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How to Conduct Proper Employee Counseling in the Workplace

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The uninterrupted efficiency and success of a company depend a lot on employee well-being. This is why employers try their best to maintain their workforce’s health. But, most employers mainly check up on physical health and fail to address the issues affecting mental health.

For corrective measures to address this mental health issue, employee counseling is the need of the hour.

It helps employers understand the unique issues affecting their workers. While doing so, it also helps build a better employer of choice image, employee performance, reduced absenteeism, reduce turnover, etc, to name a few.

If appropriately utilized, employee counseling or employee assistance program can be a great asset in the workplace.

To understand this better, let’s get into the topic starting with the basic definition.

What is Employee Counselling?

It is a means of learning about your employee’s problems and helping solve them. Such problems are generally caused by one’s work, emotional stance, mental health, etc.

Employee Counseling is the answer to combat stress, mental health, etc.

Employee Counseling is the answer to combat stress, workplace depression, anxiety, and declining productivity in an office. The main objective here is to support your employees through suitable guidance.

Situations for Employee Counseling

There are many situations where a counseling session is justified. In this respect, it is mainly on four occasions.

The first is performance counseling. If you notice an employee having inconsistent performance issues, counseling is a must to know the reasons behind it.

Secondly, disciplinary counseling comes in handy when an employee fails to maintain proper work ethics and etiquette. These can be employee absenteeism, irritable behavior, constant arguments, etc.

Third comes personal counseling. Sometimes an employee may be disturbed by personal issues. These can be related to family, relationships, etc. Though this may not be of your concern directly, it does affect that individual’s work-life.

Fourth comes stress management in the workplace. With constant competition and deadlines comes stress in the workplace. Ultimately, this stress will negatively impact an employees’ overall health too. Thus, counseling sessions to address this issue are paramount.

These are four situations wherein counseling is needed, and the following are the reasons why.

Importance of Employee Counseling

Effective employee counseling helps tackle problems efficiently. It also helps in elevating productivity levels. This results in better operational results with a clear-headed task force. By doing this, it helps reduce absenteeism in the workplace as well.

Also, proper counseling brings in a different perspective. It helps your employees get a different view of their problems. This ultimately helps them understand things better and resolve issues quickly.

Besides these, it also helps in better decision-making by employees, reduces attrition, and bring better employee engagement and experience.

But, the key thing to remember here is this. These attributes are only attainable through proper employee counseling. You must be able to do it well and do it right.

Here’s how you can implement a proper employee counseling program in your organization.

How to Conduct Proper Employee Counseling in the Workplace

1. Addressing Issues

The first step here is the acceptance of a problem and then addressing them. Next, you must sit down with your employees and discuss things out. Here, you can set a day and time in advance to let the individual prepare. If they feel they need a person to support them, they may bring them along as well.

In this meeting, it’s essential to be non-judgmental. Make it a point to listen first and discuss later. Be friendly and approachable in this aspect. Sometimes, talking about your problems and how you overcome them helps employees open up too.

Get to know about their problems and what they think is affecting them and approach accordingly.

2. Type of Counseling

The type of counseling is also essential to note here. There are three types of counseling. These are directive, non-directive, and participative counseling. After the first session of hearing your employees, you must decide on one of these.

In directive counseling, the appointed counselor plays a significant role here. He/she is actively taking part in the process with guidance and action plans.

In non-directive, there is a significant absence of the counselor in this matter. Here, the employees are allowed to deal with their problems themselves.

Participative counseling is a mix of the other two. This type helps the counselor and employee function together and work things out.

3. AI

Due to its vast applicability, AI in HR is also helping in employee counseling. This is mainly achieved through AI Psychologists. One such application is Ginger.io which delivers emotional counseling to employees. It does this through AI Pattern Recognition Platforms.

These employee recognition tools work on pre-determined design aspects to help people solve problems by guiding them on the best way forward. Based on its applicability and usability, AI can help companies determine employee behavior by examining various points. These can be employee stress level, burnout, moods, etc.

4. Feedback

After going through the above steps comes the turn of feedback. The appointed counselor must give effective feedback on how employees can overcome their troubles. List out the things they are doing well in and where they are falling behind.

It is essential not to be harsh. Give your employees the appreciation for things done right and motivation for things needing improvement.

5. Follow-Up

After feedback comes the turn to follow up on the plan and its results. You should make sure they are following the decided corrective action in counseling. A follow-up session must also be there to see how the employee is doing.

These are the five steps for proper employee counseling in the workplace.


Today’s workforce is more inclined towards a company that cares about its workers besides its brand. The feeling that a company cares about its employees attracts the best around. To achieve this, you must do everything you can.

In the current market, the Employee Counseling or an Employee Assistance Program is a brilliant way of doing so. And it is not only beneficial for your employees but also productivity. This is what makes these sessions such a sweet deal for both parties.

Be sure to make the best of this growing concept in the HR field today.

This article is written by Jyoti Prakash Barman. He is an in-house Content Marketer at Vantage Circle with interests in music and automobiles. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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