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The effectiveness of life skills training on increasing the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation center employees.

INTRODUCTION

Providing circumstances that fundamental objectives of an organization could be met through them is one of the most important necessities for the organization. Undoubtedly, this affair has a double significance in organizations and institutes that are constituted based on the provision of health services, because success and dynamism of the organization are considered on one hand, and taking advantages of patients from health services is a priority on the other hand. Factors such as management system, employees' mental and general health and necessary knowledge and skills play an important role in organizational success. In the meantime, the concept of work life quality is one of the important factors and indices in organization dynamism.

Greenberg and Baron [12] defined work life quality as one of the principles of organizational development, which provides three factors of motivation and satisfaction, sense of responsibility and commitment to work so that they are designed through making the workplace more democratic and more human and involving the employees in decision-making in order to improve the performance of the organization. Danna and Griffin [7] stated that work life quality is like a pyramid that top of it consisted of life satisfaction, middle of it consisted of job satisfaction and bottom of the pyramid consisted of other aspects such as salary, coworkers and supervision satisfaction. Therefore, the scope of work life quality is more extensive than job satisfaction. Beaudoin and Edgar [4] defined work life quality as a set of real conditions in organizations and believe that work life quality shows the employees' attitude and feeling about their job more particularly and consisted of broad aspects of the working environment that affect health and learning in employees. This construct consisted of effects of workplace on job satisfaction, satisfaction in the area of non-work life, overall life satisfaction, personal happiness and mental welfare [21].

Work life quality has variety of indices that some of the experts studied them. According Walton [23], some of these indices are safe and healthy work condition such as reasonable work hours, proper payment system, capabilities development opportunity such as access to information and independence in work, possibility of progress and development, social coherence such as supportive work teams and interpersonal openness, protecting civil rights such as freedom of expression and protecting personal information, proper balance in work and other aspects of social and familial life and eventually, proper social occupation such as social importance of the job in the organization.

The consequences of work life quality have been mentioned in many researches. For instance, Thompson and Stanowski [22] demonstrated in different investigations that work life quality leads to job satisfaction, continuous learning, preservation of self-esteem, reduction of fatigue and anxiety and increasing innovation in employees. Fillion et al. [10] also believed that paying special attention to work life quality leads to relieve and provides appropriate work environment for critical thinking and problem solving ability in the employees. This could be because of the fact that individuals' performance improves through increasing work life quality. Human's mind is invited to a challenge in an environment with high level of work life quality, and it can be expected that high level of work life quality have positive effect on performance. On the other hand, promotion of staff and doctors' work life quality is defined as an important factor in ensuring the sustainability of the health system. High level of work life quality is a fundamental issue in any organization to attract and retain the employees (Lees and Kearns). Hong et al. [13] and Saedi et al. [20] demonstrated in their investigation that work life quality and organizational health have significant correlation with job satisfaction.

Therefore, according to the importance of work life quality in the success of any organization, it is necessary to be familiar with and pay special attention to factors and conditions that can improve it. Programs of life skills training are of psychological applications in different individual and social aspects, and are held with the purpose of mental and physical health promotion and prevention of mental, physical and social health. These skills improves individual's capabilities in facing with living circumstances in accordance with today's stress and anxiety, and acts as a primary preventive factor [24]. Moreover, these skills improve individual's adaptability and his positive and effective behavior, so he can be able to accept his social role and deal with routine challenges and problems in life effectively without damaging him or others [19]. Life skills are a set of mental capabilities that provide positive adaptability fields and enable the individual to accept his social responsibilities and to deal with daily demands, expectations and problems and working and administrative concerns without without damaging him or others [9]. In fact, the purpose of training life skills is to enhance psychosocial abilities and consequently, preventing the development of harmful behaviors to health and promotion of mental health [18].

