18.1 Problems of Work Adjustment
- How do you recognize the symptoms of stress in yourself and in others?
Stress is a physical and emotional reaction to potentially threatening aspects of the environment. The damage resulting from stress is called strain. The general adaptation syndrome is the common pattern of events that characterizes someone who experiences stress. The three stages of the syndrome are alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Two primary types of stress can be identified: frustration and anxiety.
18.2 Organizational Influences on Stress
- What are the underlying causes of stress in a particular situation?
Four organization influences on stress can be identified: (1) occupational differences, (2) role ambiguity, (3) role conflict, and (4) role overload or underutilization. Three personal influences on stress are (1) personal control, or the desire to have some degree of control over one’s environment; (2) rate of life change; and (3) Type A personality. Type A personality refers to individuals characterized by impatience, restlessness, aggressiveness, competitiveness, and polyphasic activities (that is, attempting to do several activities at the same time).
18.3 Buffering Effects of Work related Stress
- How do managers and organizations minimize the dysfunctional consequences of stressful behavior?
The effects of potential stress can be buffered by two factors: (1) social support from one’s coworkers or friends and (2) hardiness, or the ability to perceptually and behaviorally transform negative stressors into positive challenges. Sustained stress can lead to (1) health problems; (2) counterproductive behavior, such as turnover, absenteeism, drug abuse, and sabotage; (3) poor job performance; and (4) burnout.
18.4 Coping with Work related Stress
- What are the remedies for job-related stress, and how can managers motivate employees to participate actively in health promotion efforts for the benefit of all concerned?
Burnout is defined as a general feeling of exhaustion that can develop when a person simultaneously experiences too much pressure to perform and too few sources of satisfaction. Individual strategies to reduce stress include (1) developing one’s self-awareness about how to behave on the job, (2) developing outside interests, (3) leaving the organization, and (4) finding a unique solution. Organizational strategies to reduce stress include (1) improved personnel selection and job placement, (2) skills training, (3) job redesign, (4) company-sponsored counseling programs, (5) increased employee participation and personal control, (6) enhanced work group cohesiveness, (7) improved communication, and (8) health promotion programs.