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WORK PRESSURE AND INTERVENTIONS

  • 14 Pages
  • Published On: 8-12-2023
1. Introduction

Employee wellbeing and motivation are some of the integral factors that are considered by the businesses in order to increase their retention capabilities, improve productivity and keep the workforce motivated. Stressors in the workplace limit the capability of the organizational leaders in improving the organizational processes while driving the operations towards meeting their collective goals (Bourgoin and Harvey 2018). According to Soelton et al. (2020), work load and lengthy hours of work is an important stressors in the emerging workplace situation which has been exhausting the employees and affecting their wellbeing. Lengthy hours of work limits the work- life balance of the employees while reducing the aspects of the pain relievers, resulting to lower motivation and commitment of the workforce towards the growth and development of the businesses.

The development of an organization is specifically reliant on the commitment of the workforce while keeping the same motivated and focused towards the different types of work. The current research report would identify the impact of heavy workload and the long hours of work on the workforce of Tesco, UK, while identifying the strategic interventions that might be considered by the business in order to relieve the employees of the stressors for improving their performance. It has been observed that the chosen organization is encountering increased rates of absenteeism and staff turnovers from different departments and units. In this context, the report would analyze the different factors that have been affecting the wellbeing of the workforce through the stressors present in the processes.

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2. Key findings (Executive Summary)

Employee work- life balance is an important consideration that motivates and keeps the employees focused towards their respective work practices. According to Owens et al. (2018), the lengthy work hours and increasing workloads force the employees to stretch their shifts, affecting their prospects of maintaining a healthy work- life balance (Madsen et al. 2018). The employees of the concerned organization, Tesco, encountered concerns due to the elongated shift timings. From an employee survey in the organization it was found that most of the employees were forced to work for long shift hours just to complete their performance targets which were unrealistic. Moreover, some of the employees also agreed upon the fact that the increase in the workload has curbed them of their family time and disturbed their mental and physical health and wellbeing related needs.

Talukder (2019) stated that a fair balance in the work and life empowers the employees in making committed moves towards the growth and development of the organizational functions. The workplace stressors stimulate depressions among the employees which lead towards a poor mental health and stability. On the other hand, the increased workplace pressures exhaust the employees and create a restless attitude towards improving their performance or to contribute towards the overall organizational growth and expansion while operating in the competitive international markets. The concerned organization has been encountering different obligations and commitments while working towards establishing a customer oriented approach. While developing a customer oriented operational processes, the business specifically prioritized the changing needs and requirements of the customers over the health and wellbeing related needs of the employees.

The dilemma between profitability or sustenance of the business outweighed their concerns towards addressing the mental health and wellbeing related considerations of the workforce. Haar et al. (2019) stated that businesses sustain in the competitive environments through better productivity and profitability. Therefore, the concerned organization focused towards developing an integrated model for addressing the client needs over that of the work- life balance related expectations of the workforce with the purpose of increasing their profitability. However, the organization encountered severe staff turnovers with growing rates of absenteeism. Frequent absenteeism in the workplace disrupts the overall work flow while challenging the different organizational commitments. From a recent survey, it was observed that more than 62% of the employees operating in the organization, specifically the customer support department, was provided with unrealistic targets of addressing the requirements of the customers (Dinh 2020). The unrealistic performance targets forced the employees to stretch their shift timings which significantly affected their physical and mental health.

Moreover, it was observed that threats of job insecurity due to increased gap between their expected and real targets have been acting as a stressor. Smidt, Pétursdóttir and Einarsdóttir (2017) stated that most of the employees stretch their shift timings after their working hours in order to ensure the fulfillment of their employer’s unrealistic targets while sustaining their career in the organization. The tensions and pressure on the workforce tends to affect their commitment and motivated contributions towards improving the overall performance. According to Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, Prouska and Beauregard (2019), the active involvement of the employees towards different innovative processes of an organization ensures the continuous growth and development of the same in the international markets. The increasing work load, the disruptions in the work- life balance, the workplace tensions of an unsecured job role and the extension of the shift hours might be considered as the important factors that reduced the involvement of the employees in the different developmental projects of the organization.