Many researches have been conducted in the field of the effectiveness of life skills trainings. Fore instance, Wenzel et al. [25] demonstrated in an investigation that life skills trainings affect solving problems, self-awareness skills, self-supervision, coping skills, reality measurement skills, psychosocial competency, motivation and reduction of job stress. Botvin and Griffin [5], Camble [6], Ashouri et al. [3], Amiri Bermakoumi [1] and Yadavari [26] studied the effect of life skills training on mental health, self-esteem, stress reduction, promotion of mental health level, communication skills, decision-making skills and excitement management in separate researches.

Conrad et al. (2009, quoted by Javadi et al., [14]) concluded in their research, which was about improvement of life skills and self-confidence of a hospital's employees, that self-confidence improved in those employees dramatically. Gask et al. (2012, quoted by Mohammad Rahmanpour and Sharifi, [17]) showed in their research that communication skills trainings lead to improvement of assessment, depression management and general health promotion in general practitioners. Gharabi et al. (2008) provided a life skills training course within 10 weeks for 84 women employed in a university, and demonstrated in the semi-experimental research that the course leads to reduction in depressive, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders and social issues symptoms in the participants.

Farahbakhsh [8] and Sadeghi Boroujerdi (2009) demonstrated in their investigation that general health and physical fitness have significant relationship with work life quality. Amiri et al. [1] and Khaghani et al. [15] also showed that there is an inverse relationship between anxiety and work life quality of nurses.

Therefore, according to the importance of work life quality in presenting better services to the customers of community health centers on one hand, and tough working conditions in rehabilitation centers on the other hand, and the importance and application of life skills in the promotion of the level of mental health in the society, the present investigation is aimed to investigate the effectiveness of life skills training on increasing the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation. In fact, the present investigation is going to answer to the following question. Does the training of life skills lead to increase in the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation center employees?

Methodology:

Since the present investigation is aimed to study the effectiveness of life skills training on increasing the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation, the method of the research was of experimental type with pre-test, post-test with control group and random assignment of subjects. Life skills, as an independent variable, were taught within 10 sessions in Parastoo rehabilitation center employees and work life quality, as a dependent variable, was checked in the pre-test and post-test. The effect of pre-test on post-test was controlled through statistical analysis of covariance analysis.

The population consisted of all the employees of Parastoo rehabilitation center, who were employed in 2014. The questionnaire of work life quality was distributed among 40 of the employees as a pre-test in order to implement the research, and those who got lower scores were classified into two groups of 12 people.

The data collection tool in the investigation was Walton's work life quality questionnaire (1970). The questionnaire of work life quality consisted of 24 questions based on five-point Likert scale, which measures eight components of fair payment, safe and healthy work environment, providing opportunities for safety and development, legalism, work life social dependence, overall environment of life, social coherence and capabilities development. The level of work life quality in the study is specified in the levels of high, average and low.

Khaghani Zadeh et al. [15] employed the retest method in order to check the reliability of the work life quality questionnaire, and the correlation coefficient was equal to 0.9 for the test. In the present investigation, we used Cronbach's alpha in order to check the reliability, and the value obtained equal to 0.88 for the test. Moreover, the content validity was utilized in order to check the validity of the questionnaire and the questionnaire was approved by the related specialists in order to check the validity. The data analysis of the implementation of the general health questionnaire was carried out through SPSS software in two parts of descriptive (average, median, variance, standard deviation, frequency distribution tables and graphs) and deductive (covariance analysis).

Findings:

In this section, the descriptive indices of the work life quality variable and its dimensions (fair payment, safe and healthy work environment, providing opportunities for safety and development, legalism, work life social dependence, overall environment of life, social coherence and capabilities development) in the pre-test are shown in experimental group and control group in table 1, and in post-test in table 2.

As it is obvious in table 1, the mean of work life quality of the experimental group in the pre-test is 62.71 and it is 63.57 in the control group.

As it is obvious in table 2, the mean of work life quality of the experimental group in the post-test is 83.89 and it is 63.73 in the control group.

Covariance analysis test is used in order to check the research hypotheses and the results are shown in table 3.

As it was obvious in table 3, the data analysis was carried out through covariance analysis and the results are mentioned in the following.

