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  • 1. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT (IJM) International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)ISSN 0976-6502 (Print)ISSN 0976-6510 (Online)Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013), pp. 163-174 IJM© IAEME: Impact Factor (2012): 3.5420 (Calculated by GISI) © WORK STRESS: A STUDY ON RETAIL SECTOR EMPLOYEES OF JAIPUR Dr. Anukrati Sharma Associate Professor, Faculty of Commerce and Management, University of Kota, Kota, Rajasthan, India ABSTRACT The common sayings like “Health is Wealth: and “Work is Worship” seems to be gone now a days because of the reason of stress. Stress is a crucial word in organizations in the present scenario. Without knowing the mental status and physical capacity and caliber, organizations are just assigning work to the employees. This is causing stress. Stress at times can be taken as a positive word also but maximum times it is taken in a negative sense. The present paper is an attempt to focus on the stress level and how to reduce that stress from the retail sector employees. This study highlights the reasons behind the stress and also gives suggestions to overcome from those stressful environments. Certainly this research is helpful for the companies as well as for the employees working in the retail sector. Keywords: Stress, Work, Environment, Physical Capacity, Retail INTRODUCTION Today no one can save himself from the word “Stress “.We can feel it at all stages of life. There were no specific reasons for stress. Lot many time people complain about this that they are in Stress, because of XYZ reasons. We truly need to focus on this word, actually we are living in a era of cut throat competition along with lots of expectations from ourselves as well as from our surroundings, and when we are not able to fulfill it or get it, we feel frustrated and it creates a stage of Stress. It is just like, to carry a problem 24 hours with us and then the same problem will create a situation and stage of stress in our minds. Here in this paper the researcher has attempted to focus on such factors which are responsible to create stress among the retail employees as well as it has been also analyzed what are the factors by which retailers can remove stress from the employees. 163
  • 2. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Life is so complex that it is very much needed to make a balance and a fit between yourinternal state and external environment in which you have to survive. We are living one life but wehave to work in different environments where we have to deal with different types of people so it isvery much required to implement the behaviors accordingly and to enhance the capabilities. HansSelye, one of the leading authorities on the concept of stress, described stress as "the rate of all wearand tear caused by life." Lazarus and Folkman”s (1984) definition of stress reflects very clearly thisway of thinking. They say that stress is,” a particular relationship between the person and theenvironment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources andendangering his or her well-being. Based on the importance of Stress Management, an attempt is made in this paper to assess thelevel of stress in retail sector employees. The paper identifies the range of issues and problems, whichare serving either to help or hinder stress development. It suggests the necessary actions for theimprovement of stress level in the retail organizations.Stress is more defined through the help of model shown below: Figure 1: Model of causes and consequences of work-related stress Work Stress Health Risks for work stress Stress reactions Long-term consequences • High work load • Physiological On the worker • Low control • Behavioral • Low support o Productivity • High blood pressure • Job insecurity o Reporting sick • Affective disorders • Long working hours o Smoking • Disturbed metabolism • Low income etc. o Making errors • Alcohol dependence o Etc. • Musculoskeletal disorder • Emotional reactions • Cognitive reactions For employees and companies • Increase absenteeism • Lateness • Decreased turnover • Impaired performance and productivity • Increased costs Individual Characteristics • Etc. • Gender • Age • Education • Competitiveness • Over commitment • Self-confidence • Etc.Source: Adapted from Kompier and Marcelissen, 1990The above model shows that the individual characteristics influence one’s ability to cope up withstress. Stress can affect your health, your work and it can create a imbalance in a person’s life. 164
