Human Resource Management and Employment

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 4
Words: 1114
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

Stress Reduction Methods

It goes without saying that stress has a highly negative impact on people’s physical and mental health. Thus, chronic stress may affect almost all body systems, blood pressure, heart rate, and the digestive track making individuals more vulnerable to diseases. At the same time, work-related conditions, including the pressure of workloads, long work hours, job insecurity, communication with multiple customers, and relatively small salaries, may significantly provoke stress. In the present day, unexpected conditions related to the pandemic and social struggles for racial equity and human rights, have already contributed to the development of anxiety and even depression among employees of multiple companies. At the same time, employees’ stress costs them an estimated $300 billion per year (Porter, 2015). That is why organizations are currently taking notice regarding the consequences of stress implementing various methods of its reduction.

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One of the most popular strategies refers to a company’s efforts to release employees’ burdens and provide positive emotions. For instance, Appster, an app development agency, offers perks to its employees such as rides to work and free meals (Porter, 2015). It also pays for workers’ entertainment activities allowing them to spend a good time together outside the workplace. In addition, the company’s office in California has a pet husky with whom employees may spend time during the day. These practices of stress management may be regarded as efficient because they provide alternatives to stressful conditions. Thus, an agency tries to minimize employees’ financial burden if it exists, gain their trust, and minimize stress through supporting pleasant activities. In addition, switching activities, especially for spending time with animals, positively contributes to people’s mental health. The potential drawback of these strategies is in their cost-inefficiency for a company, however, benefits easily outweigh expenditures.

Another popular strategy of stress management implies a particular boundary-spanning and the promotion of informal communication. In other words, the managers of some companies build strong informal relationships with employees along with professional ones to make people feel comfortable and relaxed. Thus, in a personalized nutrition company InsideTracker, employees and managers practice daily stretch breaks on Google Hangouts that were introduced during the pandemic (Taylor, 2020). In addition, the company organizes mat stretching classes for 15-20 minutes every Friday providing an opportunity for employees to socialize as well. In addition, it created a special channel dedicated to informal conversation and posting photos of pets, meals, and household objects.

First of all, the practice of physical activities for stress management is highly beneficial from the perspective of health. Breathing and stretching help release endorphins, relax, and relieve muscular tension. In addition, the close connection between managers and employees may improve the workplace environment that contributes to the minimization of stress as well (Taylor, 2020). All in all, in challenging times, the activities of the company help its employees feel respected and cared for. In turn, employees’ use of managers’ loyalty in their personal interests may be regarded as the strategy’s potential disadvantage. Nevertheless, the minimization of stress through friendship and support even in the workplace is more essential.

When I was working in McDonald’s for a short period of time, I nevertheless got acquainted with this company’s method of stress management. We had weekly meetings altogether, and during them, every employee had an opportunity to speak out about all complaints he had. According to the company’s policy, listening to workers is the most affordable practice of stress minimization. At the same time, I do not fully agree with this statement. First of all, complaints, especially personal ones, frequently led to conflicts within teams. In addition, discussions are efficient only when they are concerned and turned into actions. However, ideas, initiatives, and complaints did not lead to any obvious improvements.

Employee Benefits

As a matter of fact, when people are looking for a job, they pay attention not only to a salary but additional benefits as well. The common employee benefits include health and life insurance, paid time off, remote and flexible working options, long-term and short-term disability, professional development, employee assistance programs, retirement benefits, healthy lifestyle incentives, childcare benefits, sign-on bonuses, and loan repayment benefits for students. From a personal perspective, all benefits may be regarded as essential as they cover various aspects of people’s needs. It goes without saying that the most necessary benefits are connected with health, well-being, and job security – they are health insurance, sick days, long-term and short-term disability, retirement and childcare benefits, and loan repayment benefits for students. In this case, employees feel that they are respected by a company and will not be left alone in difficult situations. Other benefits are essential as well as they provide opportunities for professional and personal development and contribute to the balance between work and private life.

Employers frequently include benefits in employee compensation as it is cost-efficiently for a company to purchase them in comparison with employees on their own. In addition, the inclusion of benefits in compensation is legally obligatory, and “key benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans fall under government scrutiny” (“The basics of employee benefits,” n.d., para. 12). Thus, the provision of benefits is controlled by the Department of Labor, and penalties are imposed on companies that do not follow its regulations.

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Benefits of Labor Unions

Personally, I have never belonged to any labor union, however, I am aware of the benefits provided by these structures. Labor unions set workplace protection and pay standards, and their members benefit “most from the union’s collective bargaining power to negotiate with employers on their behalf” (“Benefits of Union Membership,” n.d., para. 1). They protect employees from unreasonable and unpredictable dismissal and provide an opportunity to strike. I would like to join a labor union in the future to feel safe in the workplace knowing that my interests are protected and I cannot be treated disrespectfully by an employer.

In addition, I would like to be in a union due to its official support in challenging times. For instance, during the pandemic, unions provided wage equity and respectful salaries for unionized workers, especially Black and Hispanic ones (McNicolas et al., 2020). In general, unionization is beneficial for economic growth and development, competitiveness, productivity, workplace safety, and the quality of products and their delivery (“Benefits of Union Membership,” n.d.). At the same time, as far as I know, labor unions guarantee not only job security but a stable future for retired employees as union workers have more chances to receive guaranteed pensions in comparison with non-unionized ones. This aspect is highly essential for me as I am attached to planning and would like to be sure that working during my adulthood will lead to financial stability after retirement.

References

Benefits of Union Membership. (n.d.). Web.

McNicolas, C., Rhinehart, L., Poydock, M., Shierholz, H., Perez, D. (2020). Why unions are good for workers—especially in a crisis like COVID-19. Economic Policy Institute. Web.

Porter, J. (2015). How Google and others help employees burn off stress in unique ways. Fast Company. Web.

Taylor, S. J. (2020). How 3 companies are helping employees cope with stress. Workest. Web.

The basics of employee benefits. (n.d.). Web.

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