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Stress, Discrimination & Conflict

Please give me some guidance on the following workplace issues.

Descriptions of the workplace issues
A. STRESS
2. Cause of stress
3. Situations that cause stress in the workplace
4. Effects of stress on employees
5. What personality traits are beneficial and/or detrimental in the workplace?
6. What can be done to Avoid/eliminate stress
7. Recommendations to limit stress

B. DISCRIMINATION
2. What personality traits are beneficial and/or detrimental in the workplace?
4. What happens when Bias and stereotyping enter our observations of other people's behavior?
5. How does Human behavior impact work life
6. How do perceptual hypotheses and assumptions based upon them play a role in conflict at work?
7. Recommendations for improvements

C. CONFLICT
2. How does Human behavior impact work life?
3. How does conflict affect the work environment
4. How do perceptual hypotheses and assumptions based upon them play a role in conflict at work?
5. Conflict resolutions
6. Who is responsible for fostering motivation in the workplace?
7. Recommendations for improvements

Solution Preview

Please see response attached for best formatting and charts, which is also presented in part below. I also attached a highly informative article. This is not exhaustive, but should give you an excellent starting point. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Interested and complex set of questions!

Let's take a closer look through points, examples and research, which you can draw on for your final copy. I also provided links for further reading and a highly informative article. There is a lot of information to draw on, so please keep what fits.

A. STRESS

· Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines stress as "the result produced when a structure, system or organism is acted upon by forces that disrupt equilibrium or produce strain". In simpler terms, stress is the result of any emotional, physical, social, economic, or other factors that require a response or change. It is generally believed that some stress is okay (sometimes referred to as "challenge" or "positive stress") but when stress occurs in amounts that you cannot handle, both mental and physical changes may occur. (1)

· Our bodies are designed, pre-programmed if you wish, with a set of automatic responses to deal with stress. This system is very effective for the short term "fight or flight" responses we need when faced with an immediate danger. The problem is that our bodies deal with all types of stress in the same way. Experiencing stress for long periods of time (such as lower level but constant stressors at work) will activate this system, but it doesn't get the chance to "turn off". The body's "pre-programmed" response to stress has been called the "Generalized Stress Response" and includes:

· Increased blood pressure
· Increased metabolism (e.g., faster heartbeat, faster respiration)
· Decrease in protein synthesis, intestinal movement (digestion), immune and allergic response systems
· Increased cholesterol and fatty acids in blood for energy production systems
· Localized inflammation (redness, swelling, heat and pain)
· Faster blood clotting
· Increased production of blood sugar for energy
· Increased stomach acids (From the Basic Certification Training Program: Participant's Manual, Copyright© 1999 by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario). (1)

2. Cause of stress

· Stress in the workplace can have many origins or come from one single event. It can impact on both employees and employers alike. As stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association:

o Fear of job redundancy, layoffs due to an uncertain economy, increased demands for overtime due to staff cutbacks act as negative stressors. Employees who start to feel the "pressure to perform" can get caught in a downward spiral of increasing effort to meet rising expectations with no increase in job satisfaction. The relentless requirement to work at optimum performance takes its toll in job dissatisfaction, employee turnover, reduced efficiency, illness and even death. Absenteeism, illness, alcoholism, "petty internal politics", bad or snap decisions, indifference and apathy, lack of motivation or creativity are all by-products of an over stressed workplace.
(From: Canadian Mental Health Association, "Sources of Workplace Stress " Richmond, British Columbia)

· Environmental factors can also cause stress (e.g., too hot or cold, lighting. excessive noise, smells or odors, color of the walls, to name a few).

3. Situations that cause stress in the workplace

· From above: e.g., job layoffs, cutbacks, high-pressure situations, and so forth.
· Also environmental stressors, such as too hot or cold, excessive noise, certain types of lighting are associated with high stress work environments, certain colors and smells, as well.

· So, stress can be the result of any number of situations. Some other examples include:

SEE CHART OF WORKPLACE STRESSORS IN ATTACHED RESPONSE

4. Effects of stress on employees

· "Workplace stress" then is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands. In general, the combination of high demands in a job and a low amount of control over the situation can lead to stress. (1)
· Stress effects employee motivation, job satisfaction, morale, and performance negatively. E.g. as mentioned above: Employees who start to feel the "pressure to perform" can get caught in a downward spiral of increasing effort to meet rising expectations with no increase in job satisfaction. The relentless requirement to work at optimum performance takes its toll in job dissatisfaction, employee turnover, reduced efficiency, illness and even death. Absenteeism, illness, alcoholism, "petty internal politics", bad or snap decisions, indifference and apathy, lack of motivation or creativity are all by-products of an over stressed workplace. (From: Canadian Mental Health Association, "Sources of Workplace Stress " Richmond, British Columbia) (1)

5. What personality traits are beneficial and/or detrimental in the workplace?

· Beneficial: Resilient, flexible, humorous, honest, integrity, genuine, open-mindedness, embrace diversity, fun loving, to name a few

· Detrimental: controlling, domineering, neurotic, rigid, take everything too serious, perfectionism, to name a few.

6. What can be done to Avoid/eliminate stress?

· The causes of workplace stress vary greatly, so do the strategies to reduce or prevent it.
· Introduce a stress program for employees to avoid or prevent stress
· In many cases, the origin of the stress is something that cannot be changed immediately. Therefore, finding ways to help maintain good mental health is essential. There are many ways to be proactive in dealing with stress. In the workplace, you might try some of the following as suggested by the Canadian Mental Health Association:

o Laughing is one of the easiest and best ways to reduce stress. Share a joke with a co-worker, watch a funny movie at home with some friends, read the comics, and try to see the humour in the situation.
o Learn to relax, take several deep breaths throughout the day, or have regular stretch breaks. Stretching is simple enough to do anywhere and only takes a few seconds.
o Take charge of your situation by taking 10 minutes at the beginning of each day to priorize and organize your day. Be honest with your colleagues, but be constructive and make practical suggestions. Be realistic about what you can change. (From: Canadian Mental Health Association, "Sources of Workplace Stress" Richmond, British Columbia) (1)

7. Recommendations to limit stress

· Where stress in the workplace is caused, for example, by a physical agent, it is best to control it at its source. If the workplace is too loud, control measures to deal with the noise should be implemented wherever possible. If you are experiencing pain from repetitive strain, workstations can be re-designed to reduce repetitive and strenuous movements. More detailed information and suggestions are located in the many other documents in OSH Answers (such as noise, ergonomics, or violence in the workplace, etc.) or by asking the Inquiries Service. (1)

· Job design is also an important factor. Good job design accommodates an employee's mental and physical abilities. In general, the following job design guidelines ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution provides information and guidance on the three workplace issues: stress, discrimination and conflict. Supplemented with a highly informative article on the effects of toxic workplaces and the high cost of stress.

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