Statistics show that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. Further, a recent study revealed that the prevalence of mental health challenges among employees significantly contributes to increased employee attrition. More employees are discussing mental health and their company’s culture regarding the issue in today’s world. For this reason, organizations have gradually realized the importance of employee wellness and embraced it. Remarkably, employee counselling has emerged as a critical tool in workplaces of all levels.
If you’re an employer, CEO, HR manager, or supervisor, this post will help you explore why you need to implement an effective employee counselling program in your organization. It also explores its benefits.
What is Employee Counseling?
Employee counselling, also called workplace counselling, is a therapy or process often provided through an Employee Assistance Program to support employees’ mental health and emotional welfare. Employee counselling aims to help employees identify and address some of the personal and professional issues they might be dealing with through the help of a counsellor.
Usually, counselling can take place in person or online. The key goal is to provide a secure environment to help employees address some everyday issues they may be facing and come up with effective and practical coping strategies. Additionally, the counsellor guides employees in implementing the strategy.
How important is Employee Counseling at Workplace?
As outlined above, employees deal with personal and professional stress, from family, relationships, and the workplace to financial issues. Therefore, workplace counselling is quite essential in finding solutions to such challenges. Below are reasons why organizations need to prioritize and invest in employee counselling:
It helps employees open up about their mental health
Employees rarely open up about their mental health issues in the workplace, and managers or leaders may assume everything is okay. However, that’s not always true. Studies show that about 39% of employees don’t disclose mental health with their managers. Certain factors such as embarrassment, fear of jeopardizing one’s career, and being perceived as weak have deterred employees from discussing their mental health in workplaces.
However, workplace counselling gives employees a safe channel to talk about mental issues troubling them.
It contributes to employee development
The end goal of workplace counselling is to help develop employees’ mental health and wellness. Through this process, employees can view issues affecting them from a different perspective and make decisions to deal with similar problems when they arise in the future.
It helps identify some work-related problems
Employee counselling may help employers identify workplace issues that cause employees to remain unproductive and demotivated. As highlighted above, sometimes employees may need more time to open up about the issues affecting them, forcing them not to deliver their best. However, it’s easier to identify and address some of the problems through a counselling program as early as possible.
It takes the pressure off managers or HR teams in a workplace
While some managers and HR team members may have the skills and knowledge to counsel employees when they identify issues directly, it may be challenging. However, having employees counselling as part of the organization’s programs will make it easier for employees to access a professional for support, which is much more effective.
What are the Benefits of Workplace/ Employee Counseling?
Below are the benefits of employee counselling to employers and employees.
Benefits to Employees:
1. Increases productivity and performance
Stress is a mental health issue that negatively impacts employees’ productivity and performance. Therefore, access to employee counselling helps employees find solutions to their troubling issues, resulting in a better and calm state of mind. As a result, they tend to remain productive, perform better, and be more present in the workplace.
2. Increases employee job satisfaction
Employees can effectively address some of their personal and professional challenges when accessing workplace counselling programs. They also feel they’re cared for and valued. Consequently, their overall job satisfaction level also increases.
3. It assists in finding solutions to problems and making impersonal decisions
Employee counselling is a problem-solving approach. Therefore, a counsellor helps employees find solutions to their underlying issues, and they can make effective decisions to improve themselves.
4. It promotes the overall mental health and wellness of employees
Employees’ mental health and wellness are crucial in the workplace and in general lives. Such a program gives employees the courage to discuss mental health issues and fight mental health stigma.
Benefits to Employers
1. Improves a company culture
An effective employee counselling program could help employers establish a reputation for caring for their employees’ wellness and mental health. Additionally, it helps build more loyalty from employees toward the company.
2. It could boost business operations and revenue
Among the benefits of employee counselling to employees are increased productivity, performance, job satisfaction, and reduced absenteeism. Above all, employees’ morale will be higher. Consequently, all these could improve the overall business operations handled by employees in an organization and impact the revenues of a business.
3. It helps maintain high employee retention
When employees are satisfied and feel cared for, they will not likely leave an organization. Therefore, employers have a reduced cost of hiring and training new employees. From a financial perspective, having such an employee assistance program has a great return on investment in the long run.
4. It creates a workplace safety net
Employers should be proactive in issues such as preventing mental and wellness problems from occurring to their employees. Workplace counselling programs give employees a sense of security regarding their wellness.
Integrating employee counselling services in an employee support program could equip employees with the knowledge to cope with professional and personal issues they face in their day-to-day settings. More importantly, it helps them make sound decisions.
Organizations need to consider workplace counselling as important for productive and motivated employees. It also contributes immensely to strengthening their relationship with the employees.