Stress in work


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Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when there is a poor match between job demands and the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker

Stress-related disorders encompass a broad array of conditions, including psychological disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder) and other types of emotional strain (e.g., dissatisfaction, fatigue, tension, etc.), maladaptive behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance abuse), and cognitive impairment (e.g., concentration and memory problems). In turn, these conditions may lead to poor work performance or even injury. Job stress is also associated with various biological reactions that may lead ultimately to compromised health, such as cardiovascular disease or in extreme cases, death.

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Stress in work

  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>To understand the various aspects of stress &its contributing factors. </li></ul><ul><li>The focus is on organizational stressors & its consequences on health and job performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of work stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Implication of stress management on HR management & OB. </li></ul><ul><li>Work stress in future. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is stress ? <ul><li>Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a disease in itself – it is a state! </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is work stress ? <ul><li>“ Work stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. work stress can lead to poor health and even injury.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>[ Stress at work , (United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, 1999.]   </li></ul>
  5. 5. Types of Stress <ul><li>Eustress </li></ul><ul><li>Distress </li></ul><ul><li>Hyper work stress </li></ul><ul><li>Hypo work stress </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Model of healthy work Job Challenge The Social Environment Control Healthy Workplace Transformational leadership
  7. 7. A Model on work-related Stress Living conditions Working conditions Stress Reaction Long term consequences Individual characteristics Country’s Level of development
  8. 8. Stressors <ul><li>Organizational stressors </li></ul><ul><li>Life stressors </li></ul><ul><li>Personal stressors </li></ul>
  9. 9. Organizational stressors <ul><li>Intrinsic to the job </li></ul><ul><li>-boredom </li></ul><ul><li>-time pressures & deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>-exorbitant work demands & technical problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Related to the role </li></ul><ul><li>-role ambiguity </li></ul><ul><li>-role conflict </li></ul><ul><li>-role overload </li></ul>
  10. 10. Contd… <ul><li>Related to organizational structure & climate </li></ul><ul><li>-lack of participation in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>-lack of responsiveness & appreciation </li></ul><ul><li>-pressers towards conformity, etc. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Causes of work-related stress <ul><li>Work : </li></ul><ul><li>-High work pace, time pressure </li></ul><ul><li>-Lack of control </li></ul><ul><li>-Low participation </li></ul><ul><li>-Little support colleagues, supervisors </li></ul><ul><li>-Poor career developments </li></ul><ul><li>-Job insecurity </li></ul><ul><li>-Long working hours </li></ul><ul><li>-Low income </li></ul><ul><li>-Sexual or psychological harassment. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contd.. <ul><li>Work-home interface: </li></ul><ul><li>-Conflict of responsibilities & roles </li></ul><ul><li>-Home is the workplace </li></ul><ul><li>-Family exposed to work-related hazards </li></ul><ul><li>-Domestic violence </li></ul><ul><li>-Difficulties in daily life logistics </li></ul><ul><li>Person: </li></ul><ul><li>-Lack of self confidence </li></ul><ul><li>-Overcommitted </li></ul><ul><li>-Hostile </li></ul>
  13. 13. Work stress- now & then <ul><li>At present </li></ul><ul><li>In earlier times </li></ul><ul><li>Entry of MNCs </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in professionals in all fields. </li></ul><ul><li>High levels of competition. </li></ul><ul><li>More entrants in the private sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Low job security </li></ul><ul><li>Increased time pressure &hectic jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>Less or no MNCs </li></ul><ul><li>Comparatively less professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Less competition </li></ul><ul><li>More entrants in govt sector. </li></ul><ul><li>High job security </li></ul><ul><li>Less time pressure & steady jobs. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>At present </li></ul><ul><li>In earlier times </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible working conditions to keep up with the global trends. </li></ul><ul><li>There is enormous pressure to ‘deliver’. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased demands of learning new skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Less time for co-workers & socializing </li></ul><ul><li>Rigid and structured working conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>The work pressure was lesser. </li></ul><ul><li>Less requirement of learning new skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Comparatively more time for socializing. </li></ul>
  15. 15. General Adaptation Syndrome ( GAS ) Stage 1 Alarm Reaction Stage 2 Resistance Stage 3 Exhaustion Normal Level of Resistance
  16. 16. Stressors and Stress Outcomes Work Stressors Physical environment Role-related Interpersonal Organizational Stress Non work Stressors Individual Differences Consequences of Stress Physiological Behavioral Psychological organizational
  17. 17. Effects of stress <ul><li>Physiological effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>raised heart rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increased sweating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing muscle tension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased adrenalin production & secretion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>headaches/dizziness/blurred vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aching neck and shoulders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>skin rashes/lowered resistance to infection </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Behavioural effects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low productivity, decreased work performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tendency to remain absent from work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much of interpersonal conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tendency to remain isolated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sudden change in habit (clothing, eating, drinking) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor eye contact while talking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making others look ridiculous </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>-Brooding, feeling worthless </li></ul><ul><li>-Frequent references to death, suicide etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological effects: </li></ul><ul><li>-depression </li></ul><ul><li>-Moodiness </li></ul><ul><li>-Emotional fatigue & instability </li></ul><ul><li>-Sleep disturbance </li></ul><ul><li>-Burnout </li></ul>
