Organizational stress has been defined as the interaction between the individual and the environment characterized by psychological and psychological changes that cause a deviation from normal performance. In other words, the definition of stress is pressure or tension exerted on a material object.
In this article, we will discuss organizational stress, I hope this content will cover every aspect of organizational stress.
There are three levels of stress as follows:
- High-level stress: Led poor performance
- Moderate level stress: Help stimulate employees to work longer, harder and better.
- Low-level stress: It leaves employees unstipulated, resulting in low productivity.
Stress has both internal and external factors. Internal factors are Personal attitude and expectations. External factors can be divided into two types-
- Physical: it includes poor ventilation or lighting or physically demanding tasks,
- Psychological: includes the demand for the job or demands from home.
Different Types of Stress
There may be many types of stress. Here we have identified nine types of stress only. And a brief discussion regarding this all types of stress are given below:
1. Physical stress: Created by excessive physical workload or movement. It can because physical damage and can seriously hamper your life and work.
2. Mental stress: Felt for many reasons within or outside the organization. It can be begun outside of the organization and hamper organization development.
3. Cultural stress: Raised through cultural shock if it is not acceptable. Like every other stress, cultural stress has many disadvantages.
4. Religious stress: Meant for violation of a religious obligation by anybody.
5. Socio-economic stress: Related to many socioeconomic factors.
6. Political stress: Created due to political defeat or unsuccessfulness.
7. Intra stress: Stress within the employee himself for some reason.
8. Inter stress: Happened between different individuals working together.
9. Behavioral stress: Created due to the behavioral patterns of employees or others.
Causes of Organizational Stress
Every aspect of a person’s life is a potential source of stress. Stress comes from pressures at work or at home or personality traits. Some of the common causes of stress are as follows:
Work Pressures: The type of a job person holds has a significant impact on the degree of stress he or she faces at work.
Some occupations have a great deal of stress associated with them, others are less stressful. The high-strain job listed is the jobs in which the highest level of stress reported.
Another cause of stress in the workplace is by living and working with the constant fear of being replaced.
Home Stressors: Single-parent families, which include fathers raising children- and dual-career couples, are commonplace.
These changes have made the conflict between parents as parents and parents as paid employees an extremely deep source of stress.
The mother feels stress by the guilt of not being a good parent when work pressures are high and not being a good employee when home pressures take priority, the father often has pressure from both career and family.
Personality: Certain personal characteristics draw certain individuals to specific jobs. These jobs tend to cause stress in the people they attract.
The individuals who often have a distorted view of selflessness tend to have extremely high levels of stress that may eventually lead to burnout because they ignore their own needs and give too much of themselves to others.
In the Table given below various causes of Stress under these three categories are shown:
1. Work pressure
- Job type
- Nature of Job
- Working place
- Nature of responsibility
- Over supervision
- Lack of freedom
- Insecurity, salary
By doing a job satisfaction survey may release work pressure
2. Home stressors
- Number of family members
- Physical disorder members
- Single parents family
- Step-father, mother, brother
- In secured residence
- Over Responsibility
- Blood, pressure rise
- HostiIe mentality
Different causes of employee stress
Signs and symptoms of stress
Very often stress is not expressed nor it is seen especially mental stress. Under this circumstance, some symptoms are shown to identify stressed employees, Form the following list some symptoms are known:
1. Mental depression: This is one of the most common symptoms of stress. You can be mentally depressed because of stress.
2. Physical tiredness: Physical tiredness is another well-known sign of stress. You will be tired if you are under stress.
3. Wrong in working: If you see some people who are experts in their job but doing mistakes you might say that he/she is under stress.
4. Hungriness: This is a little bit wired but it is true that hungriness is a sign of stress.
5. Lack of concentration: You can’t concentrate on your job because of stress. This is one of the ways to know you are stressed.
