THE IMPACT OF OCCUPATIONAL STRESS IN THE LIFE OF WORKERS IN ADO EKITI

THE IMPACT OF OCCUPATIONAL STRESS IN THE LIFE OF WORKERS IN ADO EKITI

ABSTRACT

The study examined the impact of occupational stress in the life of workers in Ado –Ekiti. The study also sought to examine the effects of stress on workers in the performance of their occupation, evaluate management competencies for controlling and reducing stress at work,  assess the support for those people who are suffering from stress and assess how work related stress can affect the health of workers. Review of related literature was carried out through the use of journals from the internet and textbook related to the topic.

The descriptive survey research method was used for this study. Data were collected as it is, analyzed and reported without manipulation or distortion of any of the variables. The population of the study comprises of all workers in Ado Ekiti. The total sample for this research work consists of one hundred (100) respondents (workers) in Ado Ekiti State. The instruments for the study was a twenty (20)-item survey questionnaire (on the impact of occupational stress in the life of workers in Ado –Ekiti). The Assessment Questionnaire made used a modified Likert-type scale with four response options. The instrument was designed by the researcher to find out the impact of occupational stress in the life of workers in Ado –Ekiti. After developing the instrument, its face and content validity were established by subjecting it to an assessment by the researcher’s supervisor.  This helped to ascertain that the contents of the instrument were in line with the purpose of the study, research questions and hypotheses.

For the reliability of the instrument,  the questionnaire were collected and re-administered in time of an interval of two weeks to the same set of respondents. Questionnaires issued were returned and analyzed based on simple percentage and frequency counts.

The study also revealed that occupational stress can lead to persistent contractions of the muscles of the scalp, face, neck, and shoulders, stress can eventually weaken the body‘s immune system and stress can lead to death, which  implies that job stress has negative effect on the health of workers.

Based on the findings of the study it was recommendations that since the occupation related stress from lack of support from supervisors in tough times and workload conflict was high among workers, attention should be  to solve these issues- Lack of resources such as inadequate staff and lack of equipment must be advocated by the heads of the department or sections for the benefit of the staff. Performance is hindered by stress because the individual faces signals of stress which affects their productivity. Therefore, increasing formal organizational communication with employees reduces stress by lessening the role ambiguity. Open communication has an advantage of resolving conflicts between supervisors and subordinates. Lack of effective communication could cause unresolved conflicts that increase stress level.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE

CERTIFICATION

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ABSTRACT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Research Questions

Significance of the Study

Delimitation of the Study

Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED CURRENT LITERATURE

Introduction

Concept of Stress

Comparison of Stress

Effects of Stressors on Job Performance

Measurement of Occupational Stress and Workload

The Influence of Occupational Stress on Memory

Effects of Occupational Stress on Workload of Workers

Occupational Stress Management At The Workplace

Occupational Stress and Health

Causes of Job Stress

Consequence of Stress

How to Control Stress in Organization

Coping With Stress

Relevant Theories of Job Stress

Key Issues Relating to Occupational Stress

CHAPTER THREE : RESEARCH METHOD

Research Design

Population of the Study

Research Instrument

Validity of Instrument

Reliability of Instrument

Administration of the Instruments

Technique for Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Descriptive Analysis

Analysis of Research Questions

Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE : SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary

Conclusion

Recommendations
REFERENCES

APPENDIX

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Occupational stress has been of great concern to workers and other stakeholders of organizations. Occupational stress researchers agree that stress is a serious problem in many organizations (Cooper and Cartwright, 2012). The cost of occupational stress is very high in many organizations in recent times.

Occupational stress is defined as the perception of a discrepancy between environmental demands (stressors) and individual capacities to fill these demands (Topper, 2010) for example, argued that the causes of occupational stress include perceived loss of job, and security, sitting for long periods of time or heavy lifting, lack of safety, complexity of repetitiveness and lack of autonomy in the job.

In addition, occupational stress is caused by lack of resources and equipment; work schedules (such as working late or overtime and organizational climate are considered as contributors to workers stress. Occupational stress often shows high dissatisfaction among the workers, job mobility, burnout, poor work performance and less effective interpersonal relations at work (Manshor, Rodrigue, and Chong, 2013). Johnson (2011) similarly argued that interventions like identifying or determining the signs of stress, identifying the possible causes for the signs and developing possible proposed solutions for each signs are required.

Stress can come from any situation that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or anxious. Everyone sees situation differently and has different coping skills. For this reason, no two people will respond exactly the same way to a given situation. Additionally, not all situations that are labeled ―stressful‖ are negative. The birth of a child, being promoted at work or moving to a new home may not be perceived as threatening. However, we may feel that situations are ―stressful‖ because we don‘t feel fully prepared to deal with them.

Stress is a normal part of life. In small quantities, stress is good; it can motivate you and help you become more productive. However, too much stress, or a strong response to stress can be harmful. How we perceive a stress provoking event and how we react to it determines its impact on our health. We may be motivated and invigorated by the events in our lives, or we may see some as ―stressful‖ and respond in a manner that may have a negative effect on our physical, mental, and social well-being.

