Any company, organisation or facility constantly works on enhancing employees’ efficiency, which, in turn, leads to improved overall productivity. Understanding what issues may cause employee effectiveness problems to develop employee performance is essential. Several factors deteriorate magazine journalists’ productiveness, such as inappropriate leadership style and issues interfering with employee well-being. The journalist role implies the necessity of clearly defined goal-setting, inspiration, motivation, adequate feedback and an example to follow. Creating a workplace that meets these requirements is the obligation of a leader.
Furthermore, magazine journalists are inclined to suffer stress, especially nowadays when journalism endures many changes and innovations due to technological progress and digitalisation. This paper aims to investigate how leadership models and well-being-related experiences affect journalists’ productiveness and find suggestions to improve employees’ performance and reduce effectiveness problems.
Analysis of Problems and Suggestions
The complexity of magazine journalist labour implies a number of features potentially resulting in reduced employees’ efficiency. There are several specific job characteristics in this occupational role that may affect workers well-being. Therefore it is crucial to apply appropriate leadership style to help employees cope with stress. A leader should choose the best strategies to build workers resilience and mindfulness considering the features of this position.
Digitalisation has given rise to high competition, time pressure and job insecurity. Due to increased access to information, many magazine journalists have lost their jobs, while others have been forced to deal with strict deadlines (Harro-Loit and Josephi, 2020). Every journalist’s duty is to find an appropriate piece of news, conduct research and collect information. Before publishing, any professional must process the information, ensure its accuracy and edit it (Harro-Loit and Josephi, 2020). All these actions should be carried out within the established time limit because magazine journalists need to illuminate the news as soon as possible. Being late could result in the news being published faster by a rival magazine, causing a drop in popularity.
Time pressure and extremely high competition lead to increased stress levels. Hate speech, emotion and moral injury are other features that interfere with journalists’ well-being (Obermaier, Hofbauer and Reinemann, 2018; Pearson et al., 2021). Work overload, stress and emotional hardships result in health issues: insomnia, appetite problems, headaches, risk of hypertension and coronary heart disease. Moreover, journalists’ stress causes such mental issues as anxiety, depression and poor health behaviours. Lack of well-being and abundance of stressors cause employees’ effectiveness problems, poor performance, burnout and dissatisfaction with current occupation.
There is no solution to prevent the increase in the amount of information or its rapid spread, and the multidimensional approach to promote journalists’ well-being is a suggestion. Magazine journalists should be assured with primary interventions including time-managing training, providing support and feedback, and secondary interventions targeted at enhancing job-related skills and relaxation training. Nonetheless, initially, journalists should be provided with tertiary interventions directed at reducing existent stress levels. A study by Pearson et al. (2021) discusses mindfulness-based meditation as a means of building journalists’ resilience. Authors claim that meditation can “help minimise stress and burnout and shore up well-being, vital when journalists are undergoing unprecedented career disruptions” (Pearson et al., 2021, p. 1658).
Obermaier, Hofbauer and Reinemann (2018) offer emotion-focused strategies and social support to cope with traumatic experiences. Employees should be involved in designing such interventions and provided with the necessary information and skills to maximise benefit. However, a leader’s engagement in establishing workers’ well-being is equally essential. A leader should care about followers’ health and thrift, provide sufficient support and feedback, organise proper training, and implement appropriate goal-setting.
The most suitable style is transformational leadership, implying idealised influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration. Whereas nowadays journalist role includes need in creative inclinations, multitasking and a number of stressors, it is crucial to have a leader who guides and helps. A leader should pay special attention to employees’ individual needs for achievement and development, act as a mentor, inspire them to cope with hardships. It is crucial for journalism that a leader motivates, stimulates and performs as an example. Transformational leadership reveals efficient at promoting employees’ effectiveness and reducing poor performance and work-related stress.
Robbins and Judge (2021) state that “Transformational leaders helped reduce emotional exhaustion… when the time pressures were high” and were highly efficient at enhancing employees’ engagement “when they had a high workload” (p. 479). Authors claim that such leaders “generate excitement in several ways”, “arouse in their followers an awareness of problems and potential solutions”, and “articulate the organization’s opportunities, threats, strengths, and weaknesses” (Bateman, Snell and Konopaske, 2019, p. 359). The wrong choice of leadership style may result in additional stressors for employees and deterioration in the company’s overall productivity.
There are several limitations of this approach related to both leadership and well-being. First, this paper is purely superficial, and its suggestions cannot be applied to every magazine journalist. Second, journalists do not inform about time pressure or other mentioned challenges in many countries worldwide (Harro-Loit and Josephi, 2020). Third, there are other than journalists sources providing the population with information in some countries, such as the government (Harro-Loit and Josephi, 2020).
Fourth, leadership tendencies also vary in different countries and cultures: what appears the most appropriate in developed countries may be non-common or restricted in others (Bateman, Snell and Konopaske, 2019; Robbins and Judge, 2021). This fact prohibits stating that transformational leaders and their strategies are the most productive. Finally, there are much more approaches and strategies of prevention and reducing employee effectiveness problems in the context of journalism than this paper can cover. Further in-depth research is recommended to explore magazine journalists’ efficiency from the leadership and well-being perspective.
Current information progress and digitalisation contribute to grave magazine journalists workplace challenges. A sufficient number of journalists reported time pressure due to high workload, competition and a large amount of information. Collecting, writing, processing and editing information in a strictly limited time lead to stress development. Hate speech, emotion and moral injury are other features that interfere with journalists’ well-being. Increased stress levels result in loss of motivation, inspiration, errors, and near-misses. Failure to attain well-being among magazine journalists may cause minor or severe harm to physical and mental health: insomnia, appetite problem, headache, risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, anxiety, depression and poor health behaviours. Such stress consequences, directly and indirectly, affect employees’ performance and life’s quality.
Suggestions for enhancing magazine journalists’ health and well-being include complex approach interventions and applying suitable leadership style directed at reducing workplace challenges. Though it is not an employee-oriented leadership model, transformational leadership fits best since it implies motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualised consideration and inspiration. Transformational leaders aim to support and guide followers and provide them with necessary feedback, training, and workplace enhancement.
Bateman, T. S., Snell, S. and Konopaske, R. (2019) Management: leading & collaborating in a competitive world.13th edn. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Harro-Loit, H. and Josephi, B. (2020) ‘Journalists’ perception of time pressure: a global perspective’, Journalism Practice, 14(4), pp. 395–411. Web.
Obermaier, M., Hofbauer, M. and Reinemann, C. (2018) ‘Journalists as targets of hate speech’, Studies in Communication and Media, 7(4), pp. 499–524. Web.
Pearson, M. et al. (2021) ‘Building journalists’ resilience through mindfulness strategies’, Journalism, 22(7), pp. 1647–1664. Web.
Robbins, S. P. and Judge T. A. (2021) Organizational behavior. 18th edn. Harlow: Pearson.