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European Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-216X Vol.45 No.2 (2010), pp.249-260 EuroJournals Publishing, Inc. 2010 http://www.eurojournals.com/ejsr.


Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance

Salami, A.O Department of Management and Accounting, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, Nigeria Tel: +2348038458618 E-mail: akeemsalami20022002@yahoo.com Ojokuku, R.M Department of Management and Accounting, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso, Nigeria E-mail: roselineojokuku@yaho.com Tel: +2348033858292 Ilesanmi, O.A Department of Business Administration, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria Tel: +2348033589304) Abstract This paper assesses empirically the impact of job stress on Nigerian Managers Performance. In carrying out the study, random sampling technique was used to select 135 managers who have worked at least 5 years in a managerial position. Relevant data were collected using structured questionnaire. The Z-score was used to test the study hypothesis. The findings showed that job stress brings about subjective effects such as fear, anger and anxiety among Nigerian managers resulting in poor concentration, mental block and poor decision making skills. Based on these findings, it was recommended that organizations in Nigeria should reduce psychological strain, work overload and role ambiguity through adoption of job redesign techniques. Organizational support activities such as counseling and stress reduction workshops should also be increased.

Keywords: Job Stress, Managerial Performance, Organizational Support, Job redesign.

1. Introduction
Generally speaking, most workers feel some sense of purpose and accomplishment about their jobs, which can be very rewarding and self-satisfying. However, work can also be a trendmendous burden, with deadlines to meet, work overload and difficult bosses placing considerable pressure and strain on workers. Therefore, jobs and the work environment commonly produce stress, which if not properly handled, can result in negative and dysfunctional behaviour at work (Riggio, 2003). What is Job Stress? Researchers cannot agree on a single definition for stress due to its complex nature (Kahn and Boysiere, 1992). However, early stress researcher, Selye (1976), sees stress as a primarily physiological reaction to certain threatening environmental events. Hence, from Selyes perspective,

Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance


job stress or worker stress would simply refer to the stress caused by events in the work environment. Beehr and Newman (1978) also define job stress as a condition arising from the interaction of people and their jobs and characterized by changes within the people that force them to deviate from their normal functioning. Some stress researchers (e.g. Golembiewski, Munzenrider and Stewenson, 1986; Sharahan and Mortimer, 1996), distinguish between negative stress, termed distress and positive stress, termed eustress. Eustress refers to the healthy, positive, constructive outcome of stressful events and the stress response. Eustress is the stress experience that activates and motivates people to achieve their goals and succeed in their lifes challenges. What this means is that people need some stress to survive and that is why Selye (1976) views stress as the spice of life, and the absence of stress, death. Negative stress i.e. distress is the one that adversely affects employees (including managers) mental and physical health and, in turn, their performance, and this aspect of stress was the focus of this paper. Objectives of the Study The main objective of this paper was to examine the impact of job stress of Nigerian managers performance. The specific objectives of the study were to: (i) describe the nature of job stress and its effect on performance (ii) examine the causes, types and effects of job stress on the individual, and the organization. (iii) Highlight workable stress management techniques in the workplace. Hypothesis of the Study H1: Job stress affects the health, efficiency and productivity of Nigerian managers.

2. Stress and Performance: Possible Relationship Framework

Although much of the research on the relationship between stress and functioning focuses on the negative performance effects of stress, not all stress is bad. In fact, Selye (1956) emphasizes that stress is a necessary part of life and that it does not always involve negative consequences for the organism involved. In fact, at certain moderate levels, stress can actually improve individual performance. There is substantial research supporting the concept of good stress. Yerkes and Dodson (1908) were the first to stumble upon the inverted-U relationship between stress and performance. Their work focused on the effects of stress on the learning response of rats. Using three trials with low, moderate, and high levels of stimulus, the authors found a weak but curvilinear relationship, with performance on the task improving as the stressor stimulus reached a moderate level and decreasing as stimulus strength increased beyond this point. Research since Yerkes and Dodson has supported the inverted-U relationship between stress and performance. Scott (1966) found that individual performance increases with stress and resulting arousal to an optimal point and then decreases as stress and stimulation increase beyond this optimum. Furthermore, Srivastava and Krishna (1991) found evidence than an inverted-U relationship does exist for job performance in the industrial context. Selye (1975) and McGrath (1976) also suggest an inverted-U relationship between stress and performance. Finally, research on arousal theory supports the inverted-U hypothesis, assuming that external stressors produce a stress response that is similar physiologically to arousal. Sanders (1983) and Gaillard and Steyvers (1989) find that performance is optimal when arousal is at moderate levels. When arousal is either too high or too low, performance declines. There are many critics of the inverted-U hypothesis who argue that the relationship between stress and performance does not have a U-shape. One alternative model is a negative linear relationship. For example, Jamal (1985) argues that stress at any level reduces task performance by draining an individuals energy, concentration, and time. Vroom (1964) offers a similar explanation, suggesting that physiological response caused by stressors impair performance. Some psychologists


