Managing Stress Strategies Within an Organization

Introduction

The different strategies to manage stress within an organization can be classified into two categories: strategies to tackle the factors responsible for causing stress in employees, and creating programs to eradicate stress in employees and improve their health and well-being. The first category includes 10 strategies, and the second category includes 3 programs (Treven, 2006).

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Essence

Formation of favorable organizational environment is the first strategy. Many business organizations are plagued by rigid, unfavorable, cold and alienating environment. This is mainly due to the stringently maintained formal levels and relationships between employees. Such an environment causes stress in work levels and lowers the effective output generated by employees. This is more evident in large organizations as compared with smaller ones. The disadvantageous environment can be rectified by developing a more reorganized and employee-friendly system involving shifting of power from an upper location to another less central place, and involvement of all work levels in making business decisions (Treven, 2006).

Job improvement is the second strategy. Work tasks are frequently devised without taking into account the motivation and job gratification factors that can generate stress in employees. Consideration of these two factors is important when devising work tasks involving betterment of job content and job features. Job content consists of accountability, freedom from control, appreciation, potential of success, advancement in job position and growth. Job features comprise collection of skills, task recognition, task importance, independent existence and feedback (Treven, 2006).

Lessening conflict and accurate definition of roles is the third strategy. The personal functions of an employee and disagreement or clashes on roles spawn stress in the workplace. The amount of stress generated is mainly dependent on the managers and their natural ability to carry out accurate delimitation role of those working under them. Every task allocated should have a decision in advance as to what are the prospects when it is carried out, and what definite knowledge and other sources of help employees need to work in an effective manner (Treven, 2006).

Proper career charting and enhancement is the fourth strategy. Managers do not normally display much curiosity and concern in the careers of those serving under them, and tend to abandon the subordinates to determine about their careers by themselves. This state of affairs is similar to the situation of students in a big college who have access to just one computer if they wish to get unique advice about their programs of study or training, resulting in them feeling uncertain and stressed. Business managers should therefore develop curiosity and concern in the careers of their junior employees because every employee is of immense worth and importance to the organization (Treven, 2006).

Providing result-oriented leadership is the fifth strategy. The competence of an organization is largely contingent on the managers’ natural gift to bring subordinates together into a structured group and guide them properly. Employees are no longer content to be looked upon and handled as mechanical devices. Their overall education levels are now higher. Therefore, their feelings, desires, opinions and perceptiveness must be taken into account. This leads to changes within the workplace. The particular set of attitudes that characterizes an organization is becoming more compassionate with an emphasis on respect of other people’s views. Present day organizations need a modern, distinct form of leadership and management that is capable of encouraging human resources, giving them incentives, and using their maximum productivity (Treven, 2006).

Creating sound communication capabilities is the sixth strategy. Communication that is well developed enhances work output, raises the feeling of association, and causes employees to notice that their superiors value their views and opinions highly. Employees require exact and definite knowledge to carry out their tasks capably. The ability of employees to work together to achieve a common goal is greatly dependent on excellent and definite knowledge. Employees who are not educated about new developments in their area of activity will experience feelings of isolation, insecurity and inferiority. As a result, they are rendered incapable of examining or judging the work procedure or their own work in an appropriate way. Feedback on the work carried out may also turn out to be a powerful motivating agent (Treven, 2006).

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Providing incentives to employees comprise the seventh strategy. Work motivation is the power to sway the behavior patterns of employees within an organization. Moral-discerning work is the greatest incentive to motivate employees, so it is left to the organization to rouse favorable employee involvement in their job. Managers must indicate to their subordinates that they are admired, their work is valued highly, and they are valuable assets to the organization. They must also point out that it is to their (employees’) own advantage to understand and enhance their natural tendencies (Treven, 2006).

