The impact of stress on employees motivation and performance work life balance

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


Background of the Study

Stress Management is defines a set of skills which enables one to manage, recover ,helps one in coping with the deficiencies .These types of skills or techniques helps one to develop himself/herself in difficult times.( Jonathan.C.Smith,2002). Stress can be called as the physical as well as mental response to things, feelings , places or people. Stress is caused by things called as stressors, which can be internal or external. An internal stressor comprises of feelings or emotions, which causes stress to a person. Where as , external comprises of external factors such as loosing of parents or close ones which causes stress to a person.( Susan R . Cregson, pg 5-6). The effects of stress can be very harmful to someone's health or can be life threatening. There are several factors which may lead to increase or create a stress full condition to someone. ( Dorothy.H.G.Cotto, pg-4).

Objectives of the Topic

This research aims to find out what are the factors that are responsible for causing stress to the employees in an organisation, what is the level of stress, measures should be taken against it as it is effecting the performance of the employees. In order to develop or to be successful, there are many ways to find out the level of stress and its causing factors. To do first identify factors causing stress, suggest or organise plans then implement to make one out of stress.( Jenny Harrison,2002, p.g. 30)

One of the major factor that is causing stress to employee is work overload which may lead one into the condition of bad health, mental break down and so on. To measure such level of stress , one of the method of questionnaire filling can be used, which may result in find out the level of stress on an employees and percentage of stress employee in an organisation.( Carole Spiers , 2003).

Literature Review

A literature review is a frame of text that aims to analysis the critical points of existing information on a particular issue. It is mostly related to science-oriented literature, such as a theory, the literature review generally follows a research proposal, methodology and results section. Its final objective is to provide the reader with all the relevant information along with the existing literature on a topic and methods the basis for a new goal, such as rationalisation for future research in the particular area.

According to (Paula Dwaidowicz) literature review is not a design or model which gives you any theory. It is specially designed to instruct one with the realities of writing process and can use to create strong, potentially  through bullet proof literature review.( Paula Dwadowicz, 2010). So here we will analyse or study about stress, types of stress and its impacts on the employees and their performance and motivation.


According to “Jane Cranwell Ward and Alyssa Abbey” stress is not a new issue to talk about, stress occurs when there is imbalance between pressure and handling resources of stress for a particular condition. On the other hand according to “David Fontana” stress can defined as a “demand made by a person on an adaptive capacities of the mind and body”.   (David Fontana,1989,pg-3).

“The most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus, 1984) is that “stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” In short, it's what we feel when we think we've lost control of events”.

Stress Management

“Stress Management refers to the identification and analysis  of problems related to stress and the application of variety of therapeutic to alter either the source of stress or the experience of stress”( Dorothy H.G.Collton, 1990).

Types of Stressors

A massive variety of actions can be stressful for a person or another. To attain a better comprehend of stress, theorists have tried to examine the nature of stressful actions and divided them into two subtypes:

“ Accute stressors are threatening events that have relatively of short duration and clear endpoints.”

Second one is “ chronic stressors are threatening events that have a relatively long duration and no readily apparent time limit” ( Doughall and Boum, 2001, pg-75).

According to author ( Zheljasko Hristov,2003, pg-21), there are sveral other types of stressors and one of them is :

“Job characteristics: there are several characteristics which causes stress at work. One is Psychological abuse at work quoted as a stress 88.8% of respondent and there is risk of Physical abuse by 82.7%, whereas working with lot of people also causes stress for 74.9% of respondents”.

4.Causes of Stress

Nowdays has become one of the mostly used word and unfortunately has become the greatest obligations of the way we live. Stress is not always caused by bad situations. Even we have been stressful in good or happy situations. According to author ( Rita elkins, M.H. , Louise tenney , 1997) there are several factors responsible for causing stress :

(a) Positive Emotional stressors

  • Promotion in job
  • Marriage
  • Baby born
  • Moving to a new place/ house
  • Going to school

(b) Negative Emotional Stressors

  • Damage
  • Passing of loved one
  • Divorce
  • Divine Crisis
  • Loss of a job

(c) Physical stressors

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Smoking
  • Drug obsession
  • Age related syndromes

Stress can affect anyone in different or many ways, like people work in hurry or rush , this mental hurry is being one of the biggest causes of tension.( J.P.Vaswani, 2003, pg-11), whereas according to ( Angela Stinson, 2010, p.g-69) stress can be caused by irregular demands employed upon people ability to implement.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Life is not a process of constant damage resistor. There are several things which we can do to keep ourselves healthy and stress free.