6. Loose of temper: Are you losing your temperament easily? You may be is stressed. You should concentrate on stress.
7. Lack of productivity: Stress can destroy productivity. So, when you lose productivity you should concentrate on employee stress.
8. Physical weakness: As a result of stress you may feel physical weakness and it may hamper daily life.
9. Mental disorder: Long-term stress may reason for the mental disorder. The most mental disorder happens for long-term stress.
10. The indecisiveness of attitude: Stress doesn’t have any advantages, indecisiveness of attitude one of them.
11. Misunderstanding: I think this is the most common sign of stress and very wide among us. Every one of us victim of these common symptoms of stress.
Major factors affecting stress
There are three major factors affecting stress and they are political factors, socio-economic factors, and Cultural & Religious factors. All of these factors affecting stress are discussed below:
Political factors affecting stress
Political forces sometimes affect the stress of an organization. These factors may be various types as follows:
1. Political chaos: Political chaos may create stress among peace-loving people.
2. Strike: Very often strikes and lockouts create stress for not achieving the target.
3. Political interference: Political parties interfere and employees become trussed.
4. Bias with political leaders: Sometimes political leaders’ bias creates stress.
5. Conflict with the political leader: Employees cannot cope with political leaders on many issues.
6. Collective bargaining agent as a political face: The involvement of CBA with politics can many issues.
7. Demand offered by political parties: Sometimes political leaders place their demands on the employee unions.
8. Interpersonal conflict: Conflict with a person who is a supporter of a political party.
Socio-economic factors affecting stress
Some socio-economic factors can also affect stress. If these factors behave negatively, the volume of stress is high. These are:
1. Low salary/ wages: Due to low salary/ wages employees may be stressed.
2. Inflation of the economy: Inflation decreases purchasing power leading to stress.
3. Organization status: If organization status is hampered stress may be there.
4. Social status: Hamper of social status also creates stress among employees.
5. Nature of job: Someone engaged as labor and someone engaged in a high position in an organization.
6. Restricted social contacts: Restricted social contracts may create stress.
7. Withdrawal from friends: If employees fail to retain relationships with near and dear ones.
Cultural & Religious factors
Some cultural and religious factors affect stress conditions also. These factors are pointed out below:
- Cultural and religious forces affect stress in the opposite direction.
- Joining the cultural group may release stress.
- Religious activities release stress.
- Stress is a psychic phenomenon.
- Mental refreshments may release stress.
- Doing something against the mind is stress.
- Adjustment is the best way of managing stress.
- Relax meditation.
- Relaxing music/melody.
- Fair entertainment
Various Causes of Stress in Industries
There are several reasons for stress in the Bangladesh industries. Some of the causes of stress in industries are described below:
1. Poor Compensation Packages: Compensation packages for the worker in our country are very poor. They do not get what they deserve for their work. Their low salary & wages create stress among them.
2. Inappropriate Working Environment: The working environment for employees is not good at all. There is a lack of ventilation system, drinking water is not pure, and lack of space, lack of canteen facilities, etc. will cause stress among the employees.
3. Lack of Job Security: Jobs of our employees are not secured. The fear of being sacked always put pressure on their mind. This ultimately causes stress among the employees.
4. Lack of Incentives: Companies are not providing enough incentives to the employees. Lack of incentives causes a lack of motivation which increases the level of stress.
5. Huge Work Pressure: The pressure of work is huge among the employees. They have to work almost 80 hours a week. They cannot enjoy Government holidays or in some cases even maternity leave. So the huge pressure of work causes the stress of the workers.
6. Lack of Technological Knowledge: Most of our employees are unskilled. They do not have sufficient knowledge about any particular machine or equipment. They fail to get optimum output from the machines. This causes pressure among the employees and increases the level of stress.
7. Poor Relationship between Management & Employees: The relationship between management and employees is not good. Management always creates unnecessary pressure on employees. This type of pressure causes and increases the level of stress among the employees.
8. Poor Working Relationship among Workers: The workers lack harmony among themselves. Mutual relationships are not good. This poor relationship causes stress among employees.
