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A closer look at corporate productivity: Reducing occupational stress and enhancing team effectiveness at workplace

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Stress at work.
  3. Altruism as a way to relieve occupational stress.
  4. Recommendations for Microsoft.
  5. Improving team performance and effectiveness.
  6. Improving team adaptability.
  7. Conclusion.

Developing productive workplaces has long captured the attention of many organizations. Issues such as occupational stress and lack of teamwork can, however, hinder corporate development. Occupational stress has been researched extensively within the industrial-organization psychology literature. Studies have focused on workplace stress due to its negative impact on organizational as well as individual psychological and physical well-being. For example, research has consistently shown that stressors lead to absenteeism, cardiovascular disease, and depression (Ganster & Schaubroeck, 1991; Sauter & Murphy, 1995). Similarly, the criticality of teamwork to effective team performance has long been studied by many researchers. Yet, even with an increasing number of organizations using teams to accomplish tasks, little is known about how individuals affect on organization's productivity. This lack of understanding suggests that companies may not be obtaining the maximal benefits from teamwork. As a result, companies could suffer from poor organizational health such as low productivity, huge turnover and decreased customer satisfaction (Kelloway & Day, 2005). Recommendations and follow-up actions pertaining to reducing occupational stress and enhancing teamwork such as promoting social support, altruism, transformational leadership, backing up behaviors and team adaptation are suggested as ways to improve employees' well-being as well as better organizational health in the long run.

[...] Salas (Eds.), Team effectiveness and decision-making in organizations (pp. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Parker, S. K., & Wall, T. D. (1998). Job and work design: Organizing work to promote well- being and effectiveness. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Podsakoff, P. M., Ahearne, M., & MacKenzie, S. B. (1997). Organizational citizenship behavior and the quantity and quality of work group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology 262?270. Porter, C. O. L. H., Hollenbeck, J. R., Ilgen, D. R., Ellis, A. P. J., West, B. [...]

[...] Kelloway, & M. Frone, M. (Eds.), Handbook of workplace stress. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Klein, G., & Pierce, L. (2001). Adaptive teams (Draft technical report, Purchase Order H438556[A] for Link Simulation and Training Division/Army Prim Contract No. DAAD17?00-A-5002). Fairborn, OH: Klein Associates. Kozlowski, S. W. J. (1998). Training and developing adaptive teams: Theory, principles, and research. In J. A. Cannon-Bowers & E. Salas (Eds.), Making decisions under stress: Implications for individual and team training (pp. 15?153). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [...]

[...] Ultimately, Microsoft can positively reduce occupational stress by enhancing both job and family satisfaction as well as the employees' commitment to the company. In addition, interpersonal contact with supportive others has long been recommended as a solution to alleviate an employee's occupational stress. Social support from co-workers can help reduced strain by calming the person. It can also have a buffering or moderating effect in that it weakens the relationship between occupational stressors and individual strains (Beehr, Farmer, & Glazer, 2003). [...]

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