Influence Of Job Stress On Employees At Supermarkets

Supermarkets function all over the world, but primarily in Britain anticipated to extreme competition between them, it becomes pivotal for them to provide good service to entice more customers. There is certainly immense strain on the supermarkets from the sector it works in, to increase efficiency. Supermarkets offer many products and services nowadays. For this project I am focusing on Sainsbury stores, they offer everything; food, homeowners, cosmetics, gardening, health, clothing and a great many other services. You will find 148, 500 employees employed in order to provide best quality of service, because in the retail business the success of the business is basically dependant upon client satisfaction. Employees have to offer customers according to the instructions distributed by the organization, rendering it difficult for them to satisfy the needs of the consumer. This problem of conflicting demands usually ends up into job stress (www. fame. com). Because of this there's been a negative impact on commitment to organization anticipated to job stress, and a negative effect on providing quality service by individuals. (Wetzels et al, 2000:66)

Stress is truly a part of work life today, even as live in an extremely dynamic world. Someone who says that he's not experiencing stress is circumstances of denial or we can say it's impossible. Matching to research 50 percent of individuals in UK seems more tense as compare to five years before. The cost of employees stress is $300 billion relating to American studies, in terms of their production. (Laurance, 2007). This is also consider to be on of the main reason of negative effect on the organizations, as the firms expands with the passage of time, the demand because of their product rises and that is what escalates the pressure on the workers to work hard and offer a good service to customers resulting in stress with them (www. expresscomputeronline. com). Sixty percent of absenteeism at work is due to stress and 1. 2 billion is lost every year because people fear from going to work (Kearns, 1986), and annually 1. 3 billion is lost scheduled to alcoholic absenteeism (Cooper & Payne, 1995). In 1998 UK Health and safety executive stated deficits of 5. 2 billion because of stress-related ailments (www. flexibility. co. uk). Stress related jobs may lead to mental and physical disease of the staff, this is a survey conducted by EU members where they stated 20% of bad frustration, 30% of backache, 13% of weakness and 28% of stress (Paoli, 1997).

Although it is a fact that floor employees get high pressure from professionals, which lead to de-motivation, stress and absenteeism; professionals also face the strain part in their role. Professionals are the key drivers in the business who drive it towards desire to and aims of the company, so in addition they experience intolerable workload and struggle hard to achieve the corporate goals. To be able to offer with this workload research demonstrates that 955 managers work more than their contracted time and handful of them even work more than 48hours per week.

Stress is the main factor for low desire and low job satisfaction which is reflected in the work done by the employees, therefore the professionals need to tackle the employees stress in order to create affordability. Stress is also a major reason behind high employee turnover and lower output of existing employees (Schabracq & Cooper, 2000).

Although there are great deal of sub types of stress, the most common of these taking place in nearly every organization and impacting on independently all the personnel are Role ambiguity, Role turmoil, Lack of clear responsibility and work overload. Even a few of the physical environment like noises and isolation triggers stress to an employee and functions as a hurdle between him and his job.


The reason behind choosing this issue is generally because of huge financial impact of stress on organizations internationally, beyond the geographical boundaries. Supermarket industry is chosen over other market sectors, as retail industry includes someone to one interaction of worker with customers, and in order to get competitive edge over other organization, they continue changing the policies to create customer devotion and which employees are destined to follow. These changes in policies and anticipations of employee to check out, exaggerate the strain on employee.

Research calls for interviews and questionnaires with personnel employed in supermarkets to learn how stress is imposed to them my management and exactly how this is minimized. There will be interviews with the management to know how they manage the strain of employee to keep their quality of work and motivation.

Research goals and aims:

The shoot for conducting this research is to find the have an impact on of stress on floor personnel and in the end on the success of the organizations. Second, we will research the connection between occupational stress and job dissatisfaction. And the actual management is doing to tackle this issue of stress and achieve the organizational goals, hand and hand.

The aim will be performed through: -

Identifying theories, researches, and findings of past scholars and conversation of books on different type of job strains.

Presenting a study model and conclusions related to stress factors on floor personnel from the books review.

Conducting key research by questionnaires of the random test of society on work floor as an employee regarding stress.