9. Lack of Cooperation: Lack of cooperation can occur for two causes below:
- a) With Management: The management does not cooperate with the employees which ultimately causes stress.
- b) With Employees: Employees also do not cooperate with each other. This can also increase the causes of stress among the employees.
10. Lack of Trade-off between Work & Family Life: Workers cannot make a balance between their work and family life. They spend less time at home and more in the workplace. This situation increases the level of stress among the employees.
11. Cultural Shock: Cultural shock sometimes increases the level of stress among the employees. It describes the gap between expectations arid reality.
12. Lack of Integration between Organization & Trade Union: The organization always tends to protect the trade union and wants to exercise power over the employees. So there is a difference in understanding between the organization and trade union.
13. Inappropriate Placement of Workers: Most of the workers are not placed in appropriate places. They fail to explore their potentials. Right people not in the right place cause stress among the employees.
These are some of the reasons that cause stress in the Bangladesh industries. Ultimately it decreases productivity which is a great loss for our country.
Nature of Existing Stress Conditions in Bangladesh
The nature of industrial relations is too short of generating a conductive stress condition. Our employers are not at all sensitive to how the employee feels and what are aspects must be addressed to minimize stress.
The CBAs are more often, organized on the political line and to secure political advantage.
Therefore, the main purpose is not taken care of. The management, on the other hand, is insensitive to the needs of employees. Consequently, there is no other way but to generate stress.
Impact of Stress on Employee Productivity
Stress is a kind of pressure that causes deviation from normal performance Stress has got a significant impact on productivity. Let’s discuss in detail the impact of stress on employee productivity.
- When the level of stress is too high, it leads to poor performance.
- When the level of stress is too low, it leaves employees unstipulated. Resulting in low productivity.
But for greater productivity, there should be prevailed a moderate level of stress in the organization. This helps employees to work better and results in greater productivity. Some impacts of stress on productivity are as follows:
1. Physical Problems: Physical problems create physical problems such as a headache, stomachache, heart attack, allergies, and skin disorder, and as a result production is hampered. This is one of the major impacts of stress on employee productivity.
2. Emotional Problems: Emotional problems may cause emotional problems like anxiety, fear; guilt, depression, anger; panic, tension, and these problems directly impact productivity.
3. Absenteeism: Absenteeism stress increases the high absenteeism of workers in the workplace and this causes low productivity.
4. Family Problems: Family problems create many family problems and this hampered their production quality at their workplace.
5. Wastage of Time: When stress is too high workers require a long time to accomplish their work and this also leads to low productivity.
6. Increased Cost of Production: When stress is too high, workers require too much time, and as a result cost of production is also increased.
7. Lack of Good Relationship between Labor and Management: When workers are under stress they become frustrated regarding their way of life. As a result, there is a conflict existed between labor and top management.
8. Lack of Commitment toward Work: Lack of commitment toward work also reduces workers’ commitment toward their work. For this reason, lower productivity happens in the workplace.
9. Low Quality of Products: When laborers are under stress, they could not perform at their expected level and as a result, their quality of production is decreased.
10. Employees could not perform at their expected level: Many times due to high stress, workers could not perform at their expectation level. So low productivity happens and costs of production increase.
Finally, we can say that, although stress is a bad but moderate level of stress should prevail in any organization for better production.
How to Reduce Employee Stress?
Let’s know how to reduce employee stress because of this one of the greatest ways of development of the organization. And stress is one of the most common reasons for losing productivity.
Stress has been defined as the interaction between the individual and the environment characterized by physiological and psychological changes that cause a deviation from normal performance.
This deviation from normal may have a positive or negative outcome. However, an extremely low level of stress can leave employees unstipulated, resulting in low productivity.
An extremely high level of stress can lead to poor performance due to the diversion of increased energy from production and dealing with the stress itself.
