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1.0. Introduction

This chapter looks at the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions, statements of hypothesis, assumptions, definition of terms, delimitation and limitation of the study, and summary.

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1.1. Background of the study

Over a few years, job stress is a worldwide problem and increasing steadily in the U.S. and other nations where the industry is growing rapidly. Poor salary packages, long working hours, mistreatment of supervisors with employees, are the major causes of creating stress in employees. Job stress produces large number of undesirable effects for both individual and organization. The incidents of hyper tension and heart attacks are the severe problems related to stress. India, Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey and other eastern European countries are the emerging countries in which stress is rapidly growing. Job stress affects not only the employees’ but also the organizations in the monetary and non-monetary costs. These costs are used to recover the work and health related injuries. Monetary cost is used to recover the health of employees and lower productivity and absenteeism of employees’ is recovered by non-monetary costs.

Employees’ in health sector spend most of their time at work, that’s why they are directly targeted by stress; due to this their productivity at workplace decreases greatly. Now the days, stress is considered as an important factor, which is rapidly increasing the absenteeism rate of employers and employees. This situation of stress can also be argued as a powerful condition where the apparent outcome and the preferred outcome both are equally important and unknown at same time.

However, researchers have carefully observed stress, and have figured out that the condition of stress or the single term ‘stress’ can either excite pressure or may create tension which in turn might be damaging. If the condition of stress is totally unpleasant, it may turn into negativity and may throw a negative crash on the person; this situation is commonly termed as distressed. When the stress is discussed especially with respect to production or manufacturing, it will directly affect the production of work directly resulting in low amount of output for the company. According to a survey made by Smith, Segal and Jaffe (2007) when the stress, depression or anxiety is associated with work, then there will be 13.5 million losses of working days, this is according to a self-report survey by labor force in India. This finds a fact that it is necessary for a manager to manage the welfare of employees directly and ensure that there is continuous workflow without any kind of sick leave or absenteeism levels on chart.

In their observations, Tanova and Holtom (2008) found that in large number of meta-analysis which can determine the reasons of employee turnover and employee attritions and found universal agreement could be reached about the determinants of the both as work stress. It has been discovered, though generally, that employee attitude and their job satisfaction alone cannot explain the reasons of employee’s stress. In their study two types of stress results have been referred to, one is physical stress and the other is mental. It is assumed by the author that a rational employee who remains affected by the external factors comes under the ‘stress’; whereas voluntary poor behavior of the employee that encompasses attributable factors like poor organizational commitment, lack of motivation, less job satisfaction and low job involvement come under the category of extreme stress position.

Cimas is a health care provider in Zimbabwe dealing with high absenteeism, late coming to work, high sick leave uptake, alcohol addictiveness, persistence visits to Medical Doctors and moody behavior.
In companies such as Cimas, the work force is large, and here the organization gives much concern to service quality. In addition, the employees should take care and closely have a look at their absenteeism levels. If it is observed that absenteeism percent is too high, it implies that it is somewhere associated with stress condition. It is one of the important aspects for a company as the output and productivity levels play a vital role to check the stress level of employees, as these create non-productivity and inefficiency. This will be a not-so-good situation for the company as well as the employees too.
Therefore, every company no matter the size can be seriously affected by stress issues. Leading companies like Cimas who have good value related with quality service having good behavior and ethics should find methods and perform whatever is possible through management side and prevent stress situation.

Furthermore, they should even see that the absenteeism levels are low as possible, otherwise it becomes big issues as more the stress, the more will be the absenteeism, which in turn will cause low self-esteem in employees thereby affecting the employee productivity and of course the needed outcome too. One can find stress factors in several issues and areas that help the company to develop through various kinds of sectors. The impact levels of stress will depend on several factors, the two main are personal and psychology characteristics of an individual. Each company makes use its own stress management program according to its convenience. Nevertheless, the research is more apparent about stress management in health care service providers like Cimas. Hence, one need to review stress factor carefully associated with the company and should put in different methods to manage stress of the employees.

Against this background this study seeks to explore the link between work stresses to employee productivity in Zimbabwe.

1.2. Statement of the problem

Despite the existence of a worker welfare policies at Cimas, employees continue to show signs of fatigue and excessive stress. Could such stress negatively impact on worker productivity? This study seeks to establish the effect of work stress on employee productivity.

1.3. Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to identify the effects of the worker stress on the job performance. Other than that, this study also will find out the relationship between worker stress and job performance. Thus, the results of this study will benefit the manufacturers, workers, prospective employees and the future researchers. This study is significant because it will provide the indispensable fact about effects of worker stress to the job performance in health care sector.
This study will serve as the basis for plans of action by health care providers to manage worker stress so as not to affect job performance. Among the persons who will be directly or indirectly involved are Cimas management, workers, potential workers and the future researchers.

The finding by this research not only benefit Cimas management but also the entire health care sector as it will create a milieu of the important to manage of worker stress. May be with the availability this study, they can improve employees’ management system in the health care sector.

Other than that, this study also involved workers and prospective employees. Workers in health care, including the future workers will have a better understanding of the effects of worker stress on their job performance. It can help them to manage the stress to not interfere with the job performance and life. It can also be used as preparation for potential employees to face some stressful situations at work.
In addition, this study will serve as a theoretical model for the future studies in the same nature. Future researchers will benefit from this study, and it will provide the facts needed to compare their study during their respective time and usability.

1.4. Objectives

The objectives in this research were;
1.4.1 To establish worker stress level at Cimas.
1.4.2 To determine worker productivity level at Cimas.
1.4.3 To relate the relationship between work stress and employee productivity
1.4.4 To make recommendations on eliminating work stress.

1.5. Research questions

1.5.1 What is the level of employee stress level at Cimas?
1.5.2 What is the level of employee productivity at Cimas?
1.5.3 What is the relationship between work stress and employee productivity?
1.5.4 What are the recommendations on eliminating work stress?

1.6. Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis (H0)
There is no significance correlation between work stress and job performance.

Alternative Hypothesis (H1)
There is significance correlation between work stress and job performance.

1.7. Assumptions

The assumptions made in this research were;
• All information needed by the researcher was made available to him from the Society upon request.
• All selected audiences responded reasonably well and frankly answered asked questions with an open mind, and responses they gave were accurate during requirements gathering.
• The selected sample represented the whole organization of Cimas and its environment.
• Ample time was given to the researcher to write and present the report to the University.
• There are policies to deal with employee stress at Cimas.
• There are issues causing employee stress at Cimas.

1.8. Definition of key terms

Employee stress: the interaction between the person and the sources of stress within their workplace, it become stress when demand exceeds from resources (Long, 2013).

Workplace performance: The abilities and performance of individuals connected with an organization (Hunter & Thatcher, 2007).

Productivity

Motivation

Employee Engagement

1.9. Delimitations

The study looked at the relationship between work stress and employee productivity of the Cimas Healthcare Division for the period of 1 February 2018 to 30 August 2018.

1.10. Limitations

• Workers will not cooperate in providing information as the subject is sensitivity. To mitigate this the research will seek help from the human resources unit to explain to employees the significance of the study.
• It will be difficulty to identify workers who are suffering from work stress. To get around this limitation the researcher will get information from section supervisors on underperforming employees and then check if such workers are affected by work stress.

1.11. Summary

This chapter discussed the background to the research problem, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions and hypothesis of the study. It also explained the assumptions, definition of terms, delimitations and limitations of the study. Chapter II will therefore focus on related literature reviews.