New research suggests workplace stress can lead to counterproductive workplace behaviors that may not surface until weeks or months afterward.

It is common knowledge that a variety of workplace issues ranging from a seasonal surge in business, or a new manager, can lead to stress that results in immediate problems.

However, the impact of the stress may be underestimated as problems may surface down the road.

San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Dr. Kevin Eschleman determined many employees wait weeks or months before engaging in counterproductive work behaviors, like taking a longer lunch or stealing office supplies.

As a result, this behavior, which by some estimates costs businesses billions of dollars annually, may actually be far more expensive.

People don’t just respond immediately with these deviant behaviors. They may also have a delayed response that isn’t caught by the organization, said Eschleman.

That means the organization is not taking into account long-term costs associated with these delayed behaviors.

The study is published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Psychologists have known that high levels of workplace stress lead to counterproductive work behaviors, but previous research had primarily looked at short-term effects. That is, investigators would focus on an employee’s response at one specific moment to his or her current level of stress.

Eschleman and his colleagues wanted to know how and when employees handled changes in workplace stress, as well as whether workers’ personalities affected their response.

Researchers surveyed employees in a variety of career fields three times over six months about stress at work and asked if they had engaged in various counterproductive work behaviors, or CWBs.

As expected, investigators found that increases in stress led to immediate increases in CWBs. They also discovered some people who did not engage in such behavior at first nevertheless did so some weeks or months later.

Maybe you don’t have the opportunity to engage in these deviant behaviors right away, and you want to wait until no one is around, Eschleman said.

Or maybe you think you can cope right away, but then down the road you end up engaging in these behaviors.

Remarkably, the delayed effect was especially seen in workers considered to be more agreeable. That is employees who are generally cooperative, good-natured, and trusting of the organization.

Surprisingly, the latent counterproductive effects also occurred among the more conscientious (those who are ambitious, responsible, and abide by ethical principles). While these individuals were less likely to engage in counterproductive behaviors initially, they were just as likely  and the research suggests may be even more likely v to do so later on.

Why? According to Eschleman, these workers have more resources available to help them cope with the increased stress, at least at first.

For agreeable workers, that means there are more friends and other kinds of support to buck them up during tough times.

Conscientious workers, for their part, receive more tangible benefits. Employers tend to invest money, benefits, and more in employees they view as hard workers.

An effective training program, for instance, can make adjusting to a new computer system easier.

Eventually, though, the added stress will win out for many: Your personality might influence how you try to cope initially, but if things are bad for a really long time, it doesn’t matter what your personality is. At the end of the day, you’re going to do these deviant things, Eschleman said.

Companies should take care to tailor programs to help employees deal with stress, he added, since the research shows personality can complicate how and when employees respond.

Source: San Francisco State University



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(The author is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

By Liz Weston

LOS ANGELES Nov 10 (Reuters) - Saving for college can be tough, but many families do not tap a potentially generous resource: relatives and friends.

Various companies are trying to change that by making it easier for parents to ask for, and receive, contributions to college savings plans. As the holidays approach, these providers are stepping up their efforts to publicize these options and convince families to try them.

I think people can feel comfortable going out and saying they prefer gifts that are more meaningful, said Erin Condon, vice president of Upromise, a college savings and cash rewards program, run by Sallie Mae.

They can say, Instead of giving our son a truck, how about helping us save for college? Or giving him a smaller truck and putting $20 into his college savings plan?

Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 529 college savings plans allow contributors to invest money that can grow tax-free to pay for qualified higher education costs.

Although typically sponsored by states, the plans are run by investment companies and account balances can be spent at any accredited college or vocational school nationwide.

Upromise released a survey last week that found seven out of 10 parents would prefer their children received money for college rather than physical gifts. Upromise offers a way to let others do just that: it is called Ugift, a free online service that families can use to solicit their social networks for college contributions.

Friends and family are emailed bar-coded coupons they can print out and send in with a paper check. The service is available to customers of the 29 Upromise-affiliated 529 plans, which include two of the countrys largest: New Yorks 529 College Savings Program and Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan in Nevada.

Upromise has found that customers who enlist others to help them save via the sites rewards program and shopping portal typically accumulate three times as much as customers who do not, Condon said.

The 529 plans run by Fidelity Investments also offer a free service that allows parents to set up a personalized contribution page and share links via email or social media that allow direct contributions to a childs college savings account via electronic check.

Fidelity released its own poll recently, which found 9 out of 10 grandparents surveyed said they would be likely - if asked - to contribute to a college savings fund in lieu of other gifts for a holiday, birthday or special occasion. Fidelity manages 529 plans for Arizona, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

These programs tap into the crowd-funding zeitgeist that has seen people appealing to their social networks to help pay for creative projects, charitable causes as well as personal costs such as medical expenses, travel and weddings.

As college costs rise, more people see the need for such help, according to Joe Hurley, founder of the 529 information site SavingForCollege.com.

Its a reaction to material gifts, and also the rising cost of college thats creating so much anxiety for parents, Hurley said.

COLLEGE REGISTRY

A few sites facilitate contributions to any 529 plan. GradSave, for example, lets parents set up a free college savings registry that accepts contributions from friends and family. The money is held in an FDIC-insured account until the parents transfer it to their 529 accounts.

Leaf College Savings, meanwhile, offers an education gift card that anyone can use to make a 529 contribution for someone else. The giver loads an amount between $25 and $1,000 onto the card and gives it to the parent, who can then redeem it at the Leaf site and transfer the funds to his or her 529 plan. If the parents do not have a plan, the site helps them set one up.

The gift card, however, comes with an activation fee of at least $2.95 plus another $2.95 to get a physical card rather than one sent by email or Facebook or printed out on your computer.

But givers do not need an intermediary to contribute to a college savings plan, Hurley said, since virtually every 529 plan accepts third-party gifts. Those who want to contribute directly to a childs account typically will need to include the account number and perhaps the childs Social Security number, but Hurley noted there is a way to bypass that requirement.

Just make the check out to the 529 plan, hand it to the parents and say, Here, put it into the plan, he said. Thats pretty easy.

One thing that may not be easy is figuring out who gets the tax break for the gift. Most states offer tax deductions for 529 contributions when the contributor is a parent. Some offer the break to any contributor. And some do not offer any tax break at all.

The solution? Talk to your tax professional. (Editing by Lauren Young and G Crosse)



 2014 “FXStreet. The Forex Market” All Rights Reserved. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information. However, with the thousands of documents available, often uploaded within short deadlines, we cannot guarantee that there will be no errors. Any republication or redistribution of FXStreet content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of FXStreet.
Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained on this story, by FXStreet, its employees, partners or contributors, is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. FXStreet will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.