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How Change and Stress Can Be Managed at the Workplace

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics

The ever-increasing change occurring in the workplace is mainly attributed to the globalization of the world economies, diversification of trading markets, and the increasing rate of technological adaptation. Therefore, positioning more employees in changes they never anticipated, and as a result of these changes, employees react in a matter of stress that undoubtedly has some negative implications for both the employees and the organization. Organizational change may increase existing levels of workplace strain, thus workers should manage with both new and old stresses. Research carried out by Smollan (2017) while using data from New Zealand Health Authority that underwent some significant transformation helped establish the counteractive coping measures an organization can put in place when implementing changes to an organization. The result would also indicate that coping strategies factored during and after the implementation varies over time as emerging demands recur.

Employees in any organization setup can display or experience an increased rate of stress if they identify they are unwilling to cope with emerging demands that result in due changes implemented in an organizational structure and operations. The perception most employees have with regards to their competence can be managed by the supportive effort both the organization and executive part will play in the implemented changes. While individual character, interpersonal skills, and cultural relationships all influenced strategy selection, certain stresses dictated tailored coping techniques. Coping with severe organizational structural or operation changes taught respondents to depend on their own competencies, adopt problem-solving initiatives, manage their emotions and thoughts, and access support systems.

Managers are believed to play an important responsibility in identifying when organizational change can create stress and also in supporting employees significantly impacted by the changes. The processes of change can result to stress when they are mainly clouded with obscurity and uncertainty. The finding from the study confirmed that no consultation and communication with the employees would result to significant consequences on the organizational performance.

Given the impact of implementing unsupported changes in an organization, it is necessary for organizations to address stress-related causes that will help their employees cope. Mainly creating a support system is essential to guide and help employees that may encounter difficulties when implementing the changes. Employees are set to be guided with their psychological and emotional aspects hence may experience difficulties when anticipating changes to their future routines. This can be caused by the fear that their competencies can be undermined or failure to achieve work-related expectations implemented in the change. Hence, it is very important for organizations and managers to construct a system that will help and engage the employees while they are adapting to the changes.

Moreover, creating realistic targets and goals can be persuasive in helping the employees own the stated goals. Creating ambiguous goals or targets in an organization can be a resulting cause of stress in an organization. Therefore, creating smaller achievable goals can be helpful when adopting employees to bigger changes. This helps keep the employees busy and visional to work-related goals since they already feel they have achieved a milestone with the organization hence will be fixated on achieving more with the organization.

The relationship between the superior and subordinates and also the relationships with coworkers can contribute to stress levels when implementing changes to an organization. Creating an environment that has low levels of trust, harassment, and little cooperation in the process can increase stress levels among the employees. Therefore, implementing a cordial relation between the employees set to create an adaptive and supportive organization culture. This is important and crucial when implementing changes in the structural and operative function in the organization. Since employees can help each other when they face work related challenges or when develop work objective that they can achieve as a group or individually.

Regardless of stress being essential to employee productivity it should rather be controlled to manageable levels. Relating stress to organizational change is important to understand the coping measure that can be implemented before, during and after change. This is to help employees to adapt and thrive in the relating changes. Change is inevitable in any organization setup and having employees with the correct mindset and attitude is necessary when evolving in a world that is ever-changing.

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