Stress Management at the Workplace

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Stress Management in the Workplace

Table of contents
Definition of stress management4
Two advantages of stress management5 - 6
Positive impacts on the organization5
Positive effects on lifestyle and health behavior6
Two limitations of stress management6 -8
Role of supervisors and management6 - 7
Individual differences in stress response7 - 8
The role of the Human Resource Manager towards stress management8 - 9 Conclusion9 - 10
References11 - 12

Organizations are constantly undergoing change through new demands, changing technology, demographic changes and increased competition. Due to the increase in workload, psychological problems related to occupational stress have increased rapidly in Western countries (van der Klink, Roland, & Blonk, 2001). More than ever before, job stress has become a hazard to the health of employees and in turn the health of organizations (Sauter, Hurrell, Scharf, & Sinclair, 2003). The purpose of this research paper is to illustrate the overall importance of stress management in the workplace. The research paper will start by giving a definition of the term stress management. After that, it will illustrate advantages and limitations of occupational stress management. Finally, the third point will cover the role of a Human Resource Manager in the field of stress management.

First of all, several definitions of stress management will be illustrated in order to provide a clearer understanding of the term. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (2008), stress management can be defined as follows: “A set of techniques used to help an individual cope more effectively with difficult situations in order to feel better emotionally, improve behavioral skills, and often to enhance feelings of control” (NHLB, 2003) . Ivancevich, Matteson, Freedman, and Philips (1990), describe stress management intervention as any activity or program initiated by an organization aimed to reduce the presence of work-related stressors or to assist individuals in minimizing the negative outcomes of these stressors (Ivancevich, Matteson, Freedman, & Philips, 1990, as cited in Richardson & Rothstein, 2008). According to Cotton (1990), stress management is concerned with identifying and analyzing problems that are related to stress, and applying a variety of therapeutic techniques to change either the source of stress or the experience of stress. Stress management educates the worker about the nature and sources of stress, the effects of stress on health, and personal skills in order to reduce stress (Sauter, Hurrell, Scharf, & Sinclair, 2003). Stress management techniques consist of organizational or individual techniques (D. Schultz & S. Schultz, 2002). Organizational techniques include emotional climate control, social support, redefinition of employee roles, and elimination of work overload and work underload. Individual techniques comprise physical exercise, time-management, relaxation exercises, assertiveness training, biofeedback and behavior modification (D. Schultz & S. Schultz, 2002). The main objective of stress management is to help the employee to function at an optimal level (Cotton, 1990) by improving the ability of the workers to cope with difficult work situations (NIOSH, 2003

Two advantages of stress management
Positive impacts on the organization
The following paragraph will highlight the beneficial effects of occupational stress management on organizational success. Research has shown that occupational stress management has several positive impacts on employee’s stress response, and therefore contributes to organizational success (Kohler & Munz, 2006). Stress can be considered as costly to organizations because high stress is related to a decrease in job satisfaction, lower productivity, reduced motivation, increased errors, accidents,...
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