teseema and Soeters, 2006; Mutua, Karanja and Namusonge, 2009). There is a little empirical study exploring the telecommunication and insurance industry regarding 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 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 impact 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 corporate behavior. Correctly, the government policymakers can use the research findings when drafting statutory policies by including those initiatives not involved 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 the 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 balance their work, family and social life responsibilities better, 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 industry 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 quickly 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 provided 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 regarding 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 the achievement of Human resource management short and long-term goals and objectives regarding 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), Hertzberg Two Factor Theory by psychologist Frederick Hertzberg (1959) and The Demand–Control Model by Karasek (1979).
2.1.1 Spill over theory
Spill-over can be explained as a process by which work and family affects one another, which in turn, generates similarities between the two domains (Edwards and Rothbard, 2000). It can be either positive or negative. If work-family interactions are rigidly structured in time and space, then spill over in term of time, energy and behavior are negative. When flexibility occurs which enables individuals to integrate and overlap work and family responsibilities in time and space lead to positive spillover which is instrumental in achieving healthy work-life balance.
According to Guest (2002), the determinants of work-life balance are located in the work and home contexts. Contextual determinants include demands of work, the culture of work, demands of home and lifestyle of home. Individual determinants include work orientation (i.e., the extent to which work (or home) is a central life interest), personality, energy, personal control, and coping, gender and age, life and career stage. The variables of the study are under the contextual determinants, which are left policy and service delivery. The leave policy is the culture of work, while the service delivery is the demand for labor.
The nature of work-life balance was defined both objectively and subjectively. The objective indicators include hours of work and hours of uncommitted or free time outside of work.
Subjective Indicators refer to the states of balance and imbalance. He also noted that balance might be reported when equal weight is given both to work and home or when home or work dominates by choice. Spillover occurs when there is interference of one sphere of life with other. Also, many outcomes of work-life balance which include personal satisfaction and well-being at work, home, and life as a whole, performance at work and home, impact on others at work, family and friends.
The relevance of this theory to the study is that organizations are expected to adopt affirmative work-life balance policies that will enable employee has 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 symptoms related to dissatisfaction, which included working conditions, supervision, interpersonal relationships, company policy, and administration were seen as hygiene factors. It states that some aspects in the workplace cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of elements cause dissatisfaction. The theory perceives workplace as independent variable and job satisfaction as the dependent variable. These variables concur with the study variables which are the technical environment, physical environment, and organizational environment and job satisfaction (Spearritt, 2010).
According to Schermerhorn (2003), Herzberg’s two-factor theory is an essential 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 critical aspects of all jobs: what people do regarding 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 of job 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 similar empirical findings, the causal relationship between job characteristics and the pressure outside the work-sphere is furthermore essential to the model. Karasek (1979) however implicitly acknowledged a full range of demands and resources. Accordingly, the Job Demands-Resources Model (Bakker and Demerouti, 2007; Demerouti, 2001) claims that applications 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 requests from the family and 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 employment. 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 order that is most often discussed is the number of working hours, possibly causing work-to-family strife (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 organizational control over the work sphere as a job resource. Relating own power to work flexibility, Hill et al. (2008) defined workplace flexibility as ‘the ability of workers 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 harmful interference. Power in this context can have a buffering effect on job-related demands such as long working hours (Gerson, 2004).
2.2.1 The impact of work-family balance on employee performance
Work and family are the most critical 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 on the employees. More often than not, conflict tends to create pressure on 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 higher numbers of employed adults who are also caring for elderly or infirm relatives (Neal ; Hammer, 2007), that means many employees are simultaneously juggling paid work and unpaid family work.
