THE IMPACT OF WORKPLACE STRESS ON EMPLOYEES’ PERFORMANCE IN DE-UNITED FOOD INDUSTRIES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Naturale (2007) states that stress is one situation when an individual reacts to or faces something different to a new opportunity, the restraints and the effort that needs to be put in according to the demand. This situation of stress can also be argued as a powerful condition where the apparent outcome and the preferred outcome both are equally important and unknown at same time. However, researchers have carefully observed stress, and have figured out that the condition of stress or the single term ‘stress’ can either excite pressure or may create tension which in turn might be damaging. If the condition of stress is totally unpleasant, it may turn into negativity and may throw a negative crash on the person; this situation is commonly termed as distressed.
When the stress is discussed especially with respect to production or manufacturing, it will directly affect the production of work directly resulting in low amount of output for the company. In companies such as Reliance Fresh, the work force is quite large, and here the organization gives much concern to quality of work. In addition, the employees should take care and closely have a look at their absenteeism levels. If it is observed that absenteeism percent is too high, it implies that it is somewhere associated with stress condition. It is one of the important aspects for a company as the output and productivity levels play a vital role to check the stress level of employees, as these create non productivity and inefficiency. This will be a not-so-good situation for the company as well as the employees too. According to a survey made by Smith, Segal and Jaffe (2007), the above statement is confirmed for the survey. When the stress, depression or anxiety is associated with work, then there will be 13.5 million loss of working days, this is according to a self-report survey by labour force in India. This finds a fact that it is necessary for a manager to manage the welfare of employees directly, and ensure that there is continuous workflow without any kind of sick leaves or absenteeism levels on chart.
In their observations, Tanova and Holtom (2008) found that in large number of meta-analysis which can determine the reasons of employee turnover and employee attritions, and found universal agreement could be reached about the determinants of the both as work stress. It has been discovered, though generally, that employee attitude and their job satisfaction alone cannot explain the reasons of employees stress. In their study two types of stress results have been referred to, one is physical stress and the other is mental.
Job satisfaction is the extent to which an employee is happy with his/her job. This can help to improve an employee’s positive attitude towards work. Stone (2005:413) has stated that job satisfaction is the degree to which employees have positive attitudes towards their jobs. According to Locke (1976), cited in Fulford (2005:74), job satisfaction is a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences. As aforementioned, employee turnover in the fast food industry is at a record high due to job dissatisfaction. Absenteeism has also multiplied owing to work related stress, as jobs in the industry are monotonous and not often rotated to develop their skills and performance, could bring about ultimate job satisfaction (Ukpere, 2007: 461).Ivancevich (2007:12) interjected that there should be a feeling of the right job so that employees can be productive, since workers spend one-third of their day at work and, therefore, require a good working conditions, working environment and co-operative co-workers in order to be comfortable in the workplace (Charner & Fraser, 2003:48). To keep employees satisfied, there must be for good remuneration, medical aid and fringe benefits in order to deliver good quality services. Workers satisfaction, almost tantamount to workers motivation. Employees tend to produce good quality work and good customer services when they are satisfied and motivated. Unsatisfied workers will result in high absenteeism, low quality outputs and high rate of employee turnover (Ivancevich, 2007:12). Poor satisfaction of worker may be as a result of poor working conditions, less fringe benefits, autocratic management style, and etcetera. Such vices have adverse implications on employee performance in the workplace, particularly in the fast food industry. Thus, job satisfaction has been recognized as an important factor in the fast food industry to ameliorate the negative attitudes of employees towards their job or organization as far as absenteeism and turnover are concerned (Vallen, 1993, cited in Fulford, 2005: 74).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Lazarus (2003) stress is a phenomenon that is ubiquitous and multifaceted (Lazarus, 2003, 19). This phenomenon can prove to be costly for organisations as it may become the cause of increased employee turnover (Villanueva and Djurkovic, 2009, 127). The factor of stress becomes increasingly important in organisations and industries that are customer oriented. This is because employees have to face conflicting demands of company, customers and supervisors. These conflicts between employees and supervisors, employees and customers may give rise to dissonance for employees (Ruyter, Wetzels, and Feinberg, 2001, 31).
Many researchers argue that stress at workplace has an impact on performance in one way or the other. Dean (2002) view work related stress as a leading cause for low productivity in the workplace. DCS Gaumail, (2003) believes stress affects the organizational outcomes such as decrease in performance, increase in absenteeism and dissatisfaction. In the same breadth, Desseller (2000) concurred that the consequences of organizational stress are far-reaching leading to reduction in the quality and quantity of job performance. According to Frost (2003) hardworking and valuable employees who experience negative experiences in the workplace, have their hopes dashed, their goals derailed and or their confidence undermined. He asserts that organization should endeavour to identify emotional pain, when it occurs and act to intervene, potentially lethal situations in the work place, can be reversed.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the impact of workplace stress on employees’ performance in De-united food industries, Ota. The specific objectives include the following:
1. To assess the overall impact of work stress on organizational productivity.
2. To assess the mental and physical dangers and impact of stress on employees of De-united food industries, Ota.
3. To identify the impact of stress on employees’ performance at De-united food industries, Ota.
4. To investigate factors that leads to work stress among employees of De-united food industries, Ota
5. To make recommendations about stress management to De-united food industries Ota for future considerations.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:
1. What is the overall impact of work stress on organizational productivity?
2. What is the mental and physical dangers and impact of stress on employees of De-united food industries, Ota?
3. What is the impact of stress on employees’ performance at De-united food industries, Ota?
4. What are the factors that leads to work stress among employees of De-united food industries, Ota?
5. What are the recommendations about stress management to De-united food industries Ota for future considerations?