Providing counselling for your employees is undeniably a nice thing to offer. You may, however, be wondering what the benefits of offering employee counselling are and why an employer might get involved in such a thing in the first place.
Counselling for your employees, organised through an employee assistance programme, is usually short term and around six sessions with one session a week.
The initial benefit for the individual is that EAP counselling provides an independent, specialist and most importantly confidential resource. These sessions give employees a non-judgmental place to speak about the issues that trouble them and gives the opportunity for them to find their own solutions to their difficulties. Furthermore the employee can:
- Understand their experiences and look at them from different perspectives.
- Make better, more informed decisions.
- Have a place to develop alternate solutions to problems and recurring issues.
- Find ways of coping with difficult situations and the stresses involved.
Once we begin to outline these benefits for the employee, it starts to become clear where the benefits of EAP counselling are for the employer. For an employee to function at their best, it is vital that they feel they are supported and valued. Employees engaged, where it is appropriate, with a counsellor tend to be:
- Happier at work, more present and engaged.
- Able to deal with change and uncertainty effectively.
- More adept at decision making.
- Able to see situations from multiple perspectives.
- Equipped to manage the stresses of work and home more easily.
- Absent less and less likely to leave their job.
The above list is general and not exhaustive. The individual benefits of each case are as varied as the reasons for employee counselling in the first place. Workplace counselling options can also be a draw for potential talent as it is seen as a positive benefit to working with an organisation.
The above does not exclusively apply to employees engaged in structured counselling. Having a 24 hour telephone line (such as the Adviceline from CiC) where individuals can speak to a counsellor for a one-off conversation will provide the same benefits. Some services also offer a dedicated line for managers that can be especially useful when those managing others need to discuss particular situations that are causing difficulty in the workplace.
At CiC we would be happy to discuss the options for providing access to employee counselling, please do get in touch if you have any questions.