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Report on stress in the workplace

I decided to choose to base my report on case study 1 – Ambitions exceeding skills.

Throughout this report, I am going to be discussing a few of the implications that happened during Gail’s time of attempting to fulfil the directorate role. The case study is based on a small-sized private sector healthcare company whom have experienced what seems to be an ever-lasting period of high turnover within the senior management team. Gail, who was previously an account manager for the company for 10 years, had been promoted to a more directorate role, to which she had aspired towards for a long time. Her newly appointed role required her to manage a team of thirty five employees (something which she hadn’t done before), however her promotion was agreed due to; Gail’s knowledge of the product, the organisation, the staff and her personal resilience, as measured by her time with the company. The case study indicates to us that Gail was well appreciated in the work-force as they presented her with a bouquet of flowers on her first day, this means prior to being promoted, she had good relationships with her peers when she worked alongside them before being appointed to manage them. She moved to an office close to the staff and welcomed them with an open door policy, which initially is a good idea should any member of staff have any questions or queries to ask Gail.

She worked long hours and seemed to be enjoying the role she was fulfilling. Gail was confident at board meetings, she would defend her department’s failure to achieve productivity targets, further present a case for better facilities, reduced workloads and more administrative support for staff. Although Gail is described in the case study as being a passionate and determined employee, she also suffered from a high volume of stress while conducting this role, which I will talk about in more depth later on in my report. Following on from this, Gail increased her hours at work and dependency on staff for support. After a board meeting to review quarterly performance figures of the company(obviously not doing as well as expected), she failed to arrive for work, declined further contact from the SMT and was signed off work for occupational stress for 12 months. In this time she processed legal action resulting in an out-of-court settlement. Furthermore, I am going to explain and analyse different psychological theories that may help the failures which are occurring from happening in the future to maintain a happy and healthy workforce and prevent the kinds of problems Gail suffered with whilst she worked for the private healthcare company.

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Discussion

After carefully reviewing the case study, the first issue that is immediately appealed to us is that it is evident that when Gail attends a board meeting, after defending her department’s failure to achieve their productivity targets, it is reported that there is increasing stress and low morale (something that Gail should have followed up sooner to prevent this from happening). Within the case study, it accentuates she had a good relationship after questioning the feasibility of the performance targets, however following this up by presenting a case for better facilities, reduced workloads and more administrative support for staff, this initiates that Gail wants the best for the staff, to ensure that the company’s targets are being fulfilled. She also pursued an open door policy to ensure her staff felt like they had somewhere to go to if they had any queries or issues within their work. The case study further states that Gail was often emotional in board meetings, explaining her distress, in reaction to opposing views (people who didn’t particularly agree with her choices for the company). Her disturbed feelings following board meetings became evident to staff, resulting in the staff becoming a tremendous source of support to her. The performance of Gail’s department continued to deteriorate, her staff became hostile and resistant to senior management meaning they were not co-operating with Gail meaning their roles were not being fulfilled which led to further failure in this department of the company. Furthermore, Staff noticed Gail was failing to cope as their manager, which therefore was further evidence that the Senior Management Team’s targets were not achievable. How could they even think they would be achievable if their manager couldn’t get them to complete tasks to achieve targets without breaking down? She continued to break down in tears, contacted others to validate her views of the failure of the company. She was provided with a mentor, support by HR, Support from the MD and offered time off work.

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In this section of the report I will be talking about two psychological theories that could have potentially helped Gail and the workforce’s failure and how they could be used to help Gail. The first theory is, ‘The self-efficacy theory’ which was introduced by Bandura in 1977. (Uky.edu, 1977) The second theory I will be discussing is, ‘the self-determination theory’ which was introduced by !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .

The self-efficacy theory defined:

The self-efficacy theory is often described as people’s beliefs within their own abilities, usually the ability to meet challenges that face them and complete a task successfully. Although self-efficacy is about peoples beliefs to do well, it is also closely combined with motivation, however they are two separate constructs. Self-efficacy is solemnly based on an individuals belief in themselves, whereas motivation is based on an individuals desire to achieve.

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