Workplace stress is a big hurdle that negatively affects the motivation of both the employees and employers. Stress affects productivity, morale and safety. There are many statistics that prove the prevalence of workplace stress. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a report that looks into the incidence of workplace stress. According to HSE, a large scale research study of over 17,000,0 people showed that 20 per cent of respondents suffered from stress at levels described as “very” or “extremely” stressful.
Workplace stress is the response people may experience, when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and challenge their ability to cope.(World Health Organisation) Stress has been described as an emotional experience, associated with nervousness, tension and strain, brought about by factors related to work (Kalia, M. (2002))
Reasons for stress
The stress process initiates with exposure to stressors. Stressors are those elements, within an environment that cause stress and can be either physical or psychosocial. Given below is a table which depicts the types of stressors with examples:
Relationship between stress and performance: Given below is a graphical representation showing that stress and the performance of employee at workplace are inter-related.
How eLearning can help organizations to reduce stress?
eLearning courses help the managers and supervisors to know the facts about stress, offer tips for handling pressure, identifying the signs of stress, doing comparisons between stress and pressure, how to deal with stress, importance of well-being, etc. eLearning courses can be customized according to the organizational needs. eLearning can be done anywhere and anytime.
Some of the eLearning topics that can help to create stress free work environment include:
- Time Management
- Harassment at Workplace
Time management: Time Management is key to less stressful life, both at workplace and in personal life. Everyone on the job, from manager to worker should know time management.
Ergonomics: Ergonomics (or human factors), is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theoretical principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. (Ref: Council of the IEA in 2000)
Ergonomics is divided into physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics. Training can be given describing the importance of ergonomics. For example: Sitting on a chair in correct posture, will help to reduce the risk of arthritis, muscular pains, etc.
Harassment at workplace: Workplace Harassment is a form of Discrimination. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, or retaliation (sometimes collectively referred to as “legally protected characteristics”) constitutes harassment. (Ref: FCC Encyclopedia). Training can be given to employees on how to prevent harassment at workplace.
Organizational culture: Organizational culture includes an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid. (Ref: Business dictionary.com)
Thus, eLearning can be a quick and an effective solution for managing work-related stress in organizations.