Dar et al (2011) defines Job stress as a state where a person is unable to fulfill the work demands and bear the workplace pressure which may be due to the difference between their knowledge, skills and job specifications. Stress must not be taken in negative terms because it depends on how the person’s abilities to deal with it. Stress can be mental or physical. Workplace pressure in inevitable because of the existing workplace environment and demands.
Job performance is the actual work performed by the person at work in the standard working environment in the presence of reasonable resources subject to typical constraints. Webb (2014) elucidates that stress lowers the morale of the employees resulting in failure to provide the desired results which ultimately affects the organizational overall performance. The loyal and committed employees can only be produced when they are completely satisfied from their jobs. The stress at job can reduce the organizational output. The attitudes and behaviors of employees are worse affected by the stress, anxiety and pressure at workplace.
The change in attitudes is evident from their performance, frustration and discontent with the organizational context. Khan et al (2014) expresses that unsatisfied workplace settings lead the employees to physical and mental strain. Stress encompasses psychological and physiological pressure. The stress at workplace includes role ambiguity, role conflict, work overload greater job demands, work life imbalance, disturbance and distraction at workplace. All these factors can result in poor health which has negative effects on the attitude of employees. These issues are at conflict with the employee’s job description. Babalola et al (2013) states that job stress and absenteeism are interrelated. The organization with greater level of workplace stress experiences the higher rate of absenteeism. Job stress induces employees to stay away from the organization so they can avoid stress and anxiety.
Ahmed & Ramzan (2013) states that one of the most significant aspects of job satisfaction is balance between work and family life. Work-life balance is one of the most important issues in today’s working environment. Employees need flexibility in their working schedule and working hours to keep up the balance between two. Role ambiguity is another important factor which leads to the job stress. The employees are not clearly explained their roles, responsibilities and job requirements which results in uncertainty and insecurity. It is entirely the responsibility of the management to clearly explain the job description to the employees before the completion of hiring process so they can evaluate their skills and compare them with the job requirement to make it certain that they have the abilities to fulfill the job responsibilities.
According to the research conducted by Jan (2011) job performance has inverse relationship with the job stress. If job stress increases the performance decreases and vice versa. As per the research job performance is highly affected by increased workload, lack of resources, absence of professional respect and recognition, strict working conditions, lack of promotions and appraisals, family issues. These issues are key driver of stress at workplace. Shahu & Gole (2008) argues that certain level of stress is important in organizations to keep the employees aware and responsive to the job demands and unexpected work overload because a relaxed attitude can make the employees lethargic. Organizational restructuring has changed the job requirements and the employees concern over job security is reasonable.
The organizations are required to communicate the change with the employees and member of the organization and ensure them the job security so their stress level can be reduced and they can perform better on their jobs. The employees are forced to learn new ideas, concepts and theories, which is not possible for majority due to various reasons. They may be reluctant due to their age factor or fear their inability to learn new ideas. The constant pressure put on them by the management result in stress and trauma which affects their current level of performance as well and their productivity decreases.
The promotional opportunities at organization are limited which also contributes to increase in stress level. The higher expectations from the management and organization often lead to distress. The stern competition within organization demands high performance and extraordinary results for the further advancements in organizational hierarchy. The performance appraisals and evaluation system analyze the overall performance of the employees on strict basis for the career development. Today, the employees cannot remain stagnant to learning processes. They are required to learn new terminologies, techniques and processes to stay updated and cope up with the changes within business context. The problem arises when the employees are unwilling to learn new skills due to the fear of failure. Their reluctance to change or failure to accept change leads them to anxious state where their morale is lowered and motivation decreases and they cannot perform to their fullest. The fear that new and fresh talent will replace them due to their higher competitiveness and effectiveness increases their stress and anxiety.
Halkos & Bousinakis (2010) state that the contemporary time is referred to as the “Era of anxiety and stress” and it can be witnessed in the business environment as well. It is anticipated that the higher level of stress leads to the lower productivity. The dissatisfaction of employees at workplace reduces their output. The interference of the professional issues with the personal life of employees has adverse effect on the employee efficiency and productivity level. A satisfied worker produces the effective and higher level of work output. Jex (1998) explains that the conflict arises when the differences arises between the job requirements and the age, job experience and personality of the employees.
According to Mosadeghrad (2013), workplace environment influences the employee behavior, attitude, satisfaction and commitment to the job and organization which determines the rate of employee’s turnover. A certain degree of employee turnover is healthy otherwise the organization remains stagnant without creativity and innovation. The voluntary turnover is considered harmful for any organization and has negative impact on the overall performance of the companies and businesses. Employees who are not satisfied in their current working place seek for other jobs and opportunities so they can leave the stressful working environment. The productivity level of the organization is highly affected due to high turnover rate.
