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Work related stress has the potential of affecting any workplace regardless of size of a company, form of employment, field of expertise, or even worker employer relationship. Therefore, is always advisable that employees should seek expert opinion on this issue and avoid the serious repercussions that come with it. Work related stress is defined as a psychological status that arises when one is unable to cope up with various issues surrounding work (Melinda et al., 2011). It is a normal physical condition that results when one feel threatened. A worker may feel dissatisfied with the job he or she is doing simply because they feel out of place. The job could not be paying well to satisfy the needs of an employee. This means that the employee is preoccupied by thought of what to do in order to supplement his or her income.
From the case study, Garry is initially happy with what he earns immediately after he is through with campus. His joy is perhaps boosted by the fact that he has been struggling financially while on campus. This means that the money he was earning could not be much, but because it was his highest he had ever earned, it was acceptable. However, Garry’s life turns round when he gets married to Julie, and they get their first baby together. The poor man starts eliciting strange behaviors that even his wife never expected. Although we are not told whether Garry had physical signs of stress, behavioral symptoms are striking. Using alcohol, cigarettes, or any other form of drugs is identified as the major symptoms of stress.
After one of the crewmembers left, Gary experience work overload. Unfortunately, his boss does not preferred turning down work. In addition, the other crewmember was going on with is studies. This implied that Gary had to work extra hard to satisfy his boss. His salary increment meant that much was expected from him thus adding to the family stressor he already had. Work related stressors are associated with understaffing, presence of unmanageable workloads, and unrealistic expectations (University of Cambridge Division of Human Resources, 2011). These events make Gary unable to talk fluently as before. He stumbles on his own words, stammer, and forced to take on speaking a fresh. This means that the various stressors that surrounded him destabilized his memory. These cognitive symptoms are majorly associated with memory problems, racing thoughts, poor judgment, and inability to concentrate among others (Melinda et al., 2011). In addition, this direct empirical feature of stress cemented on the fact that Gary was stressed.
Stressed employees are observed to have bouquets of mood swings triggered by unusually small issues. Such individual misjudge a fact, and overreact whenever they deal with the same fact (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984). In many time, such people become aggressive and unfriendly. Mood disturbance is another conspicuous sign of stress observed in Garry’s behavior while at work. He fears for his job after a junior co-worker, Tim Parker, has completed his engineering degree. Garry started snapping at him any time they were working closely. This is a clear indication that Garry suffered from mood swings prompted by the imminent threat to his job insecurity.
Robinson who was Gary’s boss would have done a number of things to help eases the situation. Employers can use several stress management strategies to help their employees. Increasing the salary could be one of them but it has limits, thus may not serve the purpose well. Therefore, Robinson could have embarked on professional educational programs, such as learned optimism training. This involves helping employees think in a positive manner. The training helps employees think properly in terms of recognizing the connection between beliefs, adversity and the everyday life consequences (Southwick et al., 2011). This exercise has been identified as among the most effective in reducing stress and depression among the employees.
Alternatively, Robinson could have involved Gary in making some in making some crucial decisions regarding work. This would probably help much in giving Gary a chance to express what he feels about work related issues. This approach ensures that employees are psychologically connected to their work and thus deliver without much ado. Robinson could possibly have applied a systematic approach to work related stress that involves:
A primary intervention; involves looking at the source of stress and addressing it before in explodes. It focuses mainly on prevention. For instance, Robinson should have increased Gary’s salary earlier given the fact the Gary was effective and smart at work.
Secondary intervention; it is mainly associated with management. Managers are expected to give all the necessary psychological support to employees be it in terms of training and providing decent equipment for work (Unknown Author, 2011). Robinson fails in this because the tools he gives Gary for work are old and perhaps this contributed by increasing Gary’s stress levels.
Tertiary interventions; they are applicable by engaging employees in canceling and assistance programs. It is not necessarily provided by exerts but also by coworkers who listen to each other and offer emotional support (Unknown Author, 2011). The main strength of this intervention is that they work well for small organizations. Robinson's’ firm being small, he should have engaged his employees in interactive sessions in order to assess and deal with any stress causative factors.
On the other end, Gary would have done a number of things to avoid the situation he found himself in. The young man married at the age of 23 years. It is common knowledge that this age would not be the best to marry for a young man. Alternatively, he would have delayed getting married in the first place. A wife is someone to share problems with, which you could not have had if you had no married her in the first place. Therefore, Gary should have waited a little bit longer to get married. Organizational behavior stipulates that an employee should be allowed to speak about work related issues to the boss. Gary should have seized any opportunity to explain to Robinson about the workload that was very high compared to what he was paid. In addition, Gary should not have allowed her wife to quit her full-time job as a secretary because the burden of providing for the family was totally shifted to him. As revealed by Fink, (2000, p. 117), some work related stress emanate from home grown problems. Having a baby was a shock to Gary. He had to change his finacial structures immediately to cater for the need s of the baby. It is possible that he could not even afford going pout as he used to, just to ensure his family is comfortable. This could have added tio his tribulations.
The only thing that gary should have done earlier was to consider famiy planning immediately he got married. In doing so, he would allow himself sufficient time to stabilize fanancially. Tolerance at work is also effective when dealing with colleagues at work (Fink, 2000). Gary should have accepted the fact that his coleagues could be better than him after completing his engineering degree but could no automaytically replace him. This does no mean that his job was security was threatened just because his coleagyues were gaining more skills. After all, his bos had worked with him for a long time and was sure of his work experience compared to the other employees. Quiting his smoking and drinking behaviur would also allow gary to soberly reflect on his career directiion and perhaps change. Shaking of his hand unless he smoked is an empirical evidence of how stressed he was. This direct observartion could serve better to help him quite smoking and think abou solutions to his predicament. Alternatively, he would have considered shifting to other countries as his wife suggested. this is bcausse he was aware that he was being wasted at the thens place of work.
Model of Stress
The model of stress that best suits this scenario is the transactional model. This model of stress results from imbalanced economical forces, which are unfair to an employee. Individuals encounter difficulties to balance their financial demands with the income. Eventually, the pressure exceeds what one capable of thus triggering emotional changes that are defined as stress (Lazarus and Folkman 1984). In this regard, Garry finds himself in a tight corner when he discovers that his income is far below the needs of his family. This initiates the cascade of events observed in people with this type of stress.
First, an individual encounters a challenging event. Then a person verifies both demands of the occurrence and his or her ability to face it (Fink, 2000). These procedures are commonly known as primary and secondary appraisals respectively. Finally, an individual tries to find ways of coping with the stress emanating from the challenging event. It is at this stage where one elicits behavioral changes, mood adjustment, and even health problems. Garry start behaving funny immediately he is promoted to a crew supervisor despite his salary increase. This could be because Garry realized he could still not satisfy his family needs after the appraisal of the challenge. The baby was born, and Gary had to provide money for its upkeep alone since the mother had quit her job.
The transactional model of stress is further depicted in Gary’s case because he shows two crucial events associated with it. According to the transactional model formulated by a renowned psychologist Richard Lazarus, two cognitive events must occur in order to evoke stress in a person (Fink, 2000). The first one is the primary appraisal where a person perceived a certain event as a threat to achieving various personal goals. This is perhaps the reason why Gary asked for a salary increase from his boss. It also implies that he had foreseen the threat ahead if he had not armed himself financially.
The second cognitive event comes in when the person challenged by an event feels that he or she does not have what it takes to cope with the demands of the challenging event. Choosing to ask for an increase in salary is a strong empirical indicator; it indicates that Gary’s stress can be described using the transactional model of stress. Gary feels uneasy to adjust to a position of being a boss after his promotion. This is because he feared that his crew was pursuing an engineering degree would replace him immediately he finishes. This situation is challenging to Gary especially after he realizes that he has little or nothing to do about it. Secondary appraisal bit of transactional model of stress dictates that an individual deep into stress when he or she concludes that there is nothing they can do about a challenging event.