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WORK-RELATED STRESS AND

STRESS MANAGEMENT
Stress
An individual’s response to a situation that is
perceived as challenging or threatening to the
person’s well-being.

We experience stress when something


interferes with our well-being.
Distress

The degree of physiological, psychological


and behavioral deviation from healthy functioning.

Eustress

The healthy, positive, constructive outcome of


stressful events and the stress response.
General Adaptation Syndrome

It is determined by Dr. Hans Selye that people


have a fairly consistent physiological response
to stressful situations.
It consist of three stages:
1. Alarm Reaction
2. Resistance
3. Exhaustion
Alarm Reaction

In this stage, the perception of a threatening or


challenging situation causes the brain to send a
biochemical message to various parts of the body,
resulting in increased respiration rate, blood pressure,
heartbeat, muscle tension, and other physiological
response.
Resistance

The person’s ability to cope with the


environmental demand rises above the
normal state during the resistance stage
because the body has activated various
biochemical, psychological, and behavioral
mechanisms.
Exhaustion

People have a limited resistance


capacity and, if the source of stress
persist, they will eventually move into
the exhaustion stage as this capacity
diminishes.
Stressor: The Causes of Stress
Stressor
The causes of stress, including any
environmental conditions that place a
physical or emotional demand on the
person.
Work-related Stressors

1. Interpersonal Stressors
 Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that
detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to
adverse job-related consequences for its victims.
 Workplace Violence
Employees who experience violence usually have
symptoms of severe distress after the traumatic event. It
is also a stressor to those who observe the violence.
 Workplace Bullying
Offensive, intimidating, or humiliation behavior that
degrades, ridicules, or insults another person at work.
2. Role-Related Stressors
Role conflict
Incongruity or incompatibility expectations
associated with the person’s role.
Role ambiguity
A lack of clarity and predictability of the
outcomes of one’s behavior.
Work overload
Working more hours and more intensely
during those hours.
3. Task-Control Stressors
The extent to which low task control is a
stressor increases with the person’s level of
responsibility.

4. Organizational and Physical


Environment Stressors
Organizational and physical environment
stressors comes in many form such as downsizing,
excessive noise, poor lighting and safety hazards.
Work-Nonwork Stressors
 Time-Based Conflict
The challenge of balancing the time demanded by
work with family and other non-work activities.
 Strain-Based Conflict
Occurs when stress from one domain spills over to the
other.
 Role Behavior Conflict
Occurs when people are expected to enact different
work and non-work roles.
Stress and Occupations
Hospital
Accountant
manager U.S. President
Artist
Physician Prison Officer
Auto
Psychologist Teacher
mechanic
School Nurse
Forester
Principal

Low-stress Medium-stress High-stress


Occupation Occupation Occupation
Individual Differences in Stress
People exposed to the same stressors might
have different stress symptoms for three reasons:

First, each of us perceives the same situation


differently. Second, people who have more stress
symptoms than others in the same situation is that
they have different threshold levels of resistance
to a stressor. And third, people who may
experience the same level of stress and yet exhibit
different stress outcomes is that they use different
coping strategies.
Work Stress and Type A/ Type B Behavior Pattern

Type A Behavior Pattern


It is associated people having premature coronary
heart disease; type As tend to be impatient, lose their
temper, talk rapidly and interrupt others.

Type B Behavior Pattern


It is associated with people having a low risk of coronary
heart disease; type Bs tend to work steadily, take a
relaxed approach to life, and be even-tempered.
Work Stress and Workaholism

Workaholic
A person who is highly involved in work,
feels compelled to work, and has a low
enjoyment of work.
Stereotypic workaholics
Exhibit compulsive behavior and are pre-
occupied with work, often to the exclusion and
detriment of the workaholic’s health, intimate
relationships, and participation in child rearing.
 Enthusiastic workaholics
Have high levels of all three components-high
work involvement, drive to succeed, and work
enjoyment.
 Work enthusiast
Have high work involvement and work enjoyment,
but low drive to succeed.
Consequences of Distress

1. Physiological Consequences
Stress take its toll on the human body.
Physiological ailments such as colds,
headaches, muscle pain, back problems and
etc., are attributed to muscle contractions that
occur when people are exposed to stressors.
2. Psychological Consequence
Stress produces various psychological consequences,
including job dissatisfaction, moodiness, and depression.

Emotional Fatigue
- another psychological consequence of stress and is related to job
burnout.
Job Burnout
- the process of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and
reduced efficacy resulting from prolonged exposure to
stress.

Three Components of Job Burnout


 Emotional exhaustion
- the first stage.
- plays a central role in the burnout process.
- characterized by a lack of energy, tiredness, and a feeling
that one’s emotional resources are depleted.
- sometimes called compassion fatigue because the employee
no longer feels able to give as much support and care to clients.
Cynicism (depersonalization)
- follows emotional exhaustion and is identified by an
indifferent attitude toward work and the treatment of others
as object rather than people.
- also apparent when employees strictly follow rules and
regulations rather than trying to understand the client’s
needs and search for a mutually acceptable solution.

Reduced professional efficacy (reduced personal


accomplishment)
- refers to feelings of diminished confidence in the ability
to perform the job well.
Behavioral Consequences
When stress becomes distress, job performance falls and
workplace accidents are more frequent. High stress levels impair
our ability to remember information, make effective decisions, and
take appropriate action.
Overstressed employees also tend to have higher levels of
absenteeism.
Workplace Aggression
- an increasingly worrisome consequence of stress
Co-worker Aggression
- represents a relatively small proportion of workplace violence,
but these behaviors are neither random nor inconsequential.
Managing Work Related Performance
Remove
the stressor

Receive social Withdraw from


support the stressor

Control stress Change stress


consequences perceptions
Remove the Stressor

Family-Friendly and Work-Life Initiatives


5 Common Work-Life Balance Initiatives
Flexible Work Time
- some firms are flexible on the hours, days, and
amount of time employees work.
Job Sharing
- splits a career position between two people so they
experience less time-based stress between works and
family.
 Telecommuting
- reduces the time and stress of commuting to work and make
it easier to fulfill family obligations.
 Personal Leave Programs
- employers with strong work-life values offer extended
maternity, paternity and personal leaves to care for a new family or
take advantage of a personal experience.
 Child Care Support
- employees are less rushed to drop off children and less
worried during the day about how well they are doing.
Withdraw from the Stressor
Removing the stressor may be the ideal
solution, but it is not feasible. An alternative
strategy is to permanently or temporarily remove
employees from the stressor. Permanent
withdrawal occurs when employees are
transferred to jobs that better fit their
competencies and values.
Change Stress Perceptions
Stress can be minimized by changing perceptions
of the situation. This does not involve ignoring risks or
other stressors. Rather we can strengthen our self-
efficacy and self-esteem so that job challenges are
not perceived as threatening. Humor can also
improve perceptions by taking some psychological
weight off the situation.
Control the Consequences of Stress
Coping with workplace stress also involves controlling
its consequences.
Many large employers offer employee assistance
program (EAP’s).
EAP’s - Counselling services that help employees
overcome personal or organizational stressors and
adopt more effective coping mechanisms.
Receive Social Support
Social support refers to the person’s interpersonal transactions with
others and involves providing either emotional or informational support
to buffer the stress experience.

Social support reduces stress in 3 ways:


 First, employees improve their perception that they are valued and
worthy.
 Second, social support provides information to help employees
interpret, comprehend and possibly remove the stressor.
 The last point reflects the idea that “misery loves company”.