  • 3. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)WORKPLACE STRESS Workplace stress is the response people may experience when presented with workdemand and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and whichchallenge their ability to cope. It has been described as an emotional experience associatedwith nervousness, tension and strain, brought about by factors related to work. Workplace stress is a concern for both employers with national and internationalstatistics showing the prevalence has grown steadily over recent years. The stress process originates with exposure to stressors. Stressors are those elementswithin an environment that cause stress and can be either physical or psychosocial. Physicalstressors include physical elements within an environment such as loud noise or physicallyuncomfortable working conditions, whereas psychosocial stressors include pressures as tightdeadlines or job insecurity. Table 1 Types of Stressors Examples Work factors • Excessive work hours • Unreasonable performance demands Physical environment • Noise and overcrowding • Health and safety risks • Ergonomic problems Organizational practices • Lack of autonomy • Poor communication • Unclear roles and responsibilities Workplace change • Insecurity in job • Poor chances for advancement or promotion • High turnover Relationships • Office politics, competition and conflicts • Poor relationships with superiors • Bullying or harassment Source :, AND ITS IMPACT ON PERFORMANCE Stress has a great impact on one’s performance, when it comes to job or work stress,then it becomes more important. Stress is all about how a person is dealing with it. To acertain level stress is also positive and can motivate people to work but after reaching to the“Hump” it becomes negative and starts damaging the whole personality. This is moreelaborate with the help of the following figure. 165
  • 4. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Figure 2 Good Stress Distress THE HUMP Exhaustion Figure Comfort Zone III health Performance Healthy tensions Arousal stress Source : The American Institute of Stress, Lead to Job StressThe main factors which lead to job or work stress are as shown in the figure below: I II III IV Non- Physical Work Organization Organizational Environment Factors Practice Factors | | | | Noise and Promotion / Overcrowding Demotion Rotating Shifts Life Changes | | | | ExcessivePoor Air Quality Workload Role Conflict Frustration | | | |Health & Safety Occupation Technological Risk Job Security Demand Changes | | | Meaningless Lack of Relationship at Tasks Participation Workplace | | | Work Overload or Harassment Under load Civic Amenities | Multiple Supervisors 166
  • 5. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)OBJECTIVE OF THIS STUDYThe research paper consists of the following objectives: • To study the stressful environment of the retail sector of employees of Jaipur. • To analyze the effect of stress on employees. • To identify the different methods and techniques to reduce work stress.REVIEW OF LITERATURE Stress is a perceptional phenomenon resulting from a comparison between thedemand on a person and his ability to cope. An imbalance in this mechanism, when coping isimportant, gives rise to the experience of stress, and to the stress response (Cox, 1978:25).This transactional view highlights the importance of perception and the relationship of theindividual to the environment (i.e., work setting). If there is an improper fit between theindividual and the environment, the individual experiences stress.Marshall and Cooper (1981) argue that stress is a different phenomenon from “pressure”.Stress is something more than mere pressure. It carries strong overtones of the breakdown ofnormal human performance . In an earlier work Cooper and Marshall (1978), concluded that“stress is essentially individually defined and must be understand with reference tocharacteristics of both the individual and his environment, as it is the outcome of the “two”. Holemes and Rahe (1967) defined stress as a stimulus event that presents unusualdemands . In the same context Weiten (1986) focused that stress is any circumstances ortransactions with the environment that threaten or are perceived to threaten our well – beingand thereby tax our adaptive capacities .The views were also presented in( 1977)by Leslie and Lloyd that stress is the mental orphysical condition that results from a perceived threat of danger (physical or emotional ) andthe pressure to remove it .The International Labour Organization (ILO)(1986) definepsychosocial hazards in terms of the interactions among job context ,work organization andmanagement ,environmental and organizational conditions ,as well as the employeescompetencies and needs .Those interactions which may prove hazardous influence employeeshealth through their perceptions and experiences .Cox and Griffiths (1995) provide analternative definition of psychosocial hazards .They define psychosocial hazards as ,”thoseaspects of work design and their social and environmental contexts ,which have the potentialfor causing psychological, social or physical harm .Wyatt and Watson (2002),in their annualsurvey identified that mental health disorders can also put employees at greater risk of otherillnesses or increase the gravity ,duration and likelihood of recurrence of chronic illness . There are different causes of stress as Greenberg (2003) concluded that workplacestress comes in many forms. Stress may be caused by occupational demands, role ambiguity,role conflict or role judging. Moreover, illness is another major cause of stress. Catching acold, breaking an arm, and a sore back, all cause stress (Burns, 1990). Smith (1989) assertedthat environmental factors also can cause stress. Things such as very high altitude and verycold climates can be stressful. Stress affects in numerous ways and can result in poor attendance, excessive use ofalcohol or other drugs, poor job performance, or even overall poor health (Mondy, Noe &preneaux, 2002). High level of stress results in high levels of employee dissatisfaction,illness, absenteeism, and turnover, low levels of productivity and as a consequence difficulty 167
