Executive Summary (on Stress Relief in the Workplace)
Every aspect of the business world, today features relatively significant changes. The above dynamic changes cut across every aspect of various companies. With the improvement in business operations, business performance and profitability of companies across different industries improve tremendously. However, the quantity of output expected from the employees in the above companies tends to be overwhelming. As a result, the issue of stress develops. Stress refers to the extreme and condition adverse reaction condition that present to individuals who are experiencing relatively excessive work demand or pressures. Apparently, pressures and demand may cause positive results when managed in the right manner. However, most of the times, the pressures and requirements lead to the negative reception of conditions, leading in stress.
In the current world, the price of stress in businesses is a primary concern for business performance. The more stress features in employees, the more the workers are fatigued, the more they make mistakes, the more they get injured, and the more their chances of absenteeism. Ideally, a stressed workforce does not have the capacity to work at their best. The content in this document analyzes stresses management in the financial trade sector, giving recommendations for establishing the best stress relief program.
Every business organization operating in any industry strives to maximize profits. There are many ways of achieving the above objective. One of the most important factors is ensuring a motivated human resource. In light of the above, the firms in various industries commit themselves to protecting and enhancing the motivation of their workers at all times. Workplace stress is a major issue that determines the motivation of the workforce in a firm. As a result it is important for every firm to have a management policy or program applied for the purpose of ensuring that the employees are not stressed, and if they are, how best to recover from the stressful situations. The financial trade industrial sector features most firms affected by workplace stress. In light of the above, every firm in the above industry needs a strong stress relief program to help its workforce successfully deal with its stress related issues.
There are many possible causes of stress for the workforce of a financial trade firm. In such firms, stress results from various situations. To start with, stress may originate to factors unique to the job. For instance, firms in the financial trade sector feature work overload (Michie, 2002). There is a lot that happens in the course of dealing with money. More so, the financial trade sector requires workers to work at faster paces and produce meaningful performances in a short time. The workers in a trade firm need to be highly autonomous. The process of making strategic decisions for the well-being of the entire company is at times very stressful.
Besides to the above job-specific factors bringing about stress in the financial trade sector, the role in the firm may also lead to a stressful workforce. The above features aspects such as role conflict. Role conflict in the financial trade firm refers to issues such as conflicting demands, as well as the presence of multiple managers calling shots. There is also the aspect of the ambiguity of and lack of clarity with respect to expectations and responsibilities.
The other cause of workplace stress in the financial trade sector finds its basis on relationship issues at the workplace. Although the primary objective of many firms in various industrial sectors is making profits, the pressure increases when it comes to financial trade firms – the major business of such firms is money. As a result, the supervisors subject a lot of pressure to the workers. They do so as a way of transferring the pressure subjected to them by the top management. In light of the above, a lot of conflicts come along, all in the pursuit of meeting the objectives of the firm. The results may be positive, but the actions are in most cases detrimental causing stress issues to the workforce.
There are various specifics that a stress management program ought to feature. In light of the above, a firm in the financial trade sector must start by focusing on the essential components of such a policy. The firm’s management should identify all the workplace factors causing stress and conduct a thorough risk assessment in the pursuit of eliminating the stress of limiting the risks associated with stress. The assessed risks must be reviewed on a regular basis. Additionally, the firm should make consultations with various authorities with respect to matters relating to prevention of stress in the workplace. Most importantly, the stress management policy helps in ensuring that there are adequate resources put in place for enabling the managers to implement the firm’s strategies in stress management.
Another important aspect of the stress management program is that it stipulates the responsibilities of each party featured in the workforce of a financial trade firm. As mentioned above, there are many relationship issues in a firm’s workforce that result to the issues of stress. Ideally, various parties in the workforce have different responsibilities, and it is upon the manner by which they carry out various responsibilities that stress issues are reduced or eliminated. In light of the above, the stress management of a firm in the financial trade sectors should feature the responsibilities by the senior management, the human resource department, the individual operation committees, as well as the employees themselves. Successful implementation of a stress management program for a firm depends on how well every member of the workforce knows their responsibilities. Ideally, the best way to ensure that every key party knows and remembers their responsibilities is by clearly stipulating them in the stress management program.
The workplace environment for many business firms in the financial trade sector, such as banking, insurance, and stock brokerage agencies, have experienced enormous evolution. Commensurately, the employees in firms in the above sector encounter immensely high degrees of stress issues relating to their work. A high level of work-related stress affects the motivation of the workers, thus resulting in a poor general performance by a firm. Ideally, work-related stress in a small firm practicing in the financial trade industry would probably lead to increased absenteeism as well as high labor turnovers thus interrupting with the output of the firm. As a result, establishing and implementing a stress relief program is highly recommended for such a firm.
Instances of stress related to work are ideally distinct from the general nature of stress. The reason for the above finds its basis in the fact that it stands out as stress related to the organization. Stress related to work surfaces due to two major reasons (Irfann, 2011). The first is as a result of technical abilities, that is, the presence of a misfit between the various employees’ abilities. The second one surfaces as a result of the differences between the interpersonal skills and the technical abilities of individual employees. The lack of adequate resources and training to perform tasks efficiently is the often cause of the above misfits. Additionally, stress in the workplace may occur as a result of the presence of conflicting demands and job requirements. In light of the above, such stress may surface when various employees face too many responsibilities in their line of work. In the simplest terms, stress related to work produces a feeling of dissatisfaction to the employees. In most cases, the leading reason behind the development of stress in the workplace is the presence of differences between the expectations and the actual happenings in the workplace. Most of the times, work related stress comes up when the employees feel that the workplace conditions are undesirable and uncomfortable.
