1.1. BACKGROUND STUDY
Job stress has been of great concern to employees and other stakeholders of organizations. Job stress researchers agree that stress is a serious problem in many organizations (Cooper and Cartwright, 1994; Varca, 1999; Ornelas and Kleiner 2003). The cost of job stress is very high in many organizations in recent times. For instance, the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) reports that inefficiencies arising from job may cost up to 10 perce GNP (Midgley, 1996).
Job stress is defined as the perception of a discrepancy between environmental demands (stressors) and individual capacities to fill these demands (Topper, 2007; Vermut and Steensma, 2005; Ornels and Kleiner, 2003; Varca, 1999). Christo and Pienaar (2006) for example, argued that the causes of job stress include perceived loss of job, and security, sitting for long periods of time or heavy lifting, lack of safety, complexity of repetitiveness and lack of autonomy in the job.
In addition, job stress is caused by lack of resources and equipment; work schedules (such as working late or overtime and organizational climate are considered as contributors to employees stress. Job stress often shows high dissatisfaction among the employees, job mobility, burnout, poor work performance and less effective interpersonal relations at work (Manshor, Rodrigue, and Chong, 2003). Johnson (2001) similarly argued that interventions like identifying or determining the signs of stress, identifying the possible causes for the signs and developing possible proposed solutions for each signs are required.
Therefore, this research will try to find out the effects of job stress on job performance and interventions that can be applied by Management and employees to manage stress effectively at Union Bank. To acquire a deeper understanding of the variable (job stress) we will first consider the broader topic of stress in general and then zero in on the variable within the context of Union Bank.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current turbulent environment in which some workers conduct their work requires that organizations examine their practices. Working in the Nigerian banking industry is an inherently stressful profession with long working hours, heavy workloads, difficult customers and conflicting demands. The physical and psychology demands of workers at the bank make them more vulnerable to high levels of stress. The effects of stress are evidenced as increased errors in data entry, high medical bills, lateness to work, low productivity and increased sick leaves. Despite the extremely negative effects of job stress on the human body and work performance, many organizations, with Union Bank not being an exception has not put in any concrete measures to address these stress-related conditions that negatively affect productivity. Furthermore, there has not been a conscious establishment of a linkage between job stress and its negative effect on productivity.
It is in the light of these problems that this research seeks to bring to the fore the implication of job stress on the overall performance of institutions.
1.3. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Stress Management is important to healthy functioning of organizations as it seeks to increase productivity since one can clearly focus on tasks, better memory, improved immune system and better blood pressure. In Nigeria, job stress is not being given the attention it deserves and so very little has been done as far as assessing the role of stress on job performance within organizations. It is in the light of this that this study is deemed important, as it will:
Create awareness among managers on the need to provide the needed platform to help staff deal with their stresses.
The study has the potential to stimulate, among scholars and customers, an interest in the study of stress among bank workers in Nigeria.
1.4. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is on the effect of job stress on the performance of bankers in Nigeria, a case study of UNION bank Calabar.
1.5. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the various respondents. Most respondents were reluctant in filling questionnaires administered to them due to their busy schedules and nature of their work. The researcher found it difficult to collect responses from the various respondents, and this almost hampered the success of this study.
1.6. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are:
Ø To examine the effects of job stress on bank workers in the performance of their job.
Ø To evaluate Management competencies for controlling and reducing stress at work.
Ø To assess the support for those people who are suffering from stress.
Ø To assess how work related stress can affect the health of workers.
1.7. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Ø What factors contribute to low productivity among staff of Union Bank?
Ø Are there any strategies which could be adopted to prevent or reduce stress among staff of Union Bank?
Ø What can be done to help staff of Union Bank with stress related problems?
Ø Does job stress have any effect on the health of Union Bank staff?
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