All of the medical complications associated with stress are ever-increasing burdens on the medical costs for companies. Some experts have estimated the overall cost for any large corporation at over $200 million a year for employee medical benefits.
This figure rises to over $ 150 billion a year when the costs to the overall economy, caused by repercussions of stress, such as reduced production due to absent, or non-motivated employees are factored in.
In an effort to reduce their costs, companies have begun implementing stress reduction or control programs for their employees. These programs represent proactive strategies for stress management and come in a variety of forms.
These symptoms can indicate stress, especially when appearing in groups and when they represent major changes in behavior. On the other hand, the following techniques are discussed below that help the HR Manager to reduce the stress of employees:
- List items that cause stress. Isolate the ones you can fix and concentrate your time and on them. Avoid the ones that you can do nothing about.
- If a job does not provide pride for accomplishments and receive praise from others, then find an activity that does.
- Experiment with different forms of relaxation- such as exercise, sports, or meditation until finding one that relieves your anxiety.
- It should be remembered that a sense of control and a reason to live lead to a healthy and productive life.
Steps to Reduce Stress
Firstly, we have to know what stress is. Stress means the interaction between individual and environment characterized by psychological and physiological changes that cause a deviation from normal performance. However, some steps to reduce stress are as follows:
- Identify the causes of stress
- Discuss with internal employees
- Discuss with consultant
- Measure outcomes from the internal discussion and consultancy
- Analyze the data regarding the reasons for stress
- Avoid the causes that cannot be recovered and pick some new ideas
- Formulation of strategies based on gathered information
- Fitness program
- Drug testing and rehabilitation
- Implementation of the strategy
Measures to Reduce Stress
For reducing the stress of employees, some measures may be taken. By ensuring these measures strategic human resource managers may hope to reduce stress substantially. These measures are mentioned below:
1. Reasonable working hours: Every organization must give standard working hours to work comfortably so that workers never feel bored and tired.
2. Incentives: Top-level management can motivate workers by providing financial and other incentives.
3. Congenial working environment: Standard working conditions can help workers to free themselves from conflict and acid dispute.
4. Establish interpersonal relationships: The Strong interpersonal relationship between boss and subordinates helps to remove stress.
5. Continual communication and sharing: Continual communication and sharing communication play a great role to avoid stress. Consistency in communication is needed.
6. Supportive cooperation: Top-level management supportive cooperation from the authority or top-level management is necessary to remove stress.
7. The trade-off between family and work: Family and work both are related to each other and have a great impact on it. Therefore, a trade-off between family and work can reduce stress.
8. Enhancing job security: Job security is also very important to concentrate on work. Management has to enhance job security.
9. Freedom of work: Freedom work helps the worker to generate ideas etc. Freedom of work can help to remove job stress.
10. The flexibility of work: Management has to be flexible in the case of managing their organization especially in the part of human resources.
11. Respect: Respect your own ideas and have respect for other people’s feelings, ideas, and choices.
12. People’s problems: Don’t be a “fix-it” person for people’s problems. Stress is harmful to any person. If any person suffers from stress, he cannot concentrate on work. So the above measures may be adopted to reduce stress.
Strategies to Reduce Organizational Stress
Some strategic may be worth mentioning to improve the stress of employees. For this purpose, here are five strategies to reduce stress have been identified as follows:
1. Cause of stress: List items that cause stress Isolate the one can fix and one should concentrate on line and effort on One should avoid the one, that he or she can do nothing about.
2. Take pride in accomplishment: We must take pride in our accomplishments and receive praise from others. If our job does not provide for these needs we should find an activity that does.
3. The experiment of relation: We may experiment with different forms of relation. As sports meditation can be an option.
4. Sense of stress and reasons: We must remember that a sense of stress and reasons lead to a healthy and productive life.