According to Jagdish (1987) Stress can take place due to varied circumstances but overlooking its management can make it worse. Employees often confuse the work pressure and challenges with the stress mainly due to ignorance of the management and supervisors. Stress is made worse when the demands at the workplace surpass the personal and organizational resources. The workplace stress is often mismanaged by the management and supervisors by ignoring its origins and causes.
The stress at work can be lessened or eliminated by redesigning of the job and appropriate analysis of job description and job specifications. Stinson (2010) believes that apart from stress at workplace, several environmental and social factors can be identified which are the root cause of the stress including economic state of the country, noise pollution, financial issues and personal conflicts. These factors are the greatest barrier to the employees’ performance. Every individual has its own capacity to endure the stress at certain level but it affects the performance in one or the other way, little or more. The role of management or employer is important in this facet as they are the one who can successfully deal with the problem and take the individuals out of this phase towards a healthy competitive environment.
The organizations are held responsible for the increased level of anxiety and stress because the employees are overburdened with the high expectations and productivity due to the ever increasing competition and globalization of the businesses. The employers have varied choices in terms of the talented and skillful employees due to the organization’s global operations. So this put greater pressure on the employees to perform better otherwise they can be replaced with the better option available to the company.
The stress to perform better reduces the overall productivity because employees cannot perform any better in mental or physical strain. However, the employees are also responsible for the stress at workplace due to their inefficiency to cope up with the challenges and demands of the job. The increased competition within organization and in the business environment pressurizes the employees to produce the desired results. The employees are required to learn new skills and technology to remain in competition. Majority of the employees are reluctant to accept the changes at workplace and the result is psychological and physiological strain. Another significant factor of stress is the imbalance between personal and professional life.
Individuals fail to keep up the balance between their work and family life which adversely effects their productivity and performance at work. It is also noteworthy that stress is positive when it is held at the certain point and produces positive results because it enhances the competition and productivity but continuous stress at workplace decreases productivity, lower performance level, increases turnover and have adverse effects on the attitude and behavior of employees.
Critical reasoning is a fundamental skill that is essential for success in both academic and professional settings. Critical reasoning refers to the ability to evaluate arguments, evidence, and ideas, and to make informed judgments based on the information presented. In this blog, we will explore the importance of critical reasoning, the key components of critical reasoning, and some strategies for improving critical reasoning skills.
Critical reasoning is a crucial skill for success in academic and professional contexts. In academic settings, critical reasoning is necessary for evaluating sources, analyzing arguments, and constructing well-supported arguments in written and oral assignments. In professional settings, critical reasoning is essential for making informed decisions, solving complex problems, and effectively communicating ideas to others.
There are several key components of critical reasoning. These include:
Identifying the premises and conclusions of an argument: This involves recognizing the main ideas presented in an argument and distinguishing between the supporting evidence and the conclusion.
Evaluating the evidence: This involves assessing the quality and relevance of the evidence presented in an argument.
Analyzing the logic of the argument: This involves assessing the coherence and consistency of the argument and identifying any fallacies or weaknesses in the reasoning.
Making informed judgments: This involves synthesizing the information presented and making a reasoned judgment based on the evidence.
Strategies for Improving Critical Reasoning Skills
There are several strategies that can be used to improve critical reasoning skills. These include:
Practice: Like any other skill, critical reasoning requires practice. Students can improve their critical reasoning skills by engaging in activities that require them to analyze and evaluate arguments, such as writing essays, participating in debates, and solving complex problems.
Seek out diverse perspectives: Exposure to diverse perspectives can broaden one’s understanding of an issue and improve critical reasoning skills. Students can seek out diverse perspectives by reading a variety of sources, engaging with people from different backgrounds, and participating in discussions with peers who hold different views.
Ask questions: Asking questions is an essential component of critical reasoning. Students can improve their critical reasoning skills by asking questions that challenge assumptions, clarify information, and identify potential weaknesses in an argument.
Use critical reasoning frameworks: There are several frameworks that can be used to guide critical reasoning, such as the Socratic method and argument mapping. These frameworks provide a systematic approach to analyzing arguments and can help students improve their critical reasoning skills.
In conclusion, critical reasoning is a fundamental skill that is essential for success in both academic and professional settings. It involves the ability to evaluate arguments, evidence, and ideas and to make informed judgments based on the information presented. Students can improve their critical reasoning skills by engaging in activities that require them to analyze and evaluate arguments, seeking out diverse perspectives, asking questions, and using critical reasoning frameworks.
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Stinson, A. (2010) Anxiety and Stress: How Poor Performance and Absenteeism Affect the Workplace, Universal-Publishers
Webb, C. (2014) How Stress Affects Attitudes & Behaviors in the Work Environment. Available at <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/stress-affects-attitudes-behaviors-work-environment-11304.html> [2nd June 2014]