Salami, A.O, Ojokuku, R.M and Ilesanmi, O.A

even suggest a linear positive relationship between stress and performance. For example, Meglino (1977) argues that at low levels of stress, challenge is absent and performance is poor. Optimal performance in his model comes at the highest level of stress. There have been some studies in support of this hypothesis, including Arsenault and Dolan (1983) and Hatton et al. (1995). Despite the empirical evidence supporting these alternative theories, the inverted-U hypothesis is still the most intuitively appealing and the most used explanation for how stress and performance are related (Muse, et al, 2003).

3. Sources of Job Stress

Generally, job stress can arise from either the environment of work i.e. organizational or situational stress, or from the characteristics of the workers themselves i.e. dispositional stress (Riggio, 2003). Organizational Stressors Some sources of organizational stress include: Work-related factors these can come in form of work overload when the job requires excessive speed, output or concentration, or underutilization, which may occur when workers feel that their knowledge, skills or energy are not being fully utilized, or when jobs are boring and monotonous (Melamed, et al, 1995). Job or role ambiguity is also a potential source of job stress and this occurs when job or task requirements are not clearly outlined or when workers are unsure of their responsibilities and duties (Beehr, 1985, Jackson and Schuler, 1985). Role conflict can also be a source of stress. When a worker has to play different roles simultaneously at work or when his role at work conflicts with his family roles, then role conflict occurs and this can cause stress (Greenhause and Beutell, 1985). Organizational Structural Factors these include physical conditions in the work environment ranging from noise, heat, poor lighting etc. Other structural factors such as staff rules and regulations, poor reward systems, lack of freedom or even lack of clear career path, may all bring about (Ogundele, 2005). Interpersonal Stress - this often results from difficulties in developing and maintaining relationships with other people such as supervisors, peers, or even subordinates in the organization. Organizational politics and struggles over power can also be important sources of stress in the workplace (Ferris, et al, 1994). Organizational change a stable work environment is generally comforting and reassuring to workers hence the occurrence of major changes in the organization tend to cause stress. Some common change situations that may lead to job stress include company wide re- organizations, mergers or acquisitions, changes in company policy, managerial and personnel changes and so on (Marks and Mirvis, 1998; Judge et al, 1999; Wanberg and Banas, 2000). Dispositional Stressors These are stressors arising from the individual characteristics of the workers themselves. One of such is the Type A personality or Type A Behavioural pattern which research has shown is characterized by excessive drive and competitiveness, a sense of urgency, impatience and underlying hostility (Friedman and Rosenman, 1974; Rosenman, 1978). Workers with this personality type have been found to experience or report higher stress than other personality types, e.g. Type B, under the same workload (Kirmeyer, 1988; Payne et al. 1988).

Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance


4. Effects of Job Stress

According to Luthans (1989), stress experience by individuals has negative consequences for them, their families, and for the organizations they serve. Consequences for the Individual The impact of distress on individuals has subjective, cognitive, physiological, behavioural, and health facets to it. The subjective or intrapersonal effects of stress are feelings of anxiety, boredom, apathy, nervousness, depression, fatigue, anger, irritability and sometimes aggressive behaviours on the part of individual experiencing the stress. The cognitive effects include poor concentration, short attention span, mental blocks, and inability to make decisions. The physiological effects can be seen in increased heart and pulse rate, high blood pressure, dryness of throat, and excessive sweating. The behavioural consequences are manifest in such things as accident proneness, drinking, excessive eating, smoking, nervous laughter, impulsive behaviours, depressions, and withdrawal behavours. The manifest health effects could be stomach disorders, asthma, eczema, and other psychosomatic disorders. In addition, the mental health, i.e the ability to function effectively in ones daily life, will also decline as excessive stress is experienced. Consequence for the Family Distress, which is handled by individuals in dysfunctional ways, such as resorting to drinking or withdrawal behaviours, will have an adverse effect on their home life. Spouse abuse, child abuse, alienation from family members, and even divorce could result from dysfunctional coping mechanisms. Stressors in the steadily increasing member of dual-career families, where both spouses pursue careers which demand a lot of personal commitment from them (both to their jobs and to the family), are varied in nature. The stresses experienced by the couple stem from role overload since both partners have to manage their careers as well as help the family run on an even keel. Additional stresses are experienced while handling the personal, social, and cultural dilemmas of balancing work and family, discharging parental responsibilities, handling competition at the workplace and within the family, being an involved member of the extended family etc (Nwarch, 1991). Consequences to the Organization The organizational effects of employee stress are many. The adverse consequences include: low performance and productivity, high rates of absenteeism and turnover, lost customers because of poor worker attitudes, increased alienation of the worker from the job, and even destructive and aggressive behaviours resulting in strikes and sabotage. The stresses experienced by employees who take on critical roles and are responsible for public safety can sometimes be detrimental to the well being of the constituents served. For instance, the stresses experienced by a pharmacist, nurse, medical doctor, or that of an airline pilot, navigator, or air traffic controller, can result in several hundred lost lives. Needless to say that the costs of employee stress to the organization in terms of lost profits, declining assets, bad image projection, poor reputation, and loss of future business are enormous.

5. Management of Job Stress

According to Holt (1990), effective management of job stress can only be achieved under two conditions. First, the individual worker must be able to recognize stressors and understand their consequences and second, organizations must develop stress prevention, as well as stress reduction techniques. At the individual level some coping strategies include the following: Setting realistic deadlines Achieving results with adequate challenges is important but work overloading must be avoided. Refusing to take on too much work than it is possible to achieve within a stipulated time.


Salami, A.O, Ojokuku, R.M and Ilesanmi, O.A

Avoiding maladaptive reactions e.g. resorting to drugs or alcohol as a form of escape from stressful situations. Problems must not be allowed to fester once a stressful situation arises, it must be resolved. Exercise properly a healthy person is better able to cope physically and psychologically when distressful situations arise, hence the individual should engage in controlled exercise that fits his physique. Maintaining a proper diet this is essential to good health and helps to avoid many of the gastrointestinal problems associated with stress. Relaxing and decompressing the mind and body must have periodic rest to adjust to normally. Hence workers, especially managers should endeavour to use their break periods effectively. At the organizational level, Khanka (2000), Riggio (2003) and Cole (2002) outlined some proactive measures which management can adopt to manage stress as follows: i. Setting clear objectives this helps to minimize job and role ambiguity. ii. Conducting stress audit this is an effective proactive action to combat stress especially among executives. It involves an attempt by the organization to study, explore, and control various types of stress which the individual executives may experience in the course of performing their roles. iii. Improving person job fit by maximizing person job fit through careful screening, selection and placement of employees, organizations can alleviate a great deal of stress. iv. Eliminating punitive management by eliminating policies that are perceived to be threatening or punitive, a major source of stress will be removed. It is important that the organization develops a culture in which attitudes towards employees are positive where there is respect for employees skills, knowledge and contribution and where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities rather than grounds for criticisms. Providing a supportive, team oriented work environment. The more organizations can foster good interpersonal relationships among co-workers and an integrated highly functioning team, the more likely that workers will be able to provide support for one another in times of stress. Increasing employees sense of control through programmes such as job enrichment, participative decision making, and delegation of authority all help to increase employees sense of control over their jobs and the work environment. This goes a long way to reduce job stress. Improving communication proper organizational communication can prevent workers from job experiencing stress that can arise from job uncertainty and feelings of isolation from what is going on in the organization.

