Effect Of Stress On Employee Productivity In The Service Industry Of Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Human Resource Management (HRM)

Effect Of Stress On Employee Productivity In The Service Industry Of Nigeria

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Trying to match limited global resources against an ever increasing world population appears to be the crux of the matter. The spill out from this seemingly intractable problem has been the world wide rural urban drift that has invariably led to overcrowded and heavily populated cities with basic infrastructures and other social amenities being stretched almost to breaking point. Rising un-employment, high cost of living, high crime rate and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor are also spill-outs from the complex problem earlier mentioned. The disenchantment and disillusionment arising from the foregoing stressful conditions (especially among the poor) has been on the increase over the years (Brown, 1980).

Reliable scientific research efforts on stress and other related issues started to emerge around the middle of the 20th century (Luthan, 1989). The earliest scientists to conduct extensive research into the physiological, psychological (Luthan, 1989). The general adaptation syndrome (GAS) model development by Hans selys many years ago is still very relevant to present day research efforts on stress (narayanan et al, 1999).

Here in Nigeria, quite a number of empirical research studies and clinical experiments have been carried out on the incidence of stress at different levels and under different circumstances (Oloko 1977) Ovurie 1979; Obugbile 1982, Ebie 1983 and Akinnusi 1993. these studies have shown consistent high level of stress among Nigieran workers. Such stress in conjunction with other socio-political and economic factors has contributed to the declining performance and productivity of the Nigerian factors responsible for such stress were properly identified and evaluated. Attempting to address some of the basic issues relating to stress as it affects employees productivity in the service industry is my concern in this project.

1.1 Background of the Study

According to Sely (1976) it is widely accepted that the development of stress reaction or symptoms is a functions of factors operating in the internal environment. The nature of the interaction between these variables will determine the prevalence, cause and consequences of stress relation.

There is stress associated with individual, group, organization and extra-organisational actors. On the individual factors, stress can be associated with personal characteristics and life career stages. On the group factors, these include lack of group cohesiveness, lack of social support, inter-personal and inter-group conflict. Thus the effectiveness of employees in any service industry is influenced by the nature of relations among groups. The organizational factor related to conflicting policies, ill-defined responsibilities and authorities, poor physical working condition.

While the extra-organisational factors are associated with societal and technological changes, family situations, poor residential conditions etc. stress may have be neticial as well as adverse effects in the long run. The organism in individuals grows in adaptive capacity through its encounter with stress and faced with blend safe environment. Thus, we can see in every phase of the development of life, from infancy through adolescence, from the struggle to learn to work to earn one’s living, we can attest to the fact that stress is involved in the development of all personal growth. Therefore, since stress has so much on the past of human life, we need to be able to adapt to it if we are to continue to function.

However, despite the draw back of stress, it is not altogether bad for individual employees or their overall organizational performance. Infact, it is generally recognized that at least low level of stress can enhance job performance. This low level of stress required is referred to as “eu-stress” (a Greek word meaning good) Selye (1976). There is therefore the need to understand the term “stress” through the knowledge of the subjects and the practical application of appropriate strategies as to how to either cope without manage stress. This forms the basis for this current study, as it will give the research the opportunity of sampling opinion of different personalities working with Shukura Hotel, Sokoto.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Stress as a concept has attracted a lot of attraction from many diverse disciplines such as psychiatry, clinical and social psychology, sociology, organizational behaviours, cultural anthropology, medicine et cetera. This is not surprising because the causes and consequences of stress are multi-faceted and wide-ranging.

In the developing countries, the incidence of stress at homes, in the society and amongst employees of any service industry is also alarming owing to harsh economic realities, poor social relations, institutional delays and breakdowns, general pervasive feelings of precariousness of life. People encounter stress in their day to day activities, this study will focus on the effect of stress on employees’ productivity in Shukura Hotel, Sokoto with a view to assessing the factor that contributes to stress in various employees.

These problems as mentioned above poses a three to the productivity of employees in service, industry because the work of one employee’s work depends on the other since the execution of a task to achieve customers’ satisfaction follow a hierarchy in terms of execution. Basically, these problems necessitate the need for assessing the effect of stress on employees productivity using Shukura Hotel, Sokoto as a case study with a view to identifying the factors that contribute to stress in the employees, and proffer possible ways to solving some of these problems.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

In whatsoever situation, however capacity to withstand stress is a function of the individual, the situation and the social context. This form the basis of this current study.

The general objective of this study is to provide an empirical investigation of stress in an organization and how it affects productivity amongst employees in a service productivity amongst employees in a service industry (especially Shukura Hotel, Sokoto). Specifically, this study aims at identifying the personality, groupings among employees which may predispose them to stress. however, the major objectives are stated as follows:

  1. To identify the causes of stress and human reaction to it.
  2. To analyse the difference between functional and dysfunctional stress among the employees.
  3. To determine how stress on the job influences the behaviour of employees.
  4. To identify factors that contribute to most employees stress and how the factors affect their family life as well as place of work.
  5. To identify ways of preventing harmful stress among the employees as well as to highlight specific strategies of coping with or managing stress.
  6. To also try to identify the overall effects of stress on employees productivity and how it affects the organization.

