Quality of work life (QWL) and management in 2021

The 16.11.2021 Management

In recent years, people have become more and more central to our societies. It is therefore logical that companies are interested in the well-being of people in their organisation. This is especially true when people are their primary economic resource.

The National Interprofessional Agreement (ANI) of 2013 and the Rebsamen law of 2015 have put the quality of life at work at the forefront. The latter seeks to reconcile the performance of companies and the well-being of employees.

Quality of life at work and management are two major allies in 2021. But are they really compatible? That’s what we’re going to see in this article!

Quality of work-life and management: what are we talking about?

Quality of life at work and management are two areas that are very present in the life of companies. They dictate the experience, the employees, the corporate culture, and the performance of the company. But are we talking about the same thing?

Definition of QWL

Quality of life at work is an HR innovation that is becoming increasingly important in companies. It is mainly used to address the issue of working conditions and employee well-being. However, it is a much more complex concept.

Trying to make sense of QWL is not easy. There are many definitions of quality of life at work today. The most common, however, is the one developed during the ANI of 2013:

The conditions in which employees perform their work and their ability to express themselves and act on its content determine the resulting perception of the quality of work life.

Far from a simplistic vision that would associate it with the simple happiness of employees, quality of life at work refers to a global, strategic and organisational approach to work. It must involve all the players in the company.

QWL has two components. First of all, there is the personal axis. This means that employees have a role to play in shaping their own quality of life at work. Secondly, there is an organisational axis. This means that the company and the management have a key role to play in its implementation.

Definition of Management

Like QWL, management is a field full of definitions. It is also very subjective. Indeed, it is subject to the size of the company, new technologies, or the corporate culture. It is therefore illusory to identify universal management principles.

Management is very often considered as “art”. It is the art of leading the employees of an organisation.

By definition, it encompasses all the techniques of management, planning, organisation, and control of employees. It enables the necessary tasks to be accomplished with and through other people in order to achieve the company’s objectives.

Quality of work life and management are two separate areas. But they influence each other enormously.

QWL transforms management

In recent years, we have seen different types of management. But are they all compatible with the quality of life at work?

The different types of management

The different definitions of management refer to the “management” of individuals. For decades, forms and styles of management have been developing.

The most commonly used forms of management today are:

  • Authoritarian management: This form of management is based on hierarchy and authority. It leaves little room for dialogue.
  • Paternalistic management: This style of management takes more account of the opinions of employees. But the power of decision lies with the manager. However, the manager attaches great importance to the working conditions of the employees.
  • Consultative management: As the name suggests, this type of management is based on consultation with the teams. The manager consults his or her team before making a decision.
  • Participative management: This last form of management places great importance on human relations. It is based on trust and autonomy. Employees are free to organise themselves as they wish.

The impact of QWL on management

Although the participative style is most often claimed, there is a general confusion between actual practices and the way professionals describe them. In reality, the most used management style can be described as “consultative”. In the end, it is the manager who decides.

However, QWL is shaking up the management of companies. The implementation of a participative management style now appears to be essential for the successful implementation of a QWL policy.

Indeed, the quality of life at work recommends the active participation of all employees in improving their well-being and the company’s performance. The decisions are thus collective to guarantee the good implementation of a QWL approach.

At Teamii, we particularly like the definition of management elaborated by Harlod Koontz which perfectly illustrates this concept. According to him, management is the art of getting things done with people in a well-organised group. But it is also the art of creating an environment in which people can develop and work together to achieve the company’s goals.

Quality of work life and management are therefore two important allies in 2021. One cannot go without the other.

qualité de vie au travail et management égal bien-être au travail

QWL and management: Common objectives

As we have just seen, QWL challenges the principles of management. Certain approaches to management (authoritarian) seem incompatible with quality of life at work. However, there is not “yet” an ideal managerial model for QWL. Its richness lies in its free application by companies. QWL and management have objectives:

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Legal

This is what we are going to see right now!

Social objective

First of all, quality of life at work and management have a social objective. We are talking here about developing links between employees. But also, the importance of establishing a climate of trust between the different departments of the company. QWL and management aim to strengthen the feeling of fairness among employees. The latter helps to generate better team cohesion and cultivate loyalty.

