The modern corporate and Industrial society is living in an era of change. Philosophers and management thinkers have given various names to this period. Peter Drucker has called it the age of discontinuity.
John Galbraith has called it the age of uncertainty. Alvin Toffer called it the age of the future. Shock and Karl Albrecht called it the age of anxiety. The change affects the lives of people through what is known as ‘stress ‘. It has become essential to find strategies to cope with increasing stress.
Stress is a condition of the strain of one’s emotions., through processes and physical conditions. When it is excessive, it can threaten one’s ability to cope with the environment. stress indicates the pressures people feel in life.
As a result of these pressures, employees develop various symptoms of stress that can harm their job performance. People who are stressed may become nervous, easily provoked by the manager, and are unable to relax.
What is Stress?
According to McGrath stress means, “A person experiences stress when a situation is perceived as presenting a demand which threatens to exceed the person’s capabilities and resources for meeting it.”
The sources of pressure and tension that cause stress are stressors. Wolff and Goodwell considered stress as an inherent characteristic of life.
Management of Stress
Stress is inevitable in human life. There is, therefore, no way out but to cope with stress or fight with it. There are two strategies that can help the employee to cope with stress. One is coping strategies at the organizational level and the other is at the employee level.
(a) Stress reduction and stress management programs:
(1) Stress reduction programmes aim to identify relevant organisational stressors and thus to reduce
their effects by redesigning jobs, reallocating workloads, improving supervisory skills or providing more autonomy or job variety.
(2) Stress management schemes usually focus on training individual employees, their work groups, to manage their stress symptoms in more effective ways.
(3) Stress control systems usually combine stress reduction (stress or control) with stress management (individual symptom control).
(b) Job Resdesign:
Jobs may be a source of stress for many individuals. Properly designed jobs and work schedules can help case stress in the individuals and the organization.
(c) Collateral Programs:
A Collateral stress programme is an organisational programme specifically created to help employees deal with stress. Organisations have adopted a stress management programme, health promotion programme, career development programme counselling and other kinds of programmes for this purpose.
Counseling is a discussion of a problem with an employee with a view to helping the employee cope with it better. Counselling seeks to improve employee’s mental health by the release of emotional tension which is also known as emotional frustrations and other problems whenever they have an opportunity to tell someone about them.
Another way to reduce stress is meditation. Meditation involves quiet, concentrated inner through in order to rest the body physically and emotionally. It helps remove a person from a stressful world temporarily.
Coping Strategies by Individuals
Individual can use the following techniques to overcome stress:
1. Relaxation: Coping with stress requires adaptation. Proper relaxation can take many forms. One way to relax is to take regular vacations. A recent study found that people’s attitudes towards a variety of workplace characteristics improved significantly following a vacation.
2. Time Management: The management is often recommended for managing stress. The idea is that many daily pressures can be caused if a person does a better job of managing time. One popular approach to time management is to make a list every morning of things to be done that day.
The things to be done may be assigned in the list according to their importance. This strategy helps people get more of the important things done every day. It also encourages the delegation of less important things done every day.
3. Support Group: It is a group of friends or family members with whom a person can share his feelings. Supportive family and friends can help people cope with routine types of stress on an ongoing basis.
4. Role Management: Under this, the individual works to avoid role overload, role ambiguity, and role conflict. For instance, if a worker does not know what is expected of him, he should ask for a classification from his boss.
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