In this extremely competitive world, every employee is expected to give their best for the betterment of their company. The work environment can be stressful for any of us. This stress can be caused due to various reasons such as work or personal issues. Employers can take steps to arrange to counsel from the workplace. This helps employees receive the psychological help they need and this helps employees perform better at work.
It is a norm to maintain constant professionalism and succumb to difficulties while you are at work. Counseling at the workplace takes a step toward jumping this problematic phase and attending to the real deal.
What is workplace counseling?
Workplace counseling is therapeutic help offered to its employees. The efficiency and the success of a company run on employee well-being at most part. During workplace counseling, the employees get to share any of their concerns in a safe space and discuss their struggles. This is a counseling technique aimed at problem-solving. This will be short-term. Some corporate cultures consider being open about issues as a sign of weakness. Research suggests that employee well-being plays a vital role when it comes to the success and healthy environment of a workplace. The counselors will offer solutions to the issues that the employees are struggling with. The process is more like a health care check for the brain.
What does workplace counseling offer?
The workplace is the place most people spend most of their time after home. It is inevitable that when working together there can clashes, bullying, and other stressful situations. While being dedicated to the corporate world, having to constantly deal with stress brings down the productivity level among other issues. Unhappy employees become a cause for major losses. Chances are, without counseling nobody would realize the reason for major losses is the worn down mindset of the staff.
Workplace counseling offers employees to be open and blunt about their issues in a confidential and safe space. The professional counselor is likely to deliver very effective solutions to the problems the employees are facing. They help employees with many aspects such as energy, morale boosts, confidence, problem-solving, stress-relieving, and reporting back anonymous complaints to the employer in order to fix things in the work environment.
Workplace counseling offers employers valuable insight into the unseen issues that affect the company. Most of the time employees appreciate the help given by workplace counseling and thus deliver their half of work to the pleasing of the employer. It can relieve stress and overall cut down the absent staff. In other words, this acts to deliver a more efficient, productive, and mentally healthy workplace environment.
What are the benefits of workplace counseling?
Workplace counseling mainly aims to uplift company efficiency by creating an employee healthy environment. However, that is not the only plus point to workplace counseling.
We can look at these as benefits for the employers and benefits for the employees.
Benefits for employees by workplace counseling
To work as a morale boost
When a person is down on confidence and feeling like a failure, it is unlikely that they will perform to their fullest potential. Beaten down employees easily fall victim to pressure. Their performances will significantly go down.
Counseling will help employees find the best in themselves. It works as an energy and morale boost. Employees are likely to pick up their energy and confidence with the encouragement of counseling. Thus, these small changes in the staff work beneficial for the entire company.
Advice regarding feedback
Some employers do not think it is important to appreciate their team’s effort. This is very necessary to keep individuals on track and satisfied. Even on the bad days, they need to know that their senior has got their back despite the fails. Counselors may advise seniors to be more appreciative of their staff if they recognize this problem. It also helps the employees cope with criticism that may affect them badly.
Help being accessible
Usually, work counseling is free of charge. Thus, workers have a safe space they can reach with ease, without having a financial burden. They are likely to be grateful for their company for this opportunity. This also assures a healthy and mentally fit staff within the company, who are able to take a fall without giving up.
Preparing workers for worse
Counselors not only take away the existing stress. They also work towards eliminating potential break downs and stress related issues.
Benefits to the employers by workplace counseling
Taking down the level of absent employees
People tend to take a holiday or a break due to different reasons. Especially when it comes to picnic, day-off, or sick, that basically means stress. Counseling works as an in-house stress reliever. Being under stress is the birth of many other issues. Counseling tackles all these issues by being an accessible stress reliever to all the employees.
Insight into workers needs
Employers may not be aware of the hardships their workers go through. Although counselors are not allowed to disclose any other person’s information, they can inform the employer on a few subjects they need to be aware of. Thus the employer can be mindful of the changes that need to be made for the betterment of the work environment. At the end of the day, the goal is to improve workplace mental health with the help of counseling.
Overall progress in work by dealing with one issue at a time
When each worker has been talked to and their minds are relieved of what is holding them down, it is likely that there will be overall progress in the working environment. That is, however, if their stress isn’t caused by payment issues or other situations that have to be fundamentally changed by the employer.
Except for these, below are the other benefits for employers and employees through workplace counseling.
- Safe space to talk about problems
- Gaining a better understanding of themselves
- Improving coping mechanisms
- Finding solutions to issues
- Improving the positive outlook in life
- Better decision making as employer/employees
- Overall improved productivity
- Insight on handling each other’s emotions
- Polished reputation regarding the company
How can you know if workplace counseling is necessary?
Are you an employer experiencing these situations in your company? Then it is time to call in for workplace counseling.
The shift in behaviour of the employees
Are you experiencing tantrums and anger bursts from your employees? Specially from those who are usually good at controlling their anger?
Staff that experience issues at home are likely to be destructive at work. They may create an overall unpleasant environment for the other employees. Employees are unlikely to open up to their bosses about this and employers are unlikely to take the direct burden. Thus when these changes are noticed, workplace counseling arrangements can help employees with such issues. This is their sign that their employees are under stress and in need of help.