Creating job contentment is the eighth strategy. While job contentment is usually associated with above average salaries and good chances of advancement in position, it can also be affected by other internal and external influences. Internal influences include work success, favorable opinion of completed work, accountability and good working conditions. External influences include suitable program of actions and management, proper leadership and sharing pleasant relations with each other. Factors capable of enhancing employee job contentment and lowering stress comprise intellectual stimulation, achievement, positive opinion, benefits received, suitable level of accountability, exercising power over one’s work, working with good natured and enjoyable people, feelings of devotion and attachment to the organization, and the presence of distinctly drawn up roles and targets (Treven, 2006).

Promoting cordial relationships between employees is the ninth strategy. Interpersonal association between co-employees and work units are measurements of employees’ personal involvement in the organization. Cordial and commendable work relations lower the effect of stress and reduce feelings of anxiety or emotional strain. The sustenance employees experience from co-employees, trusted counselors, customers and junior employees also contribute towards protecting against the impact of stress (Treven, 2006).

Maintaining physical standards is the last strategy. There are many ways of successfully overcoming the physical environment stressors in the workplace. Strategies include making use of shaded glass or soft plugs inserted into the ear, altering methods of operation (such as briefer or more regular breaks), changing the environment so as to come to grips with the stressor, such as reduction in amount of noise (Treven, 2006).

Stress management programs comprise the first program of the second category. These programs are created to educate employees in different techniques like meditation, yoga system of exercises, relaxation exercises and efficiently coping with lifestyle with the overall aim of significantly decreasing stress in their lives. Stress management programs are composed of many workshops that provide general education related to the reasons of stress, results of stress and stress management techniques, or they can be oriented to teach an employee a certain method. Those who participate in stress management workshops enjoy 3 distinct advantages. Firstly, they are educated in the features of stress, and learn how humans react physically and psychologically to a particular set of situations involving stress. Secondly, they gain knowledge about precise stressors and telltale signs that create the most problems in their lives and work places. Lastly, they are informed about the likely results of stress. Such programs have been successfully implemented in the U.S in recent years, where it was also discovered that these programs are beneficial from the costs point of view. While large organizations are financially capable of developing their own programs, smaller organizations find it too expensive and prefer to take the help of exterior consultants who provide such programs wherein they can enroll their employees; alternatively, they could opt for buying audiovisual programs and/or videotapes (Treven, 2006).

Wellness programs comprise the second program in the second category. They are created to assist employees maintain health of the body and mind. A person enjoying good health is better equipped to cope with stress as compared to a person enduring heart ailment, irrationally powerful fears, bad dreams, traumatic experiences, dearth of appetite and other health disorders. A standard wellness program is composed of workshops that teach employees ways to accomplish stress lowering personal behaviors like reducing weight, exercising, abstaining from smoking and so on. Although the programs supply the connected know-how, it is the persons concerned who are the ones in charge of establishing control over their lives. The organizations that supply wellness programs for their staff look upon the programs as practically sound investments with beneficial financial results. Employees who are capable of handling stress efficiently benefit in the form of better health, which translates into lesser abstaining from work and enhancement in their productive output. While large organizations are financially capable of providing wellness programs, smaller organizations can do the same by formally agreeing with local community organizations to supply services that improve health, such as hospitals, gymnasiums and so on (Treven, 2006).

Cocnlusion

Employee assistance programs (EAP) constitute the last program in the second category. They help employees to successfully tackle various problems typically encountered by them like career charting, coping with the responsibilities and forceful needs of family and work, financial advice, legal advice and so on. The main aim of EAP is to dilute the effect that individual problems of employees may have on their productivity. At first, EAP concentrated on alcohol and drug abuse problems particularly among office employees, but lately the programs have begun to be included in the concentration of issues and in the employee groups who are served. Organizations in the U.S and Western Europe have been widely using such programs for many years (Treven, 2006).

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Managing Stress Strategies Within an Organization
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Reference

Treven, S. (2006). Strategies for Stress Management in Small Business Companies. 2007. Web.

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