Occupational stress is an adoptive response to an external situation that results in physical, psychological and behavioral deviations for the organizational participant. Literature suggests that occupational stress helps improve performance up to a limit and then starts deteriorating. This case study examined the effects of occupational stress on performance and productivity of manufacturing employees of a factory operated in the FTZ, Katunayake. Employees of one department were chosen as the sample. Data were collected through critical incident technique, qualitative interviews and a questionnaire. Triangulation of sources, methods and analysts were applied for the purpose of verification and validation of data collected. The data analysis revealed that the company employees suffered from stress, which in turn has affected performance and productivity of company operations. The main stressors were domestic problems of workers, work related pressures and peer group influences. Since the ill effects of stress have consequences to the company performance as well as to the employee health in the long run, it is recommended that the employer, employee and the government must work together to manage the situation. Intervention strategies were proposed separately in respect of employees, the employer and the government. Systematic management of occupational stress of employees was identified as an important corporate social responsibility of an organization.
Keywords: Performance, Productivity, Stress
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Director Finance, Confifi Management Services Ltd, Colombo 03, (Sri Lanka)