Image via Wikipedia
Stress is the “wear and tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence, it can result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. With the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, a job promotion, or a new relationship, we experience stress as we readjust our lives. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it.
Factor causing Stress:
Three sets of factor (a) environmental, (b) organizational and (c) individual – that act as potential cause of stress. Whether they become actual stress depends on individual differences such as job experience and personality when stress is experienced an individual, its symptoms can surface as physiological, psychological and behavioral outcomes.
(a) Environmental factors – just as environmental uncertainty influences the design of an organization’s structure, it also changes in the business cycle create economic uncertainties. When company B is contractive, for example, people become increasingly anxious about their job security. Similarly political instability is a cause of stress. Political crisis like civil war, riots, hostilities with neighboring countries etc can lead to stress. Technology uncertainties are a third type of environmental factor that can cause stress. New innovations can make employee’s skills and experience obsolete in a very short time, computers, robotics, automation and similar forms of technology innovations are a threat to many people and cause them stress.
(b) Organizational factors – organizational factors that cause stress include task, role, and Interpersonal demands, organizational structure and organizational leadership. Task demands are factors related to a person’s job. They include the design of individual’s job (autonomy task variety, degree of automation), working conditions and physical work layout.
Role demands relate to pressures placed on a person as a function of the particular role he or she plays in the organization. Role conflicts create expectations that may be hard to reconcile or satisfy. Role overload is experienced when the employee is expected to do more than time permits.
Interpersonal demands are pressures created by other employees, lack of social support from colleagues and poor interpersonal relationships can cause considerable stress, especially among employees with a high social needs.
Organizational structure defines the level of differentiation in the organization, the degree of rules and regulation and where decisions are made. Excessive rules and lack of participation in decisions that might be potential is sources of stress.
Organizational leadership represents the managerial style of the organization’s senior managers. One chief executive officer creates a cultural characterized by tension, fear and anxiety. They establish unrealistic pressures to perform in the short run, impose excessively tight controls, and routinely fire employees for poor – performance.
(c ) Individual factors – Primarily, these factors are family issues, personal economic problems and inherent personality characteristics. People hold family and personal relationships dear. Marital difficulties, the breaking off of a relationship and discipline troubles with children are examples of relationship problems that create stress for employees. Economic problems created by individuals overextending their financial resources is another set of personal troubles that can create stress for employees and distract their attention from their work. Some people may have an inherent tendency to accentuate negative aspect of the world in general i.e. stress symptoms expressed on the job may actually originate in the person’s personality.