According to the CDC, the health effects due workplace issues is estimated to cost employers approximately 200 million lost workdays each year  – with a projected expense of $17 to $44 billion for the employers.

How much time have you taken off in the last 12 months for the sole purpose of “needing a mental health day”? Multiple times your daily pay – and thus the impact to your personal bottom line.

Benefits of Counseling for Addressing Work Issues

Are you a victim of workplace microagressions, incivility or bullying? Looking for effective ways to handle your situation?

Workplace counseling can support you to discuss and address workplace issues you may be experiencing today. There are different types of counseling available and can be part of the HR management process within your workplace organization.

Different forms:  Whether you are a full-time employee, freelancer, start-up or small business – at some point in your daily working life, you may experience different forms of workplace issues. These can range from miscommunication, incivility, gossip, bullying, microaggressions, and/or harassment. In fact you could experience multiple issues simultaneously, increasing the negative impact on you, the workplace and the organization.

With repeated occurrences, you may begin to ask yourself “Why is this happening – and to me”? Regardless of the cause of the workplace problem or the scenario, there may come a time, when you need a confidential resource you can speak with who can provide effective counsel suggesting the appropriate responses or actions that you can take.

What if the difficult behavior is pervasive throughout the team?

One possible solution is to simply avoid the circumstances that seem to cause the issue to occur. Maybe you avoid the team member who persistently and publicly attempts to diminish your work or your ideas.   Or you may attempt to limit your daily interactions with the difficult manager, ensuring that there is always a witness to any interactions. Whatever your avoidance technique, sometimes we simply cannot avoid workplace problems.

As you observe your coworkers and their interactions, you may notice that there are some who seem to handle the difficult situations better than others. They may have more experience across multiple industries, or simply more years in the organization, thus able to navigate through the workplace challenges – seeming at ease and without much performance impact.   These professionals may have identified a method or process to effectively handle themselves in spite of the stressful situation