The effect of job stress on employee performance at Zambia police paramilitary battalion
Mwila, Lumbwe Stephen
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This study analyzed the effect of job stress on employee performance at Zambia Police Paramilitary Battalion in Lusaka. The study utilized a causal research design imbedded in a mixed methods approach and employed Taro Yamane’s formula (Yamane, 1967) to calculate 319 sample size. The results showed that there was a moderate prevalence of job stress among the employees at Zambia Police Para-Military Battalion. Additionally, it was revealed that the main causes of job stress at Paramilitary Battalion were staff shortage, work schedules/shifts, role ambiguity, lack of resources, bureaucratic and red tape, inconsistent promotion and disciplinary practices as well as unequal sharing of work responsibilities. An inferential analyses involving Pearson's Correlation and Linear Regression analyses proved that a negative significant relationship exists between job stress and employee performance. Therefore, the study established that police officers at Paramilitary Battalion encounter unpredictable and potentially volatile situations caused by job stress factors which make them fail to execute self-initiated investigations, arrest lawbreakers or appear in courts to testify. Based on this empirical evidence, the study recommended the need for the Police High Command to identify job stress management interventions that focus on enhancing employee performance by providing adequate resources, equal promotional/career development opportunities for all staff and effective communication or feedback. It was also suggested that addressing the effects of job stress would require the Police High Command to optimize workload, minimize role ambiguity and design competitive compensation systems that sufficiently reward employees for their contributions. Therefore, this study was important because it highlighted the status of the police officers in respect to job stress and how it affects their performance. Finally, the study provides an avenue for the Police High Command and employees in their career to understand and recognize negative stressors and intervene before the effects of decreasing job performance become severe. Key Words: Job Stress, Employee Performance, Stress Management Interventions, Police Officers, Paramilitary, Zambia Police Service.