College of Business, Economics, and Accountancy
Issues in Human Resource Management
Alvin R. Riton
Mr. Marlon Soria
Stress in the Workplace
It isn’t easy to find a generally acceptable of ‘stress’. Doctors, engineers, psychologists, management consultants, linguists, and lay-person all use the word in their own distinctive ways with their own definition. A useful definition is “a demand made on the adaptive capacities of the mind and body”. If a given person can handle the demand and enjoy the stimulation involved, then stress is welcome and helpful. If they can’t and find the demand debilitating, then stress is harmful.
This definition is useful in three ways;
1. Stress can be both good or bad,
2. It isn’t events that determine if we are stressed, it is our reaction to them, and 3. Stress is a demand made upon the body’s capacities.
If our capacities are sufficient, we respond well. If they aren’t, we give way. Although stress is an essential element of many activities at work and at home, stress becomes harmful when it reaches intensity that impairs daily activities.
Stress is the number one problem for working people, many of whom are juggling work, home, and the care of their children and often times aging parents. It is no surprise that stress has increased. Stress creates the “fight or flight” response in the brain. The “stress hormone” then circulates in the blood stream causing the heart to speed up, the arteries to narrow, and blood sugar to rise. One of the indicators that we are under stress is our desire to consume more sweets, which then contributes to abdominal fat, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Under stress, our digestion is inhibited and we find ourselves using more antacid products to cope with acid indigestion.
Chronic stress signals the body to store more fat. It impairs the immune system and increases our susceptibility to colds and infections. Increased accumulations of fat can damage the brain and other organs. Recent studies in some of America’s rundown neighborhoods suggest that stress is killing young people at faster rate than drugs or guns. They are suffering heart attacks long before the age of 50, along with strokes, diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
Stress on the Job
The stress faced by workers is substantial. For many professionals, it is intrinsic to the job itself, where competing demands and pressures cannot be escaped. The sheer volume of work can also be overwhelming at times. Stress can develop into a living nightmare of running faster and faster to stay in the same place, feeling undervalued, and feeling unable to say “no” to any demand but not working productively.
A 2001 report from the UK’s Mental Health Foundation, “Burnt Out or Burnt Bright?” determines that: * Most companies did not view stress as a mental health problem. Only “serious” diagnosable conditions were as seen as mental health problems while stress is experienced at some point by everyone. * Senior executives recognized that employees (particularly more junior employees) felt they had to hide stress and were perhaps unable to recognize stress which could become unhealthy. Job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health of organization. Job 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. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury. These are any situations in the workplace that leave a feeling of depression, anxiety, or pressure. They are commonly categorized as; overwork ambiguity, workplace conflicts, and responsibility. One way to minimize the stressor is to know your limitations and set realistic goals. To properly perform a job function, a...
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