OCCUPATIONAL STRESS INFLUENCE ON EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION
: CASE OF AYRSHIRE MINE (PVT) LTD.
CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
Occupational stress is a growing problem in present-day organizations. It is an incessant issue crossway over the occupations; and it impacts directly on the execution of work. The problem of occupational stress is predominantly relevant for evolving nations and regions undergoing enormous economic development and social transformation (Leka and Jain, 2010). It does not have an emotional impact on work-life only but has a far reaching impact on the worker’s family life as well. Job stress is a chronic disease which has negative effects on an individual’s performance. Job stress is unswervingly related to performance. The higher the rate of job stress the lower the job motivates a worker to perform it. Nevertheless, work is inevitable in today’s life and it forms the focal point of almost all human life (Kortum, 2014).
The performance of employees, as well as managers, determines, to a large extent, the quality of employee as expressed by Hellriegel and Slocum (2007). They argue that a low job motivation can bring about a costly turnover, tardiness, truancy and even poor intellectual wellbeing. Kreisman (2002) further argues that the most valuable and volatile asset of any organization is a well-motivated and stable workforce that is made up of a competent, dedicated, hard-working and persistent personnel. Lawler (2003) uttered that in the twenty-first century the notion of treating people right is not an alternative but an obligation.
The main purpose of this study is to analyse the phenomenon of occupational stress and employee motivation in the mining industry of Zimbabwe having a vivid look into Ayrshire Mine in the year 2017. This study is worth pursuing because occupational stress is an area which is no doubt being overlooked by a significant number of associations, particularly in the mining industry, yet it has a great negative impact on employee motivation. The present study seeks to addresses the specific relation of the two variables, occupational stress and employee motivation since these constructs have not been comprehensively explored in the mining sector of Zimbabwe. This also might be educational on upgrading execution of task and employee performance as well. This is also related to the improvement of job contentment by reducing occupational stress.
1.1 Background of the study
Occupational stress has been defined by Cox (2003) as the response people may have when presented with work difficulties and pressures that are not corresponding to their acquaintance and abilities and which contest their aptitude to cope. Stress is habitually recognized as the most common ailment of the modern age. It is a pattern of an undesirable physiological condition and emotional responses that occur in an individual. When frazzled, individuals feel that their well-¬being is susceptible and at the same time incapable to handle it (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Hill, 2001). The occupational strain has its umbilical string in the middle of the nineteenth century where Friedrich Engels first pronounced in detail the physical and emotional health glitches suffered by workers in many trades (Barling and Griffiths, 2011). With time through the cross insemination of ideas from continent to continent, the occupational stress ideology became broadly recognized mainly in the industrialised nations.
Several hypotheses have been brought forward by a lot of researchers and scholars in an effort to try and explicate how stress rises or how it brings about attrition of motivation among employees. A job demand-control model by Karasek (1979) specifies that products of stress such as tension radiated from the consequences of extraordinary job challenges, low social backing, and low self-governance. Job characteristics framework, another model by Hackman and Oldham, (1980) stipulates that employee motivation is determined by work features such as expertise diversity, task uniqueness, task importance, self-governance, and feedback. The theory states that motivation and job contentment rely upon the fit between the employee’s capabilities or essentials and the job and the organizational features. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) presented the transactional theory of psychological stress and coping. It is one of the most prominent and standout theories amongst the major conspicuous theories in the field of stress (Babatunde, 2013). This theory suggests that stress involves the encounter between individuals and their environment, and that a stress response depends on an individual’s appraisal of a stressor and their ability to cope with it. These are some of the well-known models which have picked up strength through a considerable length of time in regulating stress research and practice, notwithstanding their difference in popularity and empirical backing.
A quick evolving worldwide scene is increasing the pressure of workforce to perform maximum output and enhance competitiveness. Indeed, to perform exceptionally on their jobs, there is a prerequisite for workers to perform multiple tasks in the workplace to keep up-to-date with fluctuating technologies (Cascio, 1995; Quick, 1997). The ultimate outcomes of this pressure have been found to be one of the essential elements prompting job stress in their work (Cahn et al., 2000). An investigation in the United Kingdom showed that a larger part of the labour force was unhappy with the existing culture where they are mandated to work prolonged working hours and cope with large workloads while simultaneously meeting production targets and deadlines (Townley, 2000).
