Two recent college graduates join the same major newspaper as journalists. Both work long hours and have tight deadlines for completing their stories. They are under constant pressure to scout out new leads and be the first to report new controversies. One journalist is increasingly fatigued and despondent and has taken several days of sick leave. The other is getting the work done and seems to enjoy the challenges. Use your knowledge of stress to explain why these two journalists are reacting differently to their jobs. Evaluate what an organization can do to help maximize the potential of its employees in this type of situation.
Support your answer by utilizing research that you have gathered from at least 2 sources other than your text. Finally, be sure to cite your sources in APA formatting.
A detailed and thoughtful response to the topic is required (minimum of 500 words). RUBRIC IS ATTACHED BELOW.
Additionally, emphasis is placed on your ability to conduct and synthesize scholarly research.
Your posts should be professional in content and follow the APA standards. Be sure to city your sources in APA formatting.
Stress occurs when the body has an adaptive response to a situation that the body perceives as being threatening to the person’s well-being (McShane, 2013). When a person becomes stressed, the body responds in a way that enables the person to adapt to the situation. The two coworkers at the major newspaper are experiencing this reaction to stress but are handling the physiological and psychological responses differently.
There are two types of stress, distress and eustress, that people may experience (Eustress, n.d.). Distress occurs when a person reaches his or her stress limit and can no longer use the stress in a positive way. The fatigued and despondent journalist is experiencing distress, which is making her have behavioral symptoms (Eustress, n.d.). Distress can cause different issues on the human body such as headaches, lack of sleep, and depression. It also tends to lower job performance, which can in turn create more stress at work.
This first journalist has reached her stress tolerance and the build up from work is becoming too much for her to handle. This is causing her work to suffer and may lead to job burnout if the stressors are not taken care of. The journalist is already showing signs of job burnout such as exhaustion and lack of personal accomplishment (McShane, 2013). The work overload is causing her to lose excitement for her job and to become too focused on being the best instead of enjoying the work.
The other journalist is experiencing eustress. This type of stress motivates employees to work harder and is an incentive to get the work done (Eustress, n.d.). The reasoning for this is that the feeling of stress triggers the conditions that prepare the body to take on hostile environments. These triggers give the journalist the motivation to do the work well but the stress is not so encompassing as to cause negative side-effects. This journalist has a higher level of stress resistance, which enables her to use it in a positive way (Eustress, n.d.). If the stress continues for too long or becomes more unmanageable, she may begin to feel distress instead.
When managers begin to observe high stress levels in employees, this is a sign that something needs to be done to relieve some of the pressures from work. Employers want to create eustress, which motivates work instead of distress. One way for employers to reduce stress levels while encouraging hard work is to give the employees more control over their job (Lee, 2012). Having that control gives workers flexibility and a sense of pride in their work and tends to create less stressfully situations. Another method is to have strong communication between the managers and the workers (Lee, 2012). Having all the pertinent information can make an employee feel secure in what he or she is working on. Managers need to give employees enough information to do the job well and provide feedback on job performance on a regular basis.
Employees need to enjoy their jobs as well as work hard. Providing some measure of fun and camaraderie between workers will make the work more fun and help employees create personal relationships (Lee, 2012). This can greatly reduce stress levels and makes support available for when a worker is having a tough day. Finally, managers need to make sure that the employees have all the resources and training necessary to do the job well (Lee, 2012). Lack of training and resources will make a worker feel inadequate and incapable, both of which cause high levels of stress.
Eustress vs distress. (n.d.). Brock University. Retrieved from http://www.brocku.ca/health-services/health-education/stress/eustress-distress
Lee, D. (2012, July 26). Yes, you can reduce employee stress – and maximize performance, too. TLNT. Retrieved from http://www.tlnt.com/2012/07/26/yes-you-can-reduce-employee-stress-and-maximize-performance-too/
McShane, S. L., & Glinow, M. A. (2013). Organizational behavior: emerging knowledge, global reality (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.