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Occupational Stress

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Introduction

Occupational Stress: Occupational 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. These physiological and emotional responses occur when workers perceive an imbalance between their work demands and their capability and/or resources available to them to meet these demands. Stress responses, however, occur only when the imbalance is such that the workers perceive that they are unable to cope with situations where it is important to them that they do cope. As a result, occupational stress can lead to poor health and/or even injury. Today is the age of globalization and nature of work is changing at whirlwind speeds. Consequently, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers now, more than ever before. In the organizational environment, stress has been related to the deterioration of performance efficiency of both managers and subordinates. And as the performance efficiency of employees and management decline, so do the quality of the overall organizational environment and its productivity. Job stress faced by the employees and/or the management is an extremely dangerous phenomenon. Some of the hazardous consequences of job stress are increased accidents in the workplace, job turnover, low morale, poor work relations, poor organizational climate, absenteeism, etc Symptoms of Occupational Stress: Occupational stress has symptoms of emotional, psychological, physical and behavioral nature. All of these are discussed below: Emotional Symptoms of Occupational Stress: These symptoms include: 1. Irritability 2. Angry outbursts 3. Hostility 4. Depression 5. Jealously 6. Restlessness 7. Withdrawal 8. Anxiousness 9. Diminished initiative 10. Feelings of unreality or over-alertness 11. Reduction of personal involvement with others 12. Lack of interest 13. Tendency to cry 14. Being critical of others 15. Self-deprecation 16. Nightmares 17. Impatience 18. Decreased perception of the positive 19. Narrowed focus 20. Reduced self-esteem 21. Changes in eating habits and 22. ...read more.

Middle

They should utilize management information available from the workers' compensation scheme as well as from internal sources to ensure that stress prevention programs are appropriately targeted. They should continually review the effect and outcomes of programs in this area to ensure that the best results are achieved. Research Article # 3: Stress Management in Organizations and Society by Gerald Schueler, Ph.D. (c) 1997 http://www.schuelers.com/psychology/HS884.htm Abstract: Actions or situations that place physical or psychological demands on people over time will cause stress. Both physical and mental stress are required for normal and healthy growth and moderate amounts in the workplace can increase productivity. But if not managed properly, stress can eventually lead to burnout as well as to physical problems. In the workplace, one of the chief causes of stress is the feeling of inequity or unjust treatment. Effective stress management addresses employees both physically and mentally. Easy and economical treatment at the workplace includes provisions for music and physical exercise with suggestions for rest, diet, and meditation. Management can also reassign tasks and provide more flexible work schedules. Workplace stress is expensive because it can cause absenteeism, increased sick leave and medical costs, and high turnover rates. Article: Stress Management. The methodology used to alleviate stress. Why Stress Management is Important: Hollin (1995) states that "It has been known since the beginning of the century that the experience of stress can have quite serious effects on health" (p. 119). However, because we all respond to stress differently, "stress-related disease is not easily predictable from objective measures of environmental stressors" (p. 120). Restak (1988) says that "the more life stress a person experiences, the greater the likelihood of developing a physical disorder like heart disease, infection, allergies, even cancer" (p. 152). According to Restak (1994) one of the ways the ego sometimes responds to stress is dissociation, where whole blocks of memory are repressed and forgotten. ...read more.

Conclusion

Consult your employees: 1. Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs 2. Consult employees about scheduling and work rules 3. Make sure employees understand any changes that may be in store for them by the management 4. Show that individual workers are valued This is necessary since, Crescent Commercial Bank is transferring ownership, and the employees are feeling insecure as to what changes might be in store for them. Keeping them aware of the ongoing activities and consulting them while taking any decisions regarding changes in work environment will reduce their level of uncertainty and hence, reduce their level of stress. This will also give them a feeling of being important in the organization. And sense of empowerment in employees has been tested to improve the dedication and loyalty of the employees to the organization. Offer rewards and incentives: 1. Provide opportunities for career development 2. Promote an "entrepreneurial" work climate that gives employees more control over their work Such an activity would allow the young employees of Crescent Commercial Bank to feel that they are moving towards successful careers. Moreover, promoting an entrepreneurial environment would allow the young employees to channel their energy and ambitions towards increasing the organization's productivity rather than, unrealistic goals, as mentioned earlier in the report. Change Management: Since, Crescent Commercial Bank is on the verge of a huge organization wide change, the management needs to ensure that this oncoming change is properly managed. Especially since, improper handling of the workforce during such a significant change may lead to adverse consequences. People who are confronted by change will experience a form of culture-shock as established patterns of corporate life are altered or viewed by people as being threatened. Typically, employees experience a form of grief, loss and/or insecurity. For this purpose the change should be properly managed to not prepare the employees' minds to cope with the change, but also to shape their thinking patterns and convert then into productive elements which will allow the change to take place in the most desired manner. And take the company further than it ever thought possible. ...read more.

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