Notably, not all work-related stress issues have a negative influence on the employees. Some of the stress issues motivate individuals towards achieving higher goals and objectives such as promotion in the workforce (Ellyatt, 2013). However, the fact that there are higher instances of negative results from stress related to work compared to the positive results, it becomes vital to establish as well as implement stress relief programs for the purpose of reducing or eliminating stress work-related stress issues. The rationale behind the importance of such a program finds its basis in the fact that mismanaged stress issues are not only harmful to the individual employees, but also to the firms. Stress relating from work adds up as far as the stress promoting factors continue to exist in the firm. Consequently, failure to incorporate measures to manage work related stress promotes psychological, physical and behavioral problems among the employees (Larson 2004). Work related stress can as well be categorized into two: work environment related or task related. Upon understanding the above nature of stress related to work, the management of every firm stands a position to establish and implement the most suitable stress relief programs for their firms. In light of the above, the section below incorporates a program for a small firm operating in the financial trade industrial sector.
The structure of the most optimal stress management program for a small firm in the financial trade industrial sector should be pretty clear and straightforward. Ideally, it should feature the following key aspects (Healthadvocate.com, 2015).
The above involves evaluating looking at the figures that depict stress in the firm. The above calls for the evaluation of such factors such as absenteeism, personal performance, as well as employee turnover rates. The initial assessment also features the formation of a stress management team with representatives at all levels of the organization structure. Undertaking a health risk assessment to the employees also helps the management a firm to understand the most effective steps necessary in managing employees stress.
Application of Organization Strategies:
The essence of the above objective finds its basis in the fact that some organizational changes help in striking a balance between demand and control in the workplace to actually reduce the level of work related stress on the employees. In light of the above, the management of the firm should provide the opportunity for growth as they structure various jobs. More so, the work environment should feature an aspect of collaborative work to a certain degree. Involving the employees in decision making is one important method of understanding and managing employee stress. Moreover, the provision for social interaction in the workplace helps in creating opportunities for stressed employees to reduce the intensity of their work related stress. Changing the workplace environment designs as well as offering employee assistance programs is also a vital feature in the above step.
Offering Multiple Approaches:
The above aspect of the stress management program features measures, such as enlisting the firm in relevant community organizations that provide stress management training. YMCA and yoga communities are the best examples in this case. Moreover, research indicates that exercising is a vital strategy useful in reducing stress. Thus, the firm should encourage both off-the-job and on-site exercises. The firm should think widely and incorporate strategies such as setting up support groups for the employees.
Establishing Work/Life Balance Strategies:
To start with, such strategies present the employees with enough flex times. The ability to strike a balance between work and life is of immense importance especially to employees who feature travel for long distances or those that are parents. Part-time job schedules and job-sharing programs are also key strategies useful in reducing work related stress. To some extent, allowing employees to work at home where possible is also a good strategy just as extended lunch hours are. If the case that the budget of the firm allows, installing child care programs could also feature as s suitable strategy to incorporate in the stress management program of the firm.
Promoting Individual Stress Management:
Efforts resulting from the employees are quite useful regarding attaining stress reduction and elimination success. In light of the above, the firm should provide self-explanatory material addressing stress management to individual employees for them to enlighten themselves in their free time. Additionally, the firm should consider hiring stress management professionals if its budget allows.
Evaluating the Success of the Program:
Just like the assessment, evaluation features the observation of figures relating to absenteeism, productivity, and employee turnover. The program evaluation procedure should incorporate periodic analysis of the progress – such as after two months, half a year, or after one year. In this step, the firm should compare the results during the initial assessment of the current results after the given time frame. Comparing the results the above program after such periods helps in gauging the effectiveness of the established stress management program.
With respect to every aspect highlighted and discussed above, managing stress in a business organization is vital for the purpose of attaining the desired business performance. As highlighted throughout the discussion, establishing and implementing a management program stands out as a critical consideration for the successful elimination or reduction of workplace stress. Importantly, the top management of every must ensure that the employees are aware of their respective job descriptions. They must as well promote open and honest communication in all directions between the top executives, the supervisors, and the employees. More so, the provision of adequate independence and freedom should be an important factor for the management to consider. Finally, the management should necessitate the implementation of proper time management techniques which is very helpful in helping the employees undertake their responsibilities effectively.
Ellyatt, H. (2013). Financial workers fall sick due to stress. CNBC. Retrieved 8 June 2015, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/101116429
Healthadvocate.com. (2015). Setting up a Stress Management Program. Retrieved 8 June 2015, from http://www.healthadvocate.com/downloads/webinars/stress-checklist.pdf
Irfann, M. (2011). Identifying Work-Related Stress among Employees in the Malaysian Financial Sector. World Journal of Management, 3(2), 229-243.
Larson, L. (2004). Internal Auditors and Job Stress. Managerial Auditing Journal, 19, 1119 – 1130.
Michie, S. (2002). Causes and Management of Stress at Work. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59(1), 67-72. doi:10.1136/oem.59.1.67