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Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 1
FACTORS LEADING TO WORK STRESS AND ITS IMPACTS ON EMPLOYEES
PERFORMANCE: A CASE STUDY OF DORIS MICROFINANCE BANK- NIGERIA
By [Student Name]
Location of Institution
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 2
2.0. Literature Review
The chapter will provide extensive research on existing literature on features leading to
work-related stress and its impacts on employee performance in the banking system. In such
consideration, the chapter dwells on job stress and performance issues. The chapter highlights
the definition of work-related states and provides a theoretical framework to broaden its
knowledge base. The identification of stressors within the working environment is vital in
developing strategies to address their challenges. Many stressful elements are discussed in this
chapter to improve understanding of the situation of Doris Microfinance Bank, Nigeria.
2. 1. Definitions
2.1.1. Work Stress
According to Ajayi (2018), work-related or occupational stress is referred as a response
people develop when subjected to higher job pressures not equal to their knowledge,
experiences and abilities leaving them challenged with coping skills.
It is a condition developed from a workplace that does not support a positive state of
physical, social and mental wellbeing accelerated by harmful policies and practices,
especially, poor work organisation, design, management, unsatisfactory working
environment, and lack of support (Steve, 2011).
It is a negative reaction people develop towards excessive work pressures and is
associated with physical conditions, like increased heartbeat, high blood pressure, and
shortness of breath among others (Halbesleben et al., 2014).
It is stress resulting from an employee’s response to particular work demands, pressures,
and career obligations, which pose a threat to their capabilities or service delivery (Ajayi
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 3
It is a condition that is developed when the employee does not feel supported by their
managers or co-workers over work they perform or knowledge on task completion
(Akingunola and Adigun, 2010).
2.1.2. A Healthy Job
A job is considered healthy if it is suitable based on employee’s abilities, experiences and
resources within the workplace in addition to the amount of control they have on their functions.
As well, a healthy working environment is one in which the safety of individuals is enhanced
(Ajayi, 2018). Therefore, continuous and consistent health risk assessments should be carried out
in the workplace to promote health.
2.1.3. Work-Related Stress
The situation is represented by workers dealing with bizarre working conditions
alongside job pressures and demands that cannot match their abilities and understanding (Ajayi,
2018). For most leaders, the pressure seems acceptable as it keeps employees alert, motivated
and ready to learn, but the impacts depend on the available resources and personal
2.1.4. Stress-Related Hazard
In the working environment, stress-related hazards are better understood using work
context and content (Ajayi, 2018). In “work contents,” low involvement and control, and strict
and inflexible working hours, as well as unpredictable shift system, are encompassed. On the
other hand, “work context” entails salaries, status and professional development among other
elements of job insecurity.
2.2. Theoretical Framework
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 4
Various theories have been adopted concerning the dynamic stress construct, especially
in the workplace. Such approaches can be utilised by employers and managers to enhance
happiness in the workplace and reduce the burden of stress on employees.
2.2.1. Transactional theories
The models indicate that stress is an explicit transactional product between an individual
and the environment that can adversely affect resources as well as pose a threat to the wellbeing.
Prem et al. (2017) suggest that an individual’s work performance can be influenced by
personality, situational demands and coping skills, working hours, and past experiences, among
others. As well, multidisciplinary review by Ganster and Rosen (2013) shows a broad agreement
that stressors have negative effects on employee performance based on individual perception and
evaluations. For such reasons, the transactional theory claims that workplace stress is directly
associated with specific scenarios and personal appraisals of difficulty in coping with the
underlying situations. Such involvement is often supplemented by numerous efforts to cope up
with the existing difficulty in addition to variations in the mental functions and behaviour.
However, the concept has been criticized for its simplistic nature and omission of employee’s
history, future, goals, and identity in specific work settings (Manzoor et al., 2012).
2.2.2. Interactional Theories of Stress
Through interactional simulations, the interactions between environmental stimuli and
related individual reactions are emphasised as the basis of stress. For example;
The Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) theory argues that work efforts are used as a
component of the psychological contract, where better opportunities and rewards act as
remuneration for effort (Jamal, 2011). In such a case, an imbalance subjects the worker to stress
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 5
or distress due to lack of fitness between resources, skills and capabilities, and demands in the
In Person-Environment Fit (PEF) theory, interactions are realised through
environmental and individual variables, that is, objective realities versus subjective perceptions
(Halbesleben et al., 2014).
As well, Job Demand-Control (JDC) model posits that job stress can develop from
interactions between various psychological work difficulties associated with workload, like
interpersonal conflict, decision-making, skill discretion, and cognitive pressures among others
that can predict outcomes of psychological strain (Akingunola and Adigun, 2010).
