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Human resource management must do everything possible in order to reduce stress among employees. First of all human resource managers should be informed about different factors which cause stress at the work places. They should know that bad relations in the organizations, overloading with work and personal problems often results in stress. Both, human resource managers and employees, should unite their effort in order to reduce stress at the work place. Employers should be aware about the negative effect stress has on the organizational structure and productivity level. As soon as the problem is recognized employers may give necessary order to human resource managers. The most important thing is to unite effort of employers and employees when dealing with stress and other risk factors at the work place. Employees should realize that they can get help and understanding in their organization. First of all human resource management should realize that such problem as stress exists and it affects the state of the employers and productivity level. As soon as they realize this they can come to the next stage – start looking for the ways to help those employees who are in stress. Human resource managers should make a detailed analysis and try to find factors which may become the sources of stress for the employees. They can start from the organization itself. Often badly composed schedule and bad atmospheres in the organization become the sources of stress at the work place. “20 % of parents, who work, state that their stresses are connected with constant conflicts between their children and their work. About 80 % of people say that they mostly have stress because of lack of balance between work and family and about 32 % of working mothers are “highly-time stressed”, which is of course a substantial number” (Clark 69).
There may be additional stress factors which depend on the peculiarities of each separate organization. Response to stress is very different for different people. Personal approach is an important tool of Human Resource management. “Two people may be affected quite differently by the same stimulus. This identifies differences in the physiological and psychological responses resulting from perceiving a situation as threatening or noxious…. As a result of viewing people as cognitive creatures, a sociological approach sees human needs as shaping perceptions of situations and therefore as an important factor in understanding stress. Needs are learned and sustained through social encounters. Those who are unable to meet demands involving important needs experience stress.” (Masters, p. 50). HR managers should realize that individual approach may help to identify the reasons of stress and will give tool to correct the situation. The most important thing in dealing with stress is liquidation of its source. In order to do so it is necessary to find those factors which cause stress for different employees. If this information will be available for human resource managers they will get more opportunities to avoid stress conditions for employees at the work place.
Alcoholism and drug addition usually serious problems which affect not only an individual, but also his surrounding. Usually these problems have deep roots and needs serious treatment. This treatment will not be always possible inside the organization but diagnostics of the problem may become the first step to its resolving. The main task of human resource managers is to detect the cases of alcoholism or drug addition among employees. There are definite evidences which may be the signs of drug addition or alcoholism. They include: absenteeism, changes in behavior, work slowdown, tardiness, decrease of quality of work, signs of intoxication and some others. If several of these factors repeat during certain period of time human resource manager pay additional attention to the employees who demonstrates these signs. The next step should be an interview with employee. During this interview human resource manager should try to get more information about the state of events. Manger should not mention about his or her suspicions about drug or alcohol addiction. During the interview it is possible only to discuss the reasons of bad performance of employee at the work place. If employee starts speaking about alcohol or drug addiction himself, HR manager should demonstrate tolerance and understanding. It is necessary to underline that alcohol or drug addiction is not a person’s fault, but rather illness. Than manager should propose any kind of help, such as psychological help or medical treatment. Organizations should pay serious problem to the situations of alcohol and drug addictions but the problem should not be resolved by dismissing the employee. Drug and alcohol addiction should be treated as a kind of illness and organization managers should be reader to give all necessary support and assistance in order to help their employees to overcome these problems. HR manager may propose that organization compensates treatment for the employees. In the cases when employee recognizes the problem and is ready to deal with it, the HR manager may pass to the next stage. “The manager directs the employee to see a physician for diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan” (Stevens, et al, 2001, p. 14). If employee does not confess drinking problem HR manager should give advices which can help the employee to improve his performance. Manger also inform an employee that his performance will be monitored and necessary measures will be performed if it does not improve. Human resource managers should be treated as people who may give necessary help and assistance in difficult situation. “If necessary, the manager contacts the Department of Human Resources to get help with the administration of medical benefits for alcohol/drug treatment” (Stevens, et al, 2001, p. 115).
Emotional illness is another important problem of our time. It not only influences work performance of an employee, but also may have negative consequences for all the surrounding where an individual works. Close relations between the members of organization and personal involvement of HR managers into different group activities may help to detect the sings of emotional illnesses on the early stages. For this purpose HR managers should be aware of the different kinds of emotional illnesses and their symptoms. Managers should be that emotional illnesses should be treated same seriously as physical ones. Emotional needs of the employees should be valued not less than their physical health.
Despite alcoholism, drug addiction, stress and emotional illness may have different reasons and most of these problems are rooted in personal life of each individual HR managers should make everything possible to help employees to overcome these problems or even avoid them. Good work conditions and friendly surrounding may be very helpful for this purpose.
Creating healthy atmosphere at the work place HR managers may avoid many serious problem in the working group. Team building and care about employees are necessary measures which may bring prosperity to the organizations and use for its members. There are many ways to improve atmosphere at the workplace and make a friendly team: “Departmental Meetings, Task Force, Special Project Team, Training Session, Workshops, Team Briefing, Product Review, Customer Visits, Focused Improvement Group” (Heathfield, 2006, p. 118). It is clear that this list can be extended by other examples and techniques, but all of them would have common settings – common aims for all members of the team, including the supervisor and desire to achieve these goals. What is really important for working out the concrete team setting is the consideration of motivation, rewards and productivity of the process. Here it is also necessary for a team leader to calculate and consider the time and costs spent for the building of the team setting in order to make the work of his team more successful and rewarding. This cost and time spent are closely related to the cost of the whole business and should be thoroughly controlled. This never means, that team leaders should not take into consideration human factors for his team, like for example losing focus, being reactive, having some personal problems, which could sometimes influence productivity and ability to take quick decisions. If a leader of a team is able to have the team members, who “have a strong desire to contribute; believe their contribution is valued; want to develop the team not just themselves; are recognized outside the team for their achievement; have fun”, he has all chances for developing a successful business operation (Heathfield, 2006, p. 120).
Hr Managers should pay attention to development of the team as a whole, at the same time – to development of each individual member of his team. This means – give an opportunity to prepare sessions, monitor the sessions, put down the reviews of the past sessions and so on. Other team members should be encouraged to provide feedbacks.
Organization of fun and spare time proved to be a good technique used by team leaders, teams leaders should “show the team that the business, their business is a serious one with specific goals and expected results BUT the best way to achieve success is through ongoing individual and team development, empowering others to succeed and having fun along the way” (Heathfield, 2006). Good atmospheres at the work place and attentive attitude of the HR managers may help employees to overcome serious personal problems.
In the contemporary society career occupies an important place on the scale of human values. People spend almost one third of their lives at their work place. Work gives them means to live but at the same time it may cause serious problems. At the present moment specialists identify alcoholism, drug addiction, stress and emotional illness as the most important health problems of the contemporary employees. HR managers should demonstrate good professional skills and personal initiative when dealing with these problems.
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