Struggles Retail Workers Go Through Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Careers Type: Term Paper Paper: #11251520 Related Topics: Employee Turnover, Casual, Industrial Relations, Strain Theory
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Psychology of Employment Relations

The management in industries that hire low-skill workers, including retail industries, have a duty and responsibility to provide a decent, reasonably stress-free work environment, and the workers they hire are more and more expected to have some skills and competencies in advance of being hired. This paper reviews the changes and challenges that relate to the retail employees and their work dynamics, and how management is responding to those challenges

Low-skill employment is in flux -- Stress is commonplace

One of the most serious issues that low-skill workers face is of course earning enough money to put food on the table, pay the rent, clothe the children and put gasoline in the auto. In many instances, low-skill workers in the retail industry have more than one job, and this pressure to earn sufficient money for a family causes stress. These retail workers often face "…job insecurity, short -- and split-shifts, unpredictability of hours, low wages and benefits," and moreover these workers often must "juggle multiple jobs" in order to survive (Zeytinoglu, et al., 2004).

Recent surveys in Canada reflect the fact that "occupational health" is negatively impacted by "casual work"; and roughly 20% of workers in this


The stress increased when poor management decisions are made that impact workers, Zeytinoglu explains; for example, in the retail trade worker benefits and earnings have been on a downward trajectory, and employers are consistently "reducing hours or work" while they extend the hours that the stores are open (521). For workers who have young children, arranging child care and helping children with school-related issues are especially challenging when "split shifts" and "intermittent scheduling of work" are the norm (Zeytinoglu, 521).

And for female retail workers, because many low-wage / retail environments are "male-dominated," they often face "…harassment, prejudice and sex stereotyping," all of which increase stress symptoms (Zeytinoglu, 522). Beyond the occupational stress that is commonplace among retail workers, the authors explain that there is "employment strain," which relates to the "uncertainty" in jobs, earnings, scheduling, location of employment and the "precariousness of the household demands" (Zeytinoglu, 523). These conditions and issues for low-skill workers are not going to go away any time soon, but employers should be aware of the difficulties retail workers (especially part-time workers) constantly face.

On the subject of stress in the retail workplace, Professor Carmen Chasovschi explains that the last century has brought "…major and revolutionary changes in the daily life rhythm," and as a result "all of us" are under the pressure of "physical and psychical stressors" in the workplace (Chasovschi, 2013). As a result, stress is being considered an "occupational health issue" and in the retail workplace there are specific conditions and issues that lead to stress, the author explains.

In this peer-reviewed research paper, the author interviewed 64 people in a large retail store in Balti, Republic of Moldova, and a questionnaire was also part of the research. About 10% of the retail workers said they were "very satisfied"; 29.68% were "quite satisfied"; 51.56% were "satisfied"; and 7.81% were "quite dissatisfied" (Chasovschi). The most common stress factors included poor communication, behavior of supervisors, "demanding physical tasks" and the author asserts that "direct managerial measures" should be put in place to reduce the stressors experienced by employees (Chasovschi). Work itself should not be linked to stress, the author asserts, but stress eventually leads to "burnout and exhaustion," and management must recognize these factors and use "soft measures" to reduce stress.

Assumptions from the past are challenged

Meanwhile, in the peer-reviewed journal Management Revue…

Sources Used in Documents:


Chasovschi, Carmen, and Niculescu, Carolina. 2013. Analysis of Stress in Retail Organizations. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration. Vol. 13.

Dejoy, David M., Wilson, Mark G., Vandenberg, Robert J., McGrath-Higgins, Alison L., and Griffin-Blake, C. Shannon. 2010. Assessing the impact of healthy work organization intervention. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 83, 139-165.

Jaehrling, Karen, and Weinkopf, Claudia. 2005. 'Low-Skill Work in Flux.' Management Revue, Vol. 16. 389-404.

Zeytinoglu, Isik U., Lillevik, Waheeda, Seaton, M. Bianca, and Moruz, Josefina. 2004. 'Part-time and Casual Work in Retail Trade.' Industrial Relations, Vol. 59, 516-528.

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"Struggles Retail Workers Go Through", 08 November 2014, Accessed.23 January. 2022,

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