Abstract State of Michigan’s Department of Human Services is designed to be the initial contact within the community to assist families with services that include public assistance programs such as food, medical, cash and utility service, and child, adult and family welfare programs. With approximately 10,000 employees who service close to 2 million households throughout the state, workplace stress has the potential to bleed into the lives of the employee and the day to day interactions with the customers we are obligated to serve. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between workplace stress and the affect it has on the employee absenteeism.
Problem Overview With the recent economic crisis in MI, the employees at Department of Human Services have found keeping up with the demands of the job and managing caseloads of over 600 clients, to be stressful. Most, if not all, aspects of life is stressful however, workplace stress becomes a fundamental issue to all employees in an organization. Stress is an everyday occurrence that the body will react to in either a positive or negative manner. As a positive influence, stress can become a motivating factor to propel one into action which allows a person to set and attain goals, and accomplish the tasks at hand. However long-term or chronic stress has been noted to cause wear and tear on the system, causing employees who work in high demand fields to become irritable and frustrated with their jobs. This frustration causes employees to call in sick to have a “break” from the mundane or take a leave of absence. Under this state of stress, the sufferer sees no way out of their situation. Extra work is put on remaining team members, causing a more stressful situation which will likely to lead to high staff turnover, an increase in absence and early retirement, and reduced work performance. The way stress is addressed by a person depends on whether they see themselves in control of a situation or succumbed by it (Cohen 2002).
Purpose of this Study There are many different types of stress known to us today. Acute, chronic, and traumatic stress, are the three most common that are dealt with on a day-to-day basis. Learning which type of stress you have will help target the areas in your life you need to concentrate on and get under control to live a happier, more productive life. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a correlation between the stress that is produced within the workplace environment and employee absenteeism.
Research Questions The research questions to be examined in this study are as follows: * What are the common causes of employee stress in an organization; * What are some impacts of employee absenteeism toward individual employees and the overall performance of the organization; * Is worker absenteeism related to workplace stress?
* Those employees who will be interviewed for this study will be local Department of Human Service payment and cash workers whose tenure with the department will range from 2-30 years. * This study will not include those persons who currently hold a supervisory, administrative or managerial position with the department.
Definition of Terms
Below is a list of the definition of terms and abbreviations which will be used throughout this study: Absenteeism-The habitual failure to appear or absence from work.
DHS-(Department of Human Services) The Department of Human Services is a government agency designed to help individuals, families, adults, and children become self-sufficient. Stress-The physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
Review of Related Literature
Historical Review There are different degrees of stress as well as different types. Acute, chronic, and traumatic stress are the