“Stress has many interpretations and is one of the most ambiguous words in the English language.”
Stress is an important parameter in organizational behaviour, in part due to the increase in competitive pressures that impact workers and managers alike. Stress carries a negative connotation for some people, as though it were to be avoided. This is unfortunate, because stress is a great asset in managing legitimate emergencies and achieving peak performance. Stress, or the stress response is the unconscious preparation to fight or flee that a person experiences when faced with any demands.
It may not kill you… But the wear and tear?
Consequences of Stress
Positive stress can bring performance and health benefits. The Yerkes-Dodson law shown alongside indicates that stress leads to increased performance upto a certain optimal point. Beyond that, further stress and arousal can have a detrimental effect on performance. Healthy amounts of stress are desirable to improve performance by arousing a person to action. It is in the mid range of the curve that the greatest performance benefits from the curve can be achieved. Performance declines beyond the mid point in the curve because of increasing difficulty of the task to be performed.
“Work-related psychological disorders are among the ten leading health disorders and diseases in the United states.”
An extreme preoccupation with work may result in acute individual distress, such as the unique Japanese phenomenon of karoshi, or death by overwork. The most common types of psychological distresses are depression, burnout and psychometric disorders, which may lead to emotional exhaustion.
- work stoppage
- poor quality of production
- low quantity of production
- unscheduled machine downtime and repair
Compensation Awards: court awards for job distress
Organizational Stress Prevention
- JOB REDESIGN: Enhanced worker control reduces stress and strain without necessarily reducing productivity.
- SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM: Team building and interpersonal communication provide emotional caring, information, evaluative feedback, modeling and instrumental support.
- GOAL SETTING: Activities should be designed to increase task motivation while reducing the degree of role conflict and ambiguity.
- ROLE NEGOTIATION : Focal roles and responsibilities are negotiated with insights from key members so as to avoid conflict and confusuion.
Individual Stress Prevention
- INDIVIDUAL STRESS PREVENTION
- Positive Thinking
- Time Management
- Leisure Time Activities
- Physical Exercise
- Relaxation Training
- Opening up
- Professional Help
Preventive Stress Management