Every year there is a massive change in our economy and a continuous up and down of the market keeps each and everyone worried. In this stress filled life, there is relatively more chances of facing stress related illness.
What is Employee Counseling?
Employee counseling can be called as a health care program for the human brain. It is a solution to the psychological health problems within the employees. It is a way to tackle the problems of the employee as well as employers by actively treating the day to day psychological issues that everyone faces.
Stress is entirely inevitable in human nature and so to enhance employee motivation, the willpower of the employee and satisfaction of the employers, the employee counseling session or counseling program is very important. Thus, engaging each and every employee of the company into a free of cost counseling program is the duty of a true employer.
Employee Counseling – What Does it Offer?
A workplace is a place where the workforce spends most of their time dedicating themselves to the work. Within the process of the work there is an utmost chance of facing problems such as stress, bullying, emotional instability, etc, these problems can not only be a door to major losses but also will affect the individual in a destructive manner.
Further, the corporate world is not at all untouched by the door of stress and anxiety. The race against deadline, huge targets, higher goals, achieving accomplishments, and plus the personal dramas have totally left the foundations weak.
That is when the employ counseling session sets its foot into the problem.
1. The offer to the employee:
An employee counseling program offers a very secretive and confidential facility. It brings forth a well qualified and efficient practitioner who ensures that there is no threat of any psychological disorder prevailing in the employee.
Further, it promises a quality work by alleviating the root cause of distress within a reasonable amount of time in an effective manner.
2. The offer to the employers:
Employee counseling program is greatly valued by employees and thus it provides just the service an employer looks for. The program has the ability to increase the possibility of saving by efficiently decreasing the amount of absentees that were a result of high stress. Further it lessens the work of the managing faculty in dealing with the difficult staff. It also procures the employees and mainly the managing staff in engaging in the work in a more stress free and constructive manner. It can also be viewed as a program that may ensure a growth in the company’s productivity through tackling the problems of individual worker.
Signs that an Employer Should Look Upon:
1. Sudden change of behavior:
Employees facing genuine difficulties and problems at home show a sudden change in their behavior. They can be simply explained as highly explosive people. They loose their temper regardless of their ability of controlling their anger. This sudden change is a highlighting element that an employer should look at in order to understand when exactly the employee is targeted by a load of stress and needs a counseling session.
2. Constant irritability at work:
This is another set of determining element that plainly signifies the relevance of employee counseling program. Constant irritability is another factor that will definitely indicate a stress related problem lurking behind. For an example, if an employee gets irritated at a small friction within the workplace it indicates that he\she is facing some personal problems.
3. Increased occurrences of accidents:
At times due to stress or personal problems at home people may feel extreme distress. Depression and sadness are one of the outcomes of such. Thus, when an employers hears too much of “Oops, sorry”, then it can be said as a ringing bell for the employer to offer a counseling session to the colleague. Further, increasing mistakes can also affect in the productivity at work, as well as hampers the career.
4. Increased level of fatigue:
Fatigue is another element of a stress filled life. It is not just personal problems but also the work related problems that can be a great invitation for employee counseling program. Fatigue is usually felt when a great amount of exhaustion is experienced. This exhaustion may be a result of work related anxiety or problems at personal level.
5. Addiction of bad habits:
Addiction of alcohol, cigarette, drugs, etc is one of the most popular method chosen by almost all of the adult and youngster of this generation. Consuming these elements help people to escape from the reality of the situation and thus, more people switch on to these substances for releasing their stress. Thus, when employees show the sign of addiction, it is a high time warning for the employer to implement the employee counseling.
Bummers on the Way:
1. The confidentiality issue:
Not everyone looks at the program with an equal perception. The major bumper in the way towards a successful counseling journey is the trust issue. Many employees have this misunderstanding, as an individual, that nobody can understand the situation he is facing. Further the confidentiality of the situation is also an obstacle in trusting the counselor. The fear of disclosing personal information to any other person is also not negligible. Thus, the confidentiality issue proves to be one of the first bumpers in the way towards a proper employee counseling session.
2. Perception of counseling in several minds:
Counseling is a part of psychology, and the word psychology itself connects people to the perception that consulting a psychiatrist, psychologist and counselor will definitely hamper their social status. Apart from the social status, this also affects employee performance on a corporate level too. The information that an employee underwent counseling for any reasons may affect the clients in fear of being connected to a psychologically unstable person. The change in era has certainly not changed the perception of the people much.
