Stress affects all of us. In most part, the impact of stress on psychological and physical health is detrimental. Employees are some of the most vulnerable populations. They are bombarded by stressors on a day to day basis.
Job demands, the conflict between an employee and the boss are just some of the sources of stress. Having no control over the apparent situations at the workplace can be stressful.
Stress can be beneficial if minimal. It can actually boost performance. It helps us perform better and deal challenging tasks effectively. The good type of stress is commonly known as the eustress.
But in most cases, stress does decrease our capability to carry out a task. This happens when one senses frustrations and lack of self-efficacy. Employees may experience this type of stress every day.
Distress is bad stress that decreases one’s ability to function. Most employees experience more distress than eustress.
What types of stress at workplace and what causes them?
A workplace is a rendezvous of people with different personality traits and cultural backgrounds. Mixing them to attain a common goal is more challenging than anyone might think.
But beyond the behavioral level, there are many things that contribute to stress in workplaces. Here are the different sources of distress in the workplace.
1. Nature of the job
In most cases, job applicants land in jobs that they might have no sufficient knowledge about the nature of the job. As a result, they end up being overwhelmed by the following:
- The amount of workload
- Pacing of the task
- The time duration of the task
- Level of control on decision making
2. Conflict with the superior
As mentioned, people in the workplace may come from the different familial and cultural background. When they work with each other, they may find conflict in terms of decision making and building harmony with the management.
Ordinary employees and management may have conflicting views on how to achieve the organization’s goal. The following problems may arise:
- Conflicting role in the workplace due to multiple roles, multiple superiors, and job demands
- The ambiguity of one’s role and expectations
- Ambiguous responsibility
- Lack of support from the management
- Lack of professional development and growth in many aspects
- Prejudice and discrimination between the management and employees and among the employees
3. Leadership style
Leadership style affects an employee’s motivation and performance. Employees who are more motivated perform better than those who aren’t.
Most experts agree that transformation leadership is the best management style. This leadership style encourages the subordinates to speak up and share their ideas.
Thus, the leader will not impose rules and goals but rather he/she considers the subordinate’s opinion on the arising matter.
Unfortunately, not all leaders use a transformational leadership style. Authoritarian leadership often creates several problems which may include:
- Inability to participate in decision making
- Problematic communication pattern or flow
- Little recognition for commendable performance
- Indifference on the part of the supervisors on the needs and experiences of the employees
These stressful situations affect an employee’s health. If not managed correctly, employees may experience the following health issues:
- Muscle pain and tension
- Fatigue and difficulty in gaining enough sleep
- A headache
- Abnormal heart rate
- Chest pains
- The weakening of the immune system
- Inability to focus
- Mood swings
- Inability to control anger
- Inability to make critical decisions
- Difficulty in coping with challenging situations
There could be many types of stress at the workplace that negatively affect employee’s performance. Employees must learn to deal with it or find ways to lessen their emotional turmoil.