6. Methodology
Research Design The study adopted a descriptive survey research design in which questionnaire were administered to collect data from the respondents on the variables of the study. Sampling Procedure Random sampling technique was adopted in the sample selection. From a population of 1000 Executive MBA students of LAUTECH Ogbomoso, 135 students who were holding managerial positions in their organization that had at least 5 years working experience were selected. Instrumentation A structured questionnaire was used to collect data for the study. The instrument was divided into three main sections. Section A sought demographic characteristics of the respondents, Section B attempted to ascertain the attitude of respondents towards causes/sources and effects of job stress on managers

Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance


while Section C elicited suggestions for managing stress. The response scale was presented on a fivepoint Likert type format ranging from Strong Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D), Strongly Disagree (SD), and Undecided (U). Data Analysis Techniques Data collected for the study was subjected to statistical analysis. Specifically, frequency counts and simple percentages were used in ranking the attitudinal responses to sources, effects, and management of job stress in Nigerian organizations. For the purpose of making inferences, Z-scores statistics was employed to test the hypothesis formulated for the study.

7. Data Presentation and Analysis

Table 7.1: Demographic Characteristics of Respondents
Responses Sex Male Female Marital Status Single Married Separated Divorced Age Below 30yrs 30-40yrs Above 40yrs Educational qualification Degree/HND Professional (ICAN, ACIS, ACIB) Nature of Job Banking and Finance Manufacturing Services Years of Working Experience 5-10yrs Above 10yrs Source: Authors Survey, 2009. Frequency 82 53 14 98 40 27 68 40 125 10 47 49 59 77 58 Percentage (%) 60.7 39.3 10.4 72.6 17.0 20 50.4 29.6 92.6 7.4 34.8 24.4 43.7 57.0 43.0

The demographic characteristics of the respondents are given in Table 7.1. The table shows that 82(60.7%) of them were males, while 53(39.3%) were females. As regards marital status 14(10.4%) were below 30 years, 68(50.4%) 30-40 years and 40(49.6%) were above 40years. In relation to educational qualifications, 125(92.6%) were degree/HND holders while the remaining 10(7.4%) possesses professional qualification (ICAN, ACIB etc).


Salami, A.O, Ojokuku, R.M and Ilesanmi, O.A

Table 7.2: Sources/Causes of Job stress among Nigerian Managers

Contextual/Job-Related Factors Nature of job Inadequate knowledge of job scope In built stress Office politics Unexpected job promotion Job relocations/transfer Lack of Career prospect and advancement Poor physical working conditions Lack of resources Lack of Information Equipments failure and technological change Role-Related Factors Role Conflict Role Ambiguity Role Overload Ethical Dilemmas Responsibility for things and people Personal Factors Responsibility Traits Demography (age, sex, background experience) Conflict (intrapersonal & interpersonal) Poor communication Source: Authors Survey, 2009 SA 37 32 34 38 16 24 28 32 46 41 48 62 55 43 34 45 39 31 30 52 % 27.4 23.7 25.2 28.1 11.9 17.8 20.7 23.7 34.1 30.4 35.6 45.9 40.7 31.8 25.2 33.3 28.9 23.0 22.2 38.5 A 65 68 70 64 47 64 74 73 71 69 67 60 69 72 78 86 74 62 81 83 % 48.1 50.4 51.8 47.4 34.8 49.1 54.8 54.1 52.6 51.1 49.6 44.4 51.1 53.3 57.8 63.7 54.8 4.9 60 61.5 D 17 28 18 24 52 32 24 20 15 19 8 6 6 10 18 13 10 18 % 12.6 20.7 13.3 17.8 38.5 23.7 17.8 14.8 11.1 14.1 5.9 4.5 4.5 7.4 13.3 9.6 20.7 13.3 SD 6 2 6 3 12 5 2 2 2 32 2 2 6 2 2 5 % 4.5 1.5 4.5 2.2 8.9 3.7 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 4.5 1.5 1.5 3.7 U 10 5 7 6 8 10 7 8 3 4 10 5 3 4 3 4 7 9 6 % 7.4 3.7 5.2 1.5 5.9 7.4 5.2 5.9 2.2 3.0 7.4 3.7 2.2 3.0 2.2 3.00 5.2 6.7 4.5 -

