Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Workplace Counselling: Implications for Enhanced Productivity

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Workplace Counselling: Implications for Enhanced Productivity

Article excerpt


Workplace counseling is the provision of brief psychological therapy for employees of organizations. Counselling service in most organizations in Nigeria has not received adequate attention. The reason for this is not unconnected with the low level of acceptance of counseling service generally in the country.

This paper lucidity attempts a conceptual review of counseling, the difference between counseling and psychotherapy and a review of the five major systems or schools that have exerted the greatest influence on current thinking regarding counseling. It further presents a model of workplace counseling and concludes that increase in work related trauma and stress, accidents at the workplace, harassment and bullying, absenteeism, low productivity/poor performance and labour turnover will be nipped in the bud if counseling service is provided at the workplace.

Key words: workplace counseling, psychotherapy, enhanced Productivity


Every organization exists for a purpose. And, since organizations are made up of people, no successful organization will ever be free from stress among its employees. Infact, no organization has been known to fulfill all the needs of its workers because the needs are many and they never finish. Organisations thus, should be able to deal with stress and all other problems that might militate against enhanced performance. Counselling at the workplace comes as a panacea to solving personal and work related worries. The need for workplace counseling arises due to various reasons in addition to stress. These reasons include : to deal effectively with one's own emotions, interpersonal problems and lack of team spirit at workplace, inability to meet job demands, over work-load, confrontation with authority, responsibility and accountability, conflicts with superiors, subordinates and management, health problems, family problems career problems, etc. Counselling is a process of helping an individual to help himself.

According Mortensen & Schmuller (1960) Organised counseling practices have a much better chance to help the individual to: (i) increase in knowledge of self; (ii) solve immediate problems; (iii) reduce tensions resulting from frustrations, anxieties, etc; and (iv) improve in the skills and knowledge required to solve his problems. Counselling at the workplace is discussion of an employee's problem that usually has an emotional content to it in order to help the employee cope with the situation better.

Several factors have contributed to the growth and popularity of workplace counselling. At one level, workplace counselling can be viewed merely as an application of methods of brief, relationship-focused psychological intervention that have been shown to be effective in other settings. A distinctive strength of workplace counselling is that the client is seen by a therapist who is sensitised to the combination of personal and work pressures that the person may present. Workplace counselling is a systemic, as well as individual, intervention. It seeks to improve employee's mental health. Employees would feel comfortable about themselves and about other people and are able to meet the demands of life. Counselling must lead to increased self-confidence on the part of the client.

As a helping relationship, one goal of counseling is to help an individual to help himself. Thus, the individual would be able to take charge of his life. The individual is equipped with appropriate skills necessary to make wise decisions and alter his behaviors to yield desirable outcomes. The role of counselor now becomes that of helping an individual to arrange appropriate learning experiences that would assist in developing these skills. The counselor should not be judgmental by given the client the feeling that his/her situation is hopeless. Instead, he encourages the client to take appropriate action, the success of which would give the individual encouragement to continue. …

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