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1.1 Background to the Study


Stress is a condition of physical and psychological mental disorder which occurs in a situation of pressure, when resources are unable to fulfill the demand of an individual. Most of time of our lives spent at work, job stress is widely experienced and so pervasive, that it’s been found to effect people in every sector. Employees’ in banking sector spend most of their time at work, that’s why they are directly targeted by stress; due to this their productivity at workplace decreases greatly. Now the days, stress is considered as an important factor, which is rapidly increasing the absenteeism rate of employers and employees (Dean, 2002).

This happens more in the public sector, where 50 percent of employers reported stress related absence. The main causes of stress are work overloads, management styles, non-work factors such as relationships with family and workplace associates. In public sector, job security is considered more common cause of stress in recent years. Cost on absence in public sector due to stress is reported more than the cost incurred in the private sector. In public sector cost reported due to stress is 800 pound per employee a year, while in private sector; it is reported 446 pound per employee per year (Miller & Phipps, 2011).

Over a few years, job stress is considered to be a worldwide problem and increasing steadily in the U.S. and other nations where the industry is growing rapidly. Poor salary packages, long working hours, mistreatment of supervisors with employees, are the major causes of creating stress in employees. Job stress produces large number of undesirable effects for both individual and organization. The incidents of hyper tension and heart attacks are the severe problems related to stress. India, Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey and other eastern European countries are the emerging countries in which stress is rapidly growing. Job stress affects not only the employees’ but also the organizations in the monetary and non-monetary costs. These costs are used to recover the work and health related injuries. Monetary cost is used to recover the health of employees and lower productivity and absenteeism of employees’ is recovered by non-monetary costs (Michac, 1997)

During the life span of an individual, job period is very important because it is directly linked with the stress. In those organizations where employees are not treated accordingly least satisfaction and high stress level are common observations. Stress is very harmful for human body, it increases blood pressure, sugar, suppression of immune system, decreased digestive system activity and reduced urine output. Stressful employees caught serious diseases that result in low productivity (Michac, 1997)

Stress can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her (Moorhead and Griffen, 1998). That is tension from extra-ordinary demands on an individual.  It is noted that, stress is not necessarily bad; it is an opportunity when it offers potential gain. But whatever its nature, it usually begins when individuals are placed in a work environment that is incompatible with their work style and or temperament. It becomes aggravated when individuals find out that they have or can exercise little control over it. (Miller, 2011).

Many organizations in the world are witnessing an alarming increase of the negative effects of stress on employee’s productivity. Typical examples are organizations in America, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, East and Central Africa, West Africa and in other parts of the world. The American Academy of family Physicians reported that, about two-thirds of the visits to family physicians are the results of stress-related symptoms” (Henry and Evans 2008).

Michac (1997) specified causes of stress as follows: poor time management, unclear job descriptions, feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, inability to get things done, lack of communication, bad personal relationships, quality and complexity of tasks. In the same breadth, Dean (2002) viewed stress-related illnesses as the leading cause for low productivity levels in the workplace. Immense pressure at work has led to stress, which made it the number one factor causing illness.

Michac (1997) outlined reasons for low productivity as follows; poor training in the company, machine break downs, non-established performance standards, lack of planning and motivation, change, poor atmosphere and environment, inadequate communication at many levels, non-identification with company goals. In Nigeria, several nationwide surveys have indicated that, about 58% of the workforce in organizations suffers from stress related problems (salami 2015). This means that stress can be a killer of many organizations in Nigeria of which Fidelity Guaranteed is no exception.


1.2    Statement of the Problem

Organizations end up saddling employees with overload of work in order to meet deadline and this might have psychological and physical effects on the employees which may result in something contrary to what these organizations want to achieve. Although organizations are paying more attention than in the past to the consequences of the trauma their employees go through when they place extra-ordinary demands on them, there is still more room for improvement. Again to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and to be able to fund the acquisition of modern equipment meant efficient service provision and optimal employment of resources.

Job stress is commonly acknowledged to be a critical issue for managers of organizations as occupational stressors tend to contribute to organizational inefficiency, employees are under a great deal of stress related to a variety of occupational stressors. Job stressors contribute to organizational inefficiency, high staff turnover, absenteeism due to sickness, decreased quality, and quantity of practice, increased costs of health care, and decreased job satisfaction. One of the organizational outcomes that were affected by job stress is employee’s performance. Job stress is a mental and physical condition, which affects an individual’s productivity, effectiveness, personal health and quality of work. Job stress victims experience lowered quality of work life and performance. The harmful and costly consequences of stress demonstrate the need for strategies to limit stressors within the organization. Organization that does not adopt strategies to alleviate stress may find their employees looking elsewhere for better opportunities. The impact of stress from overwork, long hours at work and work intensification has had major and often devastating effect on organizations.


1.3      Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to examine effect of stress on employee productivity in service industry, while specific objective of the study include:

  1. To examine the extent to which time pressure affect the rate at which customer are attended to.
  2. To ascertain how work overload of employee affect customers satisfaction
  • To examine the effect long work hours on employees productivity


1.4      Relevant Research Questions


The following research question were formulated for this study, they are as follows

  1. What extent does time pressure affect the rate at which customer are attended to?
  2. Does work overload of employee affect customer satisfaction?
  • How do long work hours affect employee’s productivity?

1.5      Relevant Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis One

H0: Time pressure has no effect on rate at which customer are attended

H1: Time pressure has effect on rate at which customer are attended


Hypothesis Two

H0: Work overload of employee has no significant effect on customer satisfaction

H1: Work overload of employee has significant effect on customer satisfaction



Hypothesis Three

H0: Long work hours has no effect on employee’s productivity

H1: Long work hours has effect on employee’s productivity

1.6      Significance of the Study  


The purpose of the study was to ascertain the effect of stress on employee productivity in service industry. The researcher believes that this study was very important and would go a long way to provide for organizations, most especially those in the service sector on the need to ensure the effective management of stress for their employees. The study will also add to existing store of knowledge. Thus, the findings will add to studies that have been done, so that people in other part of the country can also appreciate the problem. It will also provide suggestions on how to reduce the effects of stress on output. Again, it will be a source for further research and of relevance to stakeholders.


1.7      Scope of the Study

The study the effect of stress on employee productivity in service industry. A case  study of National Pension Commission Ikeja Lagos. The study focused on National Pension Commission, Ikeja branch, Lagos.


1.8      Definitions of Terms

Employees – An individual who works part or full-time under a contract of employment, whether oral or written, express or implied, and has recognized rights and duties

Productivity- A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs.


Job stress- as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker which can  lead to poor health and even injury.

Psychological reaction- an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

Pressure- continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it.

Absenteeism- the practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason

Feelings- An emotional state or reaction.

Productivity- A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs.

Productivity is computed by dividing average output per period by the costs incurred or resources (capital, energy, material, personnel) consumed in that period.

Motivation-Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.

Organization- an organized group of people with a particular purpose, such as a    business or government department

Work Overload-The amount of work assigned to or expected from a worker in a specified time period

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