The employees of the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia are faced daily with stressful matters related to their jobs in the ministry as they deal with young learners, their parents, the community, and other stakeholders. Such stressful work conditions affect the employees’ physical and emotional wellbeing, and have eventually caused illnesses among them, leading to their frequent absenteeism and tardiness. Along with tardiness and absenteeism is the apparent loss of interest to work beyond their job descriptions – a trait that these employees used to exhibit when they were newly hired by the ministry. This loss of interest to work beyond what is expected to them is attributed to their general exhaustion from work.
With most of its employees frequently tardy to or absent from work consequently decreasing their productivity, the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia is suffering from low performance rate. Low performance rate of the agency translates into significant delays in its service deliveries especially at the school and classroom levels, depriving millions of Saudi Arabia schoolchildren of high quality education that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has committed to provide its citizens.
Since the ministry’s services would always involve the things that the employees are currently involved with, there is no chance at changing or adjusting their jobs to reduce stress among the employees. What can only be done, therefore, is to help these employees cope with stress so that they are still able to work efficiently and productively amidst all the stresses at work.
Through personnel interviews, observations and other means of data-gathering, it has been found out that every level of the ministry needs productivity improvement remedies among its employees, particularly skills and competencies on coping with and managing stress at work. There is, therefore, a great need for training among the employees primarily to equip them with the skills and competencies that would enable them to cope and manage stress at work, thus essentially reducing tardiness and absenteeism due to stress- related illnesses.
Scope of Work
The Stress Management Training is designed mainly to build capacities of the employees of the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia to cope and manage stress at work, as indicated by the following:
- (1) absenteeism due to stress-related illnesses are decreased by at least 75% after the Training;
- (2) tardiness due to stress-related illnesses and reasons are decreased by 75% after the Training; and,
- (3) Increased productivity as indicated by increased students’ achievement by at least 60%.
With the objectives of the training achieved would be follow-through interventions – both in the personnel development and in the organizational development aspects. Appropriate changes and improvements in the systems will be implemented to optimize the results of the training.
The whole training program, developed and designed by the Training and Development Unit of the Education Ministry’s Human Resources Development Department through careful and extensive data gathering among the agency’s employees across departments and functions, will be passed to the top management of the agency for appropriate policy and financial support to get the training program going. To reduce stress, they need to learn how to manage their time mainly through task analysis and estimating task time. Essential to time management is the ability to reduce tasks into smaller steps through task analysis. By acquiring these skills, the participants will be able to effectively manage their tasks in an efficient manner, thereby increasing their productivity and lowering their stress levels.
To implement the Training, the Human Resource Department of the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia will prepare the roster of participants, purchase the necessary materials, transact for the training venue, food and other logistical requirements, including financial requirements.
The trainers will prepare training modules, training handouts and evaluation materials, and shall provide a comprehensive training report including recommendations to follow through trainings and interventions.
For the first 100 group of trainees coming from all levels of the ministry, they will be divided into groups of 10-12, to be given one (1) hour training session per day within 4 months; the same training pattern and schedule will be repeated to another batch of 100 trainees, until all employees of the ministry shall have undergone the training. To be conducted in-house by a group of facilitators and two (2) Resource Persons, the training will be done classroom-type and instructor-led. Free training materials as needed and coffee will be provided to each participant every session, with a Certificate of Completion after the training program.
Project and Training Schedule
The training for each batch of 100 employees will be done for duration of four (4) months, with one (1) hour of session per day, and a group of 10 – 12 participants per session.
The training program will involve experts in the field of medicine as well as in psychology who will conduct analysis of the data, develop and deliver appropriate lectures and presentations. They will be the main Resource Persons with the ministry Human Resource personnel as training facilitators.
The total training cost is a substantial amount to be expended by the agency. Although it may seem costly at the outset, it will result to increased productivity among the employees which will eventually result to increased overall performance rate of the ministry.