Too many accidents
The shift in concentrations at work can be caused due to being clustered in other issues. Employees may be constantly thinking of other problems, maybe at home. This can affect their focus at work and cause them to make silly mistakes. The scolding that may follow can negatively affect the employee even further. Thus, this is a sign for the employers that their staff may be facing issues that need fixing.
If the employers feel like their staff is about to be under a large workload, they can arrange counseling to deal with the upcoming stressful days. This situation is common during festive days. Efficiency and productivity are extremely important these days. Therefore, arrangements to help the employees keep up their game can be of great help to prevent absentees and stress.
If the majority of employees find it hard to meet deadlines
Are you noticing a reluctance in work being submitted prior to the due date? Is your staff seem to be slacking off? During this time counseling at the workplace can help with identifying these issues and what is causing them. It may be the workload or other problems outside the office. Solutions will be proposed to the employees and you will have a general idea of how to make things easier for your team.
Performance issues and common fatigue
Your staff may be fatigued when they are exhausted beyond limits. This can affect their ability to perform and keep up the efficiency. One person slacking off means more work on the other and will eventually lead to a very unhappy and tired set of workers. As mentioned before, the key is a healthy employee mindset. Thus, this can lead to the destruction of the company.
Cultural, racial or other fundamental issues
If employees or one of them is racist, sexist, etc. there can be issues between employees. These extremist people may stir up distinctions, bullying, or other hateful problems within the employees. This leads to the mental stress of the victims. If employers recognize such behavior within the setting it is their job to make sure equality persists in the work environment. This is especially problematic if the employer is an extremist. Employers can either get help by counseling extremist employees or ask them to step down to assure peace in the workplace.
Harmful addictions between employees
If employees are likely to smoke cigarettes or use alcohol or drugs, it can impact their daily lives negatively. This is a temporary solution used by generations to escape reality for a while. These addictions alter not only family lives but the productivity of one when it comes to the workplace. If employees show signs of addictions such as frequent hangovers or leaving the chair every 10 minutes for a smoke, it may be time to bring in a counselor.
In general, any time you feel like your team is reluctant, unhappy, tend to leave the company, complain, take leave too often, you should consider hiring a counselor for the betterment of your employees. Most of them may be drowning in issues that they can not talk about. Maybe they cannot afford to go for counseling or do not have the time for that. If you want efficiency in your company to last, it is your job to make sure that your team of employees is up for what it takes.
How to get the most out of workplace counseling
There are steps on how to conduct workplace counseling to its maximum benefit.
- Step 1 – Addressing the issues
- 2nd Step – Deciding on the type of counseling
- Step 3 – Giving/accepting feedback
- 4th Step – Follow up and solution
Check if these boxes are ticked in the counseling program you want your employees to undergo.
An understanding counselor
Make sure you don’t put your staff through the experience of having to talk to a rage-filled person. The counselor you choose for your employees to open up to should be trustworthy, understanding, patient, flexible, and a good listener. Keep in mind, that you are telling your team that this is a place to relieve stress. A judgemental, rude, and money-minded counselor may worsen the situation of your company. At times, workplace counseling involves phone calls too. The counselor chosen must be able to be nice to your employees, helpful, and should have faith in their betterment.
Schedules and goals
Workplace counseling should not last a long time. This method is goal-oriented. Thus the counselor should have a plan and the targets to achieve.
However, the situation may be worse than expected and the counselor may need more time. If the employer’s genuine goal is the betterment of his employees, he should be flexible to this. The counseling process goes from earning each employee’s trust to giving a solution to each of their problems. Employers should be understanding and allow them space, time, and resources to get to the planned goals.
Achieving the targets
As stated before, workplace counseling is goal-oriented. Thus, at the end of the day, the goals must be reached. An experienced counselor in workplace counseling may be the best option for this. You could dig up their past experiences and success rate before handing over the employee counseling.
Issues that may arise
We have established the importance of workplace counseling. However, despite it upholds, it is still not a practice that can be seen at every company.
There may be a few reasons that employees may be reluctant to take on workplace counseling. There are also things that may hold employers back from providing counseling. Below are a few.
Workplace counseling takes time and resources in the form of payment for the counselors and more. Counselors may need more time than predicted based on employee situation and their issues. Time is always critically important when it comes to the corporate world. Thus, the time spent on counseling can take a toll on the business. At times, employers may not be open to change their hectic work ethic. Without being open to changes there is no point in counseling.
The entire office talking about all their problems sounds like gossip to some. They worry whether their teammates will get to know their problems. There is also the worry that if they open up about difficulties such as pay and workload, it may result in their employers kicking them out. In other words, they would rather work under stress than be unemployed. Due to the distrust and unwillingness to disclose personal information to someone who will possibly tell the boss or the team, employees may not take counseling.
Perspective regarding counseling
Most people regard psychology and mental health as taboo topics. Due to this reason, people do not seek help for mental health. Especially, men. Toxic masculinity plays some part here. Men do not like to admit to the fact that they need help. Thus, they would rather not disclose their matters to a counselor and look weak. Men misinterpret manliness to be about drowning in issues regardless of the stress, and not complain.
On the other hand, employers worry that clients would not want to work with an employee who underwent counseling. Clients can deem them misfits to be involved in the business. Due to these reasons, employers try to keep the practice hidden. However, employers that take action to take care of their employees should be proud and celebrated.
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