What Impact Can Employee Role-Strain Have On An Organization?


Stressed mother in kitchen


There are various circumstances both in the workplace and at home that can impact role strain on individual parents. “Efforts made by employees to comply with work and non-work demands can lead to strain if the demands are incompatible or too numerous” (Lizano, Hsiao, Mor Barak, Casper, 2014) The level of role-strain experienced by individual parents is determined by factors such as adequate child care, workplace demands and support, and the amount of resources available to parents to help them cope with varying demands.  

“The National Study of the Changing Workforce (Galinsky et al., 1993) found that employed parents who were satisfied with their child care arrangements felt more able to be good parents, felt more successful in their home lives and their lives in general, and experienced less stress than did employees with unsatisfactory child care situations.” (Scharlach, 2001)


In an effort to help employees balance work and life demands; workplace wellness and support programs have become increasingly popular as more employers begin to realize the important role of physical and mental wellness among their employee population and the impact on employee productivity. In their study on the effects of Work-Family Conflict (WFC) on workers’ well-being Lizano et al. (2014), confirmed the “negative and significant relationship between WFC and the worker well-being and job burnout.”(Lizano, Hsiao, Mor Barak, Casper, 2014) Both referenced reports concur that supervisory support also helps to reduce employee role-strain.


Resources available to employed parents also play an important role in decreasing role-strain among individuals (i.e. individuals who have a familial support structure in place). However, employers can also play a strong role in providing their employees with the needed resources to reduce WFC. With policies and programs such as flexible work schedules, child-care accounts, or child-care centers employers can ease the effects of WFC and hence reduce turnover, and/or improve employee productivity. “Child care centers generally have been found to be beneficial for employers as well as parents, with some evidence of lower turnover rates, enhanced recruitment, improved public relations, better employee morale, and reduced absenteeism associated with the availability of employer-supported child care.” (Scharlach, 2001)


WFC is not an issue to be relegated to a non-priority status for employers due to the impact that employee well-being can have on the operations of an organization. Given the aforementioned impact, employers should work to identify key WFC issues among their employee population and begin to address these issues through the implementation of policies and procedures in areas that benefit both the employer and the employee such as: teleworking/telecommuting, use of PTO, child-care benefits, and more.




Role Strain Among Working Parents: Implication For Workplace And Community. Scharlach, Andrew E. Carfax Publishing Company. Community, Work & Family Vol. 4, No. 2, 2001

Support in the Workplace: Buffering the Deleterious Effects of Work-Family Conflict on Child Welfare Workers’ Well-Being and Job Burnout. Lizano, Erica L.; Hsiao, Hsin-Yi; Mor Barak, Michàlle E.; Casper, Lynne M. Taylor Francis Group, LLC. Journal of Social Service Research Vol. 40. pg. 178-188, 2014

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