Stress Management

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TOPIC AT A GLANCE

Topic Name: Managing Stress at Work
Managing an over worked and stressed human resource have become a challenging and ever difficult task for today's managers. With a view to utilize the available human resource  thus minimizing costs and maximizing profits, today both managers and their subordinates have to coop with work related stress. This stress if it goes to certain extent without being controlled can affect the person's family/social life, health, performance etc and changes the employee's whole attitude towards work- frustrating, demotivating and frightening him/her which in the long run damages the organization and the employee both. This paper will briefly examine the various stress-management interventions adopted by three reputed companies to improve efficiency in the work place Key Words: Stringers, Biofeedback, stressors, Food exchange. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Life is tough and getting tougher by the day! The stress of daily living, especially as the pressure to excel mounts, impacts everyone, not just on the work front but in every single area of an individual's life In today's world of doing more with less, employees find themselves with more work, fewer resources, and less time. With a tight deadlines and a competitive work environment only the best performers are guaranteed continued employment. All of these factors add up to a very stressful work environment. Ultimately employees take work home and worry about missing deadlines or performing inadequately and end up working longer hours. Stress can be caused by many things in life, pressures from work, the family, social commitments and other everyday events. The word stress is derived from the Latin term 'Stringers' which means "to draw tight". Some define stress as the non-specific response of the body to any demands made on it. Stress is our physical, mental, and emotional response to the various demands, changes, and events in our life. It is an internal phenomenon and a mental attitude. In some cases, stress motivates and encourages us to complete a task we find difficult so that we can take pride in ourselves and what we achieve. Hans Selye was one of the founding fathers of stress research. His view in 1956, which holds true today also, was that stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how one takes it. In an ideal world, there should be just enough stress to keep employees working to their full potential, but not enough to cause overwhelm or excessive anxiety. Too much or too little stress is where we run into problems.

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Stress symptoms begin to manifest themselves when an individual perceive or feel that life demands are exceeding their ability to deal with them. When stress begins to take its toll, they may experience both physical and psychological effects. Causes or Sources of Stress

The sources of stress may be classified into two broad categories as follows:

1. Individual Stressors: Personality, motivation, ability, experience, status, life stages, beliefs and values.

2. Organizational Stressors or Environment: There are several potential stressors in the organization. These are summarized as bellow Organizational Stressors

1. Roles in the Organization

a) Role conflict
b) Role ambiguity
c) Minimum management support
d) Holding mid-management position

2. Responsibility

a) With superiors/subordinates/ colleagues
b) Inability to delegate

3. Job Qualities

a) Time pressures
b) Work over/under load
c) Level of accountability
4. Organizational Structure
a) Lack of participation
b) No sense of belongining
c) Poor communication
d) Restriction on behavior
f)  Lack of opportunity/performance evaluation/pay
5. Physical Environment
a) Working conditions like noise, lighting, aesthetic appeal of rooms etc....
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