Statement of the Problem
The psychological well-being of employees in the workplace is critical to avoid stress and improve employees’ performance (Vainio, 2015). According to Hiriyappa (2013), stress is inevitable in the workplace, and the effects of stress are mostly negative. Even though stress can enhance employee’s performance at the workplace (Britt & Jex, 2015), 75% of American workers report experiencing significant stress every month resulting in health damages (American Psychological Association, 2015), leading to reduced performance, increased turnover and absenteeism. Thus, according to the statistical data, approximately 20 % of employees reveal that their performance suffers as a follow-up of stress.
Increased turnover refers to 65 % of workers, who demonstrate dissatisfaction with their stress-related work. Finally, absenteeism at work is caused by tension at work in 9 % of cases (O’Keefe, Brown, & Beck, 2014). Work-related stress causes 5-8% of the entire US healthcare costs each year with companies spending more than 150 billion dollars in healthcare expenses (White, 2015). In addition to companies spending more on healthcare costs, work-related stress also causes higher turnover adding greater losses on recruiting and preparation of new workers (O’Keefe et al., 2014). The cost of hiring a new employee in place of one who left and made less than $50,000 a year may cost 20% of his or her salary while the replacement of an executive worker may require up to 200% of his or her annual salary (Patel, 2013).
Occupational stress leads to the development of cardiovascular diseases, disturbances of mood, psychological and emotional disorders, musculoskeletal problems, and injuries at the workplace (O’Keefe et al., 2014). Such problems are directly connected to the worsening of employees’ working performance (Leon & Halbesleben, 2013). Preventing work-related stress is essential to successful performance outcomes, and preventive measures should incorporate consistent interventions (Sherridan& Ashcroft, 2015).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to understand particular ways, in which work-related stress can be identified early with a strategy aimed at reducing the stress of the workers. Focus groups and interviews with employees constitute the procedure of data gathering. The data, which is relevant for the investigation of the purpose of the study, includes reports of the workers and employers about the stressful environment at work. The investigators apply an inductive approach and phenomenological analysis in the study, which utilizes the information on a complex evaluation of the work-related stress in employees of five companies. Furthermore, the assessment concerns the notions of turnover, absenteeism, and reduced performance at work, which are inflicted by stressful conditions. In the frames of the investigation, the research group assesses the experiences of 20 employees from 5 different companies.
The method of data collection is an interview, which assists in identifying the real-life sources of the experiences of the members of working interrelations. The research study focuses on employing open-ended questions since this type of interviewing relates to the collection of comprehensive qualitative data on the matter. The research investigators target employees’ attitudes towards strategies, which aim at diminishing stress at the workplace.
The study allocates particular attention to such factors as job strain, burnout, bullying, harassment, and diversity-related issues. The investigators put a strong emphasis on the notions of absenteeism, exceeded turnover, and low performance since these effects evolve as the follow-ups of stresses since it is critical to utilize the constructive methods of distress elimination among employees and employers.
The following section contains the necessary information, which aligns with the purpose of the problem and the research questions. The questions of investigation focus on the factors, which predetermine a creation of a stress-free environment at work as well as enhancing general job-related performance. The following research questions elaborate on the methods, through which the fundamental research purpose gets realization. In other words, the items, which the investigators list at the end of the section, assist in matching the strategies for stress elimination at work to the central purpose statement. The listed questions identify that the concept of distress, which evolves in the process of work tasks’ accomplishment, is controversial and multisided.
Consequently, the investigators view the notion from different perspectives. The research issues target such notions as the target cohorts, which are susceptible to stressful conditions. Moreover, the research groups reveal that there is some discrepancy between social, as well as cultural, backgrounds of the participants of work interrelation and stress vulnerability.
- Q1. Which advanced occupation circumstances intensify or diminish preexisting distress?
- Q2. Which target groups belong to the sample cohorts (new or experienced employees) and why?
- Q3. What are the primary internal and external preconditions that may lead to occupational stress?
- Q4. What are the social and economic consequences of occupational stress?
- Q5. How does the cultural diversity of the employees affect the results of a strategy aimed at reducing occupational stress?
- Q6: What is the methodology of the utilization of the optimal strategies for stress elimination?
- Q7: How can employers create a consistent approach to a stress-free environment at work?
American Psychological Association. (2015). Stress in America. Web.
Britt, T., &Jex, S. (2015). Thriving under stress. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Hiriyappa, B. (2013). Stress management. Bloomington, IN: Booktango.
Leon, M., & Halbesleben, J. (2013). Building resilience to improve employee well-being. In A. Rossi, J. Meurs& P. Perrewe (Eds.), Improving employee health and well-being (pp. 65-79). Charlotte, NC: IAP.
O’Keefe, L., Brown, K., Becky, C. (2014). Policy perspectives on occupational stress. Workplace Health & Safety, 62(10), 432-438.
Patel, C. (2013). The complete guide to stress management. New York, NY: Springer.
Return on Employee Investment. (2013). Web.
Sherridan, C., & Ashcroft, K. (2015). Work-related stress – what is it, and what do employers need to do to address it. NZ Business, 29(4), 4-5.
Vainio, H. (2015). Occupational safety and health in the service of people. Industrial Health, 53(1), 387-389.