I consider occupational stress negative and generated by a lack of productivity, which can be triggered in the work area by factors including disruptive technology, communication, and a competitive environment (Mitut, 2010). Stress is known to affect employees and employers’ ability to work efficiently (Mitut, 2010). Work overload, uncertainty of future employment, punishment, lack of feedback, and powerlessness are additional causes of stress and can lead to imbalances between employer and employee (Mitut, 2010; Selart, & Johansen, 2011).
Stressful organizational situations have a large negative impact particularly in situations that involve punishment and lack of rewards (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Stress can cause decision makers to cut corners, become more prone to incidents, abuse, and deception (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Several studies have connected stress to memory loss due to an increase in cortisol production. Moreover, employees can often respond to stress in a negative manner, and stress is known to lead to unethical decision making (Selart, & Johansen, 2011).
Data from a study conducted in 2003 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled “Working Conditions in the Acceding and Candidate Countries (Report)” explains that stress is the second largest health problem within work organizations, with 22% of organizational members reporting having been affected by occupational stress (Mitut, 2010).
The main causes of occupational stress according to Mitut (2010) are caused by:
- Unstable conditions for work activity, which can cause job insecurity.
- Dissatisfaction – common in crisis situations where job restructuring results in a higher level of stress.
- Work hassle – dealing with situations that damage self-esteem and depression. Can be caused by violence and intimidation.
- Imbalance of time – caused by work overload, which affects the time for personal desires and needs.
- In addition to emotional stress, stress can generate high cost for an organizations (Mitut, 2010). Stress causes financial loss for organizations, as
- well as absenteeism, decreased productivity, accidents, legal cost, medical expenses, and staff replacement (Mitut, 2010).
Organizational stress can be assessed by implementing stress management programs, which will teach employees techniques for preventing and coping with stressful situations (Mitut, 2010). Stress can be minimized by providing employees with roles that are clearly defined and encouraging communication between manager, employee and other departments (Mitut, 2010). Manager and employee meetings can also be implemented in order to discuss employee expectations, roles, and concerns. By promoting motivational strategies that influence esteem, security, social, and self-achievement, organizational members could feel less stressful within the work environment (Mitut, 2010).
I often experience organizational stress throughout my normal workday as a marketing consultant. However, I consider stress to be a normal part of my job and I have been able to adjust easily by simply taking a time-out. By putting the stressful task aside and doing some mental problem-solving, I tend to find solutions to my problems and release the stress by taking a break. A break could either be a walk outside to get fresh air, a nap, or simply getting away from my desk and pacing in my office. The goal for me is to remove stress by occupying my time and doing something other than the stressful task. In addition, I use similar techniques when dealing with stressful clients, outsourced workers, and businesses.
Success of an organizational depends on not disturbing occupational stresses that can create frustrations, low motivations, personal conflicts, dissatisfaction, and a drop in productivity (Mitut, 2010). The manager is responsible for reducing the effects of stress and creating an organization that is efficient and stress-free, and that focuses on maintaining and building the organizations performance (Mitut, 2010). As a manager, my role would be crucial in preventing stress. To properly control the climate of the organization, I would try to seek relationships with employees in order to better understand their personal stressors and work capabilities. It would be my responsibility to remain with a positive attitude and be a motivational influence to the employees. Being able to control the climate, I would need to create jobs that are compatible with employees and prevent work overload (Mitut, 2010).
Selart, M., & Johansen, S. (2011). Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: The Role of Leadership Stress. Journal Of Business Ethics, 99(2), 129-143. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0649-0
Mitut, I. (2010). Managerial investment on organizational stress. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 5(3), 89–99. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1150119513?accountid=14872
Dr. Elijah Clark (January 20, 2015). Organizational Stress: Positive or Negative? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://elijahclark.com/organizational-stress-positive-negative/