Table 7.2 presents the responses on source/causes of job stress in frequencies and percentages. From the table, it is revealed that the proportion of respondents that are in support of the outlined causes of job stress were the largest except in the case of unexpected promotion, where those in Disagreement 72(53.3%) were more than those in Agreement 63(46.7%). To a greater percentage of the respondents, job stress hinders organizational performance and should be managed.
Table 7.3: Effect of Job Stress on the Employee and Organization
Effects on Employee/Individual Lower Morale and Self Esteem Subjective effect (fear, anger, anxiety, nervousness, aggression etc) Cognitive effect (poor concentration, short attention span, mental blocks, poor decisions etc) Physiological effect (ill health, or sometimes death) Behavioural effect (proneness to accident, depression, withdrawal, bad lifestyle) Effect on Organization Low performance, productivity and efficiency Job dissatisfaction Destructive behaviour (sabotage) and other unethical dilemmas Loss of Customers Poor Quality Product Loss of future business Poor reputation/ Bad Corporate Image Declining Assets Loss of Profit High rate of Absenteeism and Turnover SA 55 64 58 47 49 % 40.7 47.4 4.3 34.8 36.3 A 73 66 71 82 71 % 54.1 48.9 52.6 60.7 52.6 D 5 5 4 10 % 3.7 3.7 3.0 7.4 SD 1 % 0.7 U 2 5 1 2 4 % 1.5 3.7 0.7 1.5 3.0

65 57 49 39 42 34 43 38 70 56

48.1 42.2 36.3 28.9 31.1 25.2 31.8 28.1 51.8 41.5

52 68 70 72 67 65 69 77 59 69

38.5 50.4 51.8 53.3 49.6 48.1 50.4 57 43.7 51.1

9 7 8 17 19 25 19 14 6 8

6.7 5.2 5.9 12.6 14.1 18.5 14.1 10.4 4.5 5.9

5 2 4 1 5 2 2 -

3.7 1.5 3.0 0.7 3.7 1.5 1.5 -

4 3 6 3 6 6 1 4 2

3.0 2.2 4.5 2.2 4.5 4.5 0.7 3.0 1.5

Source: Authors Survey, 2009.

Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance


Table 7.3 presents the responses on effects of job stress on managerial performance in Nigerian organizations. The table also indicates that majority of the respondents agreed that job stress affects the performance on individual basis and organizational wise. 7.1. Hypothesis Testing The hypothesis formulated is stated thus: H0: Job stress does not affect the health, efficiency and productivity of Nigerian managers. H1: Job stress affects the health, efficiency and productivity of Nigerian managers.
Table 7.4: Hypothesis Testing
Code(x) Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Undecided 5 4 3 2 1 Frequency (f) 66 51 9 5 4 fx 330 204 27 10 4 575 x- x 0.74 0.26 1.26 2.26 3.26 (x- x )2 0.55 0.07 1.6 5.11 10.63 f(x- x )2 36.3 3.57 11.34 25.55 42.52 119.28

fx f

= 135

575 = 135 = 4.26 = x = 4.26

Simple standard deviation (s) = 119.28 = 0.88 135 S = 0.88 = 0.94

S = 0.94 S Standard error of S = S n = 0.94 135

f ( x x) f

= 0.081

= x 1.96 n 4.26 + 1.96(0.081) = 4.42 4.26 - 1.96(0.081) = 4.10 At 95% confidence level, the population means fall between the range of 4.42 and 4.10. Any of the two boundaries can be chosen. The first boundary 4.42 is chosen as the population means.

Z = SE Z = -1.975 Decision: Since the calculated Z-score of -1.975 falls outside range of +1.96, the null hypothesis (H0) is thus rejected and the alternative hypothesis (H1) is accepted which states that job stress affects the health, efficiency and productivity of Nigerian managers.

4.26 4.42 0.081


Salami, A.O, Ojokuku, R.M and Ilesanmi, O.A

Table 7.5: Respondents Suggestions on Individual Stress Coping Strategies

Never/Rarely No % 45 33.3 83 61.5 47 34.8 65 48.1 33 24.4 48 35.6 64 47.4 15 11.1 85 63.0 66 48.9 54 40.0 128 94.8 36 26.7 47 34.8 Sometimes No % 69 51.1 40 29.6 49 36.3 51 37.8 75 55.6 59 43.7 52 38.5 48 35.5 20 14.8 47 34.8 52 38.5 7 5.2 79 58.5 78 57.8 Often Always No % 21 15.6 12 8.9 39 28.1 19 14.1 27 20 28 20.7 19 14.1 72 53.4 30 22.2 22 16.3 29 21.5 20 14.8 10 7.4