Work-family conflicts are a familiar 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 workers experience conflict between these two roles (Day and Chamberlain, 2006). Work-family conflict has been defined as mutual compatibility between the demands of the work role and application 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 workers are unable to balance the responsibilities associated with both characters, 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 the work-family conflict. As the consequences of work-family conflict, De Janasz (2007), found that the battle of work and family may lower job satisfaction and it may decrease the organizational commitment. 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 of Flexible Working Options on Employee Performance
Pruchno, Litchfield, and Fried (2007), conducted 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 study also concluded that flexible working hours increase 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 team that will be more productive for opting flex schedule (Fried, 2007).
Employees, who are giving maximum output, will continue to sustain the same production. The supervisor evaluates an employees capability and job performance with the flexible work schedule while maintaining productivity. By a decrease in the time, the 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 workers 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 the organization environment is not reactive to the needs for substitute work schedule, the probability is that staff work less than their capability (Nkereuwem, 2006).
The broadly acknowledged statement is that better workplace environment produces better results. It is considered with due significance to the nature of the job and the individuals that are going to work in that office. The output thinks the employee performance that the individual produces and it is related to productivity. Efficiency is affected at a business level by such factors such as employees, technology, and objectives of the organization. Employees performance and health also influenced by the physical environment of the organization (Nkereuwem, 2006).
Morgan (2014) found that flexible time effects on employee behavior. The impact of flexitime is also highly dependent on the nature of job like low wage workers get waged on a daily basis at hour regulation so they could not make full use of flexible timing. Scandura and Lanka (2007), in their research show the relationship between flexible working hours, personal (family) responsibilities and gender differences to job satisfaction and commitment toward the organization.
According to Hurtz and Donovan (2000), the 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 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 stability enhances the employees’ ability to handle work pressure and stress, to consistently carry out the responsibilities, and self-indulgence (Worral, 2009).
Emotionally stable people can sustain an analytical approach when dealing with difficult 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 suffer 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 stability contributed to social consistency in teams, and high levels of neuroticism predict irritation and ignorance in relationships. James and Galinsky, 2006, the higher income workers are more offered with the flexible work arrangements than, the lower income. This creates a sense of inequality in the workplace and decreases the motivational level.
Worral and cooper (2009) researched 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 demonstrate that it’s tough for many managers. The results also disclose the fact that specifically the junior managers and those who are working in the non-profit organization are more concerned toward their social life, but the picture is different for senior managers who work for profit-oriented firms they are more concerned toward their office. The research also concluded that long working hours have a negative impact on managers’ productivity and 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 issues; 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, necessary legal assistance, and referrals, adoption assistance or assistance finding elder care services. Employee assistance services can be made available not only the employee but also to immediate family members or anyone living in their home. (SHRM, 2015).
Employers recognize 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 affect their work life. Employee assistance programs (EAP) began in the 1940s by providing employee services that primarily focused on the effect of alcohol use and abuse on job performance.
Over time, this emphasis was broadened to include other personal issues that negatively affect job performance. The 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 workers. 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 significant 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 significant 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 fertility, few employers have found successful strategies to reduce the adverse effects of chronic stressors. Many employees experience damaging levels of stress due to problems they encounter in their home or work lives (Roman, 2005).
Today’s 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 higher risk of 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 the quality of personal relationship and organizational outcomes. Work/life balance is a broad concept that encompasses prioritizing between work (including career and ambition) on the one hand, and life (including areas such as health, leisure, family, pleasure and spiritual development) on the other. There are also two critical concepts related to work/life balance – achievement and enjoyment (Bowman 2013).
According to Susi (2010), Work life balance is the drive for the satisfaction of employees. Many organizations feel the need for work-life balance which includes retention of the valuable workforce, reduces work-family conflict and reduces employee stress, job satisfaction, and better life balance. Work-life balance practices need to be supported and encouraged at workplace culture. Firm and supportive organizational culture increase employee intent to remain in the organization. Felicity, Asiedu, Appiah, (2013) concludes that work-life balance is essential 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 women demonstrated more need for work-life balance as compared to men. An individual derives satisfaction in life from work and family domains. Researches find that work balance practices affect the 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. The work-life environment is a concept that supports the efforts of employees to split their time and energy between work and the other essential aspects of their lives. A 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 critical factors for effectiveness and efficiency and need active managers and employees to achieve their objectives. Organizations cannot succeed without their efforts and commitment (Hobson, 2009).