Research question: Does the training of life skills lead to increase in the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation center employees? According to table 3, since the F value obtained for the work life quality variable is greater than the significance level, it could be concluded that life skills training has significant effect on the dimensions of providing opportunities for safety and development, legalism, work life social dependence, overall environment of life, social dependence and capabilities development, and the results were not significant in two dimensions of fair payment and safe and healthy work environment. Therefore, it can be concluded at 0.95 confidence level hat life skills training leads to increase in the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation center employees.

Conclusion:

According to the inevitability of some of the stressful factors in careers related to health care services, especially psychiatric patients and necessity for preventing mental and behavioral effects of stress, employing measures and actions to improve the work life quality and training coping strategies are of the management tasks of medical services. According to Walton [23], job satisfaction and work life quality directly affect organization's capability for serving its clients appropriately. This affair definitely has special importance in health care centers such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

As we mentioned before, life skills trainings lead to increase in the level of work life quality in the employees of Parastoo rehabilitation center. The results of the present investigation were in line with the findings of other researchers such as Wenzel et al. [25], Gharabi et al. [11], Conrad et al. (2009, quoted by Javadi et al., [14], Gask et al. (2012, quoted by Mohammad Rahmanpour and Sharifi, [17]), Camble [6], Botvin and Griffin [5], Ashouri et al. [3], Amiri Bermakoumi [1], Yadavari [26], Farahbakhsh [8], Sadeghi Boroujerdi (2009), Amiri et al. [1] and Khaghani zadeh et al. [15].

As mentioned before, life skills are a set of mental capabilities that provide positive adaptability fields and enable the individual to accept his social responsibilities and to deal with daily demands, expectations and problems and working and administrative concerns without without damaging him or others (Fati et al., 2006). These skills improves individual's capabilities in facing with living circumstances in accordance with today's stress and anxiety, and acts as a primary preventive factor [24]. Moreover, Pitman [19] believes that these skills improve individual's adaptability and his positive and effective behavior, so he can be able to accep t his social role and deal with routine challenges and problems in life effectively without damaging him or others.

According to Gask et al. (2012, quoted by Mohammad Rahmanpour and Sharifi, [17], Conrad et al. (2009, quoted by Javadi et al., [14] and Gharabi et al. [11], life skills training led to increase in self-confidence, communication skills, improvement and management of depression and promotion of general health of employees in hospital. Therefore, according to importance of these factors and their correlation with work life quality (the results obtained from the researches [8,1,15], it could be expected that life skills trainings lead to increase in the level of work life quality of Parastoo rehabilitation center employees.

Consequently, work life quality has relationship with employee health on one hand and providing proper services for patients and clients on the other hand, and realization of its affecting and booster factors are important for the managers and authorities of health care centers in order to improve efficiency in organizations and achieving higher human goals. Undoubtedly, life skills are of important factors that paying attention to them is necessary to prevent variety of social, behavioral and urgent problems. Moreover, they have effects on different aspects of individuals' health and capabilities in addition to work life quality.

ARTICLE INFO

Article history:

Received 15 April 2014

Received in revised form 22 May

2014

Accepted 25 May 2014

Available online 15 June 2014

REFERENCES

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[5] Botvin, G.J. and K.W. Griffin, 2013. Life skills Training Empirical finding and future Directions. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 25(2).

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[10] Fillion L, S. Duval, S. Dumont, P. Gagnon, I. Tremblay, I. Bairati, WS. Breitbart, 2012. Impact of a meaning-centered intervention on job satisfaction and on quality of life among palliative care nurses. Psychooncology.2012: (www.PubMed.gov).

[11] Ghorabaei, MD., 2008. Evolution of the Effectiveness of life skills training for Iranian working women. Iranian Journal of psychiatry and behavioral sciences (IJPBS), Volume 2, Number 2, Autumn and winter.

[12] Greenberg, J. and R. Baron 2009. Behavior in organizations. ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

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[17] Mohammad Rahmanpour, J. and M. Sharifi, 2012. Studying the effect of life skills trainings on students' mental health. Journal of Development of School Management, Y. 2012-2013, (7).

