Job Performance Dimensions and Stress Influences

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Summary

Job performance is one of the most important aspects of a company’s operations. The quality of the job environment and the efficiency of organizational policies and regulations are highly dependent on the way in which job performance analysis is conducted. Assessing employee performance in an effective and timely manner is essential not only to ensure the successful accomplishment of organizational goals but also to be able to analyze the mistakes and obstacles to it (Nikpour, 2018). Therefore, companies are bound to adopt a structured and evidence-based approach to the development of their own models of job performance assessment. This essay will define and explain some of the fundamental concepts of job performance as well as discuss its relation to stress.

Job Performance

Defining job performance may present certain challenges, mainly due to the fact that the concept can be discussed in relation to two different aspects: the results of an employee’s work and the behaviors that contribute to those results. Although it may seem that measuring the outcomes of someone’s work activities is more efficient and should be considered as the main aspect of job performance, it can potentially cause problems (Colquitt et al., 2021). First, measuring the results only will not show the scope of all the contributions that the employees make to the company’s development. Second, there are risks that this exclusive focus on the results of the employees’ work will create a “bottom line mentality”, which will, in turn, cause sabotage in the workplace (Colquitt et al., 2021, p. 28). In addition, this result-oriented approach can be useless and insufficient in the analysis of unsatisfactory performance and its causes. Finally, it can be stated that there are numerous other factors that constitute job performance besides results. Therefore, it may be more rational and efficient to define job performance as a set of employee behaviors that contribute to organizational goal accomplishment.

Dimensions of Job Performance

Task Accomplishment

There are three dimensions that define the behaviors that fall under the concept of job performance and the relation of those behaviors to the company’s goal achievement practices. The first category is task performance, which can be defined as “employee behaviors that are directly involved in the transformation of organizational resources into the goods or services that the organization produces” (Colquitt et al., 2021, p. 30). In other words, task performance is a combination of all duties an employee has according to their specific position in the company. This dimension can also be categorized into routine, adaptive, and creative task performance. Routine task performance includes “well-known responses to demands that occur in a normal, routine, or otherwise predictable way” (Colquitt et al., 2021, p. 30). These are the activities that employees are accustomed to doing in the workplace on a regular basis.

On the contrary, adaptive task performance involves new and unfamiliar activities to the employees. Thus, their ability to adapt to unusual and unpredictable task demands is evaluated in this category of behaviors. Due to the rapid pace of globalization and the continuous development of technology, this task performance is becoming increasingly important and appreciated nowadays. This fact also applies to the third category, creative task performance, which refers to “the degree to which individuals develop ideas or physical outcomes that are both novel and useful” (Colquitt et al., 2021, p. 31). It is worth emphasizing that employees’ ideas must be novel and useful to be considered creative. If an idea is novel but useless, it will not be a valuable contribution to the organizational goal accomplishment.

Citizenship Behavior

The second dimension of job performance is citizenship behavior, which can be defined as a set of activities employees do in addition to their regular workplace obligations. This category includes a wide range of voluntary activities that can either contribute to or hinder the company’s goal accomplishment. Citizenship behavior, in turn, can be categorized into organizational and interpersonal activities. The latter includes behaviors aimed at supporting and assisting an employee’s coworkers in a way that exceeds their ordinary job expectations. Interpersonal citizenship behavior is particularly important in small work teams, as it allows to the establishment of closer connections and increases trust among the team members, which promotes a shared understanding of their goal and its efficient accomplishment. On the contrary, activities that fall under the category of organizational citizenship behaviors are aimed at promoting the company’s broader goals, with employees focused on developing and improving its operations.

Counterproductive Behavior

The third dimension of job performance, counterproductive behavior, refers to the employee activities that are the reason for deliberate intentions to cause harm to the company’s reputation, organizational mechanisms, etc. Thus, this dimension can be defined as “intentional employee behaviors that hinder organizational goal accomplishment” (Colquitt et al., 2021, p. 37). These activities are generally divided into four categories: production deviance (wasting resources, substance abuse), property deviance (sabotage, theft), political deviance (gossiping, incivility), and personal aggression (harassment, abuse) (Sypniewska, 2020). It should be stated that, like other dimensions of job performance, counterproductive behavior is integral to all workplaces. Moreover, if an employee has engaged in one counterproductive activity, they are likely to engage in other ones as well (Protsiuk, 2019). It has also been demonstrated that these behaviors can be contagious, and both poor and highly effective performers are at risk of engaging in them.

