The big bang economic reforms in the 1990s unleashed the hidden entrepreneurial spark among a sizeable section of Indians. The trend became more common thanks to the IT revolution, opened the gates to many new businesses. Thus, today, we find freshly graduates opting out of college placements to do their own stuff. Though many such new generation ventures like Byju, Swiggy and Flipkart turned raging successes, a good enough number fell by the wayside. Do you recall that in the later 90s, there was one letsbuyelectronics.com, which was bought over by Flipkart? Many like these either sank or had to be rescued by others.
Ample research shows that a significant percentage of all start-ups fail within the first three years and it’s not difficult to understand why. The fact is- doing business is getting more intricate due to the constantly changing business environment, role of technology, globalization and fickle consumer mindsets. The environment now is much more complex, the technology more pervasive and the consumers more demanding. That’s when corporate counselling enters the picture to help a business identify the problem it faces, get down to its roots and evolve suitable solutions.
Getting to do one’s own thing is indeed an exciting idea. Having no manager to report to, freedom of work, leading co-workers and the monetary rewards appeal to many with dreamy eyes. Alas! It’s easier said than done.
In the course of my work as a life coach and doing corporate counselling in India, I often face questions on how such entrepreneurial dreams can be fulfilled. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is similar to pregnancy, requiring motherly patience and the fortitude to defeat odds to emerge successful. One needs to cultivate the essential skills to improve the chances of entrepreneurial success – technical, financial, communication and leadership skills, all of which play a critical role.
Running a corporate is no cakewalk, filled as it is with immense pressure and one tends to stress over the short-term deadlines as well. That is where counselling steps in. Professional counsellors helps the employees to improve productivity and motivate them to give their best.
Those working in corporate environments face stress as they have deadlines, responsibilities, and targets to meet. Frequent and long travel skews the work-life balance and only a handful of people can find the right balance between work and personal care. A great many people fail to achieve the balance and end up missing out on one or the other front. Obviously, it is inevitable for the employees to feel stressed, de-motivated and discouraged, which can affect their performance and overall productivity. There is nothing unprofessional or abnormal about it; we need to find a solution to it.
The purpose of corporate counselling is to encourage employees to make healthy lifestyle choices. It provides the company with the resources, knowledge, and tools necessary for creating a healthy work environment. Workplace counselling in India is becoming popular in supporting and maintaining a motivated and effective workforce. Workplace counselling in India is a way to improve employee mental health and emotional well-being. By providing employees with the resources, knowledge, and tools to make healthy lifestyle choices, a corporate counsellor can help them engage their employees.
The issues in Corporate Counselling cover technical skills, leadership, business management skills and creative thinking. As these skills can be applied in many different roles and domains, developing them means cultivating several skill sets of wide-ranging importance.
What is Corporate Counselling?
Corporate counselling helps improve the employees’ performance at every level through four focus areas:
Learning and development
Personal emotional and mental health
Reasons behind stress
Some common causes behind mental stress are:
A strict management style
Lack of support
Bullying and Harassment
New team or management
Stress in personal relationships
Long office hours
It can lead to other serious issues such as insufficient concentration, anxiety, self-doubts, depression, performance decline, careless errors and health problems.
Corporate counselling seeks to help workers strike a balance between their professional and personal life while improving their productivity. Some employees can also face anxiety. A professional counsellor helps them build self-confidence, develop multitasking abilities and improve their cognitive skills.
Types of Corporate Counselling
There are two main types of corporate counselling programmes.
Employee Assistance Programme
A professional counselling arrangement between the counsellor and the employee. The confidentiality helps the employees share their feelings and emotions with the counsellor without any sense of hesitation.
Besides, if an employee would like to provide EAP services to their immediate family, they can do so. In many cases, counselling the family members can also help reduce the stress in personal relations and lives that happens due to the workplace stress.
In conflict resolution, a counsellor helps resolve a conflict between/ among the employees or between the management and the workers. A conflict is often borne of different professional opinions between the parties and in such cases, conflict resolution can help you find a mid-way to end the conflict on a good note.
Workplace counselling is important as life is too hectic and people tend to get lost many times while juggling between their family and workplace issues.
Counselling is helpful in creating and maintaining a conducive work environment to the benefit of all those concerned. Corporate counselling helps not juts improve productivity for organizational growth, but also employees reignite interest and dedication towards work and grow individually.
Corporate counselling empowers you to make healthy life changes, which promote dynamic professional and personal growth. Counselling services help them through unique workplace and home life challenges resulting in a higher performing staff and a more positive organizational culture.
Corporate counselling in India isn’t only for long-term employees but is also equally helpful to those who have lost motivation for work. It can be used in many areas and situations to help the employees achieve their fullest potential.