  20. 20. Organizational effects: <ul><li>Increasing tardiness </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing personnel turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing absenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>Decreasing performance & productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Decreasing growth rates & profit </li></ul><ul><li>Decreasing quality of work & products </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing unsafe working practices & accident rates </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contd.. <ul><li>Increasing complaints from clients/customers </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing violent events </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing costs through all of the above. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Type A / B Behavior Pattern <ul><li>Talks rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Is devoted to work </li></ul><ul><li>Is highly competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Struggles to perform several tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Has a strong sense of time urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Is impatient with idleness </li></ul><ul><li>Loses temper easily </li></ul><ul><li>Interrupts others </li></ul><ul><li>Handles details patiently </li></ul><ul><li>Is less competitive with others </li></ul><ul><li>Contemplates issues carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Has a low concern about time limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn't feel guilty about relaxing </li></ul><ul><li>Has a relaxed approach to life </li></ul><ul><li>Works at a steady pace </li></ul>Type A Behavior Pattern Type B Behavior Pattern
  23. 23. Managing work-related stress 5.Evaluating the interventions 4.Implementing an action plan 1.Detecting signs of work related stress & taking preparatory actions 2.Analyzing risk factors 3.Designing an action plan
  24. 24. Actions to prevent work stress-implications in HR practices <ul><li>High workload : </li></ul><ul><li>-Redistribution of work among colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>-Prioritize work/tasks </li></ul><ul><li>-Offer a training course </li></ul><ul><li>Monotonous & routine work: </li></ul><ul><li>-Making sure that workers have some control over work place </li></ul>
  25. 25. Contd.. <ul><li>-Making sure there are enough breaks </li></ul><ul><li>-Job rotation </li></ul><ul><li>-Job enlargement </li></ul><ul><li>-Job enrichment </li></ul><ul><li>-Offer additional training or education </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting roles: </li></ul><ul><li>-Make a clear job description with clear & appropriate demands. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Contd.. <ul><li>Insufficient work experience for the job: </li></ul><ul><li>-Provide suitable training where necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>-Appoint a personal mentor at work. </li></ul><ul><li>-Offer help & encourage help from colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>-Leave more difficult jobs to other more experienced colleagues. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contd.. <ul><li>-Offer training to managers on how to treat workers </li></ul><ul><li>-Arrange regular team building activities </li></ul><ul><li>-Stimulate & reward team work </li></ul><ul><li>-Regular meetings to address problems </li></ul><ul><li>Work-home interface: </li></ul><ul><li>-Support or provide child care facilities. </li></ul><ul><li>-Address needs of family as well as worker. </li></ul><ul><li>-Flexible work timings. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Controlling Stress <ul><li>Primary controls – Those that actually remove or alter the workplace arrangements which cause stress </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary controls – Training and awareness raising </li></ul><ul><li>Tertiary controls – counselling services, routine and post traumatic </li></ul>
  29. 29. Healthy living to conquer stress <ul><li>Examine your diet: </li></ul><ul><li>-lower your salt intake, sugars & carbs </li></ul><ul><li>-lower your caffeine intake </li></ul><ul><li>-Add vegetables, fruits, vitamins & water. </li></ul><ul><li>Rest: </li></ul><ul><li>-Minimum of 6 hrs of continuous sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise: </li></ul><ul><li>-At least 20 mins daily. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Contd.. <ul><li>Socialize: </li></ul><ul><li>-Spend time with family & friends. </li></ul><ul><li>-Fill your free time with fun things to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Take charge of your life . </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t simply react to stressful situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Find balance in all that you do. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Importance of Work stress in OB <ul><li>To study the key behavioral phenomena underlying employee reactions to stress like </li></ul><ul><li>-threats to self esteem </li></ul><ul><li>-frustration </li></ul><ul><li>-tolerance level </li></ul><ul><li>-loss of control </li></ul><ul><li>-defense mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>-values conflicts </li></ul>
  32. 32. Contd.. <ul><li>To identify each employee’s stress threshold & create conditions leading to better performance. </li></ul><ul><li>To recognize the vital importance of sensitivity to feelings & emotions in maintaining a positive work climate. </li></ul><ul><li>To recognize the need for counseling to reduce negative stress in their lives. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Work stress-in future <ul><li>In future, there are 3 options- prevent or control stress, escape from it, or learn to adapt to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Very likely that one would work towards reducing or eliminating stressors for employees. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal would be to maintain good mental health & to channel their emotions along constructive lines. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Contd.. <ul><li>Based on research findings in behavioral medicine, there would be </li></ul><ul><li>-A presence of a good social support at work. </li></ul><ul><li>-Relaxation effort </li></ul><ul><li>-Biofeedback </li></ul><ul><li>-Encouragement of sabbaticals </li></ul><ul><li>-In-house programs of preventive maintenance for personal wellness. </li></ul><ul><li>-Emphasis on counseling. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Conclusion <ul><li>No one is immune to stress </li></ul><ul><li>Realistically, stress can never be totally eliminated from a person’s life, off the job or on. </li></ul><ul><li>The concern is in reducing the part of stress that is dysfunctional. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s work environment is one of constant & chaotic change, there needs to be dynamic stress management. </li></ul>
  36. 37. Any questions?