Stress, Managing Stress And Assessing Corporate Costs 


Before we get into the details of managing stress, we need to understand what stress actual means. Stress could be the way a person reacts mentally or physically when working with insufficient resources. For the sake of corporate management, this definition is more or less adequate. When we use the term, mentally and physically it implies that the physical body could also be affected by stress. For example, if you are continously given targets that need to be accomplished in unrealistically quick time, the mental reaction could mean that you are demoralized. It could also mean that you start building a negative feeling about the organization and the managers that are assign you those targets. Over a period of time the effects of such continous stress could lead to real illness like high blood pressure and become the starting point for various heart related conditions.  

When we talk about managing stress many organizations adopt a conservative attitude. They feel that an employee who is stressed needs to look after himself or herself. This is really not the case because most of us are stressed because we do not know how to cope with stressful situations. The second and more important fact is that, stress in an employee will surely affect performance. This could lead to a drop in the quality, efficiency or accuracy of operations being performed in the organization. Since stress can bring about negative feelings towards the organisation, an employee with high levels of stress could deliberately inflict damage on the company reputation.


Phillipines Ex-Cop: A policeman who was fired because of corruption hijacks a bus. The standoff continues for several hours, the police storm the bus and kill the ex-policeman. But not before the man has killed half a dozen innocent passengers and ruined the image of the country. The country was Phillipines, the incident occured around Sep 2010.

The dismissed policeman in this case was stressed, he believed that he was innocent. The pressure was so much that it lasted an entire year, the hijack drama happened a year after he was dismissed from service. The important thing is that the police force were aware that they were letting go of a man who was highly dissatisfied and agitated about an action that, he thought was unjustified. This man was filled with stress, it turned into a fury, a mental storm that unleashed an avoidable tragedy. Here was a fully trained policeman, with training on firing a gun, or throwing a hand grenade and he was left to do what he wanted.


The United States: Job related stress has numerous tragedies in the U.S. Unsatisfied employees who have been laid off have returned with live ammunition and killed or wounded their (ex) co-workers or even supervisors.  Lay offs are common in the United States, HUGE organizations do this sometimes to keep shareholders happy, it helps bring in better numbers on the NYSE or NASDAQ! If the overall economy is fine, employees are not over stressed about losing their jobs as it is possible to get another one quite easily. But low economic conditions are a cause for stress. Management needs to address the situation as the problems caused by such stress can be life threatening.


Medical Condition: Stress in an employee need not always relate to job issues. An employee with a chronic illness could also be stressed. In some Asian countries, this is the cause of suicides. A person with lung problems, gets stressed about high medical bills. Having to frequently be absent from work puts him in fear of losing his job. In such a case, the stress comes on for multiple reasons,