You are on page 1of 12

APPROACHES TO MANAGE STRESS Following are the different types of ways by which work stress can be managed effectively:

MANAGING WORK STRESS BY TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

1) Learn to relax: Take some time out every day and do something you enjoy, take a walk outside in the fresh air, read a book, learn some simple breathing exercises or meditation, and/or take up a movement sport such as yoga

2) Get your sleep: The sleep of 7-8 hours sleep per night is very essential, by doing so you will have more energy the next day, have better concentration & focus and be less irritable. 3) Treat your body well: Have a healthy diet, Cut back on the soft drinks, alcohol and smoking. 4) Move your body: Take up a physical exercise such as walking, swimming, yoga, jogging, hitting the gym etc. By exercising at least 3 to 4 times per week you increase your fitness levels, muscle tone, reduce stress and improve heart and lung function. 5) Take up a hobby: Do something you really enjoy every week, it doesnt matter what you do, from stamp collecting to train spotting. Having our own hobby can do wonders for well-being and we all deserve a little me time every week.

REDUCING STRESS BY ELIMINATING SELF- DEFEATING BEHAVIORS: Many of us make work stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn around these self-defeating habits, you will find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.
1. Resist perfectionism. No project, situation, or decision is perfect, so trying to attain

perfection on everything will simply add unnecessary stress to your day. When you

set unrealistic goals for yourself or try to do too much, you are setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best, no one can ask for more than that.
2. Clean up your act. If youre always running late, set your clocks, watches fast, and

give yourself extra time. Make to-do lists and cross off items as you accomplish them. Plan your day and stick to the schedule you will feel less overwhelmed.
3. Flip your negative thinking. If you see the downside of every situation and

interaction, youll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative-thinking co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.
4. Dont try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our

control particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems. WAYS TO DISPEL STRESS

1. Take time away. When stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move

away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating in the break room. Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.
2. Talk it over with someone. In some situations, simply sharing your thoughts and

feelings with someone you trust can help reduce stress. Talking over a problem with someone who is both supportive and empathetic can be a great way to let off steam and relieve stress.
3. Connect with others at work. Developing friendships with some of your co-workers

can help buffer you from the negative effects of stress. Remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well.
4. Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to

relieve stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.

HOW EMPLOYERS CAN REDUCE STRESS:

1. IMPROVE COMMUNICATION

a. Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures. b. Clearly define employees roles and responsibilities. c.

Make communication friendly and efficient, not mean-spirited or petty. 2. CONSULT YOUR EMPLOYESS

a. Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs. b. Consult employees about scheduling and work rules. c.

Be sure the workload is suitable to employees abilities and resources; avoid unrealistic deadlines.

d. Show that individual workers are valued. e. Offer rewards and incentives. f.

Praise good work performance, both verbally and officially, through schemes such as Employee of the Month.

g. Provide opportunities for career development. h. Promote an entrepreneurial work climate that gives employees more control over

their work. 3. CULTIVATE A FRIENDLY SOCIAL CLIMATE

a. Provide opportunities for social interaction among employees. b. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. c.

Make management actions consistent with organizational values.

CONFLICT PROCESS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT


Process of Conflict:

1)

Latent conflict (stage 1): W

When two or more parties need each other to achieve desired objectives, there is potential for conflict. Other antecedents of conflict are interdependence, different goals, and ambiguity of responsibility. They do not automatically create conflict, when they exist- they make it possible. 2) Perceived conflict (stage 2):

This is the stage at which members become aware of a problem. Incompatibility of needs is perceived and tension begins as the parties begin to worry about what will happen. But no party feels that it is being overtly threatened. 3) Felt conflict (stage 3):

At this stage parties become emotionally involved and begin to focus on differences of opinion and opposing interests - sharpening perceived conflict. Internal tensions and frustrations begin to crystallize around specific, defined issues, and people begin to build an emotional commitment to their position. 4) Manifest conflict (stage 4):

At this stage, parties engage in actions that help achieve own objectives and thwart those of others. Conflict behaviors vary from the subtle, indirect and highly controlled forms of interference to direct, aggressive, violent and uncontrolled struggle. At the organizational level, strikes or lock-outs are the result. 5) Conflict outcome (stage 5):

The conflict finally results in an outcome, which may be functional or dysfunctional. If handled well, the result is functional conflict. If mishandled, the consequences are dysfunctional conflict. As conflict proceeds through the stages, resolution becomes more difficult. The parties become more locked into their positions and more convinced that the conflict is winning-lose situation. It is usually easier to achieve win-win outcomes when the conflict is recognized early before frustration and negative feelings set in. STRATEGIES FOR CONFLICT MANAGEMENT:

1) COLLABORATING Also known as problem confronting or problem solving. Collaboration involves an attempt to work with the other person to find a win-win solution to the problem in hand - the one that most satisfies the concerns of both parties. The win-win approach sees conflict resolution as an opportunity to come to a mutually beneficial result. It includes identifying the underlying concerns of the opponents and finding an alternative, which meets each party's concerns. When there is a high level of trust. Examples of when collaborating may be appropriate:

When consensus and commitment of other parties is important In a collaborative environment When a high level of trust is present When a long-term relationship is important When you need to work through hard feelings, animosity, etc When you don't want to have full responsibility 2) Compromising

Compromising looks for an expedient and mutually acceptable solution, which partially satisfies both parties. Moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperativeness. It works toward partial satisfaction of everyones concerns. It seeks acceptable rather than optimal solutions so that no one totally wins or loses Examples of when compromise may be appropriate:

When the goals are moderately important and not worth the use of more assertive or more involving approaches, such as forcing or collaborating

To reach temporary settlement on complex issues When collaboration or forcing do not work 3) Withdrawing

Also known as avoiding. This is when a person does not pursue her/his own concerns or those of the opponent. He/she does not address the conflict, sidesteps, postpones or simply withdraws.

Examples of when withdrawing may be appropriate:


When more important issues are pressing, and you don't have time to deal with it In situations where postponing the response is beneficial to you, for example -When it is not the right time or place to confront the issue or, When you need time to think and collect information before you act (e.g. if you are unprepared or taken by surprise) When you are unable to handle the conflict (e.g. if you are too emotionally involved or

others can handle it better) 4) Smoothing Also known as accommodating. Smoothing is accommodating the concerns of other people first of all, rather than one's own concerns. Examples of when smoothing may be appropriate:

When it is important to provide a temporary relief from the conflict When the issue is not as important to you as it is to the other person When you accept that you are wrong

NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES
Negotiation. The process of making joint decisions when the parties involved have different preferences as workplace disagreements arise over a variety of matters. Distributive negotiation. The distributive negotiation focuses on positions staked out or declared by the conflicting parties here parties try to claim certain portions of the existing pie. The key questions is: Who is going to get this resource? It involves Hard distributive negotiation where each party holds out to get its own way and Soft distributive negotiation where one party is willing to make concessions to the other party to get things over. It involves bargaining zone that is the range between one partys minimum reservation point and the other partys maximum reservation point. A positive bargaining zone exists when the two parties points overlap so positive bargaining zone provides room for negotiation.

Integrative negotiation: This is sometimes called principled negotiation and focuses on the merits of the issues. Parties try to enlarge the available pie. The key questions is: How can the resources best be utilized?. It is less confrontational than distributive negotiation, and permits a broader range of alternative solutions to be considered. Here is Opportunity for a true win-win solution. It has range of feasible negotiation tactics which are as follows: Selective avoidance. Compromise. True collaboration. And gaining truly integrative agreements rests on: 1) Supportive attitudes: Integrative agreements require that each party must approach the negotiation with a willingness to trust the other party, convey a willingness to share information with the other party and show a willingness to ask concrete questions of the other party. 2) Constructive behaviors. Reaching integrative agreements depends on the negotiators ability to separate the people from the problem, focuses on interests rather than positions, avoids making premature judgments, keeps alternative creation separate from evaluation, and judge possible agreements on an objective set of criteria or standards. 3) Good information. Each negotiation party must know what he/she will do if an agreement cannot be reached. Each party must understand the relative importance of the other partys interests. Common negotiation pitfalls. The myth of the fixed pie. The possibility of escalating commitment. Negotiators often develop overconfidence in their positions. Communication problems can cause Difficulties during a negotiation. Telling problem. Hearing problem.

Third-party roles in negotiation. 1) Arbitration. A third party acts as a judge and has the power to issue a decision that is binding on all disputing parties. 2) Mediation. A neutral third party tries to engage the disputing parties in a negotiated solution through persuasion and rational argument.

ORIENTATION TO WORKPLACE CULTURE AND ITS CHANGE:

Work culture plays an important role in extracting the best out of employees and making them stick to the organization for a longer duration. Work culture is a concept which deals in the study of:
Beliefs, thought processes, attitudes of the employees. Ideologies and principles of the organization.

It is the work culture, which decides the way employees interact with each other and how an organization functions. Collaborate (Clan) Culture An open and friendly place to work wherepeople share a lot of themselves. It is like an extended family. Leaders are considered to be mentors or even parental figures. Group loyalty and sense of tradition are strong. There is an emphasis on the long-term benefits of human resources development and great importance is given to group cohesion.There is a strong concern for people. The organization places a premium on teamwork, participation, and consensus. Create (Adhocracy) Culture

A dynamic, entrepreneurial, and creative place to work. Innovation and risk-taking are embraced by employees and leaders. A commitment to experimentation and thinking differently are what unify the organization. They strive to be on the leading edge. The long-term emphasis is on growth and acquiring new resources. Success means gaining unique and new products or services. Being an industry leader is important. Individual initiative and freedom are encouraged. Control (Hierarchy) Culture A highly structured and formal place to work. Rules and procedures govern behavior. Leaders strive to be good coordinators and organizers who are efficiency-minded. Maintaining a smooth-running organization is most critical. Formal policies are what hold the group together. Stability, performance, and efficient operations are the long-term goals. Success means dependable delivery, smooth scheduling, and low cost. Management wants security and predictability. Compete (Market) Culture A results-driven organization focused on job completion. People are competitive and goal-oriented. Leaders are demanding, hard-driving, and productive.The emphasis on winning unifies the organization. Reputation and success are common concerns. Long-term focus is on competitive action and achievement of measurable goals and targets. Sucess means market share and penetration. Competitive pricing and market leadership are important.

An organization is said to have a strong work culture when the employees follow the organizations rules and regulations and adhere to the existing guidelines. However, there are certain organizations where employees are reluctant to follow the instructions and are made to work only by strict procedures. Such organizations have a weak culture. Characteristics of a Healthy work Culture
A healthy work culture leads to satisfied employees and an increased

productivity.
Employees must be cordial with each other. One must respect his fellow worker.

Backbiting is considered strictly unprofessional and must be avoided for a healthy work culture. One gains nothing out of conflicts and nasty politics at work.
Each employee should be treated as one. Partiality leads to demotivated

employees and eventually an unhealthy work culture. Employees should be judged only by their work and nothing else. Personal relationships should take a backseat at the workplace. Do not favor anyone just because he is your relative.
Appreciating the top performers is important. Praise the employees to expect

good work from them every time. Give them a pat on their back. Let them feel indispensable for their organization. Dont criticize the ones who have not performed well, instead ask them to pull up their socks for the next time. Give them one more opportunity rather than firing them immediately.
Encourage discussions at the workplace. Employees must discuss issues among

themselves to reach to better conclusions. Each one should have the liberty to express his views. The team leaders and managers must interact with the subordinates frequently. Transparency is essential at all levels for better relationships among employees and a healthy work culture. Manipulating information and data tampering is a strict no no at the workplace. Let information flow in its desired form.
Organization must have employee friendly policies and practical guidelines.

Expecting an employee to work till late night on his birthday is simply impractical. Rules and regulations should be made to benefit the employees. Employees must maintain the decorum of the organization. Discipline is important at the workplace.

The Hitler approach does not fit in the current scenario. Bosses should be more

like mentors to the employees. The team leaders should be a source of inspiration for the subordinates. The superiors are expected to provide a sense of direction to the employees and guide them whenever needed. The team members should have an easy access to their bosss cabin.
Promote team-building activities to bind the employees together. Conduct

training programs, workshops, seminars and presentations to upgrade the existing skills of the employees. Prepare them for the tough times. They should be ready under any odd circumstances or change in the work culture.
IMPACT

Research suggests that numerous outcomes have been associated either directly or indirectly with organizational culture. A healthy and robust organizational culture may provide various benefits, including the following:

Competitive edge derived from innovation and customer service Consistent, efficient employee performance Team cohesiveness High employee morale Strong company alignment towards goal achievement

Although little empirical research exists to support the link between organizational culture and organizational performance, there is little doubt among experts that this relationship exists. Organizational culture can be a factor in the survival or failure of an organization - although this is difficult to prove considering the necessary longitudinal analyses are hardly feasible. The sustained superior performance of firms like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald's may be, at least partly, a reflection of their organizational cultures.

CHANGE: When an organization does not possess a healthy culture or requires some kind of organizational culture change, the change process can be daunting. Culture change may be necessary to reduce employee turnover, influence employee behavior, make improvements to the company, refocus the company objectives and/or rescale the organization, provide better customer service, and/or achieve specific company goals and results. A number of elements,

including the external environment and industry competitors, change in industry standards, technology changes, the size and nature of the workforce, and the organizations history and management, impacts culture change. Prior to a cultural change initiative, a needs assessment is needed to identify and understand the current organizational culture. This can be done through employee surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation, customer surveys where appropriate, and other internal research, to further identify areas that require change. The company must then assess and clearly identify the new, desired culture, and then design a change process. Cummings & Worley (2004, p. 491 492) give the following six guidelines for cultural change, these changes are in line with the eight distinct stages mentioned by Kotter (1995, p. 2): 1. Formulate a clear strategic vision (stage 1, 2, and 3). In order to make a cultural change effective a clear vision of the firms new strategy, shared values and behaviors is needed. 2. Display top-management commitment (stage 4). It is very important to keep in mind that culture change must be managed from the top of the organization, as willingness to change of the senior management is an important 3. Model culture change at the highest level (stage 5). In order to show that the management team is in favor of the change, the change has to be notable at first at this level. The behavior of the management needs to symbolize the kinds of values and behaviors that should be realized in the rest of the company 4. Modify the organization to support organizational change.(Stage 6) The fourth step is to modify the organization to support organizational change. This includes identifying what current systems, policies, procedures and rules need to be changed in order to align with the new values and desired culture. 5. Select and socialize newcomers and terminate deviants. A way to implement a culture is to connect it to organizational membership, people can be selected and terminate in terms of their fit with the new culture. 6. Develop ethical and legal sensitivity. Changes in culture can lead to tensions between organizational and individual interests, which can result in ethical and legal problems for practitioners. This is particularly relevant for changes in employee integrity, control, equitable treatment and job .