The fastest and best way to deal with the problems in your life is to finish the stressors. ( Dawn Groves,2004). According to the author there are several steps to reduce stress of your life:

  • Avoiding pointless worry
  • Working out yourself to become resistant to stress
  • Encouraging yourself to make required changes
  • Organizing for future stressful conditions

Whereas , in ( 1975 Dr. Herbert Benson , p.g.120) of Harvard Medical School described in his book that simple breathing exercise can be very  good for mind and body relaxation and keep yourself stress free.( Ralph Metson, Ralph B. Metson, Steven Mardon , 2005).

6.Effects of Stress on Performance and health

Human performance can be refers to process of primary mental process,Which is organised by human action, implementation of tasks involving evidence processing operations.( eg: decision making ,memory, consideration).( George fink, 2000, pg-60)

According to the researchers, the effect of stress on the performance of several may lead to the universal solution of judgement of an inverted u- curve affiliation between the level of stress and performance of various tasks. ( Hermann and Hermann , 1975). To some extent encouraged stress can lead to an expansion in the performance of various tasks. ( Holsti, 1972 pg-534).

The impact of stress on the employees leads to disputes between them which may leads delay in decision making or  delay in formulating new policies for the development for the top level policy makers.( Institute of Medicine (U.S) , 1986).

The impact of stress can be both positive as well as negative on people health and their performance. The potential impact of stress falls under three categories:

  1. Physiological Impact : includes increased blood pressure , panicking , hot and cold.
  2. Emotional Impact : anger, nervousness, depression.
  3. Behavioural Impact : high alcohol , material abuse, difficulties in communication.

( John W.Slocum, Den hellriegel, 2007 )

7.Signs of Stress at Workplace

According to Allen Elkin, 1999, pg-7-8. If you are facing stress and you probably are then you are compensating for it in some way.

The sign and symptoms of stress series from the caring to the dramatic from simply feelings exhausted at the end of the day having heart attack. The more severe stress related problems come with strong and sustained periods of stress .Here are some which give the signs of stress:

(a) Physical Signs of stress at workplace

  • Exhaustion , tiredness
  • Heart palpitations, racing pulse, hurried
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Shakiness, tics
  • Rashes. Lives, itching

(b) Psychological Signs

  • Feelings over whelmed
  • Memory lapse , indecisiveness
  • Concern, anxiety , panic
  • Loss of sense of humour
  • Irritability , annoyance

8. Causes of stress at Work

People to perform demand for good working conditions and expects an interesting work , where their work can be appreciated and feel valued in the serial surroundings of work. But having stressful work conditions which arises from the boring or uninteresting work terms or poor physical working environment , working alone and continuous pressure of work load and harassment from the top level to meet the deadlines of the job done directly effects the job performance of one( Jeremy W. Stranks , 2005).

However, there are also networks across job and work which recommend that there are other issues which bases stress at work that are role in the organisation , career growth , climate and organisational construction.( Cooper and Marshall, 1976, pg-51)

One of the factor of causing stress at workplace is “ working time of organisation”. The standard working hour for an employee for a day is eight hours working and when there is excess in the working hours and overloading of work, which effects the health of the employee leading him to fall under the category of stressed employees. ( Zheljasko Hristov, 2003, Pg-21).

9. Coping with Stress at work

“You are not hare merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision with finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand”. ( Woodrow Wilson, 1856-1924).

Healthy Workplace

Elizabeth Gyngell, programme director at Workplace Health Connect, says: "Health activities should not be driven by a concern over legislation, but by the understanding that improved well-being can generate significant benefits to morale and performance. This means organisations should ensure their employees are well versed in identifying and addressing symptoms before they escalate."

To reduce or remove the level of stress at work, a healthy work place is required to perform well in the organisation. The Nottingham researchers found that to avoid the situation of stress , employees needed to balance things which are:

  • Demand /burden
  • Awareness , skills and abilities
  • Point of control over working conditions
  • Support from other co-workers

When there is balance between the demand and resources then the work place can be called as healthy work place and there will be less number of chances of stress occurring.      ( Melanie king , 2006, pg-14)

Interpersonal and Value conflicts

According to (kwok B. Chan,2007, pg-8), the manager should try to understand the employees feelings and try to make sure that they should not carry their personal problems at work and there should be no dominant behavior from the superiors on the basis of power holdings , which leads to conflicts between the superiors and the employees caused because of stress on employees mind due to sense of insecurity.

Appraisal Coping Technique

The employees should be awarded and valued for their work. They should be motivated and encouraged to work as a team towards the achievement of organizational goal. ( Ellis, 2001)

Increased Awareness

According to ( Brian luke Seaward, 2006, pg- 197) to avoid or stopping the situation of stress at workplace between the employees , they should be aware of things, what is going on in the organization, what is their role to play and so on. This gives them a sense of valued and responsible employee.

