Stressors and their impact in organizational climate

Stressors and their impact in organizational climate

Cristina Pérez

February 11, 2021

March 10, 2021

Some popular beliefs claim that work and stress go hand in hand, but is there a relationship between organizational climate and stress? It is true that the interpretation that each one of us makes of our environment, is what ends up affecting us. However, there are certain stressors within the organizational climate that can be detected to minimize these situations.

How does an organizational climate that presents stressors look like?

It is a climate where the teams are characterized by limited participation, which implies that the people who forms the group are not very collaborative. For example, when during meetings, a lot of time is lost and there is a lot of silence among the participants. In addition, it is a climate where possible confrontational conflicts are avoided. People do not have good communication between each other and they usually present frictions or internal conflicts. 

We can say that it is a non-cooperative model at a group level and also at a manager level. So, employees are dedicated to perform their task and if the other team members need something or do not integrate, they are indifferent, they simply find it difficult to contribute.

But how is an organizational climate in which stressors are minimized?

First of all, they are teams where there is active cooperation for problem solving, among the members and they bring out the best in each one of them. Criticism has constructive value, since it is oriented to remove an obstacle that the group faces and that also prevents it from doing its work. They are characterized because they are consultative or participatory models and present a shared transformational leadership.

It is true that these are proposals made by experts under normal conditions, but the truth is that in this 2020 the reality is very different. We no longer have spaces to rest, places to disconnect or chat with our colleagues in the office. We have had to suddenly adapt to an exceptional situation without being prepared for it. Could it be that our work environment is affected because we cannot meet in person? How can we reduce those work stressors that have relationships with the organization?

How can we adapt to this new situation?

One of the problems that exists remotely and that generates more stress in employees is not disconnecting from work. According to a study conducted by NordVPN, since we have been working remotely, the number of hours we dedicate to our work each day has increased. In European countries it is estimated about 2 hours a day and in the United States it is believed around 3 hours. 

All this affects our health, according to experts 'the stress of maintaining the usual level of performance to unusual demands causes somatization, with digestive problems, sleep disruption and anxiety about the lack of adaptation to a new stressful situation'. That is why it is important for us to know that in the face of this new way of working, some people can adapt more easily than others, being a priority to promote in the company the concept of psychological safety.   This concept is related in the measure that the members of the team take risks and feel safe when doing it. It is true that the more secure and belonging to the group, the more likely they are to make mistakes. This way, they will not leave the group (team, company, organization) because they feel more secure.

It is also very likely that your company has adapted more quickly than you would have thought to this way of working during the pandemic. Therefore, and for the time that we still have left, it is important that we know our employees, that they have that psychological security and that they feel they belong to the group. 

Uncertainty is what predominates in these times, and sometimes, it is difficult to mitigate those stressors that have to do with the organization.