A Quarterly Newsletter from the UAE and Oman member firms of the PKF International Ltd.

VOL 17, Issue 4 October 2015

PKF International

The need for psychological counselling

The last few decades have revealed the immaturity of organisations to meet psychological needs of employees. Developing employees at different levels is not about clocking up frequent training sessions or about training them in the technical aspects of their job. It is also about having goals; a strategy to attain these goals; and tactical flexibility to meet unforeseen contingencies as and when these arise so that overarching goals are not lost sight of in the temporary manoeuvrings and attaining short term trophies. In today’s world goals can be easily met and contingencies can be easily overcome if the psyche of employees is properly addressed. We take a look at two important tools that can build the psyche of employees.

Counselling is an important tool in resolving employees’ psychological issues. Employees should turn to counselling when they feel depressed, anxious, bullied, under stress or at the crossroads of their lives. Counselling gives them the chance to talk things through, very often relieving building emotional pressure, clearing the way for them to focus and decide what to do next. Counselling can provide employees with a sense of direction in working through their problems Common issues employees bring to counselling include:

  • Personal problems.
  • Work / life imbalances
  • Working & other relationship issues
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Substance abuse
    • Gambling
    • Perinatal counselling
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Financial concerns
  • Anxiety
  • Parenting
  • Legal concerns

Executive assistance is the training for managers, team leaders and other members of staff responsible for managing employees who then will be capable of assisting in situations that involve difficulties or problems in workplace communication, behaviour or performance.

1. Issues that can be addressed through executive assistance:

  • Managing Individual Employees;
  • Dealing with difficult employees;
  • Managing an employee who is behaving unusually;
  • Where there is a concern that an employee may self-harm;
  • Managing an employee with substance abuse;
  • Managing an employee with a mental health problem;
  • Communicating with an employee on poor work performance;
  • Encouraging an employee to use counselling and executive assistance.

2. Managing groups or teams:

  • Breaking bad news to employees;
  • Dealing with organisational change processes;
  • Managing traumatic events in the workplace;
  • Debrief following a communication with team;
  • Facilitating team cohesion.

With the above, the executive gains an understanding of the workplace situation and then establishes the best way to deal with issues. Possible approaches and strategies based on principles of human behaviour and evidence-based interventions are talked and chalked through.

Executive assistance, like counselling, is a confidential service. The fact that an employee/executive has used the service is treated as confidential together with whatever has been discussed between the executive and the employee in a session.

The counselling and executive assistance should focus on pro-active and / or preventative measures to help employees feel better prepared for specific mental health issues and pressurised situations to enhance the levels of employee well-being and aim to change behaviours for the better.

At the end of the day do managers or employers have knowledge and understanding of mental health issues?

  • Not Sure
  • No
  • Yes

Take a vote?

The above mentioned tools can assist owners, managers and employees through the challenging process of change in restructuring and redundancy. It can deliver in difficult and stressful times for all concerned. How psyche is managed impacts morale, motivation, productivity and can positively affect the success of your business.

Over the years an organisation can design, produce and deliver tailored and off-the-shelf training courses.

(This article is compiled by Mr. Ian Raymond Pereira, a Director in PKF L.L.C., the PKF member firm in the Sultanate of Oman.)