2. 3. Major Job Stress Factors in Banking Sector
Excessively high workloads are likely to create unnecessary pressure in the working
environment, especially when given unrealistic timelines because the employees will be
overwhelmed and feel rushed. As well, insufficient workloads can be stressful as the workers
will feel underutilised (Goh et al., 2010). The interrelationship between direct and indirect
impacts of workload is a potential stressor in the workplace that directly affects employee
performance. Also, when the workload exceeds the personal capability, it becomes stressful
(Manzoor et al., 2011).
Long working hours
From the overwhelming tasks across the Nigerian banking sector, the bankers cannot
complete their delegated duties on a regular workday (Akingunola and Adigun, 2010). For such
reasons, bank employees are likely to stay for longer hours at work or carry some work at home
to keep up with the pressure. By spending more time on the bank’s hall reduces worker’s
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 6
productivity due to physical and mental conditions. More so, higher unachievable targets,
bankers are always compelled to work overtime because they are worried about the perceived
High employee turnover
From the increased work pressures in the banks, some employees will opt for better
opportunities in other banks or outside the financial sector. For such a case, managers and
employers will be forced to continuously be forced to recruit on regular basis, while the
employee’s left behind will be stressed and discouraged from working because of the exiting
colleagues (Steve, 2011). The overall worker’s performance will be reduced since some level of
expertise will be missing in the retained group.
Job insecurity is typical among bankers, especially executives who have failed to meet
their monthly or quarterly since they might be fired for unproductivity (Steve, 2011). Concerns
over the future of the job create unnecessary tension among workers that negatively affects their
performance as they continuously seek alternatives (Fako, 2010). Also, job insecurity can be
created by ineffective management or over-management that makes employees lose a sense of
direction or feel undervalued (Ajayi, 2018). As well, when employees are unintentionally
involved in a mistake, their job security is threatened, especially from the slang language used by
their bosses, increasing their mental pressure.
Lack of Autonomy
The presence of specific procedures in the banking system problem poses the employees
to the risk of dehumanisation since they perform almost the same jobs every day, like bank
tellers Manzoor et al., 2012). Some bankers lack control over work activities causes stress among
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 7
workers as they do not feel like part organisation rather instruments to be utilised by the
managers and employers. Due to the huge tedious work that they perform daily, bankers are
likely to get irritated, reducing their productivity. Also, since the manager’s word is final, most
bankers are placed in awkward positions leading to depression and stressful experiences as a
result of such decisions (Steve, 2011). Often, bank managers are fond of givng orders,
irrespective of whether or not they are welcomed, which can negatively affect employees if they
are not favourable.
Role of conflict
Interpersonal conflicts within the organisation have been associated with poor working
relationships or support, leading to many cases of isolation. Such condition lowers worker’s
productivity since they have to work along with their colleagues and managers (Cary, 2011). If
the employee-employee relations are not enhanced, tension and depression build up in the
banking negatively affecting overall performance. As well, when employees are asked to
perform duties for which they have little skills or experience, they are likely to be stressed.
Internal conflicts can be induced by multiple reporting channels availed for the employees with
each supervisor seeking prioritisation can build stressful conditions (Rashid, 2011). By spending
more time at the banks, employees end up into conflict with their families, which adversely
affect their efficiency.
Shift work and work-life balances
Most of the Nigerian banks do not offer work-shifts. In such consideration, the few
employees are pressured with workloads are likely to work overtime, which is stressful and
affects their work-life balance (Shah et al. 2010). Most employees in private institutions are
required to work between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday, while those in the state-owned firm
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 8
work the same except for Friday that ends at 2 p.m. (Fako, 2010). From such timeframe, the
workers have to spend most of their time in banks and finish when already exhausted, which
affects their social and family lives.
Based on the workload that bankers have to handle every day in addition to overtime,
they undoubtedly receive more poor wages, which negatively impacts their wellbeing and
performance (Akingunola and Adigun, 2010). Even top banks in Nigeria, like Zenith Bank,
Central Bank of Nigeria, Ecobank, Access Bank, GTBank, and United Bank of Africa, offer
lower remunerations compared to work performed (Ajayi, 2018). On the contrary, top-level
managers are likely to express satisfaction with their job salary and bonus, while the middle and
low-level executives show dissatisfaction with their wages. Such disparities increase the
frustration among employees, where those who work more are likely to end up with little pay.
Technology change and system failures
Beheshtifar and Nazarian (2013) note that bankers are often challenged and pressured on
how they should deal with the valued customers when the system fails or the ATMs
malfunctions, or under cyber-attack. In such regards, the clients are often bored due to the
complexity of some banking systems. The employees will refrain from serving the customer’s
when the server links are down to avoid the wrath. As well, some clients are too impatient to
wait for the technological functions subjecting the serving banker to unnecessary stress of
serving clients without or with little formalities (Ganster, D. C. and Rosen, 2013). Even though
technology has been embraced in most banks, some workers are still faced with the tired and
meaningless work of keeping record both manually and digitally, especially in state-owned
banks, like Central Bank of Nigeria.
