Preventing Work StressBy: Robert H. Kent, Ph.D., CMC
Work Stress is a primary cause of both physical and mental illness in society. For every diagnosed case, there are many more people who are prevented from performing their best, for themselves and for their employers due to stress-creating situations at work.
The cost to business and society is significant. Surveys show that work stressors are among the most common and upsetting stressors that people report. Annually, the cost of work stress in North America and Europe is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. These costs arise from industrial accidents, absenteeism, medical expenses, lost productivity, long-term disability, stress-related diseases and premature death. The need for business to reduce work stress is clear.
Work stress originates from three potential sources. The two that are beyond the practical control of business are: individual characteristics of each employee such as family and financial problems and individual personalities; and environmental sources such as economic, political and technological uncertainties - the perceived frantic pace of change in society.
The third set, organizational factors, are within a business' influence and include an employee's perceived work overload, role conflict and role ambiguity, career blockages, lack of job autonomy and control over personal work, and dysfunctional work relationships.
The bad news is that for workers, business consistently creates the most destructive stress, and if unchecked, does so for long periods of time. The good news is that much of this stress can be prevented by proper performance management.
How should a business manage itself to prevent work stress? By ensuring that at least the following happen (failure to do so creates stress!):
© Copyright 2001 The Mansis Development Corporation
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