DU SOL B.Com 3rd Year Human Resource Management Notes Chapter 13 Employee – Counselling
Define counselling and discuss its needs and importance in modern organisations.
What is meant by counselling ? State its nature and importance.
Counselling Meaning And Importance:
Concept, of counselling. Organisations are social entities where employees execute their jobs in groups. Every employee differs in nature, attitudes, and feelings with other employees. These differences may cause misunderstanding resulting sometimes in emotional conflicts which is certainly not a healthy sign of good employee management relations. Conflicts may be between employee and employee or between supervisor and employee or between supervisor and manager. The conflint must be resolved better through counselling.
Keith Davis has defined counselling “Discussion of an emotional problem with an employee with the general objective of decreasing it.” The definition has the following three implications –
- Counselling deals with the emotional problem.
- Counselling involves discussion, meaning that, it is an act of communication. Thus, successful counselling depends on communication skills, primarily oral so that each person may share the views of another person.
- The general objective of counselling is to understanding or decrease the employee’s emotional disorder.
Counselling refers to a process of advising an employee by listening his problem and enabling him to find from his own thinking and talking a solution of the problem which is satisfactory to himself. The main objective of counselling is to understand and minimise an employee’s emotional difficulty.
Nature of Counselling. Counselling is an integral part of human resource management. In the context of industrial life, it has the following features.
- Counselling is an exchange of ideas and feelings between two persons one of them (counsellor) may be his superior.
- It tries to improve organisational performance by helping the employees to cope with their problems.
- Counselling is concerned with both personal and work problem.
- Counselling may be performed by professionals non-professionals counsellors.
- Counselling is usually confident in order to have free talk and discussion. ‘
Need and Importance of Counselling: We come across several people who have emotional disorder. Some of them are alcoholics as they are unable to cope with their environment. While some of them may have temporary upsets resulting from events such as broken marriage or strained relations with their colleagues or superiors, Such emotions are sometimes very disastrous even to their own interest and/or those of the organisation.
Such a person may leave the organisation because of a minor conflict which seems very .large to them or they produce behaviour which is undesirable from organisation point of view. Employer counselling is of immense importance under these circumstances.
The factors which call for systematic efforts in employee counselling ‘ both on the job or off the job include the following –
1. Conflict. Emotional disorder may be caused by interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. People in the organisation interact with fellowmen from different background, values, points of view needs and personalities, it is very likely that a variety of conflict will develop. It may be due to organisational change because it changes relationship among people. Thus, conflict is an inevitable part of the organizational life. For an ordinary person conflict is taken in negative sense, but it need not necessarily be viewed so.
It has its advantages as well as disadvantages. The probable disadvantages of conflict are deterioration in cooperation and teamwork spirit. It may cause emotional upsets. So the behavioural goal is to try to reduce the disadvantages and increasing the advantages whatever may be the cause of conflict-it should be resolved through counselling by reducing emotional blockage.
2. Frustration. Frustration is the result of motivation drive being blocked to prevent from reaching a desired goals. The situation may harm the employee personally or the organisation if he fails to get his target or what is due to him. For example, a worker while on work is interrupted time and again and his goal for the day remains unfulfilled, he will fee! irritated and frustrated. The situation becomes more serious when it is long run frustration such as blocked opportunity for promotion.
Reaction of frustrated behaviour are aggression, apathy, withdrawal, resignation, fixation, physical disorders, substituted goals and compromise. Such reactions are known as defence mechanism. Such reactions are in no way favourable to the individual or the organisation. So, it is desirable to reduce the frustrated conditions in the organisation.
There sire different sources of frustration one of them may be management. He may be demoted or his fellow worker may supersede him. A fellow worker may be a barrier in his goal attainment. A person himself may be a source of frustration of his goal is much higher than his abilities and skills. These are will frustrate him.
Counselling can help remove frustration by helping employees choose mature coursers of action to overcome blockage preventing goal attainment. The counsellor can advise management the causes of frustration so that it may try to reduce or remove them.
3. Stress. Stress is a condition of strain on one’s emotions, thought processes, and/or physical conditions that seem to threaten one’s ability to cope with the environment. Stress on the job is desirable to some extent if it is a mild stress and not sustained over a long period of time. Excessive stress or stress over a long period of time many result in physical and emotional disorders and lowered effectiveness. Stress is also affected by the tolerance power of the person concerned. If a person can bear the stress, he can improve his effectiveness and find innovative methods.
There are several causes of stress on the job and off the job. The main causes of stress on the job are job itself (work over load, pressure of work with which they cannot cope, tension and insecurity) role conflicts and role ambiguity. Conflicts with people mainly with the supervisor or any other authority who may affect their career. Stress may also arise off the job e.g. family problems or financial problems.
Stress is a major contributor to employee emotional disorders and also to physical disorders because the internal body system changes to try to cope with stress. Some short range physical disorders are stomach disorder body ache or headache Some long range upsets are stomach ulcer, heart attack, kidney failure or disorders etc. For these reason, it is necessary to find the cause of stress and take steps to remove them. Counselling can play an important role in dealing with the emotional disorders.
Discuss the functions of employee counselling.
