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Relationship Between Stress And Communication Process

An organisation of the current time is obviously subjected to a stress environment. The recent monetary downturn has just managed to get convenient for accommodating such a problem in the company. That is illustrated through the following case involving a predicament in an 'Accounting & Auditing' firm. The organisation is well reputed because of its big size and to have achieved great heights in short period. The organisation will depend on technology for a variety of communication across all degrees of hierarchy. There is a belief of keeping time and attempts by doing so. The words which may suit the entire ambience bordering the employees here are- being vibrant, demanding, high goals, achieving targets, deadlines etc. This, like most other big organisations in this sector, has erratic working hours. Of course it is also known for the relatively high monetary settlement it provides for the same.

Since just lately, the organisation has been having change in work policies according to the changing needs of the environment. Parallel to which, we can watch a growth in the number of employees giving up the company and many being absent or exhibiting a poor performance. The upsurge in worker turnover has started to worry the very best management. They realised the value of giving focus on these issues which puts their communal reputation and position on the line.

Under this example, one can guess that the employees face diversified behavioural issues. But also to be looked at is the surge of offering importance to handling them effectively. As the first type of this part tips, the backbone of the next report will analyse the case with respect to the stress levels of its employees and also relate it to 1 other concern viz. Communication process. This may be achieved by defining and deploying the appropriate theory with relation to the organisational behaviour. Following which, the possible suggestions and conclusions will be discussed to manage the current situation effectively.

Relationship between Stress and Communication process:

To begin with, you have to comprehend and identify whether the organisation, the employees in particular, 're going through stressed situation. Stress can be explained as "a response, consequence of any action, situation or event that places special requirements on a person; and all such actions/situations/events that places special demands are called Stressors" (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly and Konopaske, 2006, p. 199).

OUTCOMES:

Behavioural:

  • Satisfaction
  • Performance
  • Absenteeism
  • Turnover
  • Health care claims

Cognitive:

  • Poor decision making
  • Lack of concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Frustration

Physiological:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Harmful addictions

Stressors, Stress and Results model:

STRESSORS:

Individual Level:

  • Role conflict
  • Role overload
  • Ambiguity in job description
  • Pace of change
  • Job uncertainty

Group Level:

  • Intra group conflict
  • Organisational Level:
  • Culture
  • Communication process
  • Change in policies
  • Lack of career opportunities

Non-work:

  • Elder & Child care
  • Environmental changes- inexpensive, social, political, technological

Stress:

  • Individual variances- heredity, get older, making love, diet, lifestyle, coping, type A personality traits

[Adapted] From: Gibson et al. (2006). Organizations: Behavior, Structure, Processes. (12th ed. ). NY. McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Relating several above to the present scenario:

  • Change in regulations- fluctuating focuses on than the usual because of changing needs
  • Role issues- multiple level hierarchies; A person handling varied tasks at the same time may need to report to new/multiple managers leading to role conflicts
  • Role overload- better deadlines, erratic working hours
  • Environmental changes- whether it's economical changes or technical developments, the employees view it as a way to obtain replacements. And feel insecure about layoffs & uncertain about their jobs
  • Communication- when it is ineffective, it brings about role ambiguity, intra group conflicts

The above set of stressors may increase/decrease according to the employees and the company. These do not need to be stressors to all. An individual in a requiring position may be affected by stress, as the other might not be though both belong to the same organisation. It is determined by the individual's characteristics and perspectives. (Gibson et al, 2006). Wilson (2004) recognizes both of these types of people as "Type-A": continual drive towards poorly described goals, preoccupation with deadlines, competitiveness, desire for advancement and achievements and "Type-B": comfortable, unhurried and satisfied. Type-A individuals encounter with risky of cardiovascular system disease (CHD), and other physiological final results compared to Type-B individuals. The specific issues of concern in the mentioned circumstance are employees stopping the organisation, poor performance and absenteeism. And these can be traced to the outcomes in the aforementioned 'stress defining' model. All these confirm a stressed atmosphere prevailing in the company.

"Communication process becomes very important in organizations that deal with uncertainty, that are complicated and which may have a technology that does not allow easy routinization. The more an company is people and idea focused, a lot more important communication process becomes" (Hall, 1999, p. 167). All the job related information is communicated to the subordinates by the managers. There is certainly delegation of work running right through all levels. Communication process is carried out by implementing various technological channels like Email, Fax, and Telecommunication etc.

The question to be clarified at this point is- whether appropriate route/medium is adopted? For example: The goals/goals/job explanation for the low level employees is determined by the managers. Along with the same is being communicated to them through e-mail. Now, if the concept is similar to what's done before then this is an appropriate channel. In this manner, the organisation will save time and initiatives as they imagine so. However, if the communication relates to new duties/project, the staff at the execution level may need more clarifications and could prefer personal/telecommunication route. When the sender of the meaning (professionals) neglect to use the correct channel, the communication often have a tendency to get distorted leading to ambiguity on the list of employees about their role & responsibilities. This triggers stress. Also, Wilson (2004) records Hilpern's (2003) finding that abnormal dependency on technology at the job contributes to increasing stress levels, referred as 'digital depression'. This implies that, an effective communication process set up will support a stress free environment. Consequentially increase the situation and performance of the employees and company.

Recommendations:

As we have discussed so far, it could be inferred that the final results of a stressed situation or an inadequate communication adversely have an impact on the performance and life of the average person, thereby the organisation.

Facts:

According to national mental health relationship, the price of despair is $43billion annually in medical charges, lost efficiency, and absenteeism;

Depression is the seventh most frequent cause of adult deaths

(Gibson et al, 2006 known Sharon Johnson's, "Depression: Dragging millions down" The New York Times publication, October 29, 2000 pp39, 47)

It is believed (Wilson, 2004) around 13. 5 million business days per year being lost to companies in the UK because of stress, panic or unhappiness of employees.

Therefore, it becomes very important to handle these issues so as to increase the situation and save various costs to the company.

Stress Management:

Briner and Reynolds (1993, cited by Dewe and O'Driscoll (2002)) determined that "people may be absent because they find the job stressful. Alternatively, it may add to the stress encountered. Therefore, figuring out the direction of causality is a critical step in growing effective stress management interventions".

Organisational ways of alleviating stress:

  • Advance planning should be achieved providing for quick needs & risks
  • Jobs redesign- monetary downturn and work weight are interrelated. Therefore provision should be produced to handle to the needs of erratic working hours and strike a balance; Versatile working time should be provided
  • Performance evaluation/feedback should be given to the employees to improve
  • Check on physiological changes in the employees like harmful addictions. Example: excessive smoking, alcohol, unsafe eating habits, sleep routine, lifestyle. These often become stress indicators
  • Better communication process- a union/rep should be set up to identify the needs, ideas and grievances. Or perhaps a field for the same can be installed to keep up anonymity
  • Inculcate the value of fitness and health by sponsoring/promoting the thought of gym, aerobics
  • Allocate a day/sometime in a month/week for entertainment & leisure; Arrange outings for the employees' people together; work-life balance should get importance
  • Conduct health and fitness programs to boost overall physical & mental health, Staff Assistance Programs (EAP) to aid work & non work related issues; many organisations believe these to be productive and effective
  • Appoint a person as a personal tutor for every single employee to learn his specific problems associated with anything and ensure he's comfortable
  • Regular comparisons between the organized performance and the actual performance should be produced. When there is any deviation, the complexities should be analysed and rectified immediately

Individual methods:

Informal group meetings should be initiated to share solutions to common problems they face - work & non work related

Create time to wait to specific needs so as to feel great and positive

Engage in any sort of activities; Or yoga, meditation to enhance the health insurance and avoid the chance of center diseases caused credited to stress

Have an in depth check on the daily food diet, lifestyle, avoid unhealthy food

Ensure sufficient sleeping the body needs; Effective time-management

All of these stress management options should be considered a continuous process to be able to achieve significant results. It should be remembered that instant results in these may not be long term or long lasting.

Effective Communication process:

Organisations need effective two-way communication systems. Good communications help reduce high stress also to lower job dissatisfaction (Taylor and Cooper (1988) supports Newman and Beehr (1979); McGee et al. , 1987). The complete organisation gets the work done by communicating. Communication is one of the most crucial organisational operations that bind the various parts.

The 3 major issues are- Omission, Distortion and Overload of messages

If the sender is intimidated by receiver, the message and its interpretation are infected. The main factors that crop up- cultural status, sexual fascination, status variations etc. This contributes to distortions of messages (Hall, 1999)

Medium of communication is an important part in the communication process. Especially for an organisational structure like in the case. As explained previously, any inappropriate route/medium will lead to ambiguity of message and distortions

Filtering of information and selective listening are the two major issues of matter while mailing and receiving a message, respectively

Measures:

Computers, an integral part of communication process, should be inspected because of its working condition regularly. Because sudden breakdown will handicap the complete process thereby leading to stress

Regularise team meetings- provide increased problem quality leading to increased job satisfaction and stress lowering. Also a chance for increased communication between professionals and team members of other competency communities, possibly resulting in better team assistance (Zeffane and McLoughlin, 2006)

Create an atmosphere, wherein two way communications are possible. All the managers and employees engaged should be approachable and kind. Non verbal communication is evenly important to make a positive effect on the recipient of the message

Interpersonal communication which involves face to face and conferences are most of the times changed with e-mail. Therefore this will be followed when appropriate

Upward communication and reviews in the communication process are often neglected in the case. Importance should be given to these to be able to guarantee the correctness of the message (concept received is realized in the same sense as it was meant when delivered)

Conclusion:

Communication-stress-performance-life of the average person and the company are so interdependent. Statistical analyses show that job satisfaction and positive communication with professionals are strong predictors of thoughts of stress and identified co-operation (Zeffane and McLoughlin, 2006). Studying of organisational behaviour has gained so a lot of importance not only with a purpose to address performance issues, but also conserving costs. Being reliable and effective appears to be the guidelines of each organisation. "Study of organisational behavior attempts to assist professionals understand people better so that productivity improves, customer satisfaction and better competitive position" (Gibson et al. 2006, p. 6).

Therefore it is almost mandatory for each organisation to understand and manage these behavioural issues, to stay organised. It really is not just for the well being of the employees but the organisation as a whole.

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