What is employee stress?
Stress among employees is perhaps the biggest obstacle to performance. Stress can be described as the pressure a person faces in carrying out a particular work. This is not always a bad thing, because there is what is termed “positive stress”, which is what sportsmen for instance face during peak performance. However, in the context of employee relations, it is considered a negative factor at work.
Consequences of stress
When an employee faces stress, it is easy to find out. First and foremost, it results in burnout, meaning that there is little energy or motivation on the part of the employee to carry out even basic duties, leave alone taking on higher responsibilities. It manifests itself in a kind of behavior the employee was not exhibiting earlier, such as irritability, anxiety, tension, nervousness, apprehension, absenteeism and the like, all of which hamper productivity in a big way.
Dealing with employees who are stressed
Dealing with employees who are stressed is one of HR’s prime responsibilities. It should first identify which employee/s is/are stressed. It should approach the issue in a sympathetic and understanding manner, without being too paternalistic or overbearing. It should first of all deal with the root cause of the behavior. It should learn what is stressing an employee. That factor may or may not be related to work. It should play the role of a counselor in helping the employee overcome stress. It should provide opportunities for the stressed employee to come out of the situation and regain her composure. It takes a lot of time and effort, but all that is worth it, because nothing contributes more to an organization than a happy employee, and nothing gives HR greater satisfaction than in producing one.
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