Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 6

Assessing Quality of Work Life Toward Junior High School Teacher During Pandemic Covid-19

Mahendra Fakhri, Telkom University

Anita Silvianita, Telkom University

Desi Yulias, Telkom University

Citation Information: Fakhri, M., Silvianita, A., & Yulias, D. (2021). Assessing Quality of Work Life Toward Junior High School Teacher During Pandemic Covid-19. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 24(6), 1-8.

Abstract

This paper explores and analyzing how the quality of work life among Junior High School teachers in Bandung, Indonesia. The research itself was conducted within a selected Junior High School in the area during pandemic covid-19. The method used for this research based on gap analysis in testing how far the actual and the expectation of the quality of work life. The second method is importance performance analysis as a secondary tool to determine what subject needs to be focused on improving the quality of work life. The research findings that teacher quality of work life based on gap analysis has 4.31 to 4.47 in average. Meanwhile, based on importance performance analysis has one item as a priority to be fixed. Although this research shows some significant improvement to the teacher’s quality of work life, imperatively, the gap between expected and reality still needs more improvement.

Keywords

Quality of work life; Teacher; Human capital; Pandemic; Covid-19.

JEL Classifications

J20, J24, J28

Introduction

Pandemic COVID-19 hit almost every aspect of daily life, causes severe morbidity and mortality, strains health care systems, shuts down economies, and shuts down school districts (Rundle et al., 2020). This pandemic’s impact is difficult to predict and still leaves an uncertain situation within social life, and people mostly unprepared to mitigate the risk for are needs to move forward and handle the situation. Therefore the system must adapt to the current condition. E-learning becomes a substitute to deliver knowledge toward the student during this pandemic situation. The platform is chosen to handle the traditional face to face interaction temporarily. Accessibility, affordability, learning pedagogy, lifelong learning and policy are some of the arguments relevant to online pedagogy. It is said that online learning is easily available and can also this condition. One of which sector affected pretty hard is the educational field. The educational sector worldwide is severe by the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused thousands of school closures during pandemic time to minimize social interaction among students in order to apply social distance policy. Educational institutions especially are faced with unprecedented challenges in their system. The system is forced to adjust with the condition called “New Normal” wherein alteration in the educational system is substantial. There enter rural and remote areas. It is considered to be a comparatively cheaper type of education in terms of lower travel costs, housing costs and the overall cost of institution-based learning (Dhawan, 2020). Flexibility is another fascinating feature of online learning; learners may arrange or plan their time to complete online courses. Combining face-to-face lectures with technology gives rise to mixed learning and flipped classrooms; this learning experience will improve students’ learning ability. Students can learn at anytime and anywhere, thereby gaining new skills in the process of lifelong learning (Qazi et al., 2020). The Government also recognizes the growing importance of online learning in this situation. The application of e-learning is not well received with traditional method face to face learning initially. The teacher is forced to adjust to this method. Based on the observation through several Junior High School, some problems occur in the first stage of applying e-learning such as infrastructure, internet connection, teacher’s ability to operate the system, and the readiness of the teacher to manage and organize teaching method in order to deliver the knowledge to the student. The situation is inevitable, wherein most teachers face with change to manage a particular situation, contributing to demotivation (Smithers & Walker, 2000; Thu et al., 2015; Han & Mahzoun, 2018; Kim et al., 2018) and causing stress to the individual (Murphy, 1995; Hoboubi et al., 2017).

During pandemic COVID-19, every school must turn their standard teaching method, which is face to face into online-based learning. The revise of the teaching methods brings out an uncomfortable situation due to habit conversion. Changes sometimes do not well receive by an individual, and even it gets a confrontation, a dislike, and disagreement from a particular party (Thuillier et al., 2018; van der Kolk et al., 2019). The situation can be affecting employee performance who experience changes through an uncertain situation (Iqbal & Asrar-ul-Haq, 2018).

Teachers are faced with an unpredictable situation nowadays. They must adjust to the new way of delivering the knowledge for the students. It becomes challenging, especially for formal schools that usually deliver the knowledge face-to-face with their students. The school additionally must provide proper infrastructure in order to perform learning activities with e-learning method. Several surveys are conducted to examine briefly about readiness level of junior high school teachers within Bandung area. The answers mainly say that they are not ready to use certain platforms such as e-learning or another online learning method to replace traditional face-to-face methods. The teachers concerns about how they cannot observe their students behavior during online learning, the teacher also state that they do not have proper laptop to use and complaining about uneven internet connection among the students. The teachers feel that it was already challenging to transfer the knowledge using the traditional face-to-face method, and even now, they are faced with a more challenging situation wherein they must use online learning to transfer the knowledge. This situation felt overwhelmed for mostly junior high school teacher in Bandung. Uncertainty of handling the situation makes the circumstance even worse, affecting job satisfaction and easing their work life quality (Dhamija et al., 2019; Paais et al., 2020) and eventually decreasing employee performance (Hoa et al.,2020; Mohammadi & Karupiah, 2020).

