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Job stress poses a significant threat to employee health and consequently to the health of an organization This report will provide information on the causes of stress the resulting symptoms the consequences to employers and the programs employers can implement to reduce the adverse effects of stress in the workplace It is important for both employees and employers to recognize and understand stress and its causes Often times employers confuse job challenges and job stressors Most employees view a job challenge as a motivating factor which enables them to grow within their positions This motivation has the potential to produce positive results for both employees and employers However when challenges become demands employees often resort to the fight or flight response of our primal ancestors At the sight of a dangerous encounter the hypothalamus sends a message to the adrenal glands and within seconds the heart is pumping at two or three times the normal speed sending blood to the major muscle groups with soaring blood pressure In most cases the employee does not have the opportunity to fight or flee and as a result the increased energy is internalized and over time manifests itself as stress Stress is not an illness however prolonged exposure to stressful conditions can increase the risk of injury or disease According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities resources or needs of the employee For instance management style interpersonal relationships work roles career concerns work-life issues sociocultural atmosphere and environmental conditions may all be considered stressors The following illustrations represent extreme cases but a common thread between all of the examples is lack of communication lack of resources and lack of control Typically people are affected by an assortment of these stressors and at a variety of levels
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