Consequences of Job Stress

Sep 9, 2019 - 20:33
Jan 17, 2021 - 05:55
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Consequences of Job Stress

Consequences of Job Stress 
There are three important categories involved in consequences of stress, i.e,

(a) Consequences for the Individual,

(b) Consequences for the Family, and

(c) Consequences to Organisations. 

In the initial stages, the major concern of stress was directed at physiological symptoms. The reason was that this topic was researched by specialists in the health and medical sciences. According to the researchers high degrees of stress are typically accompanied by severe anxiety, frustration and depression.

(a) Consequences for the Individual
Some of the physiological symptoms:

  • Stress: Irritability, insomnia, alcohol and food abuse. Physical changes including rapid breathing, and heart beat, tensed muscles. Prolonged stress can cause muscular twitches, skin problems, baldness and sexual problems such as impotence.
  • Anxiety: Excessive worry, irritability, anger, nervousness as well as un-ability to concentrate or sleep. Physical changes include palpitations, chest pain and dizziness.
  • Depression: Feeling of sadness, hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness, loss of interest in activities, change in appetite or weight, difficulty in concentrating and suicidal thoughts. The link between stress and particular physiological symptoms is not clear. According to Academy of Management Journal there are few, if any, consistent relationships. But the fact which is relatively significant is that physiological symptoms have the least direct relevance to the students of human behaviour. Our concern is with behaviour and attitudes. Therefore, the other two categories of symptoms are more important to us.

Some of the psychological symptoms:
While considerable attention has been given to the relationship between stress and physiological symptoms, especially within the medical community not as much importance has been given to the impact of stress on mental health. But psychological problems resulting from stress are very important in day to day job performance.

The psychological impacts of stress may be:
(i) Stress can cause dissatisfaction. Job related stress can cause job-related dissatisfaction. Job dissatisfaction “is the simplest and most psychological aspect of stress.”
(ii) High levels of stress may be accompanied by anger, anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritability, tension and boredom. One study found that stress had the strongest impact on aggressive actions such as sabotage, interpersonal aggression, hostility and complaints.
(iii) The psychological problems from stress may lead to poor job performance, lowered self esteem, resentment of supervision, inability to concentrate, make decisions and job dissatisfaction.
(iv) Research indicates that when people are placed in jobs that make multiple and conflicting demands or in which there is a lack of clarity as to the individual’s duties, authority and responsibilities, both stress and dissatisfaction are increased.
(v) The less control people have over the pace of their work, the greater the stress and dissatisfaction.
(vi) Some evidence suggests that jobs that provide a low level of variety, significance, autonomy, feedback and identity, create stress and reduce satisfaction and involvement in the job.

Some of the behavioural symptoms:
Any behaviour which indicates that you are not acting your usual self may be a sign of adverse reaction to stress.
Direct behaviour that may accompany high levels of stress includes:
(i) Undereating or overeating
(ii) Sleeplessness
(iii) Increased smoking and drinking
(iv) Drug abuse
(v) Nodding off during meetings or social gatherings
(vi) Losing your sense of humour
(vii) Moving in a tense and jerky way
(viii) Reacting nervously or irritably to everyday sounds
(ix) Absenteeism and turnover
(x) Reduction in productivity

Consistently acting arid feeling out of character is a serious warning that we are losing our ability to cope with tension. Inability to feel or express any emotions or a sense of being indicates loss of contact with our surroundings and ourselves. The above indicators can help us in overcoming the tensions in our day to day life. Like the psychological problems resulting from stress, the behavioural problems are often not attributed to stress by co- workers or supervisors and generate little sympathy.

B. Consequences for the Family:
Distress which is handled by individuals in dysfunctional ways such as resorting to drinking or withdrawal behaviours, will have an adverse effect on their family life. The effects of this will be spouse abuse, child abuse, alienation from family members and even divorce.
The stressors which generally affect the family life are:
(i) In the dual career families where both the spouses are pursuing careers, a lot of personal commitments, varied in nature, are demanded from them (both to their jobs and families). The stresses experienced by the couples stem from role overload, since both partners have to manage their careers as well as help the family.
(ii) Additional stresses are experienced while handling the personal, social and cultural dilemmas of balancing work and family, discharging parenting responsibilities, handling competition at the work place and within the family and being an involved member of the extended family.

C. Consequences for the Organisations:
The effect of employees stress on organisations is many and varied.
These include:
(i) Low performance and productivity.
(ii) High rate of absenteeism and turnover.
(iii) Loss of customers due to poor attitudes of workers.
(iv) Increased alienation of the worker from the job.
(v) Destructive and aggressive behaviours resulting in strikes and sabotage.
The stresses experienced by employees who take on critical roles and are responsible for public safety can sometimes be detrimental to the well being of the constituents served. For example, the stress experienced by airline pilot, train driver, railway guard or air traffic controller can result in the loss of so many lives. Therefore, the costs of employees stress to the organisation in terms of lost profits, declining assets, bad image projection, poor reputation and loss of future business are enormous.

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Neha Pathak Experienced Graphic Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the motion pictures and film industry. Skilled in Marketing Management, Microsoft office, montaging, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Administration. Strong arts and design professional with a Master of Business Administration - MBA focused in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration and Marketing. Can perform administrative, marketing, accounting, graphic designing, video editing, digital marketing work.