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Reducing work stress

This can be done by changing the people, changing the jobs or matching workers to jobs better. Follow-up studies of stress management training courses show they have sometimes been found to increase job satisfaction, but there are clearer effects on absenteeism, turnover and visits to the clinic (Murphy, 1994). Some American companies have introduced fitness programmes, and these have been found to reduce anxiety, depression and other measures of stress, as well as less absenteeism and labour turnover (Falkenburg, 1987; Melhuish, 1981). A few follow-up studies have been made of redesigning jobs, usually by increasing control and autonomy, and participation in decision making, as in some Swedish car factories. This has been found to reduce distress (Murphy, 1994). Selection procedures can be improved to match individuals better to jobs. Social support can be increased by including it in supervisor training and keeping work groups intact.