1.4 Statement of Hypothesis.

In view of the research problem this study intends to address, the following research hypothesis shall be proffered in order to provide direction in the course of data analysis, and to enable the researcher arrive at fundings and draw conclusions from them. The following are some basic hypothesis to be considered in the course of this research work.

  1. Ho: That quantitative and qualitative overload do not contribute to stress.
    Hi: That quantitative and qualitative overload contribute to stress.
  2. Ho: That level of job satisfaction and participation does not affect the intensity of stress among employees.
    Hi: That level of job satisfaction and participation affects the intensity of stress among employees.

1.5 Significance of the Study

It has been observed that there is a shortage or inadequacy of literature relevant, specifically, to stress management in Nigeria business organizations. Therefore believe that this research report will be relevant to existing literature in such area.

Furthermore, it is also expected that the research report will be significant to the management and employees of Shukura Hotel, Sokoto and similar organization as a working material relevant to decisions on stress management and control. Arguments presented and analysis made will surely province useful aids to decisions-making on stress management in most service industries especially the hotels. Moreover, the above is the expectation that the research will be significant in sensitizing hotel executives on the importance of ensuring an efficient stress management strategy.

Conclusively, the significance of this research work in line with fulfilling an academic requirement, which is a pre-requisite for the award of a post graduate diploma (PGD) in management science cannot be overemphasized.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research work is mainly concerned with the effect of stress on employees productivity in the service industry, laying more emphasis on a hotel setting like Shukura Hotel, Sokoto.

In this case, the researcher only based the research work on the scanty data which were supplied to him by the management of Shukura Hotel, Sokoto. Due to fear of competing firms and relinquishing vital data which could be within reach of their competitors.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The researcher was unable to lay hands on some recent publications on stress due to logistics and financial constraints. It has not been easy to always travel. These limitations were however minimized through the support of an insider.

Finally, efforts were made to reduce the effect of these limitations through quality and ardent supervision at various stages of this research work.

1.8 Historical Background of Case Study

Sokoto town emerged from the reign of caliphate Mohammed Bell oater the jihad of Shehu Othman Danfodiyo in the year 1809. early settlers were attracted to the city because of economic prospects and security the town could offer.

Mohammed Bello’s dynamic policies led sokoto to play a mjor role as an administrative cosmopolitan, commercial and religious learning centre. The movement of Shehu Othman Danfodiyo to Sokoto state in the year 1805 brought about the rapid growth of the town in population, commerce, religion and administration. The headquarters of the sokoto caliphate has today grown from being a provincial headquaters to a state headquarters of the North-western states, and now the headquarters of Sokoto state. There is now a federal University, University Teaching Hospital and an airport, among many modern facilities.

Shukura Hotel, Sokoto.

Shukura hotel, sokoto built by the sokoto state government is as a result of sudden upsurge of travelers to sokoto state and its environs during the political days of the second republic. Then, there was an excessive demand in hotel accommodation and the government of the day therefore considered it appropriate to build a modern hotel in the state capital to complement the existing servies in it already with the latest Japanese technology, in corporate the most modern facilities a five star hotel can provide anywhere in the world. The hotel has sixty (60) double rooms, and three (3) executive suites tastefully furnished and warmly decorated to give customers good comfort, the real home away from home”.

Situated on Gusau road, it is within the proximity of the states banking institutions, airline booking offices and shopping centres. The hotel has a wide-spaced reception lobby for various kinds of information, and gift shop packed with exotic and assorted gifts.


Shukura hotel, sokoto was eventually handed over to Arewa Hotels development limited, the leading hotel operators in the country for management in the early part of 1986. trial run period of the hotel commenced on the 7th June, 1986.


All the sixty (60) rooms are amply-sized and luxuriously furnished. Each of the rooms has a twin-bed, a private bath, individually controlled air-conditioner, and upholstered items. There is video system that provides four alternative channels for guests comfort. This is in addition to the telephone services, radio in-house light music for customer listening pleasure. The hotel offers high class services from well trained management and service staff.

Restaurant Operations

The restaurant serves guests both Nigerian and International cuisines with very good varieties of a la carte menu.

Opening Hours.
  • Breakfast: 7:00am – 10:00am
  • Lunch: 12:30pm – 3.:00pm
  • Dinner: 7:30pm – 10:00pm

There is however, a twenty four (24) hours room service in operators


Shukura cossy bar is designed specially to satisfy a high class service. The bar is to ensure that residential and nonresidential guests enjoy a variety of cocktails and other chilled assorted drinks. Non-resident guests can also make use of the bar only when they are registered as members, charged a token fee and would be expected to operate within the rules and regulations of the club.


There is a high-class banquet hall which caters for all sorts of social functions, from launching of new products, conference, seminars, receptions cocktail parties, etc with a standing and sitting capacity of over two hundred (200) guests. It is very much an ideal place for all kinds of banqueting functions. Secretarial services can also be provided for conference delegates and resident guests. There is also a parking space of over a hundred (100) cars within the hotel premises.

