Workplace Stress Management and Work-Life Balance

Introduction

There are various factors that shape employees’ attitudes towards their job. Much attention should be paid to the way in which managers support workers. Admittedly, business administrators should make these people committed to the organizational goals and demand excellent results from them. Nevertheless, it is important to remember about the risks of stress and work overload since these adverse factors can significantly reduce the productivity of workers (Gryna, 2004, p. 8). Therefore, employers should design the policies that can help employees cope with these issues. This report is aimed at identifying the best practices in such fields as stress-management and work-life balance. Moreover, it is necessary to provide recommendations that can be applied by the managers of the company. These results can be important for improving various aspects of performance such as HR management as well as productivity. Yet, one should remember that this report cannot be always used as a guideline by managers, because it does not take into account potential changes in the operations of the company, its structure, and culture. Finally, this document covers only some several areas of HR management, but it does not incorporate other important aspects such as motivation and retention, even though these questions can be related to stress management and work-life balance.

Stress management policy

Overall, it is possible to identify several strategies that can be beneficial for this company. At first, the management can focus on rather specific interventions that help workers cope with the effects of stress. For instance, the company can increase the number of work breaks which can help a person cope with work overload (Secord 2003, p. 431). In this way, businesses administrators can increase the productivity of employees, especially if they work on monotonous tasks. Secondly, they can launch an employee assistance program. In this case, the company may need to use the services of a professional counselor who can better identify those individuals who are more vulnerable to stress (Secord 2003, p. 431). These professional can eliminate the threat of violent conflicts in the workplace. Moreover, he/she can prevent employees from leaving the company. The problem is that even very skilled workers can be vulnerable to stress, and the organization should retain them. The counselor can also teach employees various coping skills that can be related to such issues as time management or relaxation (Croome 1999, p. 87). This is the main benefit of this approach. Apart that, managers should keep in mind that work stress can be the result of bullying (Weinberg, Bond, Cooper, & Sutherland 2010, p. 175). Therefore, they should put a stop to this behavior as soon as possible (Weinberg et al. 2010, p. 175). These are some of the key interventions that can be considered by business administrators.

Additionally, the company should focus on the design of jobs. For instance, in many cases, the stress can be explained the fact that worker is continuously time-pressured. As a rule, this situation can be attributed to poor time-management and scheduling (Secord 2003). Furthermore, a worker can struggle with anxiety provided that his/her responsibilities are not clearly delineated. Such a person may believe that he/she is responsible for virtually every task. In turn, an employee, who can be accountable simultaneously to several managers, can also suffer from stress (Secord 2003). Moreover, researchers note that mentorship and orientation programs enable new hires to understand the requirements of the employers and gain insights into the way in which workers interact with one another. This approach has been adopted by many leading corporations that occupy leading positions in the industry, for instance, one can mention such organizations as Google or Apple.

Furthermore, researchers note that stress can be attributed to the conflicts which have not been resolved properly. In many cases, business administrators prefer to avoid disputes or disregard them (O’Rourke & Collins 2008, p. 3). However, this approach can lead to unresolved tensions and even hostility in the long term (O’Rourke & Collins 2008). This is why business administrators should resolve conflicts at early stages.

These examples provided in this paper suggest that businesses have the methods of minimizing the influence of stress. Moreover, business administrators should not suppose that only by increasing monetary compensation, they can minimize the perceived role of stress (Lussier 2014). This intervention will not be sufficient for achieving this goal. These are the main points that can be made.

Work-life balance

Successful companies attach importance to work-life balance. In particular, the administrators should make sure that a person has an opportunity to adhere to the lifestyle which appeals to him/her. These organizations can take several steps, for instance, one can speak about such an intervention as compressed workweek. It means that a person work less than five days during a week, but he/she works longer hours (Rao 1999, p, 125). This approach is beneficial to those people who need to take an extra day off due to some reasons.

Additionally, the employees have more opportunities for scheduling their work. For instance, they can start their work earlier. Apart they are allowed to stay at home and work online, provided that they do not have to be present at the workplace in order to complete the tasks that the organization sets for them (Tatara 2005, p, 23). This opportunity can be of great value to those employees who may have small children. In particular, female employees can benefit from this trend (Baker 2012). These are some of the practices that can be distinguished. These policies are adopted by successful companies, and to some degree, they contribute to their financial performance and long-term sustainability.

