Quality of Work Life

Employees of George Mason University

Quality of Work Life


The purpose of the Quality of Work Life Task Force is to make recommendations regarding the quality of work life for all George Mason University employees. This group of faculty and staff members, including faculty specializing in organizational psychology, are meeting regularly to prepare a new survey for 2012.

QWL Survey

The Task Force conducts a confidential survey of George Mason University employees every three years to assess more accurately the quality of their work life. The information from the survey is seen as essential to focusing the efforts of the Task Force and resources of the University in the right direction.

Included in the survey are measures of:

  • Perceived Organizational Support (POS) - a measure designed to assess the extent to which employees perceive that the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being.

  • Affective Organizational Commitment (AOC) - a measure designed to assess the relative strength of an individual’s identification with and involvement in a particular organization.

  • Work-Family Culture (WFC) – is designed to measure the shared assumptions, beliefs, and values regarding the extent to which an organization supports and values the integration of employees’ work and family lives.

  • Sources of Stress - a list of potential sources of stress was developed and respondents indicated the extent that each item was stressful on a 4-point scale.

  • Sources of Satisfaction - a list of potential sources of satisfaction was developed and respondents indicated the how satisfied they were on each item based on a 4-point scale.

In addition, the surveys contain open-ended question asking for improvements that the University could make that would add to the quality of their work life at George Mason.

Louis C. Buffardi, Associate Professor, Psychology, and long-time Task Force member, and his research group work on projects primarily regarding the quality of life at work. They have recently worked on projects involving the development of a structural model of work/family conflict-retention issues, and coding open-ended responses to the Quality of Work Life Survey to determine if the local work unit commitment, or organizational commitment predict affective tone and/or feasibility of responses.

This year's task force will review the university's current policies and develop a 2012 survey, while analyzing past surveys that have been distributed to university employees. While the information elicited from the surveys is important, it is not as important as the community-wide discussion that the task force hopes the research will generate.

The survey will be sent to employees across all job categories (adjunct, administrative/professional faculty, instructional/research faculty, and tenure-line faculty; classified staff, and non-student wage employees). Employees will be contacted via web survey contractor, but paper surveys will be available for employees who don’t have regular access to personal computers at work. A total of 1,531 surveys were returned in 2009, yielding a response rate of 27.7 percent. The 2012 QWL survey will be the second time all Mason employees were invited to participate. Surveys prior to 2006 only included a sample of employees.

Important updates and announcements, including reports on the research findings for 2012 will be posted on this website. We also welcome your feedback. A desire for improved communication was one of the major themes expressed in the very first QWL survey, and we strive to make continuous efforts toward that goal. Please Contact Us with your comments and ideas.