Mitsuka Technologies Inc. is involved in the manufacture of auto parts and components for one of the major automobile manufacturers in the world. As part of a quality and efficiency audit, a team has been assembled to assess the areas that need improvement to increase production, and ultimately profitability. Job stress is a concern for all levels of an organization, individual, group team, and the organization as a whole. This study will assess the level, sources of job stress and the effects that it has on Mitsuka Technologies Inc. In terms of quality, efficiency and productivity.
Studies have shown that stress effects an organization in many very real and measurable ways and that identifying the sources of stress and developing a plan to eliminate or reduce these stressors can have an impact on productivity and profitability. On an individual level, stress has an impact on the employee's emotional state, and can effect their health causing absenteeism and accidents (Carey, 1997). On a team level, the absence of an employee due to stress can cause the workload to be increased on other team members. This can cause problems with more stress and can have an effect on team cohesiveness that can effect overall team performance in a negative way.
On the organizational level, drops in productivity on the individual and team levels will have an effect on the profit margins of the company through higher medical costs and lower productivity. Recent court cases in the United Kingdom have even brought up the issue that if an employee is aware of sources of stress and they make no attempt to alleviate it, then they are legally responsible and could face damages (Spiers, 2002). This is a growing trend in the United Kingdom and could become standard in other places as well. It is estimated that in the United States work related stress costs employers 75-85 billion dollars in workman's compensation claims, lost man-hours, turnover, and health costs (Douglas, p. 6).
In a Wall Street Journal article, Sue Shellenbarger identifies two types of stress; good stress and bad stress. Good stress can actually increase productivity and worker satisfaction in some cases. However, bad stress can have severe and lasting effects on all levels of an organization (Shellenbarger, 2001). The purpose of this study will be to identify sources of bad stress at Mitsuka Technologies, Inc., and assess their affects on all levels of the organization. This information will be used to develop a plan to eliminate or reduce stress and in turn increase the overall productivity and profitability of the company.
Data Needs of Study
In order to properly assess stress and its effects on this organization, the sources of stress will first have to be identified. This will primarily involve assessment on an individual level. A survey will be devised to assess employee stresses and to determine the level of these stress factors. It will be administered to 100% of the employees to obtain accurate results that are applicable to the entire organization.
To assess the effects of stress on groups and teams, team managers will be interviewed. In addition, production levels will be examined and correlated to interview and survey data such as days lost and stress factors identified within the group. At an organizational level, personnel records will be examined to determine how much absenteeism can be attributed to stress. The financial impact of these factors will be determined in real dollar amounts using financial data concerning days lost, workman's compensation and health related expense that has occurred as a direct result of job-related stress.
The first task of this study is to identity stress factors, levels, and their impacts on individual lives. This will be accomplished by administering a survey to the employees. These surveys will be administered on a team-by-team basis and the results kept separate according to team in order to clearly identify specific problem areas. Individual results will be kept anonymous, so as to minimize the chance for bias in results due to fear of retaliation for undesirable answers. This survey will involve a combination of subjective type questions to identify stress factors, for example, "What is the primary source of stress for you at Mitsuka Technologies?" A Likert scale will be devised to determine stress levels and employee satisfaction. A typical Likert scale question would be, "On a scale of 1-6 with five being worst and 1 being best, rate the level of stress that you feel on an average work day at Mitsuka Technologies." Multiple choice questions will be used to assess the impact of stress on the employee's overall life, both in and out of work. An example of the multiple choice section would be, "Do you have problems forgetting about the work day when you arrive home at night? Yes or no."
The second goal of this study is to identify groups and teams of particular concern. A compilation of the results obtained by team and group managers will be used to give an overall picture of the organization. Production levels will be analyzed using linear graphing techniques to help spot trends that may be useful in identifying stress factors, such as excessive overtime, or other time related stress factors in individual groups.
The third goal is to obtain an overall snapshot of the impact of job stress on the profitability of the company. This will be analyzed by examining human resource records and financial data concerning lost time, training expense for new hires, turnover rate, and accident/health related expenses.
Data Analysis and Reporting
Surveys will be kept anonymous in order to eliminate the possibility that employees will not answer honestly for fear that it might hurt their job standing. However, in order to assess team responses and identify the worst problem areas, answers will be coded as to the team or group from which they came. All personal information and individual answers will be kept confidential and numbers will be presented in a composite format.
In order to gain a comprehensive view of the stress levels and to pinpoint specific areas of concern, many types of data need to be collected. This survey comprises of three different types of data, essay, Likert scale, and multiple choice. Therefore a number of statistical techniques will be used to analyze the data and to obtain an overall picture of the job stress situation at Mitsuka Technologies. A coding scheme will be devised for essay type questions using frequency distribution to determine which answers appeared most frequently. Essay questions will be used for this portion of the survey, as opposed to multiple choice. Multiple choice answers will give the employee only a limited number of choices and factors may be identified in an essay answer that could not be anticipated by the researcher in the design of multiple choice questions. The Likert scale will also be analyzed using frequency distribution techniques. The multiple-choice section will be analyzed using standard analytical statistics and correlation techniques such as correlation coefficient, standard deviation, Z-test, etc.
These statistics will be analyzed on a team basis and then combined to get an overall picture of the organization. As it is the goal of this study to devise a plan for eliminating job-stress and its negative impacts on the company, target areas of concern will be identified using these techniques.
Interviews with team and group managers will be analyzed in a similar manner to the essay questions in the survey, trying to pinpoint certain re-occurring themes or phrases that will give a clue as to the overall stress levels and working ability of the group. This will be correlated to composite survey results for the group to spot problem areas or groups and devise appropriate measures to…