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Problems and Issues at the Workplace

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Problems and Issues at the Workplace
Dr. Radhika Kapur
Abstract
Problems and issues within the workplace is a growing concern not only in India, but
in the other countries of the world as well. There are numerous kinds of jobs that individuals
from various backgrounds are engaged in. All kinds of jobs require individuals to possess
certain qualifications, traits, abilities and skills. Individuals do experience problems and
issues at the workplace, these problems and issues would be concerning various factors such
as, working environmental conditions, problems with time management, resolution of
conflicts and disputes, lack of knowledge and information, stress in the workplace, diversity
in the workplace, communication at the workplace, and sexual harassment of women at the
workplace. The main problems which employees increasingly experience within the working
environment are the conditions of overwork, job insecurity, job dissatisfaction and lack of
autonomy. The problems and the stress that individuals experience within the working
environment have shown to have a detrimental effect upon the health and the wellbeing of the
employees. In most of the companies and organizations, the working hours are long,
individuals do feel that most of the time they are spending at the workplace, and it is difficult
for them to take out time for other tasks. There are measures that individuals and
organizations can put into operation to alleviate the negative impact of the problems and
issues and to curb them from assuming the foremost position. It is vital to communicate to the
employers about the problems and issues in order to devise measures to curb them.
Keywords: Problems, Issues, Workplace, Organization, Management, Employees,
Prevention Strategies
Introduction
Work is regarded to be the fundamental aspect of the present existence of most of the
individuals. It makes provision of financial security, personal identity and an opportunity to
make a meaningful contribution to community life (Harnois, & Gabriel, 2000). Workplace is
regarded to be an imperative area for the individuals, primarily the adults, who are engaged in
full time jobs. They experience numerous cases, issues and problems at the workplace, which
can be sometimes negative. The purpose of this research paper is to look into the problems
and issues that individuals experience within the workplace. The problems and issues within
the workplace are with regards to the work timings, working environmental conditions,
relationships with the superiors, and the subordinates, effective communication, resolution of
conflicts and disputes, stress in the performance of work duties, mental health problems,
strictness on the part of the employers and supervisors, lack of knowledge and information
and one of the most severe problems is sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
The problems and issues that the individuals experience at the workplace, has various
consequences, either the individuals are compelled to quit their jobs, or they redress their
grievances to their supervisors or employers. Every individual who is involved in his job and
aims to achieve the desired goals and objectives, is wholeheartedly involved in his work.
Resourceful individuals always prepare themselves, with complete knowledge and
information, so that they are able to perform all their tasks and functions in an operative
manner. There may be instances at the workplace that tasks may be too difficult and in spite
of the possession of knowledge, they may be slightly unsuccessful. In such cases, individuals
are required to take help and assistance from their superiors in order to solve their problems.
Stress in the Workplace
Stress is one of the common problems that occurs in all kinds of jobs, for instance,
managers and directors within the organizations or educationists in universities have their job
duties, in other words, all the individuals who are employed have their respective tasks and
duties. The job duties can be manageable, but all job duties require concentration and
diligence, therefore, stress is an aspect that individuals normally experience. There are a
number of situations within the organization and the workplace that are identified as being
stressful, for instance, when the teacher is employed in a nursery school and is handling a
class of play group students, then she may feel stressed, as nursery school students are young
and difficult to handle. If an employee has to prepare several articles in a short period of time,
he may feel stressful, work pressure is one of the common areas of stress and so forth.
The main areas that normally leads to stress amongst the individuals are financial
worries, work overload, unemployment, relationships, family issues, managing both work
and household, health problems, caregiving, competitiveness, peer pressure, achievement of
the targets, and inappropriate time management. The individuals do experience stress within
the working environment, but they adjust themselves in order to deal with all kinds of
stressful situations. When an individual experiences stress, he displays certain kinds of
attitudes and behavioural traits, such as, anxiety, irritability, sadness, anger, frustration, loss
of appetite, defensiveness, mood swings, impatience, inadequate performance in one’s job,
withdrawal and isolation from the other individuals and so forth. The influence of stress upon
the health conditions of the individuals occurs in the form of headaches, fatigue, high blood
pressure, insomnia, muscle ache, chest pain and frequent illness (Bickford, 2005).
Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity is understood as the acknowledgement, understanding, accepting and
valuing the differences amongst the individuals belonging to diverse backgrounds, with
respect to age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion and disabilities. The individuals employed in
the workplace are from diverse groups and backgrounds. People are different in terms of
caste, creed, race, religion, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. The people
from different groups and backgrounds should be given equal opportunities and there should
not be any kind of discrimination between them. The managers and the supervisors are
required to recognize the ways in which the workplace is undergoing transformations. The
management of diversity is regarded to be a significant organizational challenge and the
management of the organizations are required to formulate their skills in a manner that they
should be able to accommodate to the multicultural environment. The employment of women
in the workplace, organizational restructuring and equal opportunity legislation will require
the organizations to review their management practices and develop innovative strategies and
approaches to manage people (Green, Lopez, Wysocki, Kepner, Farnsworth, & Clark, 2015).
Major transformations within the workplace have taken place due to downsizing and
outsourcing, which has largely created an impact upon human resource management. With
the influence of globalization and technologies, there has been changes brought about in the
workplace practices and procedures. Discriminatory treatment within the workplace has been
regarded as unlawful, the rights and the responsibilities of both the employers and the
employees are specified and both the groups are held equally responsible for the occurrence
of any kinds of problems and issues. There are challenges encountered in the management of
the diverse workplace population, managing diversity is more than the acknowledgement of
the differences amongst the individuals. It involves recognition of the values of differences,
combating any kind of discriminatory treatment and promoting inclusiveness (Green, Lopez,
Wysocki, Kepner, Farnsworth, & Clark, 2015).
Communication at the Workplace
Communication is regarded to be the life line in the operation of any kind of
organization or an institution. Without effective communication between the individuals,
things cannot be implemented or put into operation in any manner. Speaking to each other is
also considered to be a verbal communication. Sending of emails, letters, faxes, notices,
articles, documents and so forth are considered to be written forms of communication. There
are organizations where employees may not possess the abilities to learn, understand and
make use of good communication practices, in such instances, it is vital to impart to them
adequate training, so that they are able to develop effective communication skills. Within the
organizational structure, workplace communication is made use of to provide training,
suggestions, ideas, instructions, viewpoints and so forth by the superiors to their subordinates.
When the communication process is not adequately developed and there exist number of
barriers to effective communication, then it becomes difficult for the individuals to
implement all the tasks and operations in an adequate manner.
Problems and issues do take place concerning communication at the workplace. These
problems may be break down of technology, when emails could not be sent, occurrence of
emergency situations, busy schedule of the employers, when employees are not able to
interact with them, inability to understand the instructions which leads to inadequate job
performance and so forth. It is imperative to formulate ways to implement effective
communication practices within the organization, the reason being, without effective
communication, proper instructions cannot be given, equipment and supplies cannot be
ordered, progress cannot be measured and products and services cannot be delivered to the
customers. The five main managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and
controlling are entirely dependent upon effective communication (Conrad, 2014). Individuals
do acquire knowledge and information through research and other aspects, but how this
knowledge and information is communicated to the workforce matters the most, as it would
contribute in the development of the organization. It is vital to develop appropriate
interpersonal relationships within the organization to achieve the desired goals and
objectives.
Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace
Sexual harassment is referred to as an inappropriate physical contact, advances,
sexual remarks, showing pornography and making sexual remarks, whether, they are verbal,
tactic, graphic or electronic or by any other actions, which may comprise of implied or open
assurance of the favoured treatment in that employee’s employment. The women are usually
promised of their employment, promotion and other incentives at the workplace in return for
inappropriate demands. The employees may also be harmed and treated in a detrimental way,
when they do not give their consent. Sexual harassment of women implies number of threats
that are given to the women employees about their present or future employment status and it
also includes creation of the hostile working environment for the women, the working
environmental conditions should always be favourable to the employees, on the other hand,
creation of the antagonistic working environmental conditions involves creating room for
sexual harassment (The Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace, 2006).
Sexual harassment is extremely intimidating, worrying and upsetting for the
employees. The conduct largely interferes with the work of the employees, due to the feelings
of fear and anxiety, they find it difficult to even concentrate upon their work, in this way their
performance too gets affected in a negative manner. The conduct of sexual harassment can be
humiliating and it may also have an effect upon the health of the individuals. The employees
do not feel safe at the workplace and the working environmental conditions become very
intimidating, offensive and aggressive. The ultimate outcome of sexual harassment is pain,
stress, trauma and emotional suffering (The Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace,
2006).
Other Problems at the Workplace
The other problems at the workplace have been stated as follows:
Working Environmental Conditions – The working environmental conditions are
regarded to be of utmost significance that influence the performance of the workforce.
Cleanliness within the working environment, availability of proper civic amenities and
facilities, furniture, machinery and equipment matter to a great extent in the performance of
job duties, as individuals within the organizations make use of technologies, therefore, it is
important that technologies should be well maintained. The working environmental
conditions should be largely amiable and suitable.
Resolution of Conflicts and Disputes – The occurrence of conflicts and disputes
within the organizations may assume a major form or a minor form. The occurrence of
disputes and conflicts may become a major impediment within the course of the
implementation of tasks and duties, on the other hand, the occurrence of minor conflicts and
disputes may get solved and may not be very disadvantageous. When communication takes
place between two or more individuals in an inappropriate manner, then their speaking terms
may come to an end. It is important that when conflicts have taken place between two or
more individuals, they should be pacified with the help of their leaders or supervisors, as they
are the ones who are in charge and can bring about solutions to the problems.
Lack of Knowledge and Information – For all the individuals who are employed, it is
important for them to possess adequate knowledge and information about the performance of
work duties. For instance, if an individual is engaged in an educational institution or a
company then it is vital that he should possess the required knowledge and skills that are
necessary to implement the job duties in an adequate manner. There are employees who are
new to the organization and they need some time to develop their skills and abilities, in such
cases, it is vital for them to get involved in continuous practice sessions, so that they are able
to enhance their productivity. On the other hand, lack of knowledge, information and practice
would affect the performance of the employees in a negative manner. Skills, knowledge,
abilities and information is imperative for the adequate performance of job duties.
Time Management – Adults who are engaged in full time jobs, have several other
responsibilities too, which they have to take care of. There are family responsibilities, an
individual has to manage his family and household, in some cases, individuals are engaged in
more than one job, hence, there are various work responsibilities that he has to manage and so
forth. In such cases, an individual is required to implement the time management strategies in
an adequate manner so that he does not feel work pressure. Excessive work load leads to a
negative impact upon the health of the individuals, therefore, appropriate time management
skills are essential for an individual to possess.
Prevention Strategies at the Workplace
The implementation of adequate prevention strategies would contribute in the
alleviation of problems and issues. There are some problems that individuals cannot do away
with, on the other hand, there are problems which can be solved by prevention strategies
(Solving the Problem, 2005).
Organize Regular Team or Group Meetings – Group meetings provide individuals
with the chance to explain individual roles, responsibilities and powers, identify individual
goals, objectives and expectations, give recognition, social support and feedback, the
individuals will be able to find out ways that would help them in identifying the flaws and
inconsistencies and implement measures to improve them, the individuals are able to share
activities about the organization, discuss problems and devise solutions, stimulate dialogue
with the supervisors and with the colleagues and assess whether employees are satisfied with
the work, as work pressure leads to a decrease in employee morale.
