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Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Stress Management

Managing Work-Related Stress - Stress Management

   Posted On :  18.05.2018 05:53 am
Managing Work-Related Stress - Stress Management

In managing work related stress, both the organization and the employees have joint responsibility.

Managing Work-Related Stress
 
 
In managing work related stress, both the organization and the employees have joint responsibility. Stress management often includes several strategies. These are shown in the following diagram.



Remove the Stressor

 
 
An important way companies can effectively manage stress is by removing the stressors that cause unnecessary tension and job burnout. Other stress management strategies may keep employees. “Stress-fit”, but they don’t solve the fundamental causes of stress.
 
In managing stress, organizations have to investigate the main causes of stress in their workplace. For example, you may ask employees to complete confidential questionnaires to identify when and how they experience stress. You may remember that one of the most powerful ways to remove workplace stressors is to empower employees so that they will have more control over their work and work environment. Placing employees to positions that match their competencies can minimize role related stressors. Noise and safety risks are stressful, so improving these conditions would also go a long way to minimize stress in the workplace.
 

Family-Friendly and Work-Life initiatives

 
 
The most common work-life balance initiatives are flexible work time, job sharing, telecommuting, personal leave programs, and childcare support. Many firms have flexible timings with regard to the hours, days, and amount of time employees want to work.
 
Job sharing splits a career position between two people so that they experience less time-based stress between work and family. They typically work different part of the week, with some overlapping work time in the weekly schedule to coordinate activities.
 
Telecommuting reduces the time and stress of commuting to work and makes it easier to fulfill family obligations, such as temporarily leaving the office to pick up the kids from school. Research suggests that telecommuters experience a healthier work-life balance. Employers with strong work-life values offer extended maternity, paternity, and personal leaves to care for a new family or elderly parents who need assistance. Childcare support reduces stress because employees need not rush to drop off their children and less worried during the day about how well they are doing.
 

Withdraw from the stressor

 
 
Removing the stressor may be an ideal solution, but that is not always possible. An alternative strategy is to permanently or temporarily take employees away from the stressor. Permanent withdrawal occurs when employees are transferred to other jobs.
 

Change stress perceptions

 
 
You have earlier learnt that employees experience different levels of stress in the same situation because of their perceptual differences. Therefore, changing perceptions of the situation can minimize stress. This strategy does not involve ignoring risks or other stressors. Rather, it involves strengthening the self-efficacy and self-esteem of a person so that job challenges are not perceived as threatening.
 

Control the consequences of stress

 
 
Managing workplace stress also involves controlling its consequences. Research studies show that physical exercise reduces the physiological consequences of stress by helping employees lower their respiration, muscle tension, heartbeat and stomach acidity. Beyond fitness programs, some companies offer wellness programs that educate and support employees in terms of better nutrition and fitness, regular sleep, and other healthy habits. Another way to control the physiological consequences of stress is through relaxation and meditation.
 

Employee Assistance Programmes

 
 
Now-a-days many large firms offer employee assistance programs in the form of counseling services that help employees overcome personal or organizational stressors and adopt more effective coping mechanisms. Personal problems and family problems are solved through these programs. Employee assistance programs can be one of the most effective stress management interventions where counseling helps employees understand the stressors, acquire management skills and practice those skills.
 

Receive Social Support

 
 
Receiving social support from co-workers, supervisors, family, friends, and others is one of the more effective stress management strategies. Social support refers to the person’s interpersonal transactions with others and involves providing either emotional or informational support to buffer the stress experience.
 
Social support reduces stress in at least three ways. First, employees improve their perception that they are valued and worthy. This, in turn, increases their self-esteem and perceived ability to cope with the stressor. Second, social support provides information to help employees interpret, comprehend, and possibly remove the stressor. Finally, emotional support from others can directly help buffer the stress experience. People seek out and benefit from the emotional support of others when they face threatening situations.

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