At the workplace, stress is a very common occurrence. While humans are capable of dealing with short-term stress, repetitive incidents cause chronic stress, which is dangerous for an employee’s physical and psychological health. In order to combat stress in an organization, a manager has to improve workloads, working hours, relations between coworkers, avoid role conflicts, and provide support during organizational change.
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Most people around the world do not like their jobs. Work can be tiring, boring, and an exhausting chore, both physically and mentally. Stress is something that comes naturally with any activity that demands a certain degree of quality and excellence. Whether it is to meet a deadline, to meet the demands of an irritating customer, or something else, stress always follows. Short-term stress is something that any living being can cope with. However, repeated short-term stresses can become chronic. Chronic stress results in a quicker burnout and is harmful to a person both physically and emotionally.
Chronic stress is very common among workers. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association in 2012, over 65% of working Americans view their jobs as sources of constant stress (Coping with stress at work, 2016). This was not a one-year trend, as a similar study in 2013 concluded the same thing, at approximately the same percentages. Only 36% of respondents answered that their companies provide enough stress relief to help them work better (Coping with stress at work, 2016). Tensions and stress are unavoidable in a work setting, but a manager must know how to keep stressful situations to a minimum, in order to improve morale and organizational excellence. The purpose of this paper is to analyze an organization called Jobforartist.com. It will cover how the organization deals with stress in a workplace, such as a high workload, inflexible working hours, coworkers, organizational change, and role conflicts.
Jobforartist.com is an international online service that deals with art and caricatures. It employs over 50 freelance artists, who work distantly from their homes, and over 25 office employees to fill in the roles of quality control, technical support, marketing, and advertising department, IT, and several minor roles (Welcome to the world’s largest network, 2016). The paper will focus on the office employees, their stress levels, and ways on how to combat stress.
The workload on office employees varies depending on the season. Spring, late summer, and early autumn are considered low-activity seasons, early winter and early summer are called high-activity seasons. During high-activity seasons, the number of work increases by nine times. This results in increased amounts of stress for quality control and managerial personnel. The company manages this stress poorly – nothing is being done to motivate the employees to perform better. No managerial decisions are made to accommodate the increased workload, either. The senior staff is increasingly demanding towards their underlings, who simply cannot handle so much work.
In order to improve the situation, it is recommended to hire seasonal staff members to handle the extra work, thus lowering the total workload placed on every individual employee (Rach, 2016). In addition, it is recommended to motivate the employees through monetary rewards, bonuses, and promotions. Rewards and bonuses are one of the most powerful motivation tools available to a manager, which could improve the speed and quality of work (The best ways to reward employees, 2016). Lastly, the senior staff should adopt a non-confrontation policy – it is pointless to demand the impossible from employees, as every worker has a limit to his or her productivity rate. Arguing only causes stress, which further diminishes the employees’ effectiveness (Rach, 2016).
Inflexible Working Hours
During low seasons, the company is rather flexible with its working hours – the employees are allowed to leave early if there is nothing to do. During high season, however, it is a different story – the company expects their employees to work as much as possible. However, the working hours are always fair, and the shifts are not forced to work more than they must – at 6 pm the morning shift leaves and the evening shift takes their place. However, in a case of unexpected illness or sickness of one of the managers, it is hard for the company to find a substitute since there is none. This can be a problem during the high season. In order to avoid such a situation, and stress resulting from it, it is recommended to have part-time reserve workers who can step up during an emergency (Rach, 2016). This measure is recommended during high season only.
The organization puts effort into maintaining an amicable atmosphere between the coworkers. The workers are split into groups of 3 to 4, with a junior manager overseeing their efforts. The junior managers perform same functions as the employees and are also tasked to watch over how their groups are performing. They set up tasks and deal with them, as a team. As a result, the cohesiveness between workers and junior managers is at a very good level, with little to no confrontations, and thus, no stress. At this level, cooperation is excellent, and there is little need to change or recommend anything. Conflicts are rare, and if there are any – they are being resolved in a calm and civil manner. Junior managers are viewed as part of the team, rather than enforcers.
Change is a problematic subject for Jobforartist.com as an organization. Whenever change processes occur, they are rarely explained to the junior managers in full. No rationale for change is provided – the managers and the employees are simply forced to accept the new rules and work with them. Frequently, junior managers have no idea on why these changes are implemented, which results in disagreements, stress, and miscommunications between high and low divisions. This is a big problem, as changes are never fully accepted. In addition, misunderstood commands and reforms cause an overall decrease in efficiency (Coping with change, 2016).
In order to fix this, communication between senior and junior managers has to be improved. Junior managers must clearly understand the necessity for change, objectives, and strategies. They must also be able to instruct the employees accordingly and relay the company’s vision to them. Understanding the objectives will help decrease stress and confusion among workers.
As it was mentioned in previous sections, the company experiences role conflicts between the senior and junior managerial staff. Senior staff is disconnected from the ground level of the company, and junior staff is often left to themselves to try to fit the demands sent from above. As a result, there is always a conflict between the two branches, which causes delay, stress, and hostile feelings, as both departments view each other as wrong. A lot of miscommunication and disconnection stems from the fact they occupy different offices, and rarely see one another. By providing a common space for everybody to work in, the team should achieve greater levels of interpersonal understanding and cohesion, decreasing overall levels of stress and improving the quality of work (Crampton, 2015).
Jobforartist.com has many problems that generate stress among its office employees. The majority of workers described their job as extremely stressful during high seasons and mildly stressful during low seasons. The company’s high turnover rate is the result of these errors. In order to improve production and keep experienced employees around, the company should implement the measures outlined in this paper.
Coping with change. (2016). Web.
Coping with stress at work. (2016). Web.
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Crampton, D. (2015). Engage employees, decrease stress, and promote cooperation with team-building. Web.
Rach, S. (2016). Employees reveal how employers can reduce stress. Web.
The best ways to reward employees. (2016). Web.
Welcome to the world’s largest network for caricature artists! (2016). Web.