  • 6. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)in providing high quality service to customers (Organ & Bateman, 1989; Matteson & Ivancevich,1987). Turner (2002) indicated that stress chemicals that stay in the body can obstruct the digestiveand immune systems, and also deplete human energy. Different strategies can be followed to overcome stress. Peterson (2003) found thevisualization, progressive muscle relaxation, spiritual growth and managing the worry time, astechniques for dealing with stress. Simmons (2006) suggests that definitions of stress typically containone or more of the following four elements: stressors, adaptations (responses), perceptions(cognitive/emotional), and effects (acute and chronic).Research Methodology For the research a questioner has been developed and interview has been taken by theresearcher. The respondents selected for this study, are the employees from the retail sector units inJaipur of Reliance retail, More and Big Bazar. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire,which was distributed at the workplace to the employees of Big Bazar, Reliance and More Retail inJaipur city. The study is explorative as well as descriptive. The sample size of the research is 100employees being 50 from Big Bazar, 30 from Reliance and 20 from More Retail. The research alsoincludes secondary data which has been collected through various websites, newspapers, books etc.ANALYSIS OF DATA Table 2: Age of Respondents Response Number of Respondents Percentage (%) of Respondents Less than 20 years 15 15 21 – 30 years 39 39 31 – 40 years 22 22 41-50 years 16 16 50 years above 08 08 Total 100 Figure 3: Age of RespondentsThe above table and figure shows that most of the employees who are working in the retail sector arein the age group of 21-30 years. 168
  • 7. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Table 3: Gender of Respondents Response Number of Percentage (%) Respondents of Respondents Male 95 95 Female 05 05 Total 100 Figure 4 : Gender of Respondents Number of Respondents 5% Male Female 95%The table number shows that most of the employees who are engaged in retail sector aremales.Through the help of the structured questioner, the data was gathered and analyzed todetermine the stress level of employees. The data which the researcher gathered is presentedin the table form as follows -. Table 4: Respondents in Stressed Response Number of Percentage (%) Respondents of Respondents Stressed 98 98 Not Stressed 02 02 Total 100 Table 5: Respondents in Stressed Number of Respondents 2% Stressed Not Stressed 98% 169
  • 8. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Table 4 and Figure 1, indicates that 98% of the total respondents working in Retail sector were stressed, whereas only 2% felt that they were not stressed. This research helped to findout that the stressed employees belonged to the lower management. Table 5: Reasons of Stress Response Number of Percentage (%) Respondents of Respondents Being Overworked 31 31 Being Underworked 10 10 Job Security 20 20 Progression 06 06 Poor Working Environment 15 15 Bullying 07 07 The Wrong Job 11 11 Total 100 Table 6 : Reasons of Stress Number of Respondents 11% Being Overworked 7% 31% Being Underworked Job Security 15% Progression Poor Working Environment 10% Bullying 6% The Wrong Job 20%Table 5 and figure 6 shows that the major cause of stress among the Retail sector employeesis overloaded work and work pressure. The retail employees felt that work assigned to themis more than their capacity. Other than this, it is also observed that the working conditions arealso creating problems related to stress for the employees. 170
  • 9. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Table 6: Factors of Stress Response Number of Percentage (%) Respondents of Respondents Communication Gap 14 14 Lack of Skills 05 05 Work Life Imbalance 46 46 Work Environment 14 14 Unmatched Expectations 08 08 Economic Status 07 07 Resource Inadequacy 06 06 Total 100 Figure 7: Factors of Stress Number of Respondents 6% 14% 7% Communication Gap 8% 5% Lack of Skills Work Life Imbalance Work Environment 14% Unmatched Expectations Economic Status Resource Inadequacy 46%Table 6 and Figure7 depict the various attributes of stress; work life imbalance is one of themajor attributes which contributes to stress for an employee. This can be regarded as a factorin building up stress, because 52 employees complained that they were unable to balancetheir personal and professional fronts successfully. Other major attributes found was the workenvironment as per 204 employees. 171
