Counselling is a valuable process that assists employees to cope with the emotional and psychological stress involved in stressful situations such as job loss, retrenchments and  personal problems. The need for counselling arises from a variety of employee or organisational problems, including stress.  The need for counselling is further driven by the economic situation we are faced with.  Employees benefit from the counselling process as it assists them to work through these problems effectively without it having a negative impact on their work or their morale.

Employees react differently to changing situations and need different levels of support during such change processes. It is therefore important to identify each employee’s individual counselling needs and to support each employee in the required manner.

Some employees need minimal assistance (for example counselling to determine their fears related to the situation and the possible solutions to their problems). Other employees need more assistance e.g. career counselling in order to determine other suitable jobs, career paths, identify strengths and weaknesses etc.

The general objective of counselling is to help employees develop better mental health to facilitate grow in self-confidence, understanding and self-control in order for them to work effectively and productively.

Different approaches to counselling can be adopted based on the need for counselling.

A typical counselling process that can be followed in an organisational setting (e.g. when the need for counseling is identified by the organisation) is outlined below:

Identify the need for counselling

Prepare for counselling

Initial counselling

Feedback report to management (where the need for counselling was identified by the organisation)

Follow up counselling