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How Performance Pressure in Workplaces Influence Employees?

The pressure of performing better than one’s best, how performance pressure in workplaces influence employees?


Remember that rush in the air of your workplace that calls you to perform, and perform and perform. The energy that tells you that your performance will define you, that your presence and existence matter only on your performance. And your performance should be increasing, bettering with every passing day and time. And you should be fearing being called out for being an underperforming person if sometimes you are not at the best of your wellbeing. Well, that’s performance pressure in the workplace for you. And before we move on to understanding how it affects the employees, let’s understand how the performance pressure in workplaces pertains.

Performance Pressure in workplaces

When personnel are put under pressure to perform at a high level, they are said to be under performance pressure. This is extremely frequent in the workplace because market rivalry ensures that employees’ performance is always recognised and linked to significant repercussions. Of course, the organisations’ growth is dependent on the performance of the employees, but the cutting edge sword of performing better and better might not always be good. According to research, performance pressure might encourage certain employees to perform well in order to obtain promotions or raises in pay. But the other way around is that it can have some negative psychological and critical impacts on the employees as well. 

The Academy of Management research participants who perceived performance pressure as a danger had a weaker capacity to self-regulate on a regular basis, according to the study. The capacity to control one’s conduct is referred to as self-regulation. The more the performance pressure, the less these people were able to control their conduct.

Performance, Pressure and stress

Performance, Pressure and stress

The Performance Pressure graph in a Delphis report suggests how much pressure could do what. And as this graph suggests, neither low nor high pressure could be good for the employees. The Boreout zone, where the pressure is very low could lead to self-doubts in employees and lead to them having questions on their significance in the organization.

The high pressure and very high-pressure zone, i.e. the burnout zone will lead to no good either. A stressed and burned-out employee will only lose control over the situation, feel low and develop negative ideas about themselves.

Performance pressure as a threat

The performance is often treated as barter to appraisal, a threat that appraisals will come only when performance will increase. And while this is an unsaid thing that the employees are also well aware of, the issue with the same is that when this idea is constantly repeated in the workplace, it ends up becoming a threat mechanism. The idea, the pressure, and the danger that the appraisal will not come until the performance will not increase will destroy the mental well-being of the employee.

The employee may end up in spells of self-doubts

Failing to meet the expectations imposed by the performance pressure, the employee will start to develop a sense of self-doubts. They can end up identifying themselves as unworthy and the fear of failure may lead them to question their worth.

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It is an undeniable fact that performance and productivity can not always be increasing. An employee will have a spell where they are most productive while there will be times where their productivity won’t be matching the requirements of the organization. And this cycle is natural. Considering this, if a low productivity spell is met with high-performance pressure, what will the outcome be for the employee. Of course, a situation of burnout.

In Conclusion

Is it possible for the organizations to put absolutely zero pressure on the employees? Well, of course not. And is the performance pressure always bad? No, right! So, the bottom line is when and how much pressure, and pressure for what. Where the performance pressure and the appraisal threat mechanism can be lethal for the employees, a pressure to bring the best out of the employees can work for their best. Performance management is the key. The pressure should be blended perfectly considering the condition of the employees and the requirements of the organization.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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