BU350 Organizational Behavior
Assignment Number 08
According to Merriam Webster, stress is “a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.” In organizations, stress-related issues cost businesses billions of dollars per year in absenteeism, accidents, and lost productivity. As a result, managing employee stress is an important concern for organizations as well as individuals.
Organizations use several approaches to helping employees.
Organizations making clear expectations is one way to reduce stress is to state your expectations clearly. Workers who have clear descriptions of their jobs experience less stress than those whose jobs are ill defined. For an example, a new employee completes four-week training by an onsite mentor for a specific task hired for. Then after completing a task being assigned to, his or her supervisor complains about the employee’s method and final result not in line with that of the department expectations.
Allowing flexi-time and Remote working is also another way to reduce stress. A major stress inducer, particularly for women, is stringent working hours. Allowing employees to work remotely, or even on a flexi-time scheme is proven to be good for morale and thus profitability. Not only are you saying to your employees, “I trust you,” by allowing them to manage their own time, but you are also taking away added stress such as child care considerations from working parents.
A “Chill Out” space provided by an organization helps a lot. Sometimes people need 15 minutes to relax, re-group and disengage from technology and general work related interactions. A provided quiet room or a chill out zone where employees can spend 15 minutes with their thoughts can dramatically help reduce workplace stress and burnout. After taking a short break free from distractions, people often feel refreshed and re-energized to tackle the rest of the day.
Just like most organizations help reduce stress, luckily, there are several ways individuals can also play a part to reduce stress.
Exercise is one of the best strategies for managing stress. The best kind of break to take may be a physically active one. Research has shown that physically active breaks lead to enhanced mental concentration and decreased mental fatigue. One study, conducted by Belgian researchers, examined the effect of breaks on workers in a large manufacturing company. One-half of the workers were told to rest during their breaks. The other half did mild calisthenics. Afterward, each group was given a battery of tests. The group who had done the mild calisthenics scored far better on all measures of memory, decision-making ability, eye–hand coordination, and fine motor control.
Sleep is another vital approach. It is a vicious cycle. Stress can make it hard to sleep. Not sleeping makes it harder to focus on work in general, as well as on specific tasks. Tired folks are more likely to lose their temper, upping the stress level of others. American insomnia is a stress-related epidemic—one-third of adults claim to have trouble sleeping and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep while driving in the past year.
Time management is defined as the development of tools or techniques that help to make us more productive when we work. Effective time management is a major factor in reducing stress, because it decreases much of the pressure we feel. Time management techniques include prioritizing, manageable organization, and keeping a schedule such as a paper or electronic organizing tool. Students who practice time management techniques on their classes reduces last minute prep stress for exams.
An organizational chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs.
McDonald’s Organizational Structure
McDonald’s Corporation is an excellent example of company with a global hierarchy, performance-based and centralized organizational structure. McDonald’s has over 31,000 restaurants in 120 countries. Although these restaurants are typically franchises, they all receive food and packaging from the same approved vendors.
The elements of McDonald’s organizational structure mostly affect its outsourcing strategies with external companies. Factors evaluated by regional managers to weigh up cost and benefits of outsourcing mostly contradict the narrower, intra-organizational goals. Also, external companies whose organizational structure is not in line with that of McDonalds experience unfamiliar lag in response in communication. The green light to proceed with projects already approved by presidents and zone managers can at times get delayed by market or operations manager.
An advantage of the hierarchy in McDonald’s organizational structure is its support for monitoring and control of global operations. Also, the performance-based divisions have the advantage of enabling McDonald’s to implement strategies based on market performance similarities. For example, the firm applies similar strategies for all lead markets. However, a disadvantage of McDonald’s organizational structure is that it tends to generalize strategies for the performance-based divisions. The company has limited flexibility because of this feature of the organizational structure.
Within each store, supervisors and managers only practice their role when it comes to major approvals, disciplinary actions, pay rolls and other paper works. The organizational structure allows supervisors and managers enough flexibility to prioritize the customers’ needs as first. In general, the managers do not try to put any strong vertical barriers between themselves and their employees Managers usually seem to display real concern and interest in the emotions and well being of their employees, which is not expected in such environment.
McDonald’s has a cheery corporate image that prides itself on quality and cleanliness, as well as good food and good service but there are some improvement opportunities that can help in the long run. More training on food contamination and hygiene in general will reduce illness and health issues initiated by the organization.
Merriam Webster. Stress. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress
Fiona Jones, Jim Bright, Angela Clow, Stress: myth, theory, and research, Pearson Education, 2001
Folkman, S.; Moskowitz, J. (2000). “Stress, Positive Emotion, and Coping”. Current Directions in Psychological Science 9
Snyder, C.R.; Lefcourt, Herbert M. (2001). Coping With Stress. New York: Oxford University.
McDonald’s Corporation (2015). Company Profile. http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/investors/company-overview/company-overview-segment-information.html
McDonald’s Corporation Form 10-K 2014.
Hoover’s. (2009). McDonald’s. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
Daft, R L. (2008). The Leadership Experience. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.
Hume, S (2007, December 1). McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner – R&I’s 2007 Executive of the Year. Restaurants & Institutions: http://www.rimag.com/article/CA6553963.html
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