3. Time and resources:
Time has always proved to be faster than the Olympic racer. Time and resource both share an important role in all kind of jobs. For a counselor to conduct an efficient program, it is very important to be equipped with adequate resource and sufficient time.
For an instance, if an employee is unsure of the program and is very difficult to handle then the counselor needs a bit more than usual time and resource to gain enough trust.
Benefits of the Employee Counseling Programs:
1. Declining absentees:
Absentees have two definite reasons. They are ‘the need for a holiday’ and ‘sickness’. Both the factors are indirectly related to the word ‘stress’. Distress is a result of anxiety that may give birth to many diseases.
Thus, counseling is a way to tackle this problem of unhealthy stress and anxiety. This will not only decrease the amount of absentees but also help in increasing the confidence and morale of the employee. Further work will become fun for them.
2. Potential analyzing:
Counseling provides an opportunity for gaining a positive outlook in all aspects. It makes the employees realize their true potential. Once they understand their potential, it becomes easier for them to work and focus on their career well. It on a longer run is in the best interest of the company at a whole.
3. Coping with all potential threat:
Stress is inevitable. Even after counseling sessions stress can not be totally eliminated from our lives. Hence, the counseling also focuses on preparing and motivating employees for coping with all the work related as well personal problems. The positive perception as well as attitude develops in the employees.
4. Coping with criticism:
Coping with negative feedbacks on the hard work seems very offensive to some people and they work in a negative manner de-motivating the employee to work anymore. Thus, counseling works on improving the ability of the employees to cope with the negative feedback and learn from the mistakes.
5. Increasing confidence and morale:
Confidence is the soul of the personality. When a person is filled with confidence, it is easier to tackle all the obstacles that come in the way. But stress, dissatisfaction, anxiety, etc can hamper that ability of the person. That is where counseling works out. It increases the confidence and builds the morale of the person. Hence, it contributes well in overall progress of the organization.
Counseling is a very beneficial program that works for the benefit of the organization. It works perfectly well for the employers as well as employees and is one of the necessities of today’s time.
Perfect Counseling Program Insights:
1. Counseling is a sensitive topic:
Even now, in the modern era, people take counseling or psychiatric help as a result of mental illness. They simply tag the people as ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’. Thus, the topic of counseling is very sensitive and it should be considered carefully. The counselor should be experienced and mature enough to handle and understand the employee behavior well.
2. Flexible and a listener:
Counselors are a set of people who are meant to listen, understand and help the patient they attend. Thus, flexibility is expected out of them. They should be able to connect with the employees emotionally with a frank and friendly attitude. Further they should be capable of gaining the trust of the employee which will help them to counsel better and tackle the problem from the root. Secondly, it is expected of the counselor to be a good and patient listener. After all listening is counted as a key factor in any type of counseling.
3. Schedule target and goal:
Employers, who hire or involve a counseling sessions do not opt for a long term counseling of each and every person. Usually a counseling session is of one hour and can exceed to an eight time session. Thus, time should not prove to be a restriction in the process of counseling. A counselor is expected to make a schedule and target each and every problem within the same given time. For an instance, to understand the root of the problem the counselor first needs to gain enough trust in order to make the employee talk. The gaining trust process should not take more than one session per employee.
A counselor is expected to identify the root problem, and give a solution to it in the given time.
4. Goal accomplishment:
The main motive of an employee counselling at workplace is to provide a solution to the stress that is a result of day to day life struggle. Thus, by the end of the eight session program a counselor is not just expected to work solely on the stress related problems but also should be able to boost the confidence and the spirit of the employee. Further should also effectively create a positive outlook in the mind of the employee so that they could deal positively with the problems and root of stress by themselves.
Employees are facing great amount of fatigue, exhaustion, stress, etc, due to a lot of reasons and it ends up affecting the work performance of them. This is one of the reasons why the counseling sessions have been promoted for the well being of the employees. Further, the timely counseling may prove beneficial for the overall productivity of the organization.
Workplace counseling is a platform where the employees get an opportunity to share their problems freely. It is a safe, confidential, less troublesome and far more comfortable. This is way of enhancing their ability to cope with stress and work better. Further it does promise a quality work as a counselor is trained to advice create a positive outlook in the mind of people. A counseling session may be conducted as one on one face to face conversation or a telephone based conversation. Counseling is also adapting the new technology day by day. E-mails, message, video calls etc also avail the facility to people who travel a lot as a part of their job description.