Counselling Procedures in the Workplace

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Health Assured team

21 October 2019

A major part of your duty of care to your employees is looking out for their wellbeing—and workplace counselling is one way to go about it.


What is workplace counselling?

Sometimes, people at work have problems that interfere with their job. We can use workplace counselling services to try to put these problems right.

Workplace counselling is a way to help your employees. These specialist resources are independent of your workplace and are a way to assist with sorting things out before they lead to potential disciplinary issues.

While there’s nothing in the law that says you have to provide this service, there are plenty of benefits of employee counselling that you should consider:

  • It provides a safe space for employees to voice concerns or talk about issues that could be holding them back.
  • It helps to foster a culture of learning and co-operation—knowing that issues can at least be discussed, if not solved, lets people try things together.
  • Employee performance improves when problems are easier to work out.
  • Absenteeism, employee turnover and general atmosphere are improved—especially when problematic behaviour can be addressed sensitively.


So, what are the various workplace counselling techniques?

For the most part—at least with an EAP—counselling for work-related issues tends to be short-term, solution-focused therapy.

This drills down to the core of the issue and promotes positive change. The idea is to use your strengths and set goals, in order to make the changes needed to sort the problem out.

It usually takes fewer than six one-hour sessions—sometimes solutions are found in the first session. It’s a quick and simple way to solve common workplace issues.

Other methods of employee counselling are available:

But these tend to be more expensive, and more specialist, than the short-term method described above.

They’re perfect for longer-term problems—if you’re looking for counselling for stress in the workplace, for example, sometimes CBT is a much better way to deal with it. Talk to your EAP provider about your options.

When something a little harder to deal with happens—a traumatic event in the workplace—then more specialised workplace trauma counselling is appropriate.

Critical incident stress management is a technique where trained counsellors are sent directly to a workplace within 48 hours of an event such as a suicide, robbery or attack. They’re trained in de-escalation and immediate solutions to psychological trauma.

Employee counselling programmes should follow the BACP framework for ethics. This doesn’t shore up the concept completely from the above issues, but a good EAP, recommended by the EAP Association, can at least be trusted to deal with ethical issues in a sensitive manner.


Of course, counselling in the workplace isn’t easy to explain in a blog post—Health Assured has experts on-hand to talk you through any questions you might have.

If you’re considering providing counselling to your employees, or want to know more about the benefits of an EAP, contact us today on 0844 892 2493.

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