Job Performance and Organizational Commitment

Organizational commitment can be defined as employees’ attachment to the company they work for and the factors that contribute to this attachment. Job performance has been demonstrated to benefit from organizational commitment for several reasons. For example, studies have shown that affective, continuance and normative commitment are among the most significant factors that contribute to sustained organizational productivity (Nikpour, 2018). Committed employees have a stronger sense of belonging to their company, are more willing to discuss its accomplishments with individuals in and outside the organization, and are less likely to leave their current workplace.

Stress and its Symptoms

Stress can be defined as the body’s response to any kind of emotional or physical strain. Work-related stress, therefore, is generally caused by the challenges individuals face at the workplace. These can include a wide range of factors, such as “poor work organization, poor work design, poor management, unsatisfactory working conditions and lack of support from colleagues and supervisors” (World Health Organization, 2020, par. 3). Studies have also shown that stress levels are higher at workplaces where organizational demands and requirements do not match employees’ skills, knowledge, and abilities (World Health Organization, 2020). Although there has been more emphasis placed on the problem of work-related stress in recent years, it remains a recurrent problem in many organizations.

Stress can generally be categorized into short-term and long-term outcomes. Both of these forms are manifested in different psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms of stress are “irritability or outbursts of anger, low productivity and feelings of low achievement, recurrent absence and a higher sickness rate, cynical and defensive behaviors” (Havermans et al., 2018, par. 7). In addition, psychological symptoms may include nervousness, feeling on edge, and the lack of motivation. In turn, physical symptoms that are usually associated with work-related stress are headaches, backaches, indigestion, insomnia resulting in tiredness or exhaustion, high blood pressure, etc.

A pressing deadline can be analyzed as an example of a stressful situation at work. Although working under deadlines might seem harmless, it can cause chronic psychological distress. It should be stated that deadlines do provide workers with a certain direction and sense of urgency necessary for the team members to focus on the goal at hand. However, constantly having to work under extremely tight deadlines poses risks to the employees’ physical and mental health (Ajayi, 2018). Stress caused by an employee’s inability to meet the deadline can, therefore, negatively affect their job performance. For example, it may cause burnout, which will manifest in low productivity, irritability, aches, and other health problems (Ajayi, 2018). This will, in turn, reduce employees’ motivation and their ability to perform routine, adaptive, and creative tasks. Thus, it can be stated that task development and completion should be carefully planned by the managers in order to prevent employees from having to deal with pressing deadlines.

References

Ajayi, S. (2018). Effect of stress on employee performance and job satisfaction: A case study of the Nigerian banking industry. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.

Colquitt, J., LePine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2021). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace (7th ed.).

Havermans, B. M., Brouwers, E. P., Hoek, R. J., Anema, J. R., Van der Beek, A. J., & Boot, C. R. (2018). Work stress prevention needs of employees and supervisors. BMC Public Health, 18(1). Web.

Nikpour, A. (2018). Psychological empowerment and organizational innovation: Mediating role of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 7(2), 106-119. Web.

Protsiuk, O. (2019). The relationships between psychological contract expectations and counterproductive work behaviors: Employer perception. Central European Management Journal, 27(3), 85-106. Web.

Sypniewska, B. (2020). Counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 16(4), 321-328. Web.

World Health Organization. (2020). Occupational health: Stress at the workplace. Web.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Job Performance Dimensions and Stress Influences." December 19, 2022. https://business-essay.com/job-performance-dimensions-and-stress-influences/.

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BusinessEssay. "Job Performance Dimensions and Stress Influences." December 19, 2022. https://business-essay.com/job-performance-dimensions-and-stress-influences/.