Based on the data gathered from several junior high school in Bandung, there are few downsides from teacher performance, the data show that most of decline performance occur within student’s satisfaction indicator, it is understandable considering recent situation, however, it still affecting nearly all of the teacher. Moreover, technical obstacles that occurred while observing online learning applications, such as unstable internet connection, laptop availability and premium subscription of third party software, make teaching activity even more difficult. Several schools also encounter insufficient resources to handle the adjustment in delivering education to students in pandemic time. Furthermore, these situations affecting Junior High School teacher’s performance and their quality of work life. Therefore, the research is conducted to analyze how is the quality of work life of Junior High School teacher within Bandung City during this pandemic time.

Literature Review

Quality of Work Life (QoWL) do not have a particular or formal definition. However, researchers and scholars have stated the definitive meaning about QoWL, who agree that it is a construct to describe employees’ prosperity and differs from job satisfaction (Davis & Cherns, 1975; Hackman & Suttle, 1977; Staines, 1980; Champoux, 1981; Kahn, 1981). It involves several layers rather than focusing on job satisfaction only. The QoWL also relates to how employees live their lives, personal happiness, social relationship, and feel satisfied both job and personal life. Danna and Griffin (1999) consider QoWL as a hierarchy with multiple levels consisting of top hierarchy described as life satisfaction, middle hierarchy described as job satisfaction, and lower hierarchy described as work-specificfic satisfaction such as salary, the relationship between employees and supervisor and some others. They also found evidence regarding employees' low level of health and prosperity caused by ignorance against QoWL which is affects the number of absenteeism, the decline in productivity, efficiency, service quality, increased cost of health insurance, and medical expenses.

Quality of work life (QoWL) describe as a way for organization members to satisfy their needs within the organization through experience (Nagpal & Yadav, 2014). It aims to increase employee satisfaction and organizational productivity. QoWL focuses on balancing employees' personal life with employees' work life, how they can manage in between, and how they can reduce the level of pressure they get from work and shift it into a positive work attitude. In the meantime, QoWL not only focuses on basic needs such as sufficient salary and employee’s relationship with co-workers, but it also provides more perspective about employee’s point of view regarding their welfare and life satisfaction (Morin & Morin, 2000). QoWL is one of the main criteria to ensure a long term relationship between organization and employee. It becomes essential to maintain quality of work life due to work pressure increase, long term uncertainty of employee guarantees, increase demands for a skilled employee. The purposes of QoWL are enhance productivity, accountability and employees commitment; seize great teamwork and communication; increase employee’s morale; diminish organizational pressure; increase social relationship; maintain safety in work environment; create set of program for human resource development; maintain employee satisfaction; create learning environment; smooth transition of organizational changes; engage in every organizational activity (Srivastava & Kanpur, 2014).

Walton (1975) described eight concept regard to QoWL. The concept includes fair and adequate compensation, safety and a healthy work environment, growth in human capacity, security, integration in social environment, constitutionalism, and social life relevance. Sirgy et al. (2001) suggest several factors in QoWL such as work requirement satisfaction, work environment, supervisor habits, organizational additional programs and commitment. Therefore, this condition becomes a necessary situation to be achieved with involvement from employees in the workplace and organization assets. QoWL also an effort to humanize work environment and treat the employees fairly and fulfil employees' values and personal needs (Fakhri et al., 2020).

Cascio (2015) states that there are two points of view to understand the meaning of Quality of Work Life (QoWL). First, it states that QoWL is an accumulation of circumstances and practices to achieve organizational goals such as promotion policies, a democratic environment, employee involvement, and safe working conditions. Second, QoWL considers as a state of condition wherein employees feel safe, relatively satisfied, and able to build confidence and develop as human beings. The primary focus in QoWL is not to create better duties instead to build a better work life and converse employees' work life to be better every day.

According to Swamy (2013), Quality of Work Life can be defined as the level of an employee who is satisfied with personal needs and work needs with their interactions in a workplace and achieves organizational goals. Based on Swamy’s opinion, some factors affect QoWL: work environment, culture and organizational climate, relation and cooperation, training and development, reward and compensation, facility, job satisfaction and security, job independence, sufficient resource.

Meanwhile, Cascio (2015) distinguishes QoWL factors into nine categories: worker participation, career development, conflict resolution, communication, work health, occupational safety and health, job security, decent compensation, organizational pride. Cascio also defines components of QoWL, which are employee participation, career development, and equitable compensation, wherein fulfilling these components ensure maintaining employee performance.