Places Of Interest In Sokoto State

There are several places of interest in sokoto state among which are tomb of Shehu Othman Danfodiyo, the Sultan’s palace, the leather tannery work, the sokoto cement factory etc.

Organisational Structure

1.9 Definition of Terms

1. Stress:

Stress can be defined as the “rate of all wear and caused by life” (selye, 1982).

2. Employee:

This is an individual whose services are headed or are headed or are essential for the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. He/she puts both mental and physical efforts in order to achieve the set goals and or objectives of an organization.

3. Productivity:

This refers to the output –input ratio within a time period with due consideration for quality.

4. Service:

This is defined as any effort geared towards creating a certain level of satisfaction to customers. Service come in different forms. They could either be in an abstract form e.g. Smila, or physical through after sales service.

5. Service Industry:

This is a combination of firms that engage in the provision of committed services to its clients e.g. a hotel, which is a firm, is one of the firms found among the service industry.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

This is the concluding chapter of this project work, add it is divided into four parts. The first segment presents a general summary of the project work, the second segment clearly states some findings and conclusions drawn while the last segment proffers some recommendations arising from the research findings and conclusions.

5.1 Summary of Findings

In this project work we have attempted to look at the various aspect of job stress and its effect on employees productivity in service industry with particular reference to Shukura Hotel Sokoto.

We commenced by trying to gain an insight into the term stress it was observed that, although that we quite have a sizeable number of definitions on stress, but there did not appear to be any precise scientific and preferred some working definitions. We then looked into the origin and background of stress, there was a further examination of the various causes of stress and the different types of stressors, the effects of stress generally and job stress in particular.

Available empirical evidence points to the fact that stress is becoming a very big health problem among both the developed and developing nations, such as Nigeria some of the empirical studies on stress carried out in Nigeria points to the fact that a number of the problems encountered by Nigerian companies in respect of their work force such as high rate of absenteeism, job dissatisfaction and low levels of performance and productivity might infact be manifestations of stress. Therefore, it was suggested that the companies concerned should work out effective, and increase strategies for handling such stressful situations in order to survive in the present highly competitive twenty-first century.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the various results obtained from data analysis in the previous chapter, the following emerged:

  1. That an employee in this study exhibits features of type A personality although it is noted that unlike type B personalities he does not feel rushed.
  2. The respondents showed unmistakable sign of time pressure and anxiety related to their work.
  3. The work environment of the employees in this study is by and large not as stressful as may be expected. Except in a few areas involving lack of involvement in decision making, differences of opinion with supervisors and management interruption of work schedules.
  4. The respondents were not eager to transfer to other places of work. Similarly, in spite of seeming job pressure, majority of the respondents have not seriously considered staying away from work in order to avoid the pressure of work.
  5. As to the method of coping with stress popular ones include reducing workload, increase in social support etc.

Therefore, we can see from the above that the existing problems of the study are concerned with the different ways in which individuals experience effective and symbolically interpersonal relations. Having noticed that individuals act in different ways as a result of their capacity to experience both internal and external factors, which internalizes and symbolized them with the continuities of the individuals total development. This shows that the strength of these relations rest with the individual.

Competition in today’s world is fierca, organizations are restructuring, re-engineering, acquiring, merging and frightening their belts, downsizing, transforming their cultures and raising their expectations. The organizations that refuse to change or change slowly will not survive. Thus, both organization and employees need to be well prepared to handle the stress and conflict that accompanies the changed process.

Accordingly, individuals must accept change and realize that there are many ways to solve a particular problem. Also, individuals must realize that stress can be beneficial as well as costly. One has to therefore be able to make a distinction between events and situations that triggers stress in him/her, with a view to either coping or preventing them or at least avoid those events or situations. In finding suitable alternatives to them individuals must therefore know how to taste the salt of life (i.e stress) such that it will be beneficial to them. By so doing the human body and mind develop psychologically and emotionally.

Finally, careful diagnoses, planning and managing people are necessary, without which understanding of situations forces on individuals the internal factors that determine how the forces are interpreted, or the action steps available to other behaviour thereby causing undersirable results, and making effective management look like an accident.

5.2 Recommendation

Based on the following recommendations are offered as a way of minimizing stress among employees of the hotel.

  1. Being basically type A personalities who are ambitions and achievement oriented, it is expected that the respondents would be susceptible to more serious effect of stress. At present, the level of stress reported is minimal, perhaps this is due to organizational policies which require the staff to regularly undergo medical checkups, and or be given the good medical facilities staff presently enjoy. This practice should continue and be improved upon.
  2. The working environment needs to be constantly monitored in order to identify more environmental stressors which seem disturbing in this study.
  3. The employees should realize that once employed into the hotel, one should be willing to adopt to any change that may come up and should therefore learn to accommodate interruption as well as cope with them in order to forge ahead.
  4. The employees should be involved in physical and mental relaxation at lest twice a week in order to turn the bye-product of stress that might otherwise be harmful
  5. The employees who performs excellently in the execution of their job should be rewarded or recommended to where their services will be needed. This will certainly reduce the tension in such an employee(s) and this will further promote a healthy completive environment among them.

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