In this essay, I am going to be doing an in-depth analysis of the four main levels of analysis which are individual, group, organisational and societal. I am going to relate how these four points have an effect on stress in an organisation and how to recover quickly from these difficulties.
There are many different reasons as to why an individual could be stressed in a business. One of the most common problems in business is high staff turnover and the recruitment costs. There are numerous of employees that leave their job during a certain period of time in the year and the main reason for this is because they do not enjoy the working environment when there is a lot of pressure on their shoulders. This mainly happens when a business gets very busy at a specific time of year such as Christmas and the employees can’t handle the pressure. However, there are some employees that ask their employer for help specifically on how to deal with the stress while others are not so confident and therefore they feel as if they have no option but to leave their job. As a result of higher staff turnover, training costs have increased and more induction courses are needed.
Furthermore, high presenteeism levels do occur in a business and this is when an employee takes a lot of time off work due to illness or when they still attend their job but they aren’t fully fit to work and therefore they are being less productive in the workplace. The reason why employees do this is that they feel as if they won’t be able to manage the stress at work hence they know staying at home is a way out and would be much more convenient for them. This could affect the company because if their staffs are not working to the best of their ability or they are simply not attending, the company are losing money due to the fact that they are paying their employees for not doing any work. Over a certain period of time, this could be the difference if a company makes profit or loss. This could ultimately end up costing an organisation by losing out on a lot of money.
“UK Amazon staffs have developed physical and mental illnesses because of the regimes that they work under.” (Elly Baker, GMB trade union, 2015). Here are a few problems that Amazon is facing. The staffs are working in very difficult conditions, they are being treated harshly and some employees are suffering from more personal problems such as cancer and miscarriages. Elly Baker stated “it’s hard, physical work, but the constant stress of being monitored and never being able to drop below a certain level of performance is harsh. You can’t be a normal person. You have to be an above average Amazon robot all the time.” There are many employees that agree with Elly Baker. The problem Amazon has here is that they are working their employees too hard and pushing them to the limit. The simple solution here is to give employees more of a break and free time so that they can relax and feel refreshed.
A good way of dealing with this stress is by getting some extra support from family and friends or even asking the employer for some additional advice on how to overcome these problems. The purpose of talking to the employer is to let them know what problems the employee is having and then come up with an effective plan in how to deal with these problems. “It is important for an employer to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being.” (G. Stanley Hall, 1892). Also, there are a lot of assistance programmes online which employees can actually find very useful. I believe the best solution for an employee is to find a way to relax and clear their mind such as meditating or going for walks regularly so that they are refreshed and this gives them a much better opportunity to work and deal with the pressure.
Individual stress doesn’t just have a negative impact on the individual; it also affects the company in many different ways and failure to deal with the stress at both an organisational level and individual level could force a company to collapse and end up ruining their reputation. The best thing for a company to do is to find the best solution for any stress related problems and the sooner they do this, the better it will be for them.
Group problems that lead to stress are very common in an organisation. There are various different reasons as to why group problems occur. One of the most common problems within a group is the group members not getting along with each other which cause arguments and disturbs the rest of the group members. This mainly happens when a person disagrees with what another person has to say and when they disagree on a particular point, they give themselves the opportunity to explain what their own thoughts are. If the other person then disagrees with what was said, they would then argue their case and this is how problems occur within a group. There are many people that take it to a new level and this happens when the comments get personal. When the comments get personal, the problem becomes much harder to resolve and it is very unlikely that the group will progress further. The best way to deal with this problem is by respecting other people’s opinions even if they don’t agree with it. Once the time is right, they can then put forward their opinion for the rest of the group members to hear and this way, a friendly discussion takes place rather than an argument. Furthermore, when people argue in a group, no work gets done, time is wasted and in an organisation, this could lead to severe consequences. Another way to solve this problem is if the group leader talks to the individuals away from the group or even has a one to one conversation, this could calm down the whole situation and the group can get back to work and progress which is the best thing possible.
