BMG735 Managing People in the Organisation: Assignment Help
Table of Content
2. Brief overview of issue
Excessive stress is a major health hazard for employees. More importantly, it has a significant bearing on the company through reduced performance. Since, stressed employees are more susceptible to burnout they are unable to deal with the everyday demands of a working environment. Moreover, a stressed employee’s physical and mental health will continue to deteriorate if the issue is not addressed or resolved. In this discussion, the case study of Hamptons Machinery will be used to analyse employee stress and wellbeing. In addition, recommendations will be provided to help assist the firm in the managing the problem more effectively.
2. Brief overview of the issue
One of the major human resource issues identified within Hamptons Machinery is employee stress and wellbeing. As the company has not yet addressed the issue, it has led to the failure of retaining operators. Operators joining and then leaving the company after a short period has become a common occurrence. Employees have even pointed out that factory noise and mental/physical exhaustion as some of the reasons for their premature relationships with the company. This issue is also visible within HR department with the training officer forced to take leaves to help recuperate from work-related stresses.
The impact of failing to manage employee stress and wellbeing within the workforce is quite significant. HSE’s report on work stress points out that this issue results in an annual loss of 16.2 billion to companies. Moreover, it is a major contributor to work-related health issues. In addition, anxiety and stress also contribute to overall absenteeism with 38.8 million working days lost in the UK alone (Hse.gov.uk, 2019). Furthermore, stress takes a hold when job requirements (for example, deadlines) are not met or when employees are subject to excessive work.
Bonde (2008) argues that psychosocial factors are major contributor to work stress. Firstly, Demand factors – This includes work-related demands like work patterns, workloads, timing etc. Demand factors are among the most common psychosocial factor that leads to employee stress and usually involves overwork or excessive work (Al Rasasi et al. 2015). If the company to fails to manage this factor, it can quickly lead to employee burn. The lack of productivity and retention within Hamptons Machinery is sign that employee burn might be occurring within the workforce (Maslach and Leiter, 2008). Secondly, Control – Individual control and authority over work. Being able to do a task with personal preference and style leads to job satisfaction. However, when this control is taken away and individuals must approach their work according to company rules or practices it can cause stress (Fujishiro and Heaney, 2009). Thirdly, Support – encouragement, motivation and other support structures provided by colleagues, management and the company itself is vital in managing stress within the workforce (Farhadi et al. 2013). Fourthly, Relationships – positive work culture helps avoid and deals with conflict effectively (Colligan and Higgins, 2006). Fifthly, Role – Clarity on job roles and responsibilities prevents confusion and reduces conflict within the workplace (Kelloway and Barling, 1991). Sixthly, Change – organisational change marks major changes in working styles, practices and processes. Therefore, it is a sensitive and stressful time for employees (Dahl, 2011). The nature, frequency and management of organisational change is thus critical in preventing stress during these times (Day et al. 2017).
Apart from psychosocial factors, environmental factors too are contributor to employee stress. These factors include noise, temperature, light, vibration and ergonomic design (Largo-Wight et al. 2011). Environmental factors contribute to making the working environment comfortable for the employee. Therefore, if even of these factors are out of place, it can have a significant bearing on stress (Kinman and Jones, 2005). For example, if inadequate lighting is providing within the factory, a simple repair can end up becoming a very challenging task. From this, it is clear that environmental factors can make daily tasks either easier or more difficult. Furthermore, Kahn and Byosiere’s (1992) framework on organisational stress suggests that people themselves also act as stress moderators lowering or increasing the impact of stress causing factors within the organisation. For example, an employee with a strong locus of control and hardiness is able to cope with work-related stress more effective.
Employee wellbeing is interconnected with workplace stress. When workplace stress is kept to a minimum, employee wellbeing is enhanced. In addition, considering that employee wellbeing is directly related an employee’s wellness and health; it is the responsibility of Hamptons Machinery to ensure a good environment is provided. Furthermore, Kerr et al. (2009) argues that wellbeing is important because it leads to individuals achieving perfect work-life balance. This explains why employee anxiety/stress factors within the workplace contribute often result in absenteeism (Bhui et al. 2012). As a result, if employees are happy or satisfied with the working environments provided, they tend to be more committed in a better position to manage their personal and professional responsibilities.
Indenting Problem Areas
At present, only a few problem areas related to employee stress have been identified within the case study. In fact, there might be other hidden areas of concern. If these hidden problem areas are not identified within Hamptons Machinery there is a possibility the intervention strategies used might not yield substantial results (Nielsen et al. 2010). Therefore, the first recommendation is the carry out a type of companywide audit to determine what is causing employee stress. In order to identify wellbeing inhibitors and stressors, the brand must collect and analyse data from various sources (Cox et al. 2007). For example, data on sickness absence might help indicate problems in specific teams or areas.
Discussions with employees
The next recommendation involves raising communication and interaction between company and staff. It is recommended that Hamptons Machinery carry out regular discussions with employees to understand their grievances and difficulties at work. Such interactions can be made possible either through digital platforms like portals or even carried out directly in meetings. Moreover, such interactions are critical because it also allows the company to understand how certain intervention strategies are perceived; since, company-employees communication occurs more frequently (Giga et al. 2003).
Employee wellbeing programs
It is recommended that Hamptons Machinery also utilise wellbeing programs, which are basically activities that enhance employee physical health. Such programs provide free and unrestricted access to activities or facilities that enhance health. For example, the use of onsite gyms is a common strategy used by firms to boost personal fitness through exercise. The company could also consider free health check-ups occasionally to help assess physical health. Moreover, these check-ups could be made mandatory to ensure the intervention is effective throughout the company (Le Fevre et al. 2006).
Unlike wellbeing programs that focus on physical fitness, relaxation approaches target improvements in mental health (Richardson and Rothstein, 2008). Mediation/yoga is seen as an effective tool to help employees unwind and relax. Breathing exercises too can help achieve similar exercises (Della Valle et al. 2020). While, Eisen et al. (2008) also suggests muscle relaxation exercises as an effective relaxation approach.
Hamptons Machinery can also adopt tertiary interventions to help improve employee wellbeing and reduce stress. Such interventions focus around managing stress on an individual basis. Therefore, this is much more time consuming and challenging to undertake. That being said, such intervention methods have seen success. EAPs or employee assistance programs and the use of counsellors are two tertiary interventions recommended for the brand (Azaroff et al. 2010).
The analysis reveals that employee wellbeing has degraded; especially within operators. The high levels of stress are being cause by overwork and a poorly managed workplace environment. The result of this is that employees almost immediately leave the company upon joining, with long-term commitment drastically reducing. More importantly, workplace stress was seen to be related to employee wellbeing. This means, the company must irradiate or manage employee stress if it wants to raise wellbeing levels within the workforce. In addition, primary, secondary and tertiary intervention strategies were suggested.
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