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[21] Sigry, JM., D. Efraty, P. Siegel and DJ. Lee, 2001. A new measure of quality of work life (QWL) based on need satisfaction and spillover theorie. Social Indicators Research. Dordrecht, 55(3): 241.

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[25] Wenzel, V., K. Weichold, R.K. Silbereisen, 2011. The life skills program IPSY: Positive influences on school bonding and prevention of substance misuse. Journal of Adolescence, 1: 1-11.

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Seyed Mostafa Hodayi, Davood Hoseinzadeh, Azar Pakdaman Department of educational administration, Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Psychology and Management College, Saveh, Iran.

Corresponding Author: Seyed Mostafa Hodayi, Department of educational administration, Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Psychology and Management College, Saveh, Iran.

Table 1: Mean and standard deviation of employees' work life quality
in pre-test, experimental group and control group.

Statistical                                                Standard
indicators Variables          Groups   Number     Mean    Deviation

overall work life quality      Exp.      12      62.71       1.42
                              Cont.      12      63.57       1.47

fair payment                   Exp.      12       3.92       0.17
                              Cont.      12       3.98       0.17

safe and healthy               Exp.      12       5.37       0.18
environment                   Cont.      12       5.34       0.17

providing opportunities for    Exp.      12       9.61       0.38
safety and development        Cont.      12       9.83       0.39

legalism                       Exp.      12      10.19       0.41
                              Cont.      12      10.39       0.41

social dependence              Exp.      12       5.9        0.18
                              Cont.      12       6.27       0.21

overall environment            Exp.      12       9.82       0.38
of life                       Cont.      12       9.75       0.37

social coherence               Exp.      12       8.28       0.31
                              Cont.      12       8.34       0.31

capabilities development       Exp.      12       9.62       0.29
                              Cont.      12       9.67       0.28

Table 2: Mean and standard deviation of employees' work life
quality in post-test, experimental group and control group.

Statistical                                              Standard
indicators Variables          Groups   Number    Mean    Deviation

overall work life quality      Exp.      12     83.89      1.56
                              Cont.      12     63.73      1.43

fair payment                   Exp.      12      4.12      0.18
                              Cont.      12      3.93      0.16

safe and healthy               Exp.      12      5.89      0.18
environment                   Cont.      12      5.48      0.18

providing opportunities for    Exp.      12     13.71      0.42
safety and development        Cont.      12     10.02       0.4

legalism                       Exp.      12     12.86      0.43
                              Cont.      12     10.26       0.4

social dependence              Exp.      12      8.44      0.24
                              Cont.      12      6.21       0.2

overall environment of life    Exp.      12     13.87      0.44
                              Cont.      12      9.84      0.37

social coherence               Exp.      12     11.49      0.41
                              Cont.      12      8.27      0.32

capabilities development       Exp.      12     13.51      0.34
                              Cont.      12      9.72      0.29

Table 3: Results of covariance analysis on the mean score
of work life quality.

Statistical indicators
Variables                      Mean square   DOF      F

fair payment                      86.45       1      0.62
safe and secure environment      120.26       1      0.75
providing opportunities for      176.57       1      5.42
  safety and development
legalism                         148.74       1      6.38
social dependence                 96.59       1      8.49
overall environment of life      161.51       1     13.85
social coherence                 156.38       1     11.28
capabilities development         188.73       1     14.81
overall work life quality        1117.23      1     16.19

Statistical indicators         significance
Variables                        level P      test power

fair payment                       0.86          0.56
safe and secure environment        0.81          0.6
providing opportunities for       0.001          0.61
  safety and development
legalism                          0.001          0.66
social dependence                 0.001          0.68
overall environment of life       0.001          0.70
social coherence                  0.001          0.65
capabilities development          0.001          0.67
overall work life quality         0.001          0.71
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Author:Hodayi, Seyed Mostafa; Hoseinzadeh, Davood; Pakdaman, Azar
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Words:3547
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