5. Seek expert counseling: Seek expert counseling by psychologists to be able to manage stress.
Role of Government to reduce stress
The government of a country is a guardian of anything. Therefore, the government can play some roles as follows:
- Enact rules and regulations that will enforce measures in the workplace which will reduce stress,
- Monitor the internal functioning of various organizations to identify causes of stress.
- Establish various health supporting installations to help stressed people.
- Take punitive measures against those who are not careful about work stress.
Rule of Employer to reduce stress
Employers can also play some roles to manage stress. Without an employer’s cooperation, genuine problems cannot be solved even. Eight measures have been identified to reduce stress. These are given below:
- Allow more freedom of action.
- Allow more flexibility.
- Allow mistakes done in making decisions.
- Be concerned about workplace stress.
- Encourage people by interacting more.
- Good feedback system.
- Social activities among the employees,
- Belongingness of the employers.
Role of Employees to reduce organizational stress
For managing, stress employees can contribute to a large extent. The following are the possible and tentative measures to be adopted to manage stress.
- Inform the authority about the sources of stress.
- Enhance interaction with superiors.
- Increase association amongst peers.
- Clarify the causes of stress from the relevant authority.
- Seek expert support for stressed people.
Need for people’s Consciousness
One of the most important strategies for reducing stress is raising people’s consciousness.
If people are -conscious about the sources of workplace stress, it may be brought to the attention of management that and the concerned authority may be compelled to take care of that.
How can Consciousness be created?
For creating employee consciousness, a few strategies may be formulated and executed. These strategies are divided into six types. In the following points this is mentioned:
- A campaign (social, political) can be launched against work-palace stress.
- Encourage people by interacting more.
- Extensive write-ups in newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Seminars, workshops may be arranged to create consciousness.
- TV features, talk shows, etc can be arranged.
- Special TV program, Radio program may be undertaken.
- Billboards, roadside advertisements, etc may display stress arrangement issues.
Role of Family in Organizational Stress Reduction
Family members can play a pivotal role in reducing stress. The following points will make a clear concept of this issue. These points about the role of the family in stress reduction are discussed below:
1. Giving up the smoking habit: Family members can play an important role to give up the smoking habit. They can do it by giving advice, for example, and logic about the harmful sides of smoking.
2. Strong mental support: Family members can ensure strong mental support in a stressful situation. They can make him feel that he can do something better than the present.
3. Praising: Organizations may not praise for an accomplishment by the employee, in that case, the family may come forward to do so.
4. Recreation: Family can arrange different occasions; like birthdays, marriage days, and some social and religious festivals that ultimately help the individual to get rid of stress.
5. Conversation: Frequent conversation should be held among the group members to get rid of mental agony. One can share his/her ideas with the family members which is not possible with the outsiders.
6. Giving more importance: Family members should provide extra care so that individuals can think of themselves as more important to the family.
7. Inspiration: Family members should inspire in all positive activities of the individuals. As a result, he/she can raise his/her confidence level.
8. Sound relationship: Weak relationships among the family members can cause stress to the individual. So it is the responsibility of the family members to maintain a harmonious relationship among the family members.
9. Financial Support: If any member of the family provides financial support in a crucial situation, individuals can think of themselves as free.
10. Healthcare: Family members should take care of individuals with different health problems resulted from stress. They can members provide first aid to the individual.
These are the key roles that families can play in reducing one’s stress.
Advantages of Avoiding Stress in organization
Undoubtedly there are lots of benefits and advantages of avoiding stress. Some means may be of immense help to avoid stress. For avoiding stress seven means have been identified.
- Aware of health risk: Employees may be aware of health problems.
- Handle the harmful substance: Harmful substances may be handled properly.
- Offer fitness programs: Many fitness programs for employees may be offered.
- Change the rules/ regulations: Favorable rules and regulations may be enacted.
- Identify the potential stress: Possible areas of stress may be identified.
- Examine the employee: Health check-ups may be made regularly.
- Symptoms of Stress: Symptoms of employee stress should immediately be taken care of without making them a chance to show dissatisfaction.
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