The Relationships among Employees' Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, and the Organizational Performance of Hamadan Urban Health Centers

Article excerpt

Job stress is one of the most important issues in health care because it has a negative effect on the safety and health of personnel (Conway, Campanini, Sartori, Dotti, & Costa, 2008). Human resources are vital for organizational excellence and act as the main factor for achieving anticipated organizational objectives (Haghighi, 2005).

Each organization has been established for a particular mission and plays a specific role in society (Yaghinlo, Khalili Aragi, & Javaherdashti, 2005). Therefore, health care centers, which are responsible for public health and play a significant role in the process of social development, can only improve by optimizing the productivity and effectiveness of their personnel. Managers must be aware of, and sensitive to, negative factors in the workplace, such as job stress, that influence employees' health and have significant effects on job satisfaction and performance. Work stress is the condition in which some factors or combination of factors interfere with the worker to disrupt his or her physical, psychological, or social homeostasis (Lu, 1997).

Medical researchers have concluded that there is a significant relationship between the level of people's stress and adverse responses, such as heart disease, gastroenteritis, sleep disorders, accidents, events on duty, decrease in job performance, and increase in absence and job displacement (McVicar, 2003; Mitoma et al., 2008; Muecke, 2005; Poissonnet, & Veron, 2000). However, it has been said that a small amount of stress can bring about an increase in personnel's efficiency, while too much stress results in negative mental and physical changes (Raeissi & Tavakoli, 2002; Rice, 1998).

Stress has a great influence on many variables, including people's health, job satisfaction, how often they are absent from work, and efficiency. Organizations usually measure the performance of personnel in order to evaluate organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Evaluation and measurement of performance are qualitative and quantitative processes and important tools for performance management. Therefore, organizations can improve their efficiency by measuring performance management (Yaghinlo et al., 2005). Reduction of job stress is a very important factor in job success and increases organizational performance.

METHOD

Participants

This research was a cross-sectional and descriptive study. Participants were employees of Hamadan Urban Health Centers in Iran. The sample size was determined using the method developed by Krejcie and Morgan (1970), and 120 employees were selected to participate in the study.

Instruments

We used questionnaires and performance indices to gather data. For measuring the levels of participant's stress and satisfaction, standard questionnaires, the reliability of which have been verified by management experts, were used. Several indices were considered for evaluating the performance of the health centers. The tools used in the research included:

Eliot Stress Questionnaire The questionnaire included 20 questions that the participants were asked to rate on a 1-4 scale to indicate their stress levels under different conditions (Eliot, 1994).

Robbins Job Satisfaction Questionnaire This questionnaire consisted of the five following domains: 10 questions concerning the participant's supervisor; 10 questions concerning the participant's coworkers; 5 questions concerning work promotion; 6 questions concerning pay; and 10 questions concerning the tasks involved in work. Participants used a 1-5 scale to respond to all questions (Robbins, 1991). Questions on work dealt with whether participants found the type of work they did simple or complex, creative or routine, boring or fascinating, good or bad, satisfying or unsatisfying, useful or worthless, pleasant or unpleasant, healthful or tiresome, respected or not respected, and whether they found the work gave them a sense of accomplishment or it just seemed endless. …