Economic objective

QWL seeks to reconcile employee well-being and company performance. Management wants to achieve the company’s objectives. It is therefore not surprising to see that these two areas share a common objective: the economic stakes of the organisation. By working on social dialogue and encouraging agile and flexible management methods, a favourable working environment is created. This encourages employee productivity and company growth.

Legal objective

Finally, QWL is now subject to a very precise legal framework. Numerous standards and laws have been introduced which companies must comply with. This has a significant impact on the management of companies. Indeed, working conditions and occupational risks are now at the heart of the strategic issues of companies. They have an impact on the corporate culture and the employee experience. They are therefore of paramount importance to the attractiveness of the company.

Objective: professional commitment

Quality of life at work and management have social, economic, and legal implications. These three objectives combined make it possible to place people at the heart of individual and collective performance. Quality of life at work initiatives and management methods are therefore of vital importance in the professional commitment of employees. As a reminder, employee commitment is defined as:

The degree of personal involvement of employees in the success of a company.

A professionally committed employee is able to promote his company. They also contribute to its development and are involved in its collective success. This is the main common issue of QWL and management. But what are the fields of action for engaging employees?

QWL and management: A plural field of action

Engaging teams in a sustainable way is no small task. Managers are the guarantors of the proper application of QWL principles. They are in the front line to engage their teams. But what tools are available to them?

Communication and recognition

According to a study published in Harvard Business Review, 58% of employees associate quality of working life with recognition. These results underline the importance of management and the role of the manager in daily communication. Communication and recognition of employees’ work gives meaning to their work. They are therefore excellent tools for engaging your teams over the long term. Indeed, it involves employees in the creation of a common, meaningful project.

Meaning of work

The employees of a company are men and women. And not robots. It is therefore normal for them to question the purpose of their work. Why do I have to go to work? Is my work useful for the company? Or is my work in line with my values?

Managers must therefore take these questions into account and try to answer them. In order to do this, it is essential to define or redefine the missions of each member of the team. Each employee must understand his or her place in the organisation. Secondly, managers must develop the skills of their teams and give them regular feedback. These ‘tools’ allow each person to develop and better understand their role.

Work-life balance

Another very important tool for engaging employees in a sustainable way is work/life balance. This field of action belongs to the universe of quality of life at work but must be implemented by managers. It is the duty of managers to help their teams prioritise their actions and structure their work. They must also remain attentive to the difficulties encountered by their colleagues while guaranteeing the right to disconnect.

QVT et management en entreprise

The role of the manager in implementing a QWL policy

In recent years, the quality of life at work has continued to transform companies. But it has gone much further by changing the role of managers. They are now at the forefront of improving the quality of life at work.

Managers are key to QWL

Managers have a central role between the company and the employees. They must communicate the directives of top management while at the same time reporting information from the field (feelings, difficulties, etc.) in order to move in a common direction.

They are therefore at the heart of the quality of life at work projects. Their role is all the more important when we know that an employee’s fulfillment depends mainly on recognition at work. Indeed, according to a study by Harvard Business Review, 64% of employees associate QWL with respect and recognition.

As we have seen above, quality of life at work is a multidisciplinary innovation. It is therefore not just about valuing work. It is also a strategic company project that addresses all the actors in society.

Managers must therefore be supported by the Human Resources department and top management in order to create a fulfilling, effective and sustainable employee experience.

Teamii accompanies you

The role of Teamii is to accompany you in your QWL approach. We have developed solutions to:

  • Free the speech of the employees.
  • Accompany the managers in the QWL management of their team.
  • To guide the Human Resources in the implementation of a policy of quality of life at work made to measure.

How can we do this?

Our employee engagement barometers analyse the feelings of your teams. This allows us to map your company’s constraints and opportunities in terms of QWL. We then propose personalised action plans based on your teams’ problems.

We have also built our Quality of Life at Work platform to transform your employees’ experience. It allows you to take the pulse of your employees in real-time using customisable surveys. But it also helps to improve social cohesion and professional commitment.

Discover our  QWL solutions.



Quality of life at work and management are major allies in companies in 2021. One can no longer go without the other. Many company successes are based on this new formula. To hope for the same success, QWL must be a collective and strategic project of the company. All stakeholders in the organisation must work together to improve well-being at work and business performance.


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