PSY 302: Industrial/ Organizational Psychology
There are numerous factors that would align with our daily lives that affect the way we accomplish tasks that we set out to complete. All too often these accomplishments can lead us to times of hardship as we attempt to cram so much into our lives. Factors like stress, safety, and workplace violence actions all play an important role in our livelihood and what we can handle daily. It is often thought that we can do anything, or be anything we want to be with no hesitation we jump at it and forget to assess what level we can handle working at. To ensure we are maintaining our mental and physical well-being we must ensure we properly assess each situation that we confront as to prevent ourselves from becoming uncomfortable in our own lives.
Daily within my workplace I face issues with over-bearing stress, evolving safety precautions, and violent workplace actions mostly since I have a job that is maintained by someone at least two levels above myself. This isn’t to say that accomplishing this task is impossible but the amount of stress I put onto my body to maintain this job is deteriorating my desire to continue working. The major issue is that the workload I provide is on par with that of what the senior leader in my same job in a different company would provide, however due to it being a junior leader in the position they expect it to be ran a certain way which they do not expect out of a higher leadership. This is evident in new safety procedures only being briefed to higher leadership and with me holding the same billet I am left without the word essentially making me look like an incapable leader. Workplace violence is then brought into play as I ask daily about changes or things that need to be addressed and the leadership tends to give me a “your put in the job to do the job, so know what you need” mentality.
Within the workplace I can handle these situations by continuing to open communication with those I need to work with directly. By requesting a counseling on what my job description is and what I am being looked at to accomplish I can have set guidelines to follow. While I will always have to accomplish tasks that are not within my wheelhouse I can better finish those that I am assigned to accomplish and allow my superiors to find others or understand that I do not have the level of expertise required for other tasks. By requesting a counseling in writing I can better hold my leadership and myself to a clarified task group to help better manage my time and that of my subordinates on focusing on what is really my job.
Workplace violence is a major issue with the Marine Corps and not in the sense that you are constantly hazed or fighting with others, but in the fact that senior leaders, not all but enough, feel that they have the right answers all the time. This usually causes workplace stress to occur in my men and myself as our senior leaders do not want to view things done any other way then what they want which leads to the belittling and arguing which attributes to workplace violence. “Workplace stress is harmful physical and emotional responses caused by a poor match between job demands and an individual’s capabilities, resources, or need” (Youssef & Noon, 2012). Having to accomplish things a way you feel is unsafe or just plain wrong can cause individuals to become stressed, this is a case that happens all too often in the military as a majority of the time you are left in the dark on all planning and potential training events until the last minute. This causes Marines to lose their most coveted thing in the world, time off, with their families or just to refit for another day.
Work is one of the highest proprietors to stress, “An online survey by the American Psychological Association (Anderson, 2008) found that 74% of respondents cited work as the primary cause of their stress” (Youssef & Noon, 2012). An easy way to manage stress caused by work is to view the workload which must take place in each day, week, or month and ensure that it is physically capable of being completed in these time constraints while maintaining a semi-normal workday. If you understand that this is possible you can better plan the workload that must be accomplished to suit everyone that is going to be working on the tasks. “stress results in lower worker productivity and motivation as well as increased errors, accidents, turnover, and counterproductive behaviors” (Youssef & Noon, 2012).
I have been in the Marines for over eleven years now and with all the negatives that I find with it you would assume that I would have only stayed in the minimum four years, but one of the factors that was so prevalent in staying in the Marines was job security. There will always be a need for a military and therefore there will always be a need for individuals to stay in the military, right? Wrong, in the fact that it depends on which branch you look at joining. Job security in the Marine Corps becomes harder and harder as they do not base it on you work ethic and how you do your job alone, it is the total “Marine” concept, how well you shoot, how physically fit you are, and how good you look in uniform all play key essential roles in your ability to maintain your job security. This in turn adds to the stress level as you progress your career and what was the maximum for certain scores your worked so hard to obtain but just as you reach them the maximum goes up and you are no longer on top. This uncertainty of how much more I must push myself, give up my time, or just plain what I must do, decreases the motivation level to continue working for such an organization.
The best strategy that can be brought into such a scenario is to just continually make yourself as competitive with your peers as possible, when you know something that will benefit you it’s almost best to not share it with your peers as you are all fighting for the limited availability at job security. “when people feel as though they have control over their work environment, stressors are more likely to be viewed as challenges to overcome. Overcoming challenges leads to job fulfillment and increased job satisfaction” (Youssef & Noon, 2012). By viewing the stressors faced as challenges to overcome it can make the accomplishments feel more motivating. By understanding what my job asks of me I can better manage my time, and the time needed to continue to push for job security, while minimizing the stress level and workplace violence that occur within my organization.
The best way I can make others happy and assist them in increasing their success is to be the middle man between them and upper management. Taking what is required of them and simplifying it so they can best accomplish what it is they are tasked to do. Taking blame for them not accomplishing things instead of solely letting it ride on them will show them that someone cares for their well-being and be a benefit for their motivation to continue to work hard. Knowing my subordinates and what motivates them will go a long way to ensuring I have a maintained necessity in this organization. As I can expertly lead individuals into different scenarios my subordinates will be what push me while I push them.
The two most important factors that are applicable to me and my current goals would be alleviating stress and retirement. Understanding what is required of me will alleviate stress and allow me to focus more on what it is I must do to better myself in the eyes of leadership. Focusing on retirement being so close in hand will motivate me to see work thru to the finish and perform how I must to maintain my job security. As for future endeavors finding work with less stress after retirement will be a major selling point for me, after going thru twenty years of one of the most stressful positions out there I would say just about anything would be less stressful for my future.
Youssef, C., & Noon, A. (2012). Industrial/organizational psychology. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/