Research by Karasek and Colleagues (2002) discovered that the most stressful jobs are those that allow for very little or next to no decision making that places a high mental request on the worker. A case in point of psychological demand is having an immense amount of work. Their study has highlighted the detrimental consequences of high workloads or work overload. Al-Aameri (2003) has revealed in his investigations that one of the six causes of occupational stress is the pressure emanating from the workload. In another study by Kaplan (1991) it is quantified that organizational influences such as the amount of work and operational condition were adversely interrelated with job satisfaction.
The latest study by Brazier cited by Niebuhr (2017), expounds that job stress is a major deal when it comes to unfulfilled objectives and non-existence of ambition in people’s lives. He said that uncomplimentary stress has demonstrated a noteworthy antagonistic effect on the psyche and motivation of employees. Scientists now accepted the truth that will is finite. Its supply can become shattered at the hands of the overabundance of pressure, most remarkably, uncomplimentary stress. In, somewhat, different circumstances an individual is craving to excel. If an individual is compelled to deal with increasing stress that stress can be the foundation of the flickering of employee motivation or else extinguish the motivation completely.
Numerous studies have attempted to determine the link between occupational stress and employee motivation. Work-related stress and employee motivation are some of the burning centres in human resource management researches. As stated by Stamps & Piedmonte (1986), job satisfaction has been established to have a noteworthy relationship with work-related stress. One study by general practitioners in England acknowledged four occupational stressors which were foretelling of job displeasure (Cooper, 1989). Studies of Landsbergis (1988) and Terry (1993) exhibited that high levels of work-related stress are connected with low levels of job inspiration.
There has been an array of diverse methodologies which were utilized in an effort to motivate employees. According to Mukhalipi (2014), it took more than a great employer to construct and manage work in a manner which withholds common risk factors for stress and thwarts predictable glitches as much as possible. This will permit workforces to be more productive at all times as they will feel esteemed and cared for. There are ultimately three approaches for claiming the motivation of employees. Mukhalipi (2014), suggested that the main path is primary prevention where stress is lessened through ergonomics, work and natural design, organizational and administration improvement.
The second technique of inspiring employees is through secondary inhibition where you lessen stress through worker education and training. Lastly, the third technique is the tertiary prevention technique where the impact of stress is diminished by creating a more considerate and responsive management structure (Kendall, 2000). Occupational stress has been shown to have negative implications on the motivation of employees and has a damaging impact on workplace output and profits as well. Nguwi (2014) put forward that about 40% to 45% of Zimbabweans suffered and are suffering from occupational stress which is arithmetically way higher than that of the mediocre of developed countries which are ranging between 17% and 26%. The thrust of this research is to explore the effects of occupational stress on employee motivation by examining different areas, describing common patterns of stress experienced by workers at Ayrshire Mine and investigating the main issues of concern.
1.2 Purpose of the study
Ayrshire mine has invested a lot of money in implementing good human resources practice in the effort to reduce occupational stress which will in turn boast employee motivation. Despite all the efforts that has been made by the organization on its employees, the organization is still battling to motivate its employees. It is the quest of this research to unravel the reason(s) why is there a negative relationship between occupational stress and good human resources practice in most mining companies.
1.2.1 Justification of the study
Occupational stress is one of the most persistent problems being faced by many organizations. Stress Management is vital in necessitating the healthy functioning of organizations. It seeks to enhance employee motivation. Through proper management one can clearly focus on tasks by having an enriched immune system and improved cardiovascular co-ordination. Job stress prompts absenteeism, diminishes employee’s effectiveness and increased turnover. For the affluence of an organization, it is a prerequisite that its employees work in a stress-free environment. In Zimbabwe, occupational stress is not being appropriately provided with the finest attention it deserves. Very little has been done in as far as assessing the role of stress with respect to job performance within organizations is concerned.