Research Methods

Study Design

This study examines to measure between reality and expectation while measuring how far the difference in between. Technique analysis conducted in this research is Importance Performance Analysis and Gap analysis. The questionnaires are distributed to Junior High School teachers in Bandung.

Participants

This study was conducted at several junior high schools in Bandung City with the teachers as the sample. The participants are observed while filling in the questionnaires. The guidance is delivered before they fill in the form. This step ensures the respondents' answers match the researcher's criteria and minimize error in the data.

Data Analysis

The data gathered from the teachers' responses from questionnaires are processed thoroughly to minimize the error and maintain the accurate result. The data process through descriptive-quantitative approaches using statistical techniques, in particular, to test the difference of reality and expectations. All calculations for this data analysis have been performed using Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) and Microsoft Office Excel.

Results and Discussion

Gap analysis showed some interesting findings, although it's not promising, since the data showed negative results that explain the expected is still higher than reality. It is understandable, because the expectation will always have a higher value, and the reality doesn’t meet the expected criteria. However, the better result is when the expected value matches the reality value or beyond reality value. For example, some items that exceed the expectations, such as honest appreciation and assessment, come from supervisor to employees. Another item that exceeds expectations is convenience, cleanliness, and vast facility in the school. However, the widest gap is about the relationship among co-workers feels not friendly enough, there are some distances between employees such as lack of communication, afraid to share ideas and unfriendly gesture among co-workers become one of several reason the relationship feels distant. Meanwhile, the items that almost meet the expected criteria are organization support, good relationship with students, training opportunity, self-development, work supportive instrument, job security.

Importance Performance Analysis (IPA) displays categories of every instrument divided based on four areas. See Figure 1 for each item categories.

Figure 1 Importance Performance Analysis Result

The first area is the main priority to improve and to be concerned about. The focus of this item is to repair the relationship among co-workers. Unfortunately, there is an unhealthy relationship between co-workers. There is a tendency to form a cluster among employees. Organizations need to bring together all of the employees to break social boundaries to create a healthier atmosphere.

The second area focuses on keeping up the good work. The performance must be well-maintain within this area. It affects employee's performance. Therefore the organizations have to keep what is already outstanding performance. The items that encompass inside are good work motivation in based on organization support, compliance with school’s rules, ability to maintain health condition, task compliance with the job description, good relation with supervisor and students, opportunity in self-development, proper compensation, proper reading material and communication systems.

The third area is a lower priority to focuses on. Therefore, organizations do not need to allocate their resources more in this category. The items included in this category are safety work environment, opportunity in career promotion, involvement in making work related decision, facilities to support work delivery, convenience in the work environment, time efficiency, homework and achievement on target. Mostly the previous items explain about an obligation and the right of employees. For this reason, the organization has a lower obligation to monitoring how their employees finish the job.

The fourth area is overdoing and less important. Thus the organizations should allocate their resources on essential matters. The items included in this category are reward and gift for every achievement, physical facilities, and work security assurance.

Conclusion

The reality and expectation is rarely on the same level. The teachers are allowed to have higher expectations, but in reality, there is a limitation inside the organization, especially when it comes to resources. The organization's resources need to be allocated carefully to maintain organization performance in achieving its goals. Despite the gap of expectation and reality, the average numbers of the difference are not too wide. The number on expectation is 4.47, on the other hand the number of reality performance is 4.31. As a result the difference is 0.16 which is still tolerable. Even so, there are items that exceed the expectation such as a token of appreciation given from supervisor to subordinate and also proper physical facilities to support convenience in the work environment.

Meanwhile, the focusing area for improvement and to be concern is the social relationship among the teachers. The findings in this situation is unusual, because the teachers supposed to be a role model in social interactions. It is acceptable, if the distant in the relationship situation occurs between male and female teachers. Given the situation, the explanation comes from the culture based on religious faith, which mentioned that male and female who is not related in family matters must keep the distance each other. However, the social relationship distance is not caused from the statement before. It comes from the inability of teachers to cooperate and create healthy social relationships among each other. Organizations need to pay attention more to this situation, fail to look after will cause unhealthy relation followed by an inconvenient atmosphere between the teachers. Therefore, the urgency in the application of organizational culture in daily activity becomes necessary more than ever. The 5S is the representation of organizational culture, which must be enforced on the teachers. It consists of several acts such as smile at another person, gives a greet, and politeness. Another applicable situation to improve this condition is having a discussion and gathering session for the teachers. Hopefully, it will ease the tension among the teachers.

Finally, overall, the teachers quality of work life at a standstill in excellent condition even with all limitations to perform teaching activity during this pandemic time. They are able to maintain quality of work life and perform at the same time to deliver the best to their students. They have to show the students that the pandemic situation is not an obstacle in delivering the knowledge while encouraging and maintaining learning motivation of their students.

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