Corporate Health Management: the Consequences of Excessive Stress at Work

this article is available in :
Corporate Health Management: the Consequences of Excessive Stress at Work

As we have seen in the article "Introduction to Corporate Health Management"managers who are destabilized by the effects of globalization and technological innovation can react in different ways, both at professional and personal level. Although such reactions may differ from one person to the other, they are all the consequence of an excessive level of stress that leads to an inability to lead their team in a context of increased pressures.

As a consequence, we observe the development of all kinds of addictions (workaholism, alcoholism, tobacco smoking, drug abuse…) and personal life problems, loss of concentration, nervous breakdowns (that can lead to burn-outs), etc.

The impact on their professional life can thus greatly vary from one person to the other. First of all, some managers can become "work-addicts" – which will increase their level of weariness and the probability of making mistakes. In this case, we can observe the emergence of a vicious circle: the person works more, gets wearier and makes more mistakes – so that even more work is required!

Other managers, in the contrary, may tend to reduce their efforts as much as possible, in order to spare their energy. This inertia, however, will necessarily have an impact on the motivation of the team(s) they are in charge of. Some people may, for example, block the flow of information, thus causing interpersonal conflicts that can even lead to an increase in staff turnover. We may also mention the case of this Managing Director who, out of fear that his lack of command of new technologies could come to light, was lobbying the Board in order to incite some of its members to resist the introduction of a new production technique!

In extreme cases, some people may tend to pass on the responsibilities for which they display a competency gap onto their staff members, a situation that can lead to moral harassment and mobbing. Concretely, we can imagine the case of a Sales Manager who blames her team every time the sales fail to reach the expected level and who claims all the credit when good results are achieved. This can cause the manager’s ill-being to be very quickly communicated to her team, even maybe in an amplified form. Moreover, she will fail to investigate the causes of any drop in sales!

In any case, stress-related dysfunctions tend to significantly reduce the employee’s capacity of adaptation to change, whether in relation to the evolution of the industry or the introduction of new technologies. Moreover, this tenseness will have an impact at both personal and professional levels and, on the longer run, on the person’s private life.

There is no easy answer to such issues. We should thus simultaneously work on different development axes, as will be seen in the article "The Main Approaches to Improving Organizational Health".

Related articles:

this article is available in :