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 9
Badra-Ul and Kashif (2011) indicate that stress caused by low morale negatively affects
the employees’ performance in the banking sector. Fako (2010) show a negative correlation
between stress and performance of an employee. For instance, an employee who has low morale
cannot deliver the required output in an organization. According to Shaheen et al. (2013) morale
refers to a person’s subject and mood over a situation that affects their thought and the way they
behave in a particular circumstance or condition. According to Go et al. (2010), low confidence
can be as a result of pressure, and the effect of high workload will translate to lower
performance. Such consideration leads to low output, which affects the performance on an
employee (Cary, 2011).
Lack of recognition
Ahmed and Ramzan (2013) examined sources of stress in organisations through work
satisfaction and found that lack of recognition was one of the factors that influenced a person’s
performance in the Nigerian banking set up. Uncertainly, the achievements of an employee
depreciate. Most employers fail to recognize the immense potential of a skilled workforce. One
prime responsibility of companies is to understand the work of employees and motivate them and
retain them in the long run. Joy and Radhakrishnan (2013) postulated that job or occupational
stress is the outcome of mismatch between individual capabilities and the organizations'
demands. Such a move leads to a lack of recognition between what the employer is doing and
what the organization needs. Akingunola and Adigun (2010) stated that job stress is always
present and can is reduced by recognizing the employees' input into the organization and quality
of benefits the p organization gives to its workers.
Lack of motivation
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 10
Lack of motivation is one of the factors that affect banks employees' productivity and
efficiency. Job stress caused by lack of motivation has become common in today’s job scenario.
Steve (2011) highlighted that lack of motivation could be caused by inadequate resources to
accomplish tasks, inefficient co-workers, and role conflicts. Rashid (2011) found that job stress
caused by lack of motivation brings about subjective feelings such as intimidation in the job
place, being undervalued, economic uncertainty, and fear unemployment among the target
populace. Such consideration leads to reduced attention, psychological barriers, and poor
decision-making (Akingunola and Adigun, 2010). The outcomes showed an undesirable
connection between lack of motivation and employee’s productivity as well as how work-related
stress decreases the worker's performance in the workplace.
Shah et al (2012) explored the effects of psychological distress on the work performance.
Manzoor et al. (2011) found an inverse connection between work-related stress employees'
output to in the Nigerian banks. They also found that psychological stress can be a destructive
weapon leading to a more physical and mental break down, like heart disease, obesity,
headaches, and premature death. According to Shah et al. (2014), organizations that do not
address psychological stress among employees will see more employee turnover and depreciated
productivity. Thus it is better to pump into the depth of mental stress related and try to mitigate it
at the earliest for both the welfare of the organization and the employees.
Character issues and Organisational culture
Over-management issues in the workplace can render employees less valued, lowering
their self-esteem in addition to hindering their innovative and creative skills. Such prospects are
attributed by the existing culture in the organisation. Authoritative managers are likely to create
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 11
an atmosphere of resentment due to poor relations with their juniors. Such consideration
increases the likelihood of mistakes due to fear or withdrawal from banking activities (Usman
and Ismail, 2010). In the case of huge workloads and repetitive jobs, boredom will be prevalent
in the firm reducing productivity since the employees lack a positive attitude towards work.
Internal conflicts challenge teambuilding initiatives because of the personal employee’s
differences among themselves or with their bosses.
The banking sector is one of the organisations faced with the difficulties in managing
their customers because the employees have to ensure they are served adequately and at their
convenience. However, the stress comes in handling people with different educational
backgrounds, gender, religion, and abilities (Bashir, 2010). In such considerations, bankers are
under pressure in dealing with clients since they cannot predict how they will respond or behave
while being served. For instance, even though customers deserve to the serving, they also have
other responsibilities, like queuing or filling documents, but they do not perceive, such as their
obligation (Al-khasawneh and Futa, 2013). On the contrary, clients want to get services promptly
without complying with the outlined formalities subjecting the employees to unnecessary job
stress, which affects their performance.
Lack of management support
Bank managers should always ensure that employees are supported in their banking roles
to motivate them, especially in challenging times. No or little managerial support subjects the
bankers to frustrations and feelings of underappreciated that creates stress. For example, most
Nigerian banks have undefined policies and procedures for supporting their employees, which
adversely affects their physical and psychological wellbeing.
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 12
Overall, various work stress factor has been evident in the banking that harms employee’s
performance. For instance, excessive workload, exaggerated targets, technological or system
failures, customer relations, long working hours, lack of shifts, lack of motivations, and lack of
autonomy among others create anxiety and tension leading to stressful conditions. However, job
stress is not only created by banking management but employees as well. In such regards, both
the bank’s management and employees should develop strategies to reduce work-related stress to
improve work performance.
Work Stress and Its Impacts on Employees Performance 13
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