Social Work and Human Services Paper on Final Project: Dissertation Prospectus

Final Project: Dissertation Prospectus

Problem statement

            Work related stress is a costly issue for many organizations and employees. This is because stress lowers the productivity of the employees by having to them take time off and medical costs at the expense of the company. Stress is also known to be the underlying cause of most non-communicable diseases (Grohol, 2009). These diseases include mental problems, ulcers and hypertension. Organizations are unable to evade the costs associated with occupational stress to the employees because they are forced to hire external professionals in psychiatry and even sending the employees on leave in order for them to relax away from the stressors (Shimoni, 2011).Hiring of external psychiatrics is an additional cost for organizations and the employees plus the time lost by the employees while on leave or attending therapy sessions. The quality of work given by the employees is highly dependent on the state of their mind, and stress has the effect of upsetting the balance in their mental state. The implication of stress on the physical wellbeing of individuals only makes the matters worse (Grohol, 2009).

Onsite counseling at the workplace is one of the measures that may be taken to properly manage the occupational stress. In this method, the employees are attended to immediately when signs of stress manifest in them (Segovia, 2014). This includes having a lot of errors in the works they do and a general negative mood. Once this is recognized by the management, the employee is directed to the organization’s onsite psychiatrist or any other emotional specialist to get attended to(Bowling, Beehr, &Grebner, 2012). This method of workplace stress management is expected to post better results than the conventional methods that have been in use, but there is no research that has been done to back that claim. There is also inadequate literature done concerning this subject (Wojcid, 2011). The goal of this research therefore, is to justify onsite stress management over the traditional ways of stress management and to contribute to literature on the same.

Significance

            The importance of this research study is hinged on the potential benefits that better knowledge on the application of this type of stress management is likely to bring to organizations. Costs and losses linked to occupational stress run into millions and it would be very significant if even only a part of that cost is salvaged by the application of onsite counseling to the workers that exhibit signs of stress. The results of this research will have a bearing on whether the method of onsite counseling is deemed better or not, and this will have future ramification in the field of stress management at the workplace. In addition to assisting employees in dealing with the workplace stress, onsite stress also assists them to face their personal affairs positively(Segovia, 2013). Having the workers attended to promptly might also assist in reducing the time wasted when they are forced to make appointments with independent psychiatrist. It is assumed that by having onsite counseling in the firm, there is likelihood of the therapy fees charged to the company to cater for its employees might reduce (Segovia, 2013).

Background

            Insights on the subject of research on this project were sourced from the following articles:

  1. Shimoni R. L. (2011) that has a focus of the relationship that exists in the traditional counseling profession. It mainly dwells on the interaction between supervisor or mentor and students in the counseling profession.
  2. Grohol J M. (2009)which delves into the connection between mental and physical health. It evaluates scientific evidence on the way that stress contributes to illness and how this in effect leads to declined performance by the workers.
  3. Wojcid. (2011) which explains how onsite counseling has in the recent past been incorporated into the wellness programs of organizations and the potential and realized benefits of this measure.
  4. Segovia. (2013) which explains in detail some of the stressors that may be present in the workplace and the role that onsite counseling plays in making the employees feel heard and have an outlet for their frustrations without fear of bias or prejudice.

Framework

            Bowling, Beehr and Grebner’s (2012) theory of combating stress in organization will be used in this research study. This is because their theory points to the goal of nurturing a resilient workforce by giving them the tools they require to cope with stresses at the workplace and in their personal lives. Having onsite counseling is more of an active measure to take against occupation stress as opposed to the traditional means of stress management that involve majorly reactive measures, which are delayed in execution making it harder to avoid the consequences of workplace stress(Segovia, 2013). This is the same goal as the one of the onsite counseling. This framework will also assist in determining the research questions to be used.

Research Question

RQ1- Qualitative:What are the advantages that onsite counseling might have over the traditional means of intervention in workplace stress management?

RQ2- Quantitative:Having considered all the merits and the cost of setting up onsite counseling services for the employees, does it stillremain feasible for the organization to adopt?

Nature of the study

            This research will employ the mixed method of collection of data. The first method will entail the search for information on onsite counseling, how it is applied and the extent to which it has been adopted in the business world. This will entail documentary analysis, and will be qualitative nature(Nepal, 2010). Once the firms applying this method of mitigating workplace stress are identified,the researcher will approach their management and employees and seek their opinions on how they view this method of combating workplace stress. Their views will be taken using interviews and questionnaires. The financial records of these firms will be analyzed to determine the losses they have in the past incurred in dealing with occupational stress versus the cost of implementing the onsite counseling method to counter stress in the employees. Data collected by the questionnaires to be analyzed plus the cost analysis will constitute the quantitative nature of this research(Nielsen, 2011).

Possible Types and Sources of Information

  1. Past studies done on workplace stress management and the different ways in which that is achieved in various organizations.
  2. The management and employees of firms that have already implemented onsite counseling for their employees
  3. Business research articles that have investigated the value that organizations lose to occupational stress.
  4. Interviewing experts on workplace stress management
  5. Reports from facilities that practice psychiatry medicine.

References

Bowling, N. A., Beehr, T. A., &Grebner, S. (2012). Combating stress in organizations. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2012, 27, 65.

Grohol, J. M. (2009). The Connection Between Mental & Physical Health. Psych Central, 34-45.Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/02/25/the-connection-between-mental-physical-health/

Nepal, V. (2010).On Mixing Qualitative Methods.Qualitative Health Research, 20(2), 281-281.doi:10.1177/1049732309355717

Nielsen, R. (2011). Cues to Quality in Quantitative Research Papers.Family And Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 40(1), 85-89. doi:10.1111/j.1552-3934.2011.02090.x

Segovia, I. (2013). On-Site Counselling.Psychotherapist in Oakville. Retrieved 10 November 2014, from http://www.ignaciosegovia.com/onsite-counselling/

Shimoni, R. L. (2011). The On-Site Mentor of Counseling Interns: Perceptions of Ideal Role and Actual Role Performance. Journal of Counselling and Development, 34-45. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2007.tb00479.x/abstract

Wojcik, E. (2011). Postgrad growth area: Designing workplace wellness programs. http://www.apa.org. Retrieved 10 November 2014, from http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2011/11/postgrad.aspx