Encourage Participative Management – The meaning of the term participative
management is when the management listens to the concerns, problems and issues of the
workforce and help them in providing solutions to their problems. The management is
supposed to be co-operative, supportive and helpful to the employees. The role of the
management is considered to be of utmost significance in the solution of various kinds of
problems. Management plays an important part in improving the relationships with the
supervisors and the employees. They make provision of enough room for the employees to
give their suggestions and ideas and when employees feel free to communicate with their
supervisors and share their ideas and suggestions, they feel a sense of belonging.
Training Programs for the Employees – The main aim of the training programs is to
develop new knowledge and skills amongst the employees so that they are able to implement
their work duties in a proper manner. Training is always beneficial and productive for the
employees, they are able to avoid immense work pressure, are able to advance in their
careers, eventually assume more responsibilities, power and autonomy. The training
programs, provide information to the employees who may be experienced or are new to the
organization, they are provided information mainly about the goals and objectives of the
organization, their job duties, how to perform their job duties adequately, and measures that
would prove to be productive to the organization.
Determine the Content of Various Job Duties – The individuals are positioned in
various kinds of job duties in accordance to their educational qualifications, skills, abilities
and knowledge. It is vital to determine the content of various job duties; the important areas
of content are, to determine whether there is a work overload, clarification of the roles,
functions, tasks and responsibilities related to various positions, the expectations out of the
positions and the goals and objectives of particular positions should be made clear to the
employees. It is vital to devise measures to reduce certain risks that are connected to the work
environment and the working conditions. The employees should always perform their work
duties with carefulness, thoughtfulness, and attention.
Evaluation of the Employees – It is vital to evaluate the performance of the
employees. The main purpose of evaluation is to determine how one performs, to identify the
flaws and inconsistencies and measures to improve them. The evaluation methods, enable the
employees to become more focused towards their work; they become more achievement
oriented, and work meticulously towards their job duties. Upon completion of evaluation, the
employees who do not perform well, their problems are discussed and they are provided with
additional sessions regarding the job that would lead to their improvement. Evaluation
techniques help in the development of knowledge so that the employees stay relieved from
experiencing any kinds of stressful situations at work.
Conclusion
The occurrence of problems and issues within the organization are with regards to
various aspects. The major areas that highlight the problems and issues within the workplace
are stress, diversity, communication, sexual harassment of women, working environmental
conditions, resolution of conflicts and disputes, lack of knowledge and information and time
management. There are differences in the structure of every organization and all workplaces
are different from each other, regarding the performance of job duties, availability of
resources, materials, physical environmental conditions, number of employees, their
qualifications, backgrounds, skills and abilities, work timings, goals and objectives of the
organization, location and formulation of rules and policies.
The problems and the issues that employees experience at the workplace are with
regards to their employers, job duties, working environment and the availability of resources,
materials and equipment. There are preventive measures, which lead to the solution of some
of the problems at the workplace, these are, organize regular team or group meetings,
encourage participative management, training programs for the employees, determine the
content of various job duties, and evaluation of the employees. There are some issues and
problems to which solutions can be devised, such as when employees have problems in
working on a task or an assignment, they are facing difficulties, than they can consult their
supervisors in order to solve their problems. It is vital to treat all the individuals and women
with respect and kindness and there should not be any kind of discrimination on the basis of
caste, creed, race, religion, ethnicity or socio-economic background.
There are some issues and problems within the organizations, which cannot be solved
and individuals are required to be patient. For instance, the directors and the heads normally
have busy schedules. They are occupied to such a major extent with their work, that it is
difficult for them to take out time for the other employees, who feel necessary to consult
them, in such cases, the employees are required to remain patient and need to wait for the
right time. Possession of adequate knowledge and information, effective communication with
the other individuals, proper time management and treatment of the individuals with respect,
kindness and benevolence are considered to be the essential factors in solving the problems
and issues at the workplace.
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