Dialogue Drink coffee or eat frequently Leading a healthy life Exercise Seek job clarification Delegation of responsibilities and authority Withdraw from some forms of works Seek Divine help through prayers Drugs abuse, smoking, drinking Relaxation Setting ones own limits Resignation Leaving work environment Time management and proper planning Source: Authors survey, (2009)

Table 7.6: Respondents suggestions on Organization Stress coping Strategies

Never/Rarely No % 5 3.7 24 17.8 42 31.1 22 16.3 37 27.4 34 25.2 14 10.4 23 17.0 30 22.2 45 33.3 19 14.1 10 7.4 Sometimes No % 63 47.3 69 51.1 37 27.4 44 32.6 45 33.3 46 34.1 42 31.1 58 43 46 34.1 54 40 52 38.5 50 37.0 Often Always No % 67 49.6 42 31.1 56 41.5 69 51.1 53 39.3 55 40.7 79 58.5 54 40 59 43.7 36 26.7 54 47.4 75 55.6 Rank 1 7 11 5 10 9 3 6 8 12 4 2

Work consultation and meetings Job redesign Placement Career development Performance reviews Counseling Management training Motivation Open door policy Flexible working hours Informal discussions Promotion of friendly and sociable working environment Source: Authors survey, (2009)

Table 7.5 shows the various suggestions on individual stress coping strategies. Seeking divine help through prayers is considered the best coping strategy to stress as 120(88.9%) attested to this while 15(11.1%) says never. In terms of dialogue 90(66.7%) believed that it can help individual to cope while 44(33.3%) says never. This implies that, dialogue can definitely help an individual to cope with stress. As regards eating frequently or drinking of coffee, the study revealed that it cannot as 83(61%) attested to this fact while only 52(38.5%) says yes. Leading a healthy life is also a workable coping strategy in coping with stress as 88(65.2%) agreed with this fact while the remaining 47(34.8%) says never. The respondents agreed that doing the following underlisted things will never help an individual to cope with stress. Such things include resignation from work 128(94.8%), drug abuse, smoking, drinking, 85(63%) relaxation 66(48.9%), exercise 65(48.15%), withdrawal from some form of work 64(47.41%). The respondents strongly believed that they are coping with stress as they do the following things. Seek job clarification 102(75.56%), leading work environment 99(73.34%), time management and proper planning 88(65.2%) setting ones own limits 81(60%), delegation of responsibilities and authority 87(64.45%). Table 7.6 proffers respondents recommendations on organizations coping strategies. Work consultations and meetings, promotion of friendly and sociable working environment, management

Impact of Job Stress on Managers Performance


training, informal discussions and career development were ranked the best five while flexible working hours, placement, performance reviews, counseling, open door policy were ranked least as organizational coping strategies to stress.

8. Discussion
The results of this exploratory study are useful to organizational managers in maintaining the quality of their human resource. Although this study reports perceptions and not objective characteristics of jobs in Nigerian organizations, pooling subjective perception gives an indication of the main problem areas. As the questionnaires were not administered in the job context or shop floor, results are not likely to have been distorted by the desire of respondents to obtain some improvement in their working conditions. Caring organizational leaders may wish to take some measures to reduce the problem of work overload and excessive working hours, leading to exhaustion and burnout. In many companies, especially in banks and financial institutions, managers are under pressure to remain in the office long after normal closing hours, even if there is no urgent work to do. In any case, if the workload is great, firms should consider hiring more capable hands so that their staff may lead balanced lives.

9. Conclusion and Recommendation

From this paper, it can be concluded that stress is normal to human existence. A totally stress free state is death. The science of stress management therefore is to keep stress to a stimulatory level that is healthy and manageable. To be effective, organizational members must recognize when to increase and when to decrease stress. They key to constructively managing stress is to first recognize its energizing or destructive effects. Managers can encourage productive stress. They can help employees build challenge into their work and assume incremental responsibility and autonomy over time. Business owners and top level management can also help managers cope with dysfunctional stress in the following ways: helping them secure treatment at work for the symptoms of stress e.g. through counseling and organizing stress-reduction workshops, encouraging stress-reduction activities such as exercise; diet, relaxation, or psychological support. Finally, organizations can change or remove the stressors by redesigning jobs to reduce role conflict, role overload, role ambiguity, or conversely, boredom. They can also change organizational policies to give individuals more control over their work activities.

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