This paper will address the subject of stress in today's workplace and the resulting adverse health affects by identifying the health problems associated with untreated stress, indicators of stress, the sources of stress within organizations, the stress involved with organizational change, and interventions available to combat the adverse affects of stress. Unhealthy or unproductive stress levels must be addressed in any organization in order for businesses to survive and grow while simultaneously maintaining an acceptable level of employee satisfaction.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page ..1 Abstract .2 Table of Contents 3 How to Handle Stress Effectively ..4 Occupational Health Concerns .4 Organizational Stress Indicators ...6 Sources of Stress in the Workplace .8 Stress of Organizational Change .9 Stress Interventions ..11 Conclusion ..13
How to Manage Stress Effectively
Stress in the workplace can be considered as an individual's physical or psychological response to outside forces, which are referred to as stressors. These responses can be both a production multiplier and a bottom line crippler, dependent on the levels of stress prevalent within an organization and its employees. A successful human resource department must be able to quickly identify the adverse health affects caused by stress within their organizations and address the root causes of the problem. The adverse affects of high, non-productive stress levels must have interventions applied to them in order to address situations before employees' health is affected or "burnout" occurs. There are several factors causing adverse stress within organizations. Pressures caused by changes in the organization, task overload, job redesigns, personnel realignment, and changes of mission are a few of those. The key to success is knowing the optimum stress levels within a particular workplace and emplace tools and techniques to maintain those levels, while simultaneously implementing aggressive interventions to combat unhealthy stress on the job. Occupational Health Concerns
"Studies acknowledge some worrying findings concerning stress-related health problems. With most occupational groups, apart from medicine related fields, it would seem that stress in the workplace for the workers interviewed is perceived as a pervasive and negative influence on their health status. The majority of participants, for example, identified that stress for them is central to their workplace health concerns." (Jinks & Daniels, 1999). Some of the health concerns reported were inability to concentrate, sleeping disorders, high blood pressure, and unexplained gastric problems such as ulcers, heart problems, and probably most troubling, associated substance abuse problems such as alcohol addiction. "Everyone has felt stress at some point or another, but how to you know if your stress is unhealthy? Stress can be difficult to define because the symptoms vary so much from person to person. Acute stress - the most common form - comes from demands and pressures of the recent past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future. Acute stress is short-term and therefore usually highly manageable. Longer-term stress can cause more extensive health problems that have lasting - or even fatal - consequences." (Eisinger, 2001)
There have been many studies on the health affects of stress and the findings seem to support the medical field's belief that the connection is undeniable. "Examples of typical findings, all published in respected journals during the last ten years, include: 45 percent of a sample of coronary patients put in more than 60 hours a week on their jobs. Reported job stress was associated...