  • 10. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Table 7 Response Number of Percentage (%) of Respondents Respondents Interpersonal Relationship 14 14 Lack of Communication 15 15 Lack of Job Security 12 12 Work Life Imbalance 46 46 Bullying or Harassment 04 04 Excessive Workload 07 07 Physical Work Environment 02 02 Total 100 Figure 8: Number of Respondents 7% 2% 14% 4% Interpersonal Relationship Lack of Communication 15% Lack of Job Security Work Life Imbalance Bullying or Harassment 12% Excessive Workload Physical Work Environment 46%The above table and figure shows that by improving the working environment, companies canreduce the stress level of their employees. Based on the responses of the respondents, it is alsoclear that motivation and encouragement also help out the employees to reduce the stress atworkplace. Table 8: Methods and Techniques to Reduce Work Stress Response Number of Percentage (%) of Respondents Respondents Modification in Work 38 38 Environment Meaningful Communication 12 12 Meditation/Yoga Practice 06 06 Freedom to Work 07 07 Motivation and 25 25 Encouragement Time Management 10 10 Total 100 172
  • 11. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Figure 9: Methods and Techniques to Reduce Work Stress Number of Respondents Methods and Techniques 2% Environment 10% Meaningful Communication 38% Meditation/Yoga Practice 25% Freedom to Work Motivation and Encouragement Time Management 7% 12% 6% Physical Work EnvironmentAnd from Table 8 and Figure 9, it is interpreted that Good working environment has a direct,positive impact on the mind, giving it the strength and power to resist stress and thereforemaximum employees, that is, 30 thought of adopting it, to overcome stress. Moreover, 20percent of the respondents expected that they required recognition, as acknowledgingpeople’s value / work is very important in times of stress. Based on the analysis; theinitiatives taken by the retail owners to reduce stress are - by providing good workingenvironment, continuous training, proper communication and conducting effective stressmanagement programmes.CONCLUSION The research paper reflects that the maximum number of employees is in the agegroup of between 21-30 years, who are working in the retail sector. Other than this most ofthe male genders are working in retail outlets. The research also elaborates that 98 employeesout of 100 are in stressful condition and the reason of their stress is excessive workload at theworkplace. The most important factor behind facing stress is the work life imbalance betweenthe employees. The study reveals that by changing the work environment, and techniquessuch as motivation, could be helpful in reducing their stress levels. Research findings showthat the most stressful type of work is that which includes excessive demands and pressuresthat are not matched with employee’s knowledge and abilities. 173
  • 12. International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 – 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 –6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)SUGGESTIONS 1. Organizations have to focus on finding out the stress levels of their employees. 2. Working environment must be adequate to make a healthy and safe environment. 3. Job participation must be given to the employees. 4. Workload must be assigned to one’s capacity and caliber. 5. New techniques to reduce stress must be adopted in the organization. 6. Communication gap must be reduced and unwanted interference in the work must be stopped. Work freedom is also essential for the employees. 7. Employees feel lack of work stress only when demands and pressures of work are matched to their knowledge and abilities.REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. Ahmad S, Ahmad H (1992), Role stress and work satisfaction: a study on middle managers, Indian Psychiatry Vol. 1(6): 110-115. 4. Bajpai, B.L. (1992). “Stress management” Financial Express, Bombay, June. 5. Beehr TA, Newman JE (1978). Job Stress, employ Health and Organisational Effectiveness- A fact analysis model and literature reviews. Personal Psychol., Vol. 31, pp665-669. 6. Jyothi Budhraja (2008), “Causes of stress among insurance employees: An empirical study; The ICFAI journal of Marketing research, Vol. 7, No.10, pp7-14. 7. Nadeem Malik (2011), “A Study on Occupational stress experienced by private and public banks employees in Quetta city”, African Journal of Business Management, Vol. 5 (8), pp3063-3070. 8. Selye, H. (1974). “Stress without Distress.” Harper and Row Publications, U.S.A. 9. Vijayashree. L. & Dr. Katyayani .J, Gender perspective towards stress factors: Retail employees, Bangalore; Sona Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 1, Issue 1, January 2009, pp 57-653. 10. Vishnu Verma (2009), Gender Difference in stress among bank officers of Private and Public Sector; The ICFAI journal of Marketing research, Vol. VIII, No. 2, pp 63-69. 11. K. S. Sathyanarayana and Dr. K. Maran, “Job Stress Of Employees” International Journal of Management (IJM), Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 93-102, Published by IAEME 12. K. Satheesh Kumar and Dr. G.Madhu, “Analysis and Modelling of Work Stress in Chemical Industries In Kerala, India” International Journal of Management (IJM), Volume 3, Issue 2, 2012, pp. 43 - 53, Published by IAEME 174