28 September 2004

Stressed out and ready to resign?

When employees experience work stress, they are frequently absent from work, productivity falls and staff turnover rates are high.


Management style

If there is a lack of participation by workers in decision-making in the workplace, this can lead to stress. In organisations where this is the case, workers do not feel part of decisions that affect them directly and will feel alienated and powerless. Organisations that function in this manner often also do not have family-friendly policies.

The design of tasks

If the workload is decided in a top-down management style, workers do not feel that they have any control over their work environments. What leads to stress, is a heavy workload, coupled by infrequent rest breaks, long work hours and shift work. Hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent meaning can also lead to frustration.

Interpersonal relationships

People who find themselves in difficult jobs where there is a lack of support from colleagues and management may run into trouble soon. Physical isolation could also be problematic, as in the case of domestic workers or night staff. Opportunities for workers to interact socially are very important.

Work roles

Being given lots of responsibility, but no decision-making power can be very stressful. If someone has too much responsibility or finds that they are caught between customer and management expectations, this could spell trouble. If workers’ roles are not clearly defined, this could also be problematic.

Career concerns

Most people do not function well in a situation where there is job insecurity and a lack of opportunity for growth or advancement. People also feel insecure if there are rapid changes for which they are unprepared.


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