Coping Strategies With Stress At Work.
The psychosocial risks are usually assimilated with organizing and managing the activities in a disordered way, and also with an improper working environment. The working conditions determine the state of mind of the employee. Here are some working conditions that determine the social risks:
Excessive volume of work
Lack of clarity in managing tasks. This comes from the behavior of the employee, but usually, it is determined by contradictory orders given by superiors.
Lack of implication in decisions that affect the employee, and lack of influence about the way the activity is organized. This means that the employee is confused when his bosses take decisions without asking him. Inefficient communication, lack of support from the superior and colleagues might lead to an increased level of stress.
Psychological and sexual harassment, and violence at the workplace
It is important not to make confusions between the psychosocial risks, such as excessive volumes of work, with the working conditions. The working conditions are mostly connected to the objects and items used by the employee for his or hers everyday tasks.
A favorable working environment increases the level of efficiency, as the employees are well prepared and motivated to do their tasks as well as possible.
When the demands at the working place are too much for the employees, their capacity to finish their tasks is affected. Besides psychosocial diseases, the employees might be affected physically. For example, they might develop cardiovascular problems.
At the level of the organization, amongst the negative effects, we can state the weak economic performance, an increased absenteeism, and a phenomenon called “fake presence” (when the employees are sick but they do come to work, not being able to complete their daily tasks).
The absences will be longer than the ones generated by other causes, and the stress might be the reason for which people retire earlier.
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How severe is the problem?
As frequency, stress represents the second reason for professional diseases in Europe. Half of the employees consider that stress is a usual factor at the working place. The most frequent causes of stress are reorganizing of departments, lack of safety about the working place, as well as harassment at the working place. Four out of 10 employees say that stress is not managed accordingly at their working place.
The study also shows that 8 out of 10 European managers are preoccupied about the stress at the workplace. However, only 30% admit that they have procedures to manage this type of stress. The survey also shows that half of the employees consider that the psychosocial risks are harder to manage than the ones connected with security and traditional work health.
What can we do?
By approaching the subject in a proper manner, the risks can be prevented, no matter how big is the company. They can be approached in a systematic way, just like it is possible for security at the workplace.
Managing stress is not only a moral obligation for the managers, but also a good investment for the employer. It is mandatory according to the European and American legislations. This becomes a huge problem, especially since the employees are more solicited at the workplace.