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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background to the Study

Life is a set of pursuits. No one can achieve a fulfilling and promising life without family, health, wealth, career, social obligations, intellectual satisfaction and spiritual enlightenment. To maintain the wheel of life moving, striking the balance is imperative. Work life balance means the harmonious and holistic integration of work and non-work so that people can achieve their potential across the domains in which they live (Kar, 2013).

Work Life Balance (WLB) is an area of increasing importance to both employees who need to balance work and non-work roles and to organisations seeking to improve their organisational effectiveness or competitive advantage (Gregory and Milner 2009). This growing interest in work-life balance has been driven by demographic changes in the workforce and by increasing recognition that work-life issues are highly salient for every employees (Spector e t al., 2004).

Employees experience more conflict between work and personal life as they continue to pursue the quality of life that they need (Casper, Avadhesh and Diwinder, 2011). Thus, successfully balancing work and family life is one of the major challenges facing current individual workers. Historically, work-life balance issues have been considered personal issues (Emslie and Hunt, 2009), and employers tend to perceive their employees’ needs such as childcare service and paid maternity leave as additional costs to the orgnisational. However, with environmental shifts and value changes of employees, employees’ desire for work-life balance has increased and employers have begun to offer more active support of their employees’ work-life balance in the developed economies (Thornthwaite, 2004). Thus, organizational efforts for ensuring employees’ work-life balance are needed and valued more than ever.

Many researchers have generally agreed on the important role of work-life balance as it is related with an employee’s psychological well-being and overall sense of harmony in life, which is an indicator of balance between the workplace role and the role in family (Clark, 2000). According to Clark (2009) work-life balance is the contentment and good functioning at work and at home with negligible role conflicts. Work-life balance is about finding the right balance between one‘s work and one‘s life (outside work) and about feeling comfortable with both work and nonwork commitments.

A central characteristic of work-life balance is the amount of time a person spends at work. There are indications that long work hours may harm personal health, endanger safety and increase stress. Developing economies like Nigeria are faced with serious economic challenges and labour market pressures added to poor social infrastructures, poverty, high unemployment and corruption. These conditions further exacerbate the work and life of the average Nigerian worker whose aim is to make a living and who may have to arduously build up accommodating arrangements and cognitive psychological coping behaviours that stimulate desirable satisfaction and effectual functioning both at work and at home. Most workers in Nigeria are affected by lack of work flexibility, elevated work pressures and long working hours; a situation that decreases their job performance (Fapohunda, 2014).

Cegarra-Leiva, Sánchez-Vidal and Cegarra-Navarro (2012), Ojo, Salau and Falola (2014), Fapohunda (2014) have all posited that work life balance practice enhances employees and organizational performance. But whether work life balance and organizational performance are negatively or positively related is an empirical fact that the present study anticipates to reveal. Thus, this study will critically investigate the relationship between work life balance and employees performance with a special reference to Guaranty Trust Bank Nig. Plc.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

Inadequate work life balance is a problem that poses a big risk to workers well being, their performance as well as the organizational performance. Many employees often have difficulties in attempting to balance employment responsibilities with their social life. The challenges of integrating work and family life is a part of everyday reality for majority of workforce.

Employees work hard to strike a balance to fulfill the demands of the working life and meeting the commitments of family life. Those who fail to do so either quit the organization thereby increasing the rate of attrition or become less productive.

Research on Work Life Balance (WLB) has greatly advanced in western countries (Ozbilgin, Beauregard, Tatli and Bell, 2011) however this cannot be said for developing economies like Nigeria where little is known about WLB practices, both in structural and cultural forms, and of course an obvious paucity of empirical studies in this area.Hence, the need for this study is timely and sacrosanct.

Owing to the high level of unemployment that has plagued the Nigerian labour market,organizations and employers of labour mostly in the private sector have taken advantage of this menace by always demanding unattainable and unrealistic results from their employees without any concerns for employees social-family wellbeing. This has led to broken homes, job dissatisfactionand sub-optimal commitment and employees’ performance. Therefore, this study will investigate thelink between Work Life Balance and Employees Performance in Guaranty Trust Bank Nig. Plc.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The major aim of this research study will be to assess the link between Work Life Balance Practices and employees’ Performance. While other specific objectives of the study are:

     i.        To examine the link between work life balance and employees’ performance.

   ii.        To determine the effect of work life balance on employees’ commitment.

  iii.        To find out the link between work life balance strategy and employees’ job satisfaction.

1.4      Research Questions

This study will be guided be the following research questions:

     i.        Is there any link between work life balance and employees’ job performance?

   ii.        What is the impact of work life balance on employees’ commitment?

  iii.        Is work life balance strategy a significant predictor of employees’ job satisfaction?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

The researcher intends to test the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1:

Ho:  There is no significant relationship between work life balance and      employees’          performance.

HI:There is a significant relationship between work life balance and     employees’          performance.

Hypothesis 2:

Ho:     Work life balance has no positive relationship with employees’         commitment.

HI:     Work life balance has a positive relationship with employees’ commitment.

Hypothesis 3:

Ho:     Work life balance strategy is not a significant predictor of employees’ job   satisfaction.

HI:  Work life balance strategy is a significant predictor of employees’ job         satisfaction.




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