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Work Stress Yu Fu

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Presentation on theme: "Work Stress Yu Fu"— Presentation transcript:

1 Work Stress Yu Fu

2 Learning objectives Define stress, stressor, and distress/strain Compare four different approaches to stress Identify work and non-work causes of stress Identify elements of preventive stress management for individuals and organisations Organisational Behaviour 22

3 3 The Problem: The Cost of Stress at Work Companies in the United Kingdom lose 13.7 million working days per year due to stress, causing £28.3 billion in productivity losses. More than 25% of workers in the UK describe their mental health as moderate or poor. Organisational Behaviour 2

4 4 The Problem: The Cost of Stress at Work The European Union estimates that work-related stress affects at least 40 million workers in its 15 (Western ) Member States and that it costs the European Union at least €20 billion annually. In 2009, 25 employees of France Telecom have committed suicide. Organisational Behaviour 2

5 What is stress? The HSE defines stress at work as arising “when the demands of the job and the working environment on a person exceeds their capacity to meet them” and “the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them.” Organisational Behaviour 25

6 6 What is stress? Stress – the unconscious preparation to fight or flee that a person experiences when faced with any demand Stressor – the person or event that triggers the stress response Distress (or strain) – the adverse psychological, physical, behavioural, and organisational consequences that may arise as a result of stressful events Organisational Behaviour 2

7 7 Effects of Stress increased absenteeism (of which stress is the biggest cause) low motivation reduced productivity reduced efficiency faulty decision-making poor industrial relations Organisational Behaviour 2

8 8 Stress Check How often do the following happen to you? Always (3), often (2), sometimes (1), or never (0)? Rate each statement on a scale from 0 to 3, as honestly as you can and without spending too much time on any one statement. Am I Overstressed? 1. I have to make important snap judgments and decisions. 2. I am not consulted about what happens on my job or in my classes. 3. I feel I am underpaid. 4. I feel that no matter how hard I work, the system will mess it up. 5. I do not get along with some of my co-workers or fellow students. 6. I do not trust my superiors at work or my professors at school. 7. The paperwork burden on my job or at school is getting to me. 8. I feel people outside the job or the university do not respect what I do. Record your score as the sum of your responses. Organisational Behaviour 2

9 9 Stress Check Am I Angry? 1. I feel that people around me make too many irritating mistakes. 2. I feel annoyed because I do good work or perform well in school, but no one appreciates it. 3. When people make me angry, I tell them off. 4. When I am angry, I say things I know will hurt people. 5. I lose my temper easily. 6. I feel like striking out at someone who angers me. 7. When a co-worker or fellow student makes a mistake, I tell him or her about it. 8. I cannot stand being criticsed in public. Record your score as the sum of your responses, and add it to your score from the previous section. Organisational Behaviour 2

10 10 Stress Check To find your level of anger and potential for aggressive behaviour, add your scores from both quiz parts. 40–48: The red flag is waving, and you had better pay attention. You are in the danger zone. You need guidance from a counsellor or mental health professional, and you should be getting it now. 30–39: The yellow flag is up. Your stress and anger levels are too high, and you are feeling increasingly hostile. You are still in control, but it would not take much to trigger a violent flare of temper. 10–29: Relax, you are in the broad normal range. Like most people, you get angry occasionally, but usually with some justification. Sometimes you take overt action, but you are not likely to be unreasonably or excessively aggressive. 0–9: Congratulations! You are in great shape. Your stress and anger are well under control, giving you a laid-back personality not prone to violence Organisational Behaviour 2

11 11 Psychological Stressors at Work Task related and organisational stressors – High workload, time pressure – Role conflicts, organisational constraints Social stressors – colleagues, supervisors, subordinates – Negative social climate – Task conflicts, relationship conflicts – Unfair behaviour, destructive leadership, workplace bullying Organisational Behaviour 2

12 12 Psychological Stressors at Work Social and Emotional stressors – customers, clients – Customer-related social stressor: aggressive customers, exaggerated customer expectations – Emotional dissonance Job insecurity and unemployment Organisational Behaviour 2

13 13 Approaches to stress Homeostatic/Medical Stress occurs when an external demand upsets an individual’s natural, steady-state balance. Organisational Behaviour 2

14 14 Approaches to stress Cognitive appraisal Individuals differ in their appraisal of events and people What is stressful for one person is not for another Perception and cognitive appraisal determines what is stressful Organisational Behaviour 2

15 15 Approaches to stress Person-environment fit Confusing and conflicting expectations in a social role create stress. Good person-environment fit occurs when one’s skills and abilities match a clearly defined set of role expectations. Stress occurs when expectations are confusing or when they conflict with one’s skills. Organisational Behaviour 2

16 16 Approaches to stress Psychoanalytic Stress Discrepancy between the idealised self and the real self-image Organisational Behaviour 2

17 17 Positive Stress Organisational Behaviour 2 Stress response itself is neutral Some stressful activities (aerobic exercise, etc.) can enhance a person’s ability to manage stressful demands or situations Stress can provide a needed energy boost

18 Managing psychological well-being at work Organisational Behaviour 218 Performance Pressure Stressed Out Switched Off Feel Good Zone Peak Performance

19 19 Individual Distress Medical illness (heart disease, strokes, headaches, backaches) Behavioral problems (substance abuse, violence, accidents) Work-related psychological disorders (depression, burnout, psychosomatic disorders) Organisational Behaviour 2

20 20 Organisational Distress Participative Problems – a cost associated with absenteeism, tardiness, strikes and work stoppages, and turnover Performance Decrement – a cost resulting from poor quality or low quantity of production, grievances, and unscheduled machine downtime and repair Compensation Award – an organisational cost resulting from court awards for job distress Organisational Behaviour 2

21 21 Sources of Stress: Work Demands Organisational Behaviour 2

22 22 Stress Source: Non-work Demands Organisational Behaviour 2

23 23 Preventative Stress Management An organisational philosophy according to which people and organisations should take joint responsibility for promoting health and preventing distress and strain. Stress prevention and control is an essential part of the effective management of people at work. Organisational Behaviour 2

24 24 Organisational Stress Prevention Job redesign Goal setting Role negotiation Social support systems Organisational Behaviour 2

25 25 Social Support at Work and Home Organisational Behaviour 2

26 26 Individual Preventive Stress Management Organisational Behaviour 2

27 27 To help alleviate stress and promote well-being in the workplace Giving stress management training Establishing a clear policy on mental health, stress, anti-bullying and harassment Training Regular appraisals Monitoring Flexibility Awareness Minimising excessive pressure Organisational Behaviour 2

28 28 What Can Managers Do? Learn how to create healthy stress without distress Help employees adjust to new technologies Be sensitive to early signs of distress Be aware of gender, personality, and behavioural differences Use principles and methods of preventive stress management Organisational Behaviour 2


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