Employee counselling is starting to emerge as the newest tool among HR departments as a way to retain and attract the best employees and improve workforce quality. In the fast-paced modern corporate world, it is almost impossible to find an organisation with employees who are not experiencing any form of stress.
Employees can feel depressed, stressed out, and suffer from anxieties as a result of workplace-related issues such as meeting targets, managing deadlines, lack of time for fulfilling family and personal commitments, or be disturbed or bereaved due to personal problems.
It is indeed a positive trend that more and more organisations have started to realise the importance of a having a stress-free but capable and motivated workforce. This is why many companies today have already integrated counselling services within their organisations and have made it a part of their daily culture. These organisations now try to find a counsellor in the UK via online directories like https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/find-counsellor/ to help ensure that their employees will get the guidance they need to become better in their jobs.
What is Work-based Counselling?
Work-based or workplace counselling is basically a type of employee support intervention which is often short-term by nature. This offers a specialist and independent resource for people who work across different sectors and in every type of working environment. Giving every employee access to a free and confidential workplace counselling can possibly be seen as part of the duty of an employer.
Workplace counselling can be defined as the provision of a brief psychological therapy for an organisation’s employees facilitated by the employers. An external service is usually comprised of a telephone helpline, face to face counselling, critical incident debriefing, and legal advice. For in-house services, counsellors could also be directly employed by an organisation.
Workplace counselling provides employees with an easily accessible and confidential facility, a properly supervised and qualified practitioner; doesn’t raise the threat of psychiatric disorder diagnosis, and promises to reduce the stress within a reasonably shorter time frame.
This type of service offers employees a service with a potential for savings through lower instances of sickness absence, removes the pressure off managers through an available constructive way of handling difficult situations or staff, and contributes to the reputation of being a caring employer. Work-based counselling is usually considered by employers as a form of insurance policy against threats of compensation claims made by workers who suffer from work-related stress.
Skills and Responsibilities
The process of counselling is all about offering a sounding board for employees to give them a safer place to discuss problems bothering them, allowing counsellors to help them find their very own solutions to these issues or come up with better ways of managing problems. This is not just about giving a piece of advice, but more about offering an empathic, accessible, and non-judgmental means to let employees find their way forward.
A workplace counsellor has a specialist skill set and viewpoint as these professionals basically have to clients, namely the employee before them, and the organisation being the peripheral client. These professionals are mindful of the context in which employees work as well as have an understanding of the environment to which employees will return.
Since workplace counselling is short-term, the practitioners are usually integrative, which means they’ve trained in the core therapeutic approach and built some disciplines into this. The counsellors have skills in CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy, gestalt therapy, transitional analysis or can be person-centred. The choice of approach used by counsellors normally matters less than the quality of the relationship between counsellor and client with openness and trust helping to maximise success.
Clients and Employers
Workplace counsellors provide support to individuals in the organisations around all locations, sectors, and sizes. While counselling is available on NHS, the lack of specialist insight, inflexibility of the appointment locations and times, and long waiting time make workplace counselling a better option to most employers. Several organisations pay for counselling through recruiting workplace counsellors either in part or full time or in ad hoc basis. It basically depends on the workforce’s size. Some companies consider investing in EAP or employee assistance programme. EAPs are actually standalone packages, which include counselling support provision frequently from a nationwide pool of the vetted affiliate counsellors.
There are organisations that think that counselling provision they’re paying for must only be used in addressing problems directly related to the work life of an employee. While the work-related problems including overwork, stress, bullying, and some difficult colleagues can directly impact the performance of an employee, the personal problems may have the same negative effect.
Workplace counselling helps workers who are absent from work and there’s evidence that the counselling support may accelerate an absent employee’s rehabilitation, which will save the money of the organisation in the end.
The Perks of Workplace Counselling
The largest bottleneck in employee counselling at the workplace is a lack of trust on the part of employees to believe in the organisation or his superior to understand and share one’s problems. Aside from that, the confidentiality that counsellors won’t disclose his personal issues to some people in the organisation is a relief for some. Effort, time, and resources needed on the part of an organisation are a constraint.
The advantages of counselling include the following:
- Coping with the stress and situation
- Alternate solutions to the problems
- Helping in good decision making
- Understand the situations and see them in a new perspective
- Helping people understand and help them
Workplace counselling is an essential factor in building a healthy organisational environment. So, make sure to find a counsellor in the UK who is known for his reputation and credibility. This can further ensure that your employees get nothing short of the very best of counselling services.