CAUSES AND REMEDIES OF STRESS AND FRAUSTRATION AMONG SECRETARIES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR (CASE STUDY OF THE POLYTECHNIC, IBADAN, OYO STATE)
In today?s competitive global environment, employee productivity is an essential element of a company?s success. Employee productivity can be significantly hindered by high levels of stress and frustration experienced in the work environment. Stress and frustration is a universal element and persons from nearly every walk of life have to face stress and frustration. Employers today are critically analyzing the stress management issues that contribute to lower job performance of employees. The main aim of the study was to evaluate stress and frustration with its effect on employees? productivity. The study was conducted at ?The Polytechnic, Ibadan. Descriptive survey was adopted as the research design. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used. Questionnaires were used as data collection instrument. From the results obtained, it was evident that there were many stress factors that the respondents endured, and the enquiry proved that frustration had an effect on productivity. Majority of the respondents reported to work under pressure and that they feel uncared for by the organization. The fact that majority of respondents thought of leaving their job, and felt that the organization did not care about them was a reflection of huge dissatisfaction that undoubtedly lowered productivity.
It was recommended that Management must conduct an analysis of the organizational mood and climate by assessing the reasons why the employees think THE POLYTECHNIC, IBADAN does not care about its employees and what they can do to change it. It was also suggested that an Employee Assistance Programme be introduced for early identification and intervention on problems so that productivity levels do not decrease
1.1 Background To The Study
In today?s world, stress has become a worldwide phenomenon, which occurs in various forms in every workplace. In today?s work life, secretaries are generally working for longer hours, as the rising levels of responsibilities require them to exert themselves even more strenuously to meet rising expectations about work performance. Omolara (2008) described occupational stress as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of their being unable to cope with the demands being made on them.
According to Swanepoel et al (1998) work related stress has been a topic that has received increasing attention, in the area of occupational health, over the last three decades. These authors were of the opinion that the world, especially the world of work and business, has become increasingly subject to fast changing forces like increased competition, the pressure of quality, innovation and an increase in the pace of doing business. The demands on employees grew equally dramatically and this created stress within sectaries. Apart from stress that arose from the work situation, other sources of stress could relate to personal factors such as relationships with others and use of free time.
Stress can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her (Moorhead and Griffen, 1998). That is tension from extra-ordinary demands on an individual.
It is noted that, stress is not necessarily bad; it is an opportunity when it offers potential gain. But whatever its nature, it usually begins when individuals are placed in a work environment that is incompatible with their work style and or temperament. It becomes aggravated when sectaries find out that they have or can exercise little control over it. ?Many organizations in the world are witnessing an alarming increase of the negative effects of stress on sectaries productivity. Typical examples are organizations in America, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, East and Central Africa, West Africa and in other parts of the world. The American Academy of family Physicians reported that, about two-thirds of the visits to family physicians are the results of stress-related symptoms? (Henry and Evans 2008).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Most organizations with the aim of attaining higher productivity end up saddling sectaries with overload of work in order to meet deadline and this might have psychological and physical effects on the sectary which may result in something contrary to what these organizations want to achieve. Although organizations are paying more attention than in the past to the consequences of the shock their sectaries go through when they place extra-ordinary demands on them, there is still more room for improvement. Again to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and to be able to fund the acquisition of modern equipment meant efficient service provision and optimal employment of resources.
For some reasons there has been the need for a continuous change in management strategies and administration, and the demands on employees to perform have been increasing. This has brought a lot of pressure on the employees, who are expected to deliver a world class service without the corresponding increase resources and training, yet those who fail to deliver are threatened with dismissal and other forms of punishment. With jobs very difficult to come by these days, many employees are crumbling under this pressure. Cases of employee stress are therefore on the ascendancy.
It is in this view that this study is being conducted to identify the causes of stress and frustration among the secretaries has of The polytechnic, Ibadan.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to:
i. Ascertain the causes of stress among secretaries in of The polytechnic, Ibadan
ii. Find out whether stress has any effect on the productivity of Secretaries in The polytechnic, Ibadan.
iii. Find out how Secretaries of The polytechnic, Ibadan handle stress.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions guided the study:
i. What are the causes of stress in polytechnic, Ibadan?
ii. Does stress and frustration have any effect on the productivity of secretaries in polytechnic, Ibadan?
iii. How do secretaries at polytechnic, Ibadan handle stress and frustration?
iv. What stress management strategies have been employed by secretaries of polytechnic, Ibadan to help them to manage stress?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The purpose of the study was to find out the causes and remedies of stress and frustration among secretary?s productivity. The researcher believes that this study was very important and would go a long way to notifying all organizations, most especially those in the service sector on the need to ensure the effective management of stress for their secretaries. The study will also add to existing store of knowledge. Thus, the findings will add to studies that have been done, so that people in other part of the country can also appreciate the problem. It will also provide suggestions on how to reduce the effects of stress and frustration on output.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study focused on polytechnic, Ibadan as one of the major institution that can be focused on so as to get an in depth and comprehensive understanding of what is happening and makes the research meaningful.
Drawbacks are an inevitable part of almost every venture individuals carry out and overcoming them prepares or fortifies one for other tasks ahead. Even though these challenges to some extent hampered the progress of the study, they also helped in putting researchers on their toes to work tirelessly around the clock in making the success of this study a reality.
In as much as lots of commitment and zeal was employed in conducting an intensive and thorough study, certain impediments were encountered.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study was necessarily limited in scope due to series of resource limitations as well as practical research limitations and notable ones were:
? Time constraint, in the sense that time allocated for conducting this study was very short to allow for adequate data collection and this short time had to be divided between the main academic work which included preparation for face to face and examinations.
? The reluctance of respondents to answer the questionnaire during the data collection process which was critical in providing the needed inputs for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms:
The following terms are defined in the specific sense in which they were used in this research study. They are as follows:-
a) Stress: This is the state of the secretary?s disposition when she had been affected by the stressor.
b) Frustration: A feeling of anger or annoyance caused being prevented from succeeding or doing secretarial job.
c) Secretary: This is an executive assistant who possess mastery of office skills, is also personal assistant, or administrative assistance whose work consist of supporting management who demonstrates the ability without direct supervision, he exercised in the two and judgment on his own within the scope of assigned authority of that organization.
d) Job: This is referred to as a particular piece of work or task being carried out by a secretary.
e) Performance: This is the ability a secretary has to operate efficiency or react quickly.