Impact of Stress

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Critically evaluate the extent to which managers can reduce employee stress. Introduction
An organizational stress can be defined as, “an intervening psychological process that link exposure to work-related problems to the negative impact of those problems” (Arnold, Randall et al. 2010, pg. 197) Organisational stress has an impact on both the performance of individual as well as the organisation. As quoted by Beehr and Franz (1987) in O’Driscoll and Cooper (2002), Organisational stress can be explained on a three dimensions, as a resisting force applied physically or psychologically to an environmental stimulus or as an interaction between two events such as chronic circumstances like the nature of job, or job targets. The second dimension is the person’s response to a particular stressor and it exists within a person. The third dimension is the antecedents and strain is a consequence of a stressful transaction. A work related stress can happen due to various aspects within work environment like the demand-control model (Karasek, 1979) while some happen due to a mismatch between organizational expectations/requirements and rewards, like effort-reward imbalance model (Siegrist, 1996) or demand supply equilibrium of available resources and appraisal expectations and the actual reality. (Caulfield, 2004) A stress affects an individual in a 3 stage process, where the introduction of stress creates an alarm stage, an individual tries to resist the change and stress at the resistance change, and if the stress overpowers the individual, it’s the exhaustion stage ultimately resulting into a burnout. This essay will chiefly focus on the types of interventions which managers use to reduce the employee stress mainly the organisation level intervention, individual-organisation level and the individual level. Which can be emphasized by the primary intervention which focus on changing the basic working environment or changing the policies of the organisation, making it more stable and less stressful and prevent the re occurrence of the stressor. The secondary intervention focus more on redesigning an individual’s reaction to stressors like team building exercises. Tertiary interventions are the one which focuses on treating the identified symptoms of stress and strain. The above mentioned interventions will be discussed with relation to the moderators of stress which are Individual differences, Social Support, Locus of control, self efficacy, Psychological Hardiness and Job Design at Personal level, Job related variables and Organisational levels. Organisational stress results in a high level of absenteeism as employees are unable to cope up to the stress; an estimate from the labor force survey indicates that self-reported work related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for an estimated 11.4 million lost working days in Britain in 2008/09. According to J. D. Quick et al, 1998 identified that all three levels of interventions are identified at both individual and organisational scope. To cope up with the stress, a managerial intervention at three levels is observed; primary interventions are proactive in nature. They are aimed at eliminating the stressors, or to reduce the influence of stressor. This type of interventions directly affects the work environment and work situation by organising management and work practice. The primary intervention at an organisation level mostly deal with improving work content, having a focused career development programme. Primary interventions have a length process as they focus on changing the organisation and can cost a lot in terms of both resources and time. (Cooper, 1976) Different primary interventions at ORGANISATION LEVEL are Job redesign, where the entire job profile is restructured in order to relieve the stress. This may include change in the working hours, or added or deducted responsibilities or improving the work content of the profile making it more challenging and...
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