Some of the areas, where corporate counselling services in India may be especially useful, are:
Selecting the right candidate for the right job from the employer’s viewpoint isn’t that easy task. In recruitment, only technical or hard skills do not matter; otherwise, machines would be able to do all the jobs. Many assessment tools like psychometric profiling, behavioural assessments and projective tests are used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates to select the best one/s.
Orientation and induction
Corporate employee training is another domain where counselling can be greatly helpful. The candidates have to be conscious of their own expectations, their work roles, work responsibilities, and the benefits that they can expect from the employer. Induction and orientation programmes are the best occasions to familiarize them with these things and clear their doubts, if any.
Today, companies conduct ice-breaking, trust games, and psychological team-building exercises and other events as part of their induction programmes. All these things serve to make employees feel more at ease with themselves and the company and relaxed in the new work environment. A corporate counsellor conducts a thorough post-recruitment psychological assessment before the workers are assigned new positions, locations and targets.
Personal Training and Skill Development
Frequently, many employees get too comfortable with their work and resist any kind of change that is brought in. By encouraging employees to participate in training and development, corporate counselling can help them become stakeholders in organizational transformation.
Equally, it would be beneficial for managers to identify worker training needs and shortlist the potential candidates for it. Thereafter, they can then work out a feasible training plan, get feedback and assess the results in terms of corporate goals. A corporate counsellor can help an organization with team building, conflict resolution, negotiation skills, and anger management.
Promotions and performance appraisals
Some employees may use the semi-annual or annual appraisal to get back at their managers for not toeing the line or being outspoken and honest. Admitted, managers are humans and may not be objective at times as emotions drive human behaviour. Although there are methods and tools available to ensure an accurate and fair performance assessment, managers still need to rely on their own subjective judgements to arrive at a conclusion.
Corporate counselling has developed the methods to conduct an objective appraisal of an individual’s performance. A corporate counsellor also plays a crucial role in inducting a new person for a senior role and making recommendations for transfers.
By definition, the leaders must inspire their team. Besides, they also need to have excellent interpersonal skills and their attitude towards employees at the bottom of the ladder determines how they are perceived by others. Corporate counselling can enable the managers to realize their potentials and become leaders in their own right.
Many of us find any kind of change challenging to handle. It can have a significant impact on employees if the change in question is a merger, acquisition or a new management team. Besides, there can be economic cycles, layoffs and liquidations.
As any life coach would attest to it, sometimes, the intensity and the speed of a change can be simply dizzying. Only a life coach can really appreciate what it means to face and cope with such tumultuous changes in a professional environment. In such cases, corporate counselling can prove to be a big boon for an organization as no corporate would ever like to lose its employees to such changes. Corporate counselling offers the psychological tools and techniques necessary to keep the employees calm, focused, and balanced so that they can excel even in the most difficult times.
Improved Work Environment
Happy, productive employees are cheerful and energetic. To give their personal best, the employees need to have a conducive, supportive, innovative, and intelligent work environment. But avoiding bickering, politicking, and back-stabbing may not be possible, always.
Corporate counselling can help create a great work environment (which includes the physical environment too- temperature, lighting, ventilation, work hours and humidity) with effective solutions to reduce friction and improve coordination.
Today’s Human Resources managers need to ensure the employees have the best work-life balance possible. They have to admit that stress is part and parcel of life and it can affect our work-life balance. Corporate counselling can help managers understand its importance and encourage the employees to be more relaxed in life.
Today, the latest trend in the corporate HR circles is Employee Counselling at Workplace. Employee Counselling can help the employees come out of their problems and gives them a new hope and a way to deal with the problems they face. On the employers’ part, it also shows how much the employer cares for the employees.
The Why? Behind Employee Counselling
Employees face many problems in day to day life – problems with subordinates, colleagues, bosses, work systems and personal life. These problems soon start affecting their work, career and job performance. That’s when employee counselling steps in to provide them guidance and advice, sort out the problems and help them solve the problems they face in office or personal life.
Typically, the organizations seek a professional counsellor to deal with
- Traumatic Events
- Relationship Issues
- Physical Health
- Personal Stress
- Emotional Health
- Work Relationships
- Family Issues
- Financial Problems
- Work Stress
A Corporate Counsellor is supposed to make sure that he counselee is healed mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Besides, the counsellor is expected to maintain the privacy of their counsellee, which is a very important feature of such counselling.
Benefits of Employee Counselling
We all experience various life crises at different stages in our lives. Experiences like bereavement and loss, relationship and family difficulties, substance abuse, alcohol issues, and stress at home can preoccupy one’s thinking too much so much so that they distract them from work. And in certain safety-sensitive industries and settings, it can pose a major operational and safety risk, which has to be guarded against.
Such Employee Counselling can help
- Employees tackle the problems effectively
- Have better decision making
- Evolve new and healthier ways to look at a problem and change one’s perspective of viewing it
- Prevent termination/ resignation
- Reduces the hiring, training and re-training costs
- Create smoother and better employer-employee coordination