Getting the management's perspective on stress and their ways to deal with it through interviews.

Analyzing and assessing the primary and extra research to assess the validity of hypothesis.

Finalizing the tips about how to effectively deal with stress.

Literature review:

Stress is physical, mental, or psychological strain or stress, which results from the overburdening of ones duties, beyond his/her features. In some cases stress can be used to ones edge, as it helps in achieving goals and works as a driving a vehicle drive. The literal interpretation of stress, as described by the dictionary is physical pressure, move, or other push exerted using one thing by another. But in context of this issue chosen, stress here's more of a mental mother nature than being of an physical one.

Over time, there were many methods to stress and its own management. In fact, today stress management is one of the main element areas where managers at work are trained. In 1984, Lazarus and Folkman suggested a model that emphases the transactional characteristics of stress. Stress is a two way process; the surroundings produces stressors and the average person finds ways to deal with these.

Many analysts are of the judgment that "stress is about discrepancies between perceptions and dreams, which damages well being and inspire coping" (Cooper, 1998: 3). Although, as stated above, stress at times can maintain positivity in nature and if managed efficiently can help achieve ones goals and goals.

Occupational stress:

Occupational stress is very common in the retail business and is also a major menace to output. "Job stress can be defined as damaging physical and psychological replies when requirements of job do not match the capabilities or needs of the workers, which can result in illness and even triggering injury to the employees" (www. cdc. gov). Supermarkets where employees have to work under increased pressure, job stress is high. This leads to job dissatisfaction and lower inspiration.

Cooper and Marshall (1976) divided occupational stress into five categories:

The first one includes factors intrinsic to the job, which can be things that form area of the work atmosphere and also have a direct effect on worker's drive.

At supermarkets, including the Sainsbury's, employees have to handle these factors such as increased noises due to occupied working hours. Also long working shifts can cause stress and business lead to decreased efficiency. Keeping in mind the very character of retail industry, customer service is the main element to success, and having pressured employees can be disastrous.

Another factor increasing work stress is the launch of new technology at work. Traditionally staff have compared new technology, as it brings about training and sometimes even redundancies. It was found in a study that a big number of professionals in UK, find it difficult to keep up with the new technology. (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997).

The second group of work stress is Work overload and is one of the major hazards to worker's efficiency. Cartwright & Cooper (1997) divided workload into two broad categories; quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative refers to physically have more work to do which can bring about increased quantity of breaks and thus decrease motivation degree of staff. While qualitative means having to do work which is beyond ones personal capacities and leads to a greater dissatisfaction and even irritation in employees. At supermarkets employees face both types of workload and handling workloads effectively is a key management responsibility.

The later is of more concern to the management as it has an aspect of expectancy attached to it. When jobs are not plainly directed or comprehended than this creates a expectation space and ultimately ends in job dissatisfaction. Job satisfaction is the particular level to which an employee's dreams and anticipations are met at the job. Quite simply this is a mixture of factors that make a person like his/her job and the absence of these factors finally cause job dissatisfaction.

Role ambiguity

Role ambiguity is when a worker is uncertain of is very expected of him and what his tasks are. This role ambiguity leads to low self-motivation and job dissatisfaction.

Whereas it is actually hard for management to specifically notify every single worker his or her roles and tasks and what is really expected of them. (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997).

Role conflict is another reason of stress. This calls for those tasks, that are not being described or specified in job tasks. Flexible people tend to manage role issue in a much better manner than the ones who are more focused to follow the guideline. (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997).

There are five the different parts of role conflicts 1. Inter-sender issue, 2. Intra-sendor discord, 3. Interrole discord, 4. Person role turmoil, 5. Overload (pointed out previously).

According to scholars, Role discord and role ambiguity has a direct relationship with absenteeism, and high labor turnover, whereas they are inversely proportional to job satisfaction and level of motivation (Cooper & Payne, 1995:80).

The difficulty in accessing the buyer needs by the management is reflected in role ambiguity and role conflict of employees. The more it is hard to forecast the needs of the clients more ambiguously being translated into aim of lower level employees.

Another reason for stress is responsibility at office. This involves taking care of the low level employees and their work, and working hard to meet up with the deadlines (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997).