Another problem within a group is the people who don’t do any work otherwise known as the free riders. This is very popular because there are the odd few people that think everyone else in the group can do the work for them and they can still get credit. Many group members hate this as they are being forced into doing more work, having to accept a lower grade or not reaching the required standards in a business. This relates to social loafing where a group member is putting in very low effort while the others are working hard to reach their end goal. The bigger the group, the better the chance of getting free riders and this is the reason why many employees prefer smaller groups. The main consequence in this is the whole group fails the task and this could lead to problems within an organisation. Failure to complete work to the required standard could lead to punishment. The best way to avoid this is to create a plan at the beginning and make sure that every group member knows exactly what they are doing. Also, a group leader is very useful as they can keep track of the group members progress and they can also offer help if needed. “Being part of groups and teams increases employee satisfaction because they fulfill many of our social needs.” (Muller, 1994).
A very good example of group problems is The Apprentice. In every task, there are certain individuals that try to do everything themselves and steal the spotlight and there are those who just sit back and watch. Once they reach the boardroom, there are a lot of arguments between various different candidates every week, everyone blames one another and this shows a complete lack of trust within the workplace. I believe the candidates should have faith in each other more, compliment those who are doing well, help those who are struggling, improve the communication within the group and I believe these are the improvements they can make in order to be a successful team.
“Teamwork is therefore often presented as a universal, unquestioned good.” (Learmonth, 2009) Teamwork is important in a business because it increases the creativity, the problem solving, the co-operation and this is very crucial to the success of a business.
It is important to know the common causes of stress in a business and what the best action would be to take in resolving these problems. Problems in an organisation can be caused by a number of factors such as employees having heavy workloads that they can’t manage. This makes them feel rushed and creates extra pressure that they can’t handle. For example, an Amazon employee managed to walk 11 miles in one night. “I managed to walk or hobble 11 miles in one night and I’m absolutely shattered.” (Adam Littler, 2013) If an employee’s job role includes heavy work or is very physical, then they should be allowed more rest instead of working long hours. Also, some employees feel as though they are asked to do extra jobs in which they haven’t been trained for and this simply is due to poor management. This can be harmful to both an employee and a business because the employees will feel that they don’t have a sense of direction and therefore they don’t know what to do. The business could be affected because if the job is done wrong, it is incomplete and hence could lead to consequences. The best thing to do here would be to just simply provide extra training to employees if any additional jobs need to be done or find another employee that is qualified and knows how to complete the task that is required.
There are businesses that have societal stress, there are a few reasons as to why they occur and they lead to physical and psychological stress. The most popular social stress an employee has is when customers show verbal abuse and aggression against them. Some customers go further and end up using physical violence against an employee. The way to solve this problem is by trying to keep calm at all times and resolve any situations in the quickest and calmest way possible. Another problem is that the staffs are being overworked and I am going to use Amazon as an example for this. Employees in a UK based Amazon warehouse stated that the warehouse caused mental and physical illness due to the poor working conditions. “We are machines, we are robots, we plug our scanner in, we’re holding it, but we might as well be plugging it into ourselves. The characteristic of this type of job, the evidence shows an increased risk of mental illness and physical illness.”(Adam Littler, 2013) The main problem here is that staffs don’t enjoy working in conditions that are not safe; their job role is too physically demanding which leads to all the employees worried for their own wellbeing. This problem is fairly straightforward to solve, the simple solution is that employees need to be working in a safe and healthy working condition so that they don’t fall ill and they also need to stop being overworked.
To conclude, there are many different factors for all the four main levels of stress in an organisation but all these common issues have a solution to them. Those employees that have less stress at work perform to a much better standard compared to those who have any type of difficulties at work causing them to be stressed and therefore making them work at a low standard. Stress is not good for anyone because it can affect their body, health, thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Resilience is important for numerous reasons. The main reason is that it helps employees maintain a balance in their lives that protect them during stressful and difficult times.