Job satisfaction is critical to retaining and attracting well-qualified personnel. 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 workforce 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 pursue more balanced lives easily. 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 essential components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Work-life balance enables employees to feel as if they are paying attention to all the crucial 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, response time and communication expectations, and company-sponsored family events and activities. Managers are essential 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 encouraged. They retain outstanding employees to whom work-life balance is essential (Spinks, 2004).
Literature shows that managers have a valuable role in encouraging employees to manage their work and life activities. A healthy 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 characters 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 control has negative correlation with family to work interference, family to work intervention and stress and job satisfaction has positive relationship with job autonomy. Job satisfaction at the middle level of employees decreases when work-life conflict and pressure increases. Job satisfaction at the lower level of employees has a negative correlation with weight and family to work interference and positive relationship with job autonomy.
A study by Hanglberger (2010) on the effect of work-life balance, explicitly working hours on employees’ job satisfaction found a positive relationship between them. Gash, (2010) analyzed the same for women in the 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 works life balance increased by a change in trends in the business such as a change in organizations structure, diversity of workforce 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 the 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 fewer turnover intentions. Job satisfaction has a negative correlation with work stress, family to work interference and work to family interference but have a positive relationship with the workload. Employees productivity is reduced, and their turnover and absenteeism are increased due do work-life strains, 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) carried out a study on work-life balance in the universities. They concluded that due to a heavy workloads in universities, staff become dissatisfied. Hence, higher learning institutions should develop strategies that could facilitate faculty needs to strike a balance between work and life activities to achieve a 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. study suggested that if organizations offer support and facilities to reduce work-life disputes, it will lead to improvement in employees job satisfaction. Chahal, (2013) proposed to increase the effectiveness of the employee’s, bank should do timely appraisal for their staff and encourage them to work hard because satisfied employees are the reason for the success of the the organizations.Cases where employees are happy with their jobs, they became loyal and committed to the organization. Saleem, (2013) say that organization should make strategies and policies that will help employees to have a 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 substantial 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 conventional 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 workers 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 more extended hours because flexible working 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 relate to that which includes unpaid work at home and in the community (Eby, 2005). Greenhaus,(2003) have also questioned the apparent assumptions 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 different 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 the part-time job is likely to mitigate 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) The focus of the Study Research Gap
Beauregard Henry (2009) Linkeeing 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) The extent to which work-life balance policies/practices are a reality for employees in the banking sector The study sought to establish the levels of awareness of the availability of work-life balance policies in the banking sector in Nigeria. It 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
The study looked at a performance at the organizational level, and individual level which mostly inferred large surveys done making it secondary data hence mixed findings reported. Generalizing the results is, therefore, a problem for this study.
Gillian and Marilyn(2004) Connections between macro, organizational and individual levels of WLB policy and practice in the 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 tregarding mutuality in both needs and benefits are arguably necessary for the eactive 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 n the effect of these practices on the performance of employees. This study seeks to investigate this in Kenyan companies as opposed to the 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 that companies capitalize on factors by using work/life initiatives to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Recognizes the importance of organizational culture in the use of work-life balance practices, but did not point out the role it plays on the performance of employees when specific WLB practices are used. This study sought 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
Qazi, Koh and Huang, Khoo(2011)
Flexible work arrangements, child care facilities, employee support schemes, perceived supervisor support
The study used hierarchical regression analysis indicating that both perceived availability and utilization of work-life initiatives were positively related to job satisfaction, commitment and negatively associated with turnover intentions. The questionnaire was developed from scales developed by other researchers and was tested for content validity and clarity by 20 subject experts; this is a large number which is useful for any research. The study suggested a further investigation 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