You are CEO of a medium size (500 employees) software engineering company, and given some problems with your software, revenues have sharply decreased. The rumor that is circulating around the workforce is that a major layoff is inevitable, with some speculating that up to 50% of the workforce, from clerical to technical to management, may face possible termination. You have tried to quell the rumor-mill insofar you are concerned about an appreciable drop in morale and performance. However, human nature being what it is, employees will attempt to fill in the gaps when there is lack of (or ambiguous) information. Given the unfolding of events, one of the most prominent symptoms you are noticing is an increased reporting of organizational stress. You have brought in an organizational consultant for the express purpose of not only diagnosing the extent (and types) of stress, but also propose interventions that may abate the spreading symptomatology.
Given the above (and unfortunately very realistic) scenario, from the perspective of the consultant please answer the following questions:
(1) What potential physical/task and psychological stressors do you anticipate will (or have) arisen given the alleged layoff? How will you be able to observe/document the stressors and hence confirm their existence (and ultimate impact on the stress outcome)?
(2) What potential behavioral, psychological and physiological consequences do you anticipate will (or have) arisen given the alleged layoff? How will you be able to observe/document the consequences and hence confirm their existence (and their relationship to the stressor)?
(3) Describe at least one theory of stress that may aid your understanding (and the CEO’s) of the stressor/stress relationship and evolution. Make sure to not only define the theory but, in practical terms, map how this theory corresponds to the actual stress that has developed in the workplace.
(4) Describe at least two stress management strategies/interventions you will employ in response to the ongoing organizational stress. How do you see implementing these strategies, and of utmost importance, what type of evidence will you gather so as to ascertain their efficacy/effectiveness?