Rational Thinking

“The process of discovering maximum disparity between two system or entities In order to describe their basis relationship”. (G.D. venerable, Greenwood, 2009) 

Negative Thinking

The next phase is dealing with negative thinking is to encounter the negative views that are identified using the Thought Awareness Technique. Look at every thought written down and test it sensibly. Ask yourself whether the thought is rational. What sign is there for and contrary to the thought? Looking at the examples, the following challenges could be made to the negative thoughts I identified earlier:

  • Feelings of insufficiency: Have you skilled yourself as well as you rationally should have? Do you have the knowledge and funds you need to make the production? Have you scheduled, organised and learned enough? If you have through all of these, you've finished as much as you can to provide a good presentation.
  • Concerns about performance during practice: If some of your rehearsal was less than faultless, then repeat yourself that the determination of the rehearsal is to identify areas for development, so that these can be arranged out before the presentation.
  • Complications with matters outside your control: Have you acknowledged the threats of these things going on, and have you taken measures to reduce the possibility of them happening or their effect if they do? What will you do if they arise?
  • Concern about other people's responses: If you have organised well, and you done the finest you can, then you should be gratified. If you accomplish or you can rationally, then fair-minded people are likely to retort well. If people are unfair, then just ignore their remarks and rise beyond them.

When you encounter negative thoughts rationally, you should be able to see rapidly whether the thoughts are incorrect or whether they have some constituent to them. Then immediate action should be taken. Though, make assured that your negative thoughts are sincerely significant in achieving your goals.( Stephen P.Robbins,2009).

Positive Thinking & Opportunity Seeking

By now, you should be feeling more positive. The final step is to formulate rational, positive views and confirmations to counter any enduring negativity. It can also be beneficial to look at the condition, if there is any useful opportunity that is being offered by it.

By building the confirmations on the clear, rational calculations of facts that are made using Rational Thinking, can be used to undo the demolition that might have caused by negative thinking.

Continuing with the examples above, positive confirmations might be:

  • Problems during practice: "I have learned from my practices. This has put me in a place where I can provide a great presentation.
  • Concerns about performance: "I have organised well and studied it thoroughly. I am in good position to give an excellent presentation."
  • Complications of issues outside your control: "I have believed through everything that rationally happen and have scheduled how I can deal with all likely possibilities.
  • Concern about other people's response: "Fair people will respond well to a good presentation. I will upsurge above any unfair denigration in a mature and specialised way."

This is one of the technique proposed by (Stephen P.Robbins,2009),in order to cope  with the stress problems at workplace .This theory helps superiors to find out the reason for the cause of stress and what are reasons of the employees being stressed. This theory also helps in understanding and making good and healthy relationships between the employees and the manger.

Why to Measure stress

Stress is to be measured as it is required because it helps one to live a meaningful and healthy life. It helps one to find out about the problems he/she is facing in life and how to deal with such problems to live a  happy life without stress at all.(Jos Van Der Stolen, Pascal Verdonck , Marc Nyssen,2008, pg-1366)


The Impact of stress on employees Motivation and Performance

( Pamela L.Perrewe , Daniel C.Cranster, 2004, pg-5-6)


“ A state arising in processes that are internal and external to the individual, in which the person perceives that is appropriate to pursue a certain cause of action directed at achieving a specified outcome and in which the person chooses to pursue these outcomes with a degree of vigour and persistence”.( Derek Rollinson,2005 pg-189)

“ The word motivation is derived from the Latin word movere and means to move .But according to ( Pintrich and Schunk 2002), it is the process whereby goal directed activity is instigated and sustained”.

The purpose of this theory is to deliver an impression of the multifaceted and multidimensional special effects of stress on the performance and motivation of employees and their behaviour.

Lazarus ( 1996, pg-5), recommended that stress can be preserved as an organising impression for accepting a wide variety of process involved in social alteration. Stress is not a one-dimensional variable, but a concept or disease consisting of several processes and number of variables. However stress is a response process considered by physiology, cognitive, behavioural and emotional changes that purpose to amend the individual to the need to adjust to the environmental difficulties in the interests of personal comfort.

The research on stress submits that query of whether work stress has a negative or positive impact on workplace and performance has two answers: one is work related stress which increases the performance and motivation of employees.(Driskell and Sales,1996,pg-5) and the other was work related stress which is related in decreasing employees job satisfaction and commitment towards their work.( Yousef, 2002 pg-5).The Empirical research has supported the result of above line and are equally valid.( Cooper,1998; Hockey,2002; Salas and Klein,2001,pg-5).

Work stress nature, however is neither definitely negative nor positive. The impact of stress depends on employees performance condition, interval, power and funds available to the employees to react adaptively. (Riley and Zaccaro,1987, pg-5). Whereas, the nature of emotional stress responses varies between person to person contingent on dispositional stress exposures ( Lazarus, 1996, pg-5), the power and period of the emotion experienced may vary within individuals depending on the abilities of coping with the emotions between task demands and conditions.( Hancock and Desmond ,2001,pg-5).

