Employee Counseling is a common term that deals with the process of educating people to overcome their hardships. This process helps people to view difficulties in a different view and encourages them to find a loophole in which they can defeat the suffering.
Definition of Employee Counseling:
Employee counseling is a term related to psychological health care that can be intervened in many forms. It aims to assist both the employer and employee by intervening with the problem-solving techniques to tackle the problems before they become undesirable.
These enterprises mainly focus on human relationships with the environment which aims at achieving common goals and objectives.
Aims of Employee Counseling:
- Employee counseling aims at finding the root cause of the hardships and finding the ways to eradicate them.
- It also focuses on reviewing the individual’s current situation and the styles of coping it.
- It evaluates the desired strategies to succeed the problems.
- A healthy environment will make an exact difference between employee evaluation and employee counseling.
- Counseling can be done, if the expectations are not met.
Need for Employee Counseling:
In an enterprise, the main cause for counseling may be if an employee lacks in achieving the results or in the implementation of target or an employee may face problems with the coworkers.
Employee counseling brings awareness of certain policies and procedures and sometimes about the slipping deadlines of the respective goals. When there is lack of team spirit employee counseling will help the workers to become more enthusiastic.
Who Identifies the Need of Employee Counseling?
The need of employee counseling at workplace can be identified by the supervisors, line managers and Human resource members.
Sometimes it can be done by employee group which will make the employee gain more confidence towards the goals. Mostly it is initiated by the department level supervisors.
Ingredients of counseling:
- Performance counseling
- Personal and family prosperity
- Alternative issues
Types of Counseling:
There are three types of counseling. They are:
- Directive counseling
- Non-directive counseling
- Participative or cooperative counseling
1. Directive Counseling:
The main is aim to replace the emotional behavior with a rational behavior. This is also called as counselor-centered approach. It is more helpful when the individual wants to hear a choice of career. There are six steps in directive counseling. They are:
This can be done when the counselor analyze the individual by psychological methods. The counselor has to spend time in analyzing the individual’s interaction with her/his coworkers and the family members respectively.
After analysis is done, the counselor has to organize the collected information in a logical manner such as the employee’s qualification, liability, cultural background etc.
In this stage the counselor has to interpret the data related to nature and the causes of problem.
Here the future development of the problem is predicted.
This stage matters when the efforts of positive thought during the earlier stages lead to the success of employee.
The counselor plays a vital role in helping the employee to understand his own strengths as well as his weakness and faults.
2. Non-directive Counseling:
In non-directive counseling, the counselor not only listens to the employee but also stimulate him/her to explain the cause of the problem. Here the employee is made to take decisions on his/her own. This method undertakes various therapies.
3. Participative or Cooperative Counseling:
Participative counseling is a relationship between the counselor-counselee. This establishes a social exchange of ideas to solve the problems. Participative counseling process is neither wholly counselor-centered nor wholly counselee-centered. Counselor and employee mutually apply their thoughts regarding various perceptions, cause of the problems and find solutions.
Coaching and Counseling Employees:
As the employee has been assigned with various job functions, it is mandatory for the supervisor to provide stated feedback regarding the quality of work.
Coaching is the making progress in the assigned process whereby the supervisor dictates the employee based on his development through a regular performance response
If the employee meets the supervisor’s assumptions, then he/she will be motivated, sometimes even advanced levels of performance.
Styles of counseling:
- Evaluation helps in making correct decisions based on collected information and suggested answers.
- Probing helps in finding more information about the problem.
- Supporting which enables one to offer general sympathy.
- Interpretative suggest whether the heard information matches with the interpreted data
- Reflective generates the feedback from the employee.
When the counseling session will take place, the counselor should avoid giving judgments on moral or personal. This should mainly focus on the effects and the causes of the problem. Their judgments should give a proper solution to the employee i.e. to resolve the problem.
For example, if an employee is so much frustrated about his personal problems and does not work properly, then the counselor should advice him to concentrate more on work rather than interrupting or solving his personal problems.
The employee must be able to differentiate between practical and emotional problem that is the ultimate fruit of counseling.
Reasons for Poor Performance:
There are many circumstances in which an employee may perform poorly. He/she must be aware of the responsibilities and positions that are led or directed by coworkers.
Poor performance will happen in case he/she has small determination, aversion towards the handled or handling responsibility.
Counseling the Employee’s with Poor Performance:
The process of employee counseling is initiated by the human resource member and executed at the department level by the supervisor and is not disciplined.
It is clearly mentioned as a face-to-face communication between the employee and the supervisor, conducted in private, and is intended to have a goal for providing comment to the employee to correct the problem.
