Occupational stress is a growing problem in present-day organizations, it is an incessant issue crossways over the occupations, and it impacts directly on the execution of work. The problem of occupational stress is predominantly relevant for evolving nations and regions undergoing enormous economic development and social transformation (Leka and Jain, 2010). It does not have emotional impact on work life only, but has far reached impact on worker’s family life as well. Job stress is a chronic disease which have negative effects on an individual’s performance. Job stress is unswervingly related to performance, the higher the rate of job stress, the lower the job motivates a worker to performance it. Nevertheless, work is inevitable in today’s life and it forms the focal point of almost all human life (Kortum, 2014).
The performance of employees, as well as managers, determines to a large extent, the quality of employee as expressed by Hellriegel and Slocum (2007) that low job motivation can bring about costly turnover, tardiness, truancy and even poor intellectual wellbeing. This is further argued by Kreisman (2002) that the most valuable and volatile asset of any organisation is a well-motivated and a stable workforce, competent, dedicated and furthermore, hard-working and persistent personnel. Lawler (2003) uttered that in the twenty-first century, treating people right is not an alternative but an obligation.
The main purpose of this study is to analyse the phenomenon of occupational stress and employee motivation in the mining industry of Zimbabwe having a vivid look into Ayrshire Mine in the year 2017. This study is worthy pursuing because occupational stress is an area which is no doubt being overlooked by a significant number of associations particularly mining, yet it has a great negative impact to employee motivation. The present study addresses the specific relation of the two variables of job related stress and motivation since these constructs have not been comprehensively explored in the mining sector of Zimbabwe. This also might be educational on upgrading execution of task and employee performance as well. This is also related to the improving of job contentment by reducing occupational stress.
Occupational stress has been defined by Cox et al (2003) as the response people may have when presented with work difficulties and pressures that are not corresponding to their acquaintance and abilities and which contest their aptitude to cope. Stress is habitually recognized as the most common ailment of the modern age. It is a pattern of undesirable physiological condition and emotional responses that occur in an individual. When frazzled, individuals feels that their well-¬being is susceptible and at the same time incapable to handle it (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Hill, 2001). Occupational strain has its umbilical string in the middle of the nineteenth century where Friedrich Engels first pronounced in detail the physical and emotional health glitches suffered by workers in many trades (Barling and Griffiths, 2011). With time through the cross insemination of ideas from continent to continent, occupational stress became broadly recognized mainly in the industrialised nations.
Several hypotheses have been brought forward by a lot of researchers and scholars in an effort to try and explicate how stress rises or how it brings about attrition of motivation among employees. A job demand-control model by Karasek (1979), specifies that, products of stress such as tension radiated from the consequences of extraordinary job challenges, low social backing and low self-governance. Job characteristics framework, another model by Hackman and Oldham, (1980) stipulates that, employee motivation is determined by work features such as expertise diversity, task uniqueness, task importance, self-governance, and feedback. The theory states that motivation and job contentment relies upon the fit between the employee’s capabilities or essentials and the job and the organizational features. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) presented the transactional theory of psychological stress and coping, it is one of the most prominent and standout theory amongst the major conspicuous theories in the field of stress (Babatunde, 2013). This theory suggests that a discrepancy of greater environmental demands than means to manage with these demands produces strain. These are some of the well-known models which have picked up strength through a considerable length of time in regulating stress research and practice, notwithstanding their difference in popularity and empirical backing.
A quick evolving worldwide scene is increasing the pressure of workforce to perform maximum output and enhance competitiveness. Indeed, to perform exceptional on their jobs, there is a prerequisite for workers to perform multiple tasks in the workplace to keep up-to-date of fluctuating technologies (Cascio, 1995; Quick, 1997). The ultimate outcomes of this pressure have been found to be one of the essential elements prompting job stress in their work (Cahn et al., 2000). An investigation in UK showed that, a larger part of the labour force were unhappy with the existing culture, where they are mandated to work prolonged working hours and cope with large workloads while simultaneously meeting production targets and deadlines (Townley, 2000).
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