However the impact of emotional responses to stress on employee performance differs not only between and within emotions (the nature vs power of emotion), but also between and within individuals ( the character vs condition of the individual).

In response to a stressor, an individual may experience physiological, cognitive, behavioural or emotional variations that function to organise the individual to react to environmental strains in the interests of adaptive accomplishment.( Seyle , 1976, pg-6). He initially pronounced this stress response, which he labelled the “ General adaption syndrome” as a three-stage process connecting an initial alarm response a second stage is of physical or psychological stress or tiredness. Certainly, this theory had some rationality, with research representing that there are resilient links between stress and sickness and decreased performance consequences.( Siegrist , 1998, pg-6).

There are numerous physiological reaction of stress, each related with an increase in stimulation or level of awakening in a state of willingness for action. (Hancock and Desmond 2001). However, the physiological stress response is specified by enlarged skin conductance, heart level, salivation, hormone productivity, respiration level and sweat gland movement. Specific under stress may have sharp sensitivity to sensual stimulus, awareness of novel bodily senses. (Seyle ,1976, pg-6).

Cognitive effect of stress response may comprise distraction, narrowing of consideration, tunnel vision, reduced search action, response inflexibility longer reaction time to marginal stimuli and memory shortfall.( Salas, Drishall and Hughs , 1976, pg-6). In this respect, one of the best idea is start findings in the stress literature is that stress on stimulation increase the persons breadth of attention contracts.( Combs and Taylor , 1952).For example: Tasks in which the person must attend to a comparatively large number of task significant questions, this contracting attention may effect in the abolition of relevant task evidence and job performance will suffer. However, stress may result in dishonoured overall performance on multifaceted tasks because attention is contracted in response to cognitive burden.

This overload leads one to make decision in hurry without thinking about the consequences in the future, without realising what decision he/she is taking. 


Research objectives

Stress is a vigorous condition in which a person is challenged with a chance, demand or resource associated to what the person desires and for which the consequence is supposed to be both undefined and significant.

I will conduct my survey through the process of questionnaire filling in several banks of London as:

The bank workers are the people who also have to attain the certain goal and so for the non-achievement of goal the employees continue worried and tensed. The employees those have the humble table work also have to face the difficulty of stress. Due to recession the banking segment is still facing the problem of member cut-offs and so the work load of the current employees rises and they feel strained.

Stress, also quick or continuous, can encourage risky body-mind sicknesses. Instant syndromes such as dizzy spells, distress attacks, tension, vigilance, anxiety and muscle pains can all consequence in chronic health difficulties.

This research is to convey out the study that how much the employees of the banks are stressed and how do their stress is effecting their work life, social life etc. So a sample of 14 to 15 employees is to be nominated from few banks for the inquiry of stress among them.


“It is the process of selecting of observations from an entire population of interest so that characteristics from the subject can be used to draw conclusions or make inferences about the population”.

Sample: I will be taking sample of 15 employees from different banks of London having same designations.

Reason: As we discovery the employees of the bank to be extra stressful and more employees are pleasing VRS and are discharged because of inflation. I have designated only those banks which are associated with the public and are dedicated in consumer needs accomplishment.

Methods of Sampling

Random sampling

It is the cleanest form of probability sampling. Each member of the population has an equivalent chance of being nominated. When there is large population,it is frequently difficult or unbearable to identify every member of the population, so the pool of accessible subjects becomes biased.

Systematic sampling

It is frequently used instead of random sampling. It is also named an Nth name selection method. After the compulsory sample size has been designed, every Nth record is designated from a list of population members. As long as the list does not comprise of any unseen order, this sampling method is as good as the random sampling method. Its only benefit over the random sampling method is simplicity. Systematic sampling is commonly used to select a stated number of records from a computer folder.

Stratified sampling

It is frequently used sampling method that is greater to random sampling because it decreases the sampling error. A division is a subset of the population that cuts at least one common representative. The researcher first classifies the relevant divisions and their actual demonstration in the population. Then Random sampling is used to select subjects from each division until the number of subjects in that division is comparative to its regularity in the population. Stratified sampling is frequently used when one or more of the divisions in the population have a low frequency comparative to the other divisions.

Research Instrument

Checking Yourself for Burnout

Burnout occurs when obsessive, dedicated people become deeply disenchanted with a job or career from which they have earlier imitative much of their personality and meaning. It comes as the gears that inspire desire and eagerness are exposed away. This tool can help you to check yourself for burnout.


This instrument can help you check yourself for burnout. It helps you to find out yourself at work place and your experiences at work, so that you can make out whether you are falling under the category of burnout.

Using the Tool

  • Work through the table on paper and determine values manually.
  • Fill in values appropriately question on the sheet. This will automatically calculate scores for you and interpret these scores.