Maintaining relationship with co-workers and bosses also demonstrates to be one of great stressors at office. Favoring a person over another credited for some special relationship de-motivates the next specific e. g. Floor administrator in a supermarket may appoint a worker to a section where there is less work to do based on friendly relationship which may de-motivate the other co-workers and demonstrates to be stress for the coffee lover (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997).

The risk to job security and job performance which an individual is usually to be evaluated also contributes towards stress of this worker.

All of these types of stress are found in the supermarket industry. Supermarket can be an industry where needs of the customers change continuously and to be able to meet their needs, employees should be satisfied with their job. Nowadays professionals are lowering their organizational structure by cutting jobs in order to save money and increase profit which results in stress to other staff. Because of uncertain change in organization, it becomes really to market products and the as provide good service to the customers. Managers to be able to reduce employees stress and keep them encouraged should adopt a strategy.


This part contains the techniques that would be used while researching upon this task. Multiple techniques will be utilized for effective research.

The Method chosen is cross-sectional design as this will make sure that appropriate data is utilized from various options. Combination sectional research includes data that has been collected in the approved time.

Although other methods such as, the longitudinal research method and experimental design might have been used, nonetheless they require in depth knowledge of an organization over a period of time.

Primary Research

Primary research entails first hand information gathering which includes not been accumulated before. Normally, this is up to date, and specifically focused to the problem under discussion, gives this an edge over secondary research.

This is performed by questionnaires and interviews of floor employees exceptional stress and the management attempting to cope with this issue. This is done as researcher offers many friends employed in Sainsbury stores, as shop floor employees and has good relation with folks of management.

The sample population size I am considering right now is around 20 to 30 floor workers in supermarkets and around 10 to 12 questions will be asked in the questionnaires.

These questions and interviews calls for both; the close concluded as well as open-ended questions to judge effectively.

Secondary Research

Secondary research includes data that is already gathered, put together and released (www. enterprenuer. com).

Secondary research will provide the theories and methods which may have been previously utilized by other analysts for stress management and can allow us to compare data to most important research and review the received data. This research provides us with the info that cannot be found by most important research. Hence, This method will save time and cost (Bryman & Bell, 2007).

While carrying out supplementary research, more emphasis will be located on quantitative data. The reason for using quantitative data over qualitative is because it is simpler to examine and compare the info using the latest models of like pie charts and histograms.

Most of the qualitative information comes from the primary research, that involves interviews with management and shop floor personnel.

Moreover data will be gathered using different articles, e-journals, mags and for contrast to primary data (actual conclusions). Brunel collection and other online sources such as Popularity, Business Source Premier, Mintel and Google Scholar will be searched to get further literature on the subject.

Research Ethics

Research ethics outlay the essential factors that require to be considered while researching on a specific project. They include keeping the personal privacy of data and the persons, from whom the info has been obtained. Bryman & Bell(2007) laid down four key ethical factors:

Participants shouldn't be harmed under any circumstances

The individuals should give their consent willingly

Information should be held private

Cheating should be avoided

While creating the questionnaire it ought to be considered, that the level of privacy of the individuals shouldn't be disclosed, and should not be used for just about any other purpose, besides that identified. (Bryman & Bell, 2007)

In circumstance, the privacy of the researcher is invaded, the researcher should not disclose any data in the bigger interest of the organization and the individual's reputation.

In conditions of eliminating the chances of cheating & Deception, the researcher should make sure that the data is properly referenced and any information that has undesireable effects on the trustworthiness of the organization should not be disclosed. (Bryman & Bell, 2007)


Task 1: 13th January, individual proposal

Task 2: 15th January till 5th February, secondary research, assortment of information through articles, e book reading and reviewing publications.

Task 3: 6h February till 15th February, main research including interviews and designing questionnaire.

Task 4: 15th Feb till 23rd February completion of final literature.

Task 5: 24th Feb till 28h Feb, Review the thesis, conclusions attracted and recommendations applied.

Task 6: 25th Feb till 1st march, arrange and incorporate all the info and put together first draft.

Task 7: 7th till 10th March, reviewing the ultimate dissertation and distribution.

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