Wellness and Job Stress Management
Corporate stress-management programmes have two main goals and while an employee might think their objectives are 100% benevolent the fact is that both goals are focused on getting the most that they possibly can from their employee.
Some common features of stress management programs are:
- Theory and information about stress, its physical effects and the psychological and behavioral problems caused.
- Tools and resources to allow an employee to determine their level of stress and have an ongoing way of measuring it.
- Details of some relaxation and coping techniques as discussed earlier and if a specific stressor has been identified - more specific information on how to deal with that also.
Theory Y organizations (as discussed in further detail here and here) tend to make these commitments for more positive reasons - namely the knowledge that investing in their employees pays significant future dividends from a loyalty and commitment perspective in the future. Theory Y organizations generally exhibit 3 key preconditions for success:
- Rewarding performance vs. "facetime"
- Focusing on living and working by values
- Respect for the individual
A Fact of Life
One of the biggest stressors in today's world is the threat of redundancy and job loss. Unfortunately a significant driving factor in job loss, is the trend to outsource jobs (service and manufacturing) to developing countries. Dealing with employees - the survivors - in industries experiencing downsizing is never easy or fun. Some of the facts of life now are:
- Domestic competition isn't - with access to the Internet and global markets, its now extremely easy for even the smallest entrepreneur to offer their products or services in any size market. Larger organizations are also taking advantage of these trends.
- Big companies are getting bigger - mergers and acquisitions are a continuous and ongoing trend and most often, the managers and employees who work for the loser become the next ones to be unemployed: ‘To the winner go the spoils!’ Unfortunately while not an ideal growth choice, it is often the only way for some companies to grow in saturated markets.
- Contractors and Temporary staff - Theory X companies especially practice this strategy and employee many contract and temporary staff due to the lower costs to the business. Loyalty in temporary staff is not a driving factor and unfortunately due to the economic situations, there is never a lack of resources to fill the role! Additional pressure is applied in public companies for this very same reason as the outsourcing of non-core business functions (even through the loss of skilled staff) raises profits by lowering costs.