If we always respond in a negative way, our health and happiness may suffer. By understanding ourselves and our reaction to stress-provoking situations, we can learn to handle stress more effectively. In the most accurate meaning, stress management is not about learning how to avoid or escape the pressures and turbulence of modern living; it is about learning to appreciate how the body reacts to these pressures, and about learning how to develop skills which enhance the body‘s adjustment. To learn stress management is to learn about the mind-body connection and to the degree to which we can control our health in a positive sense.

Work stressors are the individual‘s characteristics which are brought to the workplace rather than being a function of it, but they are important ingredients in occupational stress. These characteristics include the worker‘s level of anxiety and neuroticism tolerance of ambiguity and Type A behaviors pattern (Matthews, 2012). In addition to the above are the sources of stress that come from outside the workplace and outside the worker. Theses extra-organizational sources of stress stem from family problems, life crises financial matters and environmental factors. All these mix up and here comes symptoms of occupational health problems that may develop into full blown disease. As complex as occupational stress may appear, it can be simplified by limiting stress at work, individual characteristics and extra-organizational sources of stress (Anderson, 2000).

One of the reasons that occupational stress has been receiving so much attention of late is that businesses or organizations are genuinely beginning to care about employee welfare. It is estimated by the International Labour Organization that stress on the job costs business in Europe over $200 billion per year. These costs include salaries for sick days, costs of hospitalization and outpatient care and costs related to decreased productivity.

Occupational Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances but is often made worse when workers feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues and where they have little control over work or how they can cope with its demands and pressures.

Work stress is recognized world-wide as a major challenge to workers‘ health and the healthiness of their organizations (ILO 2011). Workers who are stressed are also most likely to be unhealthy, poorly motivated, less productive and less effective at work and their organizations are less likely to be successful in a competitive market. Stress can be brought about by pressures at home and at work.

Organizations cannot usually protect their workers from stress arising outside of work, but they can protect them from stress that arises through work. Occupational stress can be a real problem to the organization as far as its workers are concerned. Good management and good work organizations are the best forms of stress prevention. If workers are already stressed, their managers should be aware of it and know how to help in order to get the best out of their workers. Poor work organization that is, the way we design jobs and worker systems and the way we manage them, can cause stress.

Excessive and otherwise unmanageable demands and pressures can be caused by poor work design, poor management and unsatisfactory working conditions. Similarly, these things can result in workers not receiving sufficient support from others or not having enough control over their work and its pressures.

The cause of stress are hazards related to the design and management of work and working conditions and such hazards can be managed and their effects controlled in the same way as other hazards. To conclude, work stress or occupational stress is a real challenge for workers and their employing organizations and their working environment, so do the kinds of stress problems that workers may face. It is important that the workplace is being continuously monitored for stress problems.

Therefore, this research will try to find out the impact of occupational stress in the life of workers and interventions that can be applied by Management and workers to manage stress effectively in Ado-Ekiti.

Statement of the Problem

The current turbulent environment in which some workers conduct their work requires that organizations examine their practices. Working at the tertiary level is an inherently stressful profession with long working hours, heavy workloads, difficult students and conflicting demands. The physical and psychology demands of workers at the tertiary level of education make them more vulnerable to high levels of stress. The effects of stress are evidenced as increased errors in memoranda, high medical bills, lateness to work, low productivity and increased sick leaves. Despite the extremely negative effects of occupational stress on the human body and work performance, many organizations, with Ado Ekiti not being an exception has not put in any concrete measures to address these stress-related conditions that negatively affect productivity. Furthermore, there has not been a conscious establishment of a linkage between occupational stress and its negative effect on productivity.

It is in the light of these problems that this research seeks to bring to the fore the implication of occupational stress on the life of workers in Ado – Ekiti

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of occupational stress in the life of workers in Ado –Ekiti. The study also sought;

To examine the effects of stress on workers in the performance of their occupation.

To evaluate management competencies for controlling and reducing stress at work.

To assess the support for those people who are suffering from stress.

To assess how work related stress can affect the health of workers.

Research Questions

Based on the purpose of the study, the specific research questions to which answers were sought are:

  1. What factors contribute to low productivity among staff of Ministry used as case study?
  2. Are there any strategies which could be adopted to prevent or reduce stress among staff of Ministry used as case study?
  3. What can be done to help staff of Ministry used as case study with stress related problems?
  4. Does job stress have any effect on the health of staff in Ministry used as case study?

Significance of the Study

Stress Management is important to healthy functioning of organizations as it seeks to increase productivity since one can clearly focus on tasks, better memory, improved immune system and better blood pressure. In Ado-Ekiti occupational stress is not being given the attention it deserves and so very little has been done as far as assessing the role of stress in the life of workers of Ado-Ekiti. It is in the light of this that this study is deemed important, as it will:

Create awareness among directors, commission and managers on the need to provide the needed platform to help staff deal with their stresses.

The study has the potential to stimulate, among scholars and students, an interest in the study of stress among workers in Ado-Ekiti.

 

Delimitation of the Study

          The study was delimited to examine the impact of occupational stress in the life o workers in Ado Ekiti.

Definition of Terms

Occupation: An occupation is a person’s job or means of employment.

Stress: Is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.

Workers: is a person who is engaged to perform work under a contract of service

Work Stressors: Are the individual‘s characteristics which are brought to the workplace rather than being a function of it, but they are important ingredients in occupational stress.

Occupational stress: Occupational stress is defined as the perception of a discrepancy between environmental demands (stressors) and individual capacities to fill these demands

 

 

 

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