Furthermore, businesses enable employees to take career breaks that can also be useful at time. For instance, employees may be encouraged to take a vacation that may last for several weeks or even months (Varlejs & Walton 2009, p. 330). This option can be particularly relevant to people who may struggle with psychological or personal problems. For instance, one can mention such an issue as the loss of a close relative. Furthermore, managers should pay attention to the workaholic behaviors (Robinson 2014, p. 23). Certainly, people, who act in this way, can contribute to the improved performance of a company. Nevertheless, in the long term, such individuals can suffer from stress and poor relations with a family. Under such circumstances, managers should encourage or even make such workers take a vacation since it can be critical for helping such a person.

Furthermore, many businesses enable employees to work shorter hours provided that these people agree on the reduction of compensation which is paid to them. This opportunity can also be of great value to employees, especially if they cannot fully commit themselves to organizational goals due to some reasons.

Again it is important to mention that increased wages do not always lead to the improved experiences of employees, especially, if one speaks about the perception of work-life balance. Apart from that, the strategies that have been outlined do not to lead to significant expenses for the organization.

Summary

On the whole, these examples indicate that business administrators have sufficient resources which can enable them to increase the employees’ commitment to the organization. In particular, these professionals should reduce the impact of stress on employees and help them create work-life balance. More importantly, these interventions do not usually necessitate significant expenses. In order to minimize the effects of stress, managers should focus on the following areas:1) job design and implementation of orientation programs for new employees; 2) psychological counseling offered to employees who are less resilient to stress; and 3) resolution or workplace conflicts. In turn, work-life balance can be better achieved by addressing the following aspects: 1) the scheduling of employee’s work, 2) the use of information technologies that enable workers to do their tasks at home; and 3) the use of career breaks that may be urgently needed by some workers. Overall, it is possible to say that work-life balance and stress management can be closely related to one another. For instance, some interventions such as job design and scheduling may be necessary for reducing stress and creating work-life balance. These are the main issues that can be distinguished.

Recommendations

It is possible to provide the following recommendations:

  1. The company should make use of information technologies that enable employees to work at a distance.
  2. The management of the company should enable workers to take more control over work scheduling. For instance, employees should be able to benefit from such options as compressed workweeks.
  3. Secondly, they need to concentrate on job design, especially such aspects as time-management and allocation of duties because in this way, managers can minimize the risk of stress and conflicts in the workplace.
  4. They need to establish an orientation program that can benefit new hires and minimize the impact of stress on them.
  5. Business administration should focus on workplace counseling since it is important for identifying at-risk workers.

Overall, the suggestions that have been advanced can be viewed as the most cost-effective methods of supporting employees. By addressing these issues, the company will be able to increase the loyalty of workers and make committed to the goals of the company. The proposed interventions can show that the company values its workers as individuals and this opportunity is of great importance to them. Therefore, they will try to produce better results.

References

Baker, M 2012, Academic Careers and the Gender Gap. UBC Press, New York

Croome, D 1999, Creating the Productive Workplace, CRC Press, New York.

Gryna, F 2004, Work Overload!: Redesigning Jobs to Minimize Stress and Burnout, ASQ Quality Press, Boston.

Lussier, R 2014, Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, & Skill Development, SAGE Publications, New York.

O’Rourke, J & Collins, S 2008, Module 3: Managing Conflict and Workplace Relationships, Cengage Learning, New York.

Rao, M 1999, Organisation Design, Change And Development, Discovery Publishing House, New York..

Robinson, B 2014, Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them, NYU Press New York.

Secord, H 2003, Implementing Best Practices in Human Resources Management, CCH Canadian Limited, Toronto.

Tatara, I 2005, HR How-to: Work-life Benefits, MA: CCH Incorporated, Boston.

Varlejs, J & Walton, G 2009, Strategies for Regenerating the Library and Information Profession, Walter de Gruyter, New York.

Weinberg, A, Bond, F, Cooper, C, & Sutherland, V 2010, Organizational Stress Management: A Strategic Approach, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.