In this session the counselor has to inform the employee that he/she will take a memorandum, which will help the employee to overcome the hardships in future.
Employee Counseling Process:
Counseling is a planned structured activity. Employee counseling can be done in different stages. Few of them are mentioned below:
- Identify the need for counseling
- Building relationship with the employee
- Problem assessment
- Conduct the session
- Follow up
- Evaluation, termination or referral
1. Identify the Need for Counseling:
Few circumstances of life, some of the personal issues or problems at workplace can either indirectly or directly affect the employee’s emotional and mental state and may bring a negative impact on performance.
This can be found when a valuable employee did not meet his expectations and starts being aggressive in the working environment.
After intimating the higher officials the supervisors can undertake basic employee counseling methods to resolve the problems or issues without the disciplinary action.
2. Building Relationship with the Employee:
Building relationship with the employee is nothing but it is the same process as in the initial stage and probably explores the new things that will not affect the employee.
This relationship is important because this process will have verbal and nonverbal messages from the client. These messages should not comprise the following ideas:
- Advice giving
- Asking why
- Questioning how did that happen
- Blaming the employee
The relationship can be built by:
- Introducing oneself
- Giving warm welcome to the employee
- Ensure that the employee is comfortable
- Addressing the employee only with his/her name.
- Give time for the employee to respond
- Watch the employee’s emotional state via his non verbal actions.
3. Problem Assessment:
The stage called problem assessment involves collection and classification of the information about the client’s situation. In this stage, develops an action plan upon the discussion. It enables one to explore the solution for the problem in-depth.
It involves identification of data, the problems presented, current lifestyle of the employee and description of employee during interview, summaries and the recommendations.
4. Conduct the Session:
This step involves gathering information and classifying the employee’s life situation and seeking reasons of counseling.
Here the counselor will support how to cope up with the problem. This will also analyze the growth and skill experience of the employee. This will also indicate one’s courage and motivation.
Setting goals is most important to success of counseling. It accompanies the course of action and setting the conditions for the maximum outcome.
5. Evaluation, Termination or Referral:
Evaluation, termination or referral refers to the empathy that can be defined as the emotional feelings of an employee which is experienced by the counselor during the communication with the employee.
It also involves genuineness and unconditional affection. It also plays a vital role suggesting ideas and right directions to proceed further. Goals should be selected and defined with thoughts.
6. Follow up:
As the goals are setup explicitly and immeasurably the employee is expected to meet his targets with the knowledge of counseling which makes his goals more feasible.
He/she should also strive through the enterprise policies to meet the performance levels and to achieve the desired results within the given deadline.
Employee Counseling Techniques:
Employee counseling involves a pattern of sessions with a vivid introduction, information that will be gathered in the discussion and the result of counseling. Here are few techniques which are followed in employee counseling:
- Body language plays a major role in this kind of counseling. Employees facial expressions, placement of his/hers arms and proximity between the counselor and the employee.
- Open question is that one can order to get lot of information in which it will be answered in a single phrase or with a single word by the employee.
- For a closed question the counselor may answer after listening to all the information from the employee.
- Here, the tone of the employee will be monitored similar as the body language.
- Active participation is required in Employee counseling.
- Even the active listening plays a major role in conveying the correct statement when the employee speaks.
- Paraphrasing which is also known as transcription of the given data is done to clarify the employee about what he/she is actually struggling with.
- Summarizing is something that focuses on the exact points of the conversation or the presentation in order to prepare a gist to check whether the collected information is accurate.
- Note making is a common practice of writing down notes as the pieces of gathered information. Mostly it is in a scrappy manner that is also called by the term shorthand writing.
- The counselor will monitor the body language, speech and thought of the employee.
- Homework will be done by the counselor based on the gathered ideas and sometimes studies the situation on practical basis if the situation of the employee demands it.
- Once everything is completed putting all the information together and check how it changes the performance of the employee.
Hurdles of Employee Counseling at Workplace:
This counseling process faces bottleneck when the employee do not trust the counselor or the organization. The counselor should provide confidentiality to the employee in all perspectives so that he/she will feel comfortable while attending the session.
It has to be tackled very carefully. It also includes a change in behavior of employee such as:
- Excessive drinking
- Reduced production
- Increased fatigue
- Increased accidents
- Difficulty in listening to others.
Thus, the process of employee counseling provides help and support to the employee to sail through their difficult situations.
It is also a psychological form of counseling which will help the employee to achieve the desired results within the given deadline.
This process will be useful only if the purposeful conversation is done. It generally does not deal deep with the personal problems.