Relationship between employees occupational stress and performance in Kenya prisons service (A survey of prisons in Meru region of Kenya)
Muigai, Patrick Mwangi
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The Kenyan Government acknowledges that over the years there has been poor performance in the public sector, especially in the management of public resources which has hindered the realization of sustainable economic growth. Work-place stress has received a great deal of attention in social psychological research. Significant research findings have documented that prolonged stress has negative effects on individual health as well as on employee attitudes towards the organization. Employees work in a unique environment, subjecting themselves to potentially traumatic events in conditions that impact their emotional and physical well-being. Several measures of employee performance were analyzed which included environmental conditions, organizational demands, personal background and individual differences. Today Kenya Prison is a department in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government with a total of 110 prisons, two Borstal Institutions and one Youth Correctional Training Center. The study was carried out in the prisons department in Meru Region of Kenya. Meru Region has got six Prisons; Chuka, Kangeta, Maara, Marimanti, Meru and Uruku Prisons.. Using stratified random sampling technique the study selected a total of 134 respondents comprising of members of staff from the three levels Senior Officers, NCOs and Junior Officers where each of the 3 levels was treated as a stratum (group) from where the respondents were selected using simple random method from each of the 3 stratum. Data was collected through use of questionnaires and analysed using descriptive statistics. Multiple linear regression aided by SPSS (Version 20) was used to link the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. The data was presented in frequency distribution tables, graphs and charts. The study found that politics, economy and technology significantly affects the performance of employees in Kenya Prison Service albeit negatively while holding other factors constant and that individual differences such as social support, self-efficacy and job experience had significant positive influence on employee performance while holding other factors constant. The study concluded that all the variables had statistically significant contributions. It therefore recommend that environmental conditions and individual differences activities must exist in the organizational environment while the organization and management in particular should motivate employees by tracking their targets and recognizing the milestones achieved.