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The Stress Continuum Model
Job Stress: Physical and emotional responses that emerge when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, skills, resources, or needs of the Sailor.
Job stress can lead to fatigue, poor health, injury, decreased performance and poor morale. Differences in personality, situations and coping style are important factors in predicting whether certain job conditions will result in stress.
Sailors suffering from job stress may experience inattention, decreased motivation, apathy, anger, irritability, disinterest, fatigue, depression, anxiety, inadequate sleep and poor hygiene. As job stress escalates, the typical consequences of work stress begin to appear.
Common sources of work stress include:
Other potential sources of stressors that may stem from military life include:
Job stress has become a common and costly problem in the workplace. Depression, sleep problems, and disrupted relationships with family and friends are examples of stress related problems that may arise from or be exacerbated by job stress.
The demands on individuals in the workplace often reach out into the homes and social lives of unit members. Taking work home, high levels of responsibility, job insecurity, and relocation all may adversely affect family life. In addition, domestic pressures such as childcare responsibilities, and financial worries, may adversely affect a person's work.
The impact of life stressors may show up in Sailors at work in a variety of ways:
Personality conflicts and work style differences are an inherent and often normal part of interpersonal diversity in the workplace. However, some people are inherently difficult to work with and other workers may have problems developing a positive relationship with them. Tactics that peers can employ to deal with stress from being around people they find difficult to interact with include:
Workers engaged in irregular schedules, duty and shift work may have increased levels of stress. The stress of shift work can cause fatigue and irregular sleep patterns.
Personality conflicts and work style differences are an inherent and often normal part of interpersonal diversity in the workplace. However, some people are inherently difficult to work with and other workers may have problems developing a positive relationship with them.
Tactics that peers can employ to deal with stress from being around people they find difficult to interact with:
Tactics that leaders can employ to reduce stress associated with shift work:
Supervisor support has been shown to decrease job stress and increase performance. People who feel supported are also more likely to take actions that are favorable to the organization and that go beyond assigned responsibilities. It is important that Sailors have access to resources to help them meet the pressures and demands faced at work. Assistance is available at each base for improving coping skills, problem-solving, assertiveness, time management, a good working environment, and social support, through the following agencies:
As a general rule, actions to reduce and to manage job stress need to be given high priority. Specific suggested measures include:
Organizational characteristics associated with low-stress work and high levels of productivity include the following:
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