What is counseling?
Counseling is characterized as the professional verbal interaction between an individual or group who desires help for problems in their life and a trained professional. Counseling is sometimes mistakenly confused for psychological therapy. Psychological therapy is a therapeutically tool comprised of various therapy concepts which are used to treat certain psychological problems or disorders. However, counseling is not always used for the treatment of mental disorders or illnesses, although counseling can be used conjunction with other therapies to treat a mental illness under certain circumstances. Counseling is most often used for non-disordered life problems, such as but not limited to: marriage or relationship counseling, grief counseling, family counseling, divorce counseling, substance abuse counseling, and more. Counseling is essentially a way for individuals to be assisted when they are having difficulty dealing with life problems which can cause a noticeable amount of damage to their quality of life.
What is workplace counseling?
Another increasingly common form of counseling is counseling that is used in the workplace. Workplace counseling is any form of counseling which is deliberately put into place by a company in order to assist its employees with work or workplace related problems. While private counselors are hired by individuals, workplace counselors are hired by businesses to counsel employees on problems which are directly related to the work or the workplace. Workplace counselors are sometimes hired to perform their counseling within a company’s building, such as an office building or headquarters, but they can be essentially “hired out,”—that is, they may work from their own office but be officially employed by the company like any other individual.
Workplace counseling is concerned with events, actions, behaviors or problems which can affect employees, the workplace and the overall performance of a company. A workplace counselor must typically also deal with life problems experienced by employees which, although not necessarily related to the workplace, may impact their performance in the workplace itself. For example: An individual who is currently working through a divorce may be performing more poorly in the workplace due to their inability to cope with this major life change. A workplace counselor can address the issue of divorce in order to increase the performance of the worker while helping them address their personal problems. In either case, a workplace counselor must be specifically trained to deal with workplace problems.
Common workplace problems include but are not limited to: conflicts between employees, lack of motivation, conflicts between employees and higher-ranked employees, employee theft of company property, harmful or negative gossip and communication within the company, bullying or harassment, poor communication in the workplace, and the inability of employees to work in teams or work together. These workplace problems can often be worked through using workplace counseling which is specifically tailored to deal with these issues. Companies will often hire a workplace counselor for their employees when their company is experiencing an abundance of one or more of the aforementioned issues. For example: A company that recently noticed a huge spike in bullying among a group of their employees may address the issue by hiring a workplace counselor to perform group counseling sessions that will address the experience of being bullied to the group of individuals who are impacted by the increase in bullying. In this case, the workplace counselor has been hired to perform specific counseling to address a specific problem.
Some businesses choose to hire workplace counselors to address non-specific work related problems and may even keep them on the payroll for the entire business year, which ensures that employees will have access to a company-sponsored workplace counselor whenever they are experiencing problems related to the workplace. For example: An individual who is the subject of negative gossip within an office setting may seek the services of the company’s workplace counselor to help them deal with the negative impact that the gossip is having on their life and their work performance.
Why is counseling in the workplace important to employers?
Employers benefit from workplace counseling in several ways. The first benefit involves a better image of the company and employers to both customers and their employees. A workplace counselor suggests to customers, clients and employees that a business is not just concerned with how much money they make but also the well-being and mental health of their employees. Employees are more likely to work harder at a company where they feel appreciated and cared for—something a workplace counselor can help to increase. Another benefit experienced by employers who hire workplace counseling is an overall increase the quality of work given by the employees and in their employee’s productivity. When employees are able to deal with their workplace problems in a healthy way, such as through a mental health counselor, then they are more likely to continue producing quality results at a faster rates.
Why is counseling in the workplace important to employees?
Employees benefit from workplace counseling in several ways as well. Conflicts or problems experienced in the workplace can not only affect work performance but quality of life. An employee who is being bullied by a co-worker, for example, will not only likely perform poorly in the workplace but will experience anxiety, stress and other negative emotions outside of the workplace as well. If this employee is given access to a workplace counselor who can help solve the issue of the bullying, then they are not only receiving a benefit that will increase work quality, but their personal life as well. Workplace counseling can be utilized in almost any workplace problem situation. This is the most noticeable benefit experienced by employees who have access to a work counselor in the workplace, and for good reason: workers who are given the ability to solve their problems in a professional and healthy way are more likely to have those problems solved.