A little pressure is good and helps to keep us motivated. But too much pressure can lead to stress which can affect our health and performance.
Stress can come from many causes in the workplace and the implications have been long documented and in the long-term leading to high blood pressure (hypertension), anxiety and depression.
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Possible causes of stress in the workplace include:
- The type of work we do: long hours, a heavy workload, infrequent breaks, boring tasks that don't use your skills, poorly defined goals, too much responsibility.
- Feeling left out of decisions: not being involved in decision-making, poor communication, a lack of family-friendly policies.
- Receiving no help or support: a lack of support or help from co-workers and supervisors; people having conflicting expectations of us.
- Worries about job stability: job insecurity, a lack of opportunity for growth or advancement.
- Working in an unhealthy workplace: unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions, such as overcrowding, noise, air pollution or ergonomic problems.
Workplace counselling can be an excellent way of helping your members of staff to work more efficiently and at the same time help them to deal with any issues they might have, including stress and other workplace problems. If your business requires staff to work under a lot of pressure, from time to time this pressure can get too much, which can lead to employees feeling the strain, losing efficiency and productivity and also suffering health issues.
A well run counselling session can really help to increase staff moral and efficiency and also help employees to learn to cope when things get too much at work. Sometimes, it is not just stress that is the problem, with other workplace incidents like bullying and job security concerns also weighing in to add to the overall uncomfortable feeling for the member of staff.
How does it Work?
Counselling in the workplace can be approached in different ways. Some businesses prefer to offer one-to-one counselling session for employees, either on or off site, allowing the employees that require this type of counselling to sit down with a counsellor, face-to-face and really tackle the problems. Some businesses find that telephone counselling works better for their employees and some will even allow computers to come into play, with counselling taking place via email or IM programs like Skype.
It is so important for any business that employs staff to realise that from time to time, their employees do need someone to talk to, as business today is far more pressured and stressful than it was a few years ago. There is so much more strain placed on the shoulders of team members to perform, increase sales or productivity and to generally keep the business working. Because with a heavy recession upon us, the stress levels are far greater than they were even a couple of years ago.
Is Workplace Counselling successful?
In a major new study by Professor John McLeod of the University of Abertay, Dundee, the following was noted.
After workplace counselling:
- Levels of work-related symptoms return to normal range for more than half of all clients
- Levels of sickness and absence fall by 25-50%
- Levels of job commitment and satisfaction rise
- Levels of substance abuse are reduced
Workplace counselling is valued by staff:
- The majority of those who use workplace counselling say they are ‘highly satisfied’ with it
- The same number would use the service again (if necessary) and would recommend it to their colleagues.