The paper 'Workplace Stress' is a great example of a Management Assignment. Today, workplace-related stress has become a well-documented problem among organizations than ever before. For instance, surveys conducted recently revealed that 70% of employees in the USA experience workplace stress. According to Knight (2008), stress is the process through which one responds to a situation considered demanding, challenging or threatening to his/her health and is associated with declining productivity, absenteeism, poor health as well as interpersonal aggression. This, therefore, implies that workplace stress is not only a threat to the worker's welfare but also to the organizational vigor.
according to Bradley and southland (2004), a labor force survey conducted in 1990 revealed that 55% of all reported cases of stress, as well as 50% of all exhaustion cases, are work-related (caused by work). This paper will explore the issue of workplace stress in detail. In so doing, the paper will examine whether workplace stress is a human resources management issue or a health and safety issue. the paper will also examine the various causes of workplace stress as well as the various approaches for dealing with workplace stress.
The paper will then conclude by suggesting the most effective approach that organizations should employee in dealing with workplace stress. Defining workplace stress Stress results from physical, social, economic, emotional, or other factors that call for change. Workplace stress therefore can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when there is a conflict between job demands on the worker and the amount of control the worker has over meeting the demands. in other words, the combination of high demands in a job and a limited amount of control over the demands often results in workplace stress.
Workplace stress can have multiple or single-origin and affects both the worker and the employer alike. According to Richmond (2005), Fear of job redundancy, layoffs due to an uncertain economy, increased demands for overtime due to staff cutbacks act as negative stressors. Employees who start to feel the "pressure to perform" can get caught in a downward spiral of increasing effort to meet rising expectations with no increase in job satisfaction. The relentless requirement to work at optimum performance takes its toll on job dissatisfaction, employee turnover, reduced efficiency, illness, and even death.
Absenteeism, illness, alcoholism, "petty internal politics", bad or snap decisions, indifference and apathy, lack of motivation or creativity are all by-products of an overstressed workplace. This demonstrates how negative workplace stress can impact on both the employer and the employee. Literature review This section examines the available literature by various scholars regarding workplace stress. Knight, F2008, Workers stressors, role-based performance, and the moderating influence of organizational support, Journal of applied psychology, vol.
94, pp. 256-262. Knight critically examines the various causes of stress among workers in the workplace. He states that management has a role to provide a conducive working environment in a bid to minimize workplace stress. As such, he sees good human resources management practices as a key to a stress-free working environment. Murphey, J2007, Managing stress in the workplace, International Human resources Management Journal, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 19-25.
Knight, F2008, Workers stressors, role based performance and the moderating influence of organizational support, Journal of applied psychology, vol. 94, pp.256-262.
Bradley &Richmond, V2005, stress management in the workplace: Taking employees’ view into account, Employees counseling today, vol.6, pp4-9.
Richmond, B2005, Coping with problematic relationships in the workplace: Strategies that reduce burnout, International Communication Associatiation, vol.1, pp3-11.
Murphey, J2007, Managing stress in the work place, International Human resources Management Journal, vol.25, no.10, pp.19-25.
Keegan, W2006, Human resources management issues in the contemporary organisation, London, Rutledge.
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O'Rilley, S 2008, making work better, Occupational health, vol. 60 no.11, pp.22-24.
Harmon, G2010, Human resources management, Sydney, Prentice Hall.
Keynan, L2008, A manager’s guide to less stress, Employment relations today, vol.35, no.19, pp.85-89.
Wright, J2007, Stress in the workplace: A coaching approach, Work, vol.28, pp279-284.