Alienation is a condition under social relationships characterized by low degree of the same values and high degree of isolation of individuals ((Trinca and Fox, 2004). It is separation of an individual from the rest of the people either in a community or working environment. The three main causes of alienation includes; powerlessness, meaninglessness, and self-estrangement. Powerlessness is lack of control over the work activities, lack of autonomy, and lack of autonomy. Meaningless is lack of understanding or sense of contribution to a larger purpose.Looking from broader perspective there are three factors that affect alienation; individual factors for instance personality, values, belief, job satisfaction, supervisor impact on individual, and individual personal ethics. Another one is organizational factors that lead to alienation from work and expressive relationship.
Research has revealed that there are high cases of alienation in organizations that identify structural conditions and technologies. Such organizations have centralization and work technology may influence an individual’s sense of job autonomy, levels of participation, as well a sense of well-being. They also have control in the workplace, loosing autonomy in decision-making. The employees of such organizations feel trapped due to poor English, lack of training, nationality, and background and as a result the employees feel that they are despised and demoralized by their superiors and those with high level of education.
Mike Noon and Paul Blyton suggest in The Realities of Work(Noon and Blyton, 2006) suggest that employees respond to alienation by employing survival strategies such as making out, fiddling, joking, sabotage, and escaping. Making out are games employees play to beat the system, finding angles, working out and dodge or discovering loopholes giving them an opportunity to assert control over their working day. Fiddling is adding to an employee’s income via theft from the workplace. Example includes taking office stationary for private usage, making private phone calls, doing repairs to personal items using company equipment or materials artificially inflating expenses claims. Joking on the other hand is the use of humour that enables an employee to cope with frustrations and tensions of working life.Sabotage is willful acts of damage or destruction. Escaping can be applied in two ways, physical escape through resignation or absence; or mental escape through withdrawing into one’s own thought.This however may be true to some organizations but not all because employees vary in their personalities, values, beliefs, and working conditions.
In order to solve the problem of alienation, there are four important things to do. First is about leadership that is focus on making the workplace a good place to work. Secondly, is engagement to motivate employees to gain commitment. Thirdly, is empowerment, which is encouraging employees to take ownership and participate in decision making. Lastly, is job design that aims at ensuring that one does a good job” (Noon and Blyton, 2006).
Stress at work place
Stress is the extreme or negative reaction that people have to excessive pressures and other types of demand that are placed on them at work. Stress at workplace may be a major cause of illness and is known to be associated with high levels of sickness absence, staff output and other issues such as more error (HSE, & Health and Safety Executive, 2001). Contrary to stress, pressure can be positive and motivating factor.
It is important for organizations to mange stress because it has a negative impact on employees health. The cost of replacing ill employees is enormous to the employees and that is why it is important to prevent before it affects the staff. There are six known causes of work related stress that needs to be managed well. These causes are; job demands, work control, support, relationships, role, and change. On demands, employees indicate that workers are able to manage demands in their work. Control indicates that the employees are able to have a say about the way they do their work. Support means that employees get enough information from their fellow workers and superiors. Relationships indicate that employees are subjected to unacceptable behavior at work for instance, bullying at work. Role means that they understand their role and responsibilities and that the institution involves talks with staff before making major decisions or when undergoing change.
Thayer, argues that there are emotional, mental as well as behavioral symptoms of stress ( Thayer, 2006).Emotional symptoms include; negative or depressive feeling, disappointment with yourself, increased emotional reactions, loneliness, loss of motivation commitment and confidence, and mood swings. Mental symptoms includes; confusion, lack of concentration, and poor memory. The behavioral symptoms are; changes in diet, excessive smoking, increased drinking, mood swings effecting behavior, changes in sleep pattern, twitchy nervous behavior, and changes in attendance for instance, coming to work late or requesting for a long off.
There are four approaches for dealing with stress that is policy procedures and systems audit to ensure it provides a working environment that protects employees and identify those with problems, problem-centered approach that takes issues and problems around stress and psycho-social issues, well-being approach to maximize employees well-being, and employee centered approach that works at the individual level of employee. Education and support is provided to help deal with problems faced in workplace. It focuses on employee counseling and stress management training.
The starting point for effective prevention of stress is good people management (Cooper, 2008). Individuals work all the more viably inside participative administration style and individuals are better roused when work fulfills budgetary, social, and mental requirements. Businesses who give careful consideration to work plan and work conglomeration and furnish administrators whatsoever levels with individual’s administration aptitudes will uphold representative engagement and well-being. Conglomerations might as well embrace uplifting disposition towards those recouping from mental issues. Sensible conformities ought to be made to guarantee-to-guarantee that this part of the workforce has the capacity to enter business and make a positive commitment.
Cooper, C. L., & Payne, R. (2008).Stress at work. Chichester: Wiley.
HSE, & Health and Safety Executive (2001).The event safety guide: A guide to health safety and welfare at music and simular events. Sudbury: Health and Safety Executive.
Noon, M., & Blyton, P. (2006).The realities of work.Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan Business.
Trinca, H., & Fox, C. (2004).Better than sex: How a whole generation got hooked on work. Milsons Point, N.S.W: Random House Australia.
Thayer, R. E. (2006). The origin of everyday moods: Managing energy, tension, and stress. New York: Oxford University Press.
Zeffane, R., & MacDonald, D. (1992).Uncertainty, participation and alienation: Lessons for the workplace restructuring. Newcastle, N.S.W.: Employment Studies Centre, University of Newcastle.