Staff counseling is an important management responsibility.
People may face some difficulty at any stage of their personal or working life. This includes your employees.
Recruit competent counselors. They can help prevent or minimize personal or work-related problems. Skilled counselors can make the difference between success and failure of your organization, between high productivity and under-performance.
They can help make it easier for new employees to fit into the organization. They may succeed in persuading those employees contemplating leaving to stay on.
Staff Counseling Helps Improve Employee Career Prospects
Employees having problems at home and or at work may ultimately face termination if the problems are not resolved.
Termination means their very livelihood and the well-being of their families are put at risk.
With the help of skilled counselors, employees can hope to resolve at least some of their more serious problems.
Every employee has potentials to become good workers. With counselors' help, their career prospect is much brighter.
Some organizations engage expert counselors to help employees in their career plan and development.
Make this as part of your organization's succession plan. This motivates employees to perform better in order to merit a well-deserved promotion.
Alternatively, you can identify a number of employees who have the potential of becoming career counselors. Prepare them well by providing then with the skills necessary for effective counseling.
Benefits of Having Counseling at Work
With the presence of effective career advice, you can hope to realize certain benefits that include the following.
Making available counseling positions in your organization has its benefits.
Counseling is critical if an employee is facing the prospect of facing disciplinary action.
Counseling is required especially if the employee is being disciplined for failure to perform on the job.
In some countries, court decisions - the common law - make counseling as one of the requirements before an employer is justified to dismiss any employee for non-performance.
Some organizations have inserted this in their employee handbook. You may want to do the same.
Collective agreements may also contain terms to this effect.
Putting this requirement in writing is not necessary. The law will apply, anyway. However, having these in written form acts as a reminder.
Follow what are provided for in your policy and procedures.
Comply with the relevant legislation and decisions of the courts. And seek the necessary legal advice where you are not too sure.
Direction: Counselor or Coach?
Engaging an expert counselor is good. Having a coach is better.
However, you can easily train a counselor to become a coach.
Remember that at the end of the day, whether you have someone assigned to staff counseling or a qualified and an experienced coach is recruited, the objective is the same. You want to ensure organizational success becomes a reality.
But not every counselor or coach is the same and they do not have the same set of counseling skills.