The major challenge that is being encountered by the concerned organization is specifically related to keeping the workforce motivated (Ambriško, Marasová and Cehlár 2017 ). A combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stressors has been affecting the capability of the business in keeping the workforce focused while deriving positive outcomes as per the common strategic goals. In this connection, the lack of collaboration between the managers and the employees or between the team members also affects the capability of an organization in reducing the work load and providing the employees with the much needed work life balance. Oplatka (2017) stated that collaboration and coordination between the different employees support an organization in improving the capability of the individuals in maintaining a stable working intent. The chosen organization failed to build on efficient relations between the managers and the employees which limited the scope of relieving the increasing work pressure. Moreover, it was found that the organization did not provide provisions for casual or sick leaves for the employees, which resulted towards the degradation of the physical and mental health conditions of the people.

The threats of unsecured job and the increased fear of joblessness has forced the employees to work in the public holidays and also when they are suffering from ailments. The insufficiency of employee welfare based practices in the concerned organization, significantly affected the interests of the employees and the quality of operations that are undertaken by the same (Croxson, Ashdown and Hobbs 2017). The dilemma between the profitability of the business and the work- life balance between needs is perhaps the biggest concern that is being encountered by the organization while influencing the active participation of the workforce towards achieving the strategic goals and targets. Therefore, it might be stated that the increasing level of demonization and health concerns among the employees, due to the increasing work pressure and long hours of work, resulted to increased staff turnovers and absenteeism which disrupted the flow of operations in the business.

3. Discussion
Challenges faced by businesses in producing healthy workplace and employees

Businesses and business leaders take the initiative of keeping the workforce motivated and focused towards their daily operations. The motivation and commitment of the workforce towards the organizational development contributes extensively towards its sustenance and growth in the global competitive scenario. However, it has been observed that most businesses have significantly failed to keep their workforce motivated through the proposition of different extrinsic rewards, recognitions or incentives. Gabbett and Whiteley (2017) stated that businesses devise different rewards recognitions and incentive scales with the purpose of appraising the commitment and contribution of the employees while keeping the same motivated in order to increase their own productivity. However, it has been observed that employees mostly are more troubled about their security of the job profile and a steady work- life balance (Molino et al. 2020). The concerns that are being faced by the businesses in providing the employees with their steady work- life balance is specifically reliant on the growing rates of market competition and the organizational commitments which increases the work load of the workforce.

Moreover, it was observed through different past literatures that the lack of sufficient relation building between the management and the workforce or inadequacy of therapist support in the businesses affects the mental wellbeing of the workforce. Quicke (2018) stated that employees working under continuous pressure and tensions suffer from different physical and mental ailments which affects the capability of an organization in maximizing their productivity or positive output. Moreover, it has been witnessed that the degraded commitment of the employee results to reduction in the work intents. The behavior of the employees tends to change drastically, under continuous pressure, which reduces their efficiency at work.

On the other hand, Seilerová (2019) opined that the insufficiency of training programs in an organization and the unequal distribution of tasks among the people creates increasing pressure on the employees while reducing their efficiency. The talent or knowledge sharing attributes are more likely to support an organization in uniformly distributing tasks and expertise among the people while relieving the entire work force of the sudden loads of tasks being dumped on a single individual or a team. However, the insufficiency of training and knowledge sharing programs limits the capability of an organization in ensuring a fair work- life balance of the employees which results to increased dissatisfaction and degradation in the quality of operations.

The UK based legislation, Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, requires the employers to provide the workforce with a safe workplace and address the wellbeing related concerns of the same most effectively. However, the insufficiency of therapeutic support is again an important factor that affects the mental health, behavior and attitude of the employees while working in different organizational situations (Tura, Keränen and Patala 2019). On the other hand, the right to information and training are some of the major considerations that might be made by the businesses in order to ensure the efficiency of the workforce while adhering to the legal requirements. In this connection, most of the businesses take the initiative of developing customer orientation rather than that of identifying and resolving the concerns that are being encountered by the employees., The aspects has significantly affected the growth and development of the businesses while addressing the strategic needs and requirements of sustenance based growth.

Models on work related stress and measurement of work related stress and wellbeing of the employees

The work related stress models support the businesses and leaders in identifying the areas of concerns that are being encountered by the employees while operating in the specific organizational process designs. Birhanu et al. (2018) opined that the work stress models are integral towards identifying the type of pressure points that are encountered by the people, categorizing their concerns and thereby resolving the same through efficient management interventions. In this connection, the Diathesis-Stress Model and the OIJ (Organizational Injustice) Models are mostly relevant to the increase in the work load of the people and the disruption of their work- life balance.

The application of the Diathesis-Stress Model supports an organization in identifying the stressors, disorders or its trajectories which are being suffered by the employees due to the increasing work- loads and the expectations of the organization. Hasan, Elsayed and Tumah (2018) stated that the application of the Diathesis-Stress Model supports an organization in identifying the major cause of the problem that are being encountered by the employees through an insufficiency or imbalance in their work and life. Therefore, it might be started that the application of the psychological aspects of the model supports the organizational leaders in identifying the concerns and resolving the same.

On the other hand, the application of the OIJ model supports in developing an insight on the major expectations of the businesses from their workforce which are not justified. In the case of the concerned organization, the utilization of the OIJ model would support in developing cognition on the unrealistic targets that are defined by the business leaders while forcing the employees to achieve the same. Blagoev et al. (2018) stated that the development of unrealistic targets affect the capability of the businesses in relieving the employees of the excessive work load and providing the same with fair work- life balance constructs. Therefore, the application of the OIJ model would allow the business in defining the areas of their unrealistic expectations from the employees while analyzing the ways through which the concerns might be resolved in order to maintain continuity of the business operations.

4. Recommendations

The recommended activities that might be considered by the concerned organization are:

Developing therapeutic practices like counseling: The therapeutic programs, specifically like counseling, would allow the businesses in identifying the pressure points of the employees and relieving the same through the consultation with psychologists and experts. The counseling activity would allow the business in stabilizing the mental welfare related needs of the employees while relieving the same of the dynamic work pressure and different other tensions that have been affecting their performance.

Devising paid and planned leaves on the basis of the major concern areas of the employees: Planned leaves and vacations acts as a means of rejuvenation for the employees while assisting the businesses in providing the employees with a fair work- life balance. The planned leaves would allow the business in gaining a competitive edge while keeping the workforce motivated and focused towards the different areas of operations.

Providing skill transfers and training sessions for the employees: The skill transfers and training sessions would allow the business in decentralizing the skills and knowledge among the people uniformly while relieving the specialized talents in the business of their tedious work pressure. It has been observed that insufficiency of talents in an organization creates a huge work load on the people with the required talents and skills. Therefore, the uniform distribution of talents and skills through the training programs would allow the business in reducing the centralization of work pressure on single individuals or groups while uniformly distributing the pressure among the people of the entire workforce.

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5. Conclusion

Therefore, from the above assessment it might be stated that huge work loads, stretching shift timings and a disrupted work- life balance affects the interests of the workforce, resulting to loss of commitment and a changed work intent towards the growth of the venture. The report analyzed different challenges that are encountered by the businesses in providing the employees with a work- life balance. Moreover, the report also developed insights on the work related stress and measurement of the same. Finally the research devised certain recommended activities that might be followed by the chosen organization and all other businesses with the purpose of reducing the stressors and providing the employees with a fair work life balance to ensure the growth and continuity of the business.

References

Ambriško, L., Marasová, D. and Cehlár, M., 2017. Investigating the tension load of rubber composites by impact dynamic testing. Bulletin of Materials Science, 40(2), pp.281-287.

Birhanu, M., Gebrekidan, B., Tesefa, G. and Tareke, M., 2018. Workload determines workplace stress among health professionals working in felege-hiwot referral Hospital, Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia. Journal of environmental and public health, 2018.

Blagoev, B., Muhr, S.L., Ortlieb, R. and Schreyögg, G., 2018. Organizational working time regimes: Drivers, consequences and attempts to change patterns of excessive working hours. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(3-4), pp.155-167.

Bourgoin, A. and Harvey, J.F., 2018. Professional image under threat: Dealing with learning–credibility tension. Human Relations, 71(12), pp.1611-1639.

Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Prouska, R. and Beauregard, T.A., 2019. The impact of global economic crisis and austerity on quality of working life and work‐life balance: A capabilities perspective. European Management Review, 16(4), pp.847-862.

Croxson, C.H., Ashdown, H.F. and Hobbs, F.R., 2017. GPs’ perceptions of workload in England: a qualitative interview study. British Journal of General Practice, 67(655), pp.e138-e147.

Dinh, L., 2020. Determinants of employee engagement mediated by work-life balance and work stress. Management Science Letters, 10(4), pp.923-928.

Gabbett, T.J. and Whiteley, R., 2017. Two training-load paradoxes: can we work harder and smarter, can physical preparation and medical be teammates?. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 12(s2), pp.S2-50.

Haar, J.M., Sune, A., Russo, M. and Ollier-Malaterre, A., 2019. A cross-national study on the antecedents of work–life balance from the fit and balance perspective. Social Indicators Research, 142(1), pp.261-282.

Hasan, A.A., Elsayed, S. and Tumah, H., 2018. Occupational stress, coping strategies, and psychological‐related outcomes of nurses working in psychiatric hospitals. Perspectives in psychiatric care, 54(4), pp.514-522.

Madsen, B.K., Søgaard, K., Andersen, L.L., Tornøe, B. and Jensen, R.H., 2018. Efficacy of strength training on tension-type headache: A randomised controlled study. Cephalalgia, 38(6), pp.1071-1080.

Molino, M., Ingusci, E., Signore, F., Manuti, A., Giancaspro, M.L., Russo, V., Zito, M. and Cortese, C.G., 2020. Wellbeing costs of technology use during Covid-19 remote working: an investigation using the Italian translation of the technostress creators scale. Sustainability, 12(15), p.5911.

Oplatka, I., 2017. Principal workload: Components, determinants and coping strategies in an era of standardization and accountability. Journal of Educational Administration.

Owens, J., Kottwitz, C., Tiedt, J. and Ramirez, J., 2018. Strategies to attain faculty work-life balance. Building Healthy Academic Communities Journal, 2(2), pp.58-73.

Quicke, J., 2018, April. Recruitment, Retention and the Workload Challenge: a critique of the government response. In FORUM (Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 77-86). Lawrence and Wishart.

Seilerová, M., 2019. The Consequences of Psychosocial Risks in the Workplace in Legal Context. Central European Journal of Labour Law and Personnel Management, 2(1), pp.47-60.

Smidt, T.B., Pétursdóttir, G.M. and Einarsdóttir, Þ., 2017. How do you take time? Work–life balance policies versus neoliberal, social and cultural incentive mechanisms in Icelandic higher education. European Educational Research Journal, 16(2-3), pp.123-140.

Soelton, M., Hardianti, D., Kuncoro, S. and Jumadi, J., 2020, February. Factors affecting burnout in manufacturing industries. In 4th International Conference on Management, Economics and Business (ICMEB 2019) (pp. 46-52). Atlantis Press.

Talukder, A.M.H., 2019. Supervisor support and organizational commitment: The role of work–family conflict, job satisfaction, and work–life balance. Journal of Employment Counseling, 56(3), pp.98-116.

Tura, N., Keränen, J. and Patala, S., 2019. The darker side of sustainability: Tensions from sustainable business practices in business networks. Industrial Marketing Management, 77, pp.221-231.


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