This study is crucial as healthy, motivated and less stressed employees are more dedicated to offering their services and performing their obligations than unhealthy, demotivated and stressed employees. It is in the light of this that this study is considered significant as it will; fashion conscious mindful thoughts among managers on the necessity to deliver a desirable platform to help and thwart manifestation of occupational stress. Secondly, it will help human resources practitioners to have an exceptional understanding of issues of motivation and employee performance. Lastly, the study has the possibility of fuelling an interest among scholars and students to study the effects of stress among workers in Zimbabwe.
1.2.2 Objectives of the study
1. To identify the springs of occupational stress which affect employee motivation.
2. To identify the level of occupational stress at Ayrshire mine.
3. To identify the level of employee motivation at Ayrshire mine.
4. To relate occupational stress and employee motivation at Ayrshire mine.
5. To examine coping methodologies embraced to motivate employees at the mine.
1.2.3 Key questions to be answered in the research/Hypothesis
1. What are the sources of occupational stress which affect employee motivation?
2. What are the levels of occupational stress at Ayrshire mine?
3. What are the levels of employee motivation at Ayrshire mine?
4. What are the impact of occupational stress on employee motivation?
5. Are there any strategies which can be embraced to heighten the motivation of employees?
1.3 Scope of the study
1.4 Structure of the dissertation
The entire study is divided into six (6) chapters. Chapter one gives general introduction about the study. The main purpose of the chapter is to describe the context of the research, highlighting the problem under investigation and explaining what the study is all about. It forms the skeleton and framework of the study. The second chapter reviews the literature of past work done, narrowing the research to the essentials and broadening knowledge on the fundamentals. The chapter provides the reader with the objective and content map of the study. Chapter three presents the methodology used in data collection. Chapter four seeks to present the outcomes of the research that is the evidence and results of the data collected from the field to answer the research questions. Comparative analysis of past findings is also necessitated in this chapter where possible. Chapter five focuses on discussion of the findings. The last chapter concludes the research with summary of all the chapters.
1.5 Definition of Terms
There is no autonomous agreement over the meaning of stress and for that reason countless scholars have come up with numerous definitions to suit diverse situations. For a finer understanding of the definition of occupational stress, the maternal definition of stress was swotted. Shirom (1982), defined stress as a person’s perception that stressors surpass his or her aptitudes and resources, and thus, prompting undesirable outcomes. Stress is also defined in connection with the actual demands which are placed on humans; and which are referred to as stressors.
1.5.2 Occupational stress
Occupational stress has been defined explicitly by Rohan (2003), as anything concerning the working atmosphere or nature of work itself which causes an individual perceived stress. Leka (2003), complementarily stretched out the definition of job stress as the reaction people may have when presented with work demands and pressures which are not corresponding to their capabilities and acquaintance and which challenge their capacity to cope.
Hornby (2010), characterised an employee as an individual who is remunerated to work for somebody. The International Labour Organization further elaborated the definition by uttering that employees are persons who engage to work for a public or private establishment and get remuneration in form of wages, salary, commission, tips, piece rate, and or pay in kind. It is essential to have an understanding that an employee is one who, under the contract of employment, is engaged by an employer in either a private or public entity, with a reward at the end of the work.
There have been several definitions of motivation crossways through different disciplines in the academia stretching from the field of management and psychology to allied sciences. As stated by Page (2008), motivation is defined as the process that accounts for an individual’s passion, path, and persistence of efforts towards accomplishing an objective. Robbins (2005), defined motivation as the enthusiasm to exert high levels of determination towards organizational objectives, habituated by the effort’s capability to satisfy some individual desires.
In a basic manner, the first chapter is a preliminary chapter which conveys the objectives, background, problem statement and research questions of the research on occupational stress influence on employee motivation. Limitations and delimitations of the research are also underlined in the first chapter. With a smooth shift from the first chapter we move into the second chapter which encompasses the literature review of the research. The second chapter provides the ample review of the literature related to the problem which is being investigated. The chapter should contain the theoretical and conceptual frameworks. It should also contain the historical overview of the problem plus contemporary trends related to the problem and important research data that has been published about the problem.