Functions Of Counselling :
The basic objective of counseling is to help employees to deal with their emotional problems so that they can improve their mental as well as physical health by reducing frustration and stress and developing self confidence, understanding, self control and ability to work effectively. This objective can be achieved well by performing various counselling functions. They are
1. Advice. The one of the functions of counselling is offering advice to the affected employee. As the counsellor (supervisor/manager) is quite un-concerned with the counsellor problem, he should understand the problem of the ‘counsellor’ completely, and then to suggest the necessary course of action.
2. Reassurance. Reassurance is a way of giving courage to worker to face a particular problem or to pose a confidence in himself that he is following the right path. When a supervisor/manager says ‘well you are making good progress’ or Don’t worry, go ahead,’ or ‘you are right’. These all are reassurances. But reassurances are useful when they are given at the right moment.
3. Release of Tension. Another important function of counselling is re-, lease of employee’s emotional tension. People tend to get an emotional release from their frustration, if they tell his emotional and other problems to a sympathetic listener or counsellor (may be supervisor/manager). They feel relaxed. However, the release of tension does not solve their problem completely, but release of tension removes mental blockage and give courage to the individual to force the problem boldly and think constructively.
4. Reorientation. It involves a change in the employee’s psychic itself through a change in basic goals, and values. Mainly, it needs a revision of the employee’s level of aspiration to bring it more in line with actual attainment. It is largely a job of professional counsellor. The manager of each unit must recognise those who are in need of reorientation so that timely help may be sought of professional counsellor.
5. Clarified Thinking. Clarified thinking is another function of counseling. Counselling encourages clarified thinking because emotional or mental blocks are cleared when employee narrates his problem to the counsellor. He think more rationally counselling brings the client to feel his responsibilities for his own problem and strives to be more realistic in solving them.
Explain different types of counselling. Distinguish between directive an non-directive counselling. What is non-directive counselling ? How is it different from directive counselling ?
Types Of Counselling :
There are three types of counselling- (i) Directive counselling, (ii) Non-directive counselling, and (iii) Co-operative counselling.
1. Directive Counselling. Directive counselling, as the name suggests, is a process where the counsellor directs the employer to solve their emo-tional problems through advice, reassurance, communication, release of tension. In this type of process of counselling, the counsellor listens employee’s problem or difficulty very patiently and then decides with the employee what to do and then motivating the employee to do that. The counsellor takes active part in discussing every aspect of the problem and helps in advising the solution and suggest the ways to get it. It is assumed that counsellor is superior to counsellee and knows better what to do. It is a counsellor centred counselling.
2. Non-Directive counselling. Non-directive counselling or client- centred counselling is the process of skill fully listening and encouraging a counsellee to explain his emotional problems, understand them and deter-mine the course of action. The counsellee is in the centre of the problem. This technique is mostly used by the professional counsellors but managers can also practice it in the organisation. The role of counsellor in non-directive counselling is to listen to the employee patiently and try to understand his feelings and encourage him to find and follow improved course of action. The counsellor, is not to suggest or reassure any course of action, rather he should accept his feelings without any judgement.
He should also not raise any blame, praise or doubts, during counselling, otherwise it is possible that the employee may not come out with his true feelings and the very purpose of counselling may be defeated. The counsellor throughout the session should attempt to ask discerning questions, restate ideas, clarify feelings and understand why these feelings exist. There exists a fluid and sensitive relationship between the counsellor and the counsellee that requires minute attention to every detail in the overall situations.
The unique advantage of non-directive counselling is its ability to cause the employee’s reorientation. Its emphasis is to change the person rather than to deal with the immediate problem as it is in the directive counselling.
T.W. Harell has listed four technique which are often used by the counsellor in non-directive counselling—
- The counsellor relies heavily on listening without expressing his ap-proval or approval of any emotional expression.
- The focus is on feelings and not facts. He tends to stimulate further the expression of counsellee’s feelings.
- The counsellor has to maintain emotional detachment during counselling session and remain uninfluenced by any remarks of the disturbed or upset counsellee. He should provide an atmosphere in Which the counsellee may express his feelings freely. The counsellor does not oppose even if the counsellor criticises the company’s policys, guideline, rules, regulations or procedures.
- The counselling session must end smoothly. It is possible that nothing positive comes out even after a long session but it may provide the counsellor much needed groundwork and is more likely able to solve his problem in the next session.
3. Cooperative counselling. Employers usually make lirnited use of non-directive counselling because it requires professional counsellors and is therefore costly. On the other hand, directive counselling is not acceptable to the modem independent or democratic employes. In between these two extremes, there is ‘cooperative counselling.’ Under cooperative counselling, both counsellor (employer) and counsellee (employee) mutually use their knowledge in solving the problem. Keeth Davis defines the cooperative counselling as “a mutual discussion of an employees emotional problem and a cooperative effort to setup conditions that will remedy it.”
The cooperative counselling starts with the listening technique of non-directive counselling but as the interview progresses, the counsellor plays much more important and positive role than he plays in directive counselling. He initiates the discussion and discusses the problem with the distressed employee from his border perspective of the organisation thus throwing various perspective before him for comparison.
Cooperative counselling applies four functions of counselling i.e, reas-surance, communication release of tensions and clarified thinking. It has no room for advice. If, in the opinion of counsellor, the counsellee needs reorientation he refers him to professional counsellor. If, in his opinion, he needs direct action. The manager as a direct superior and not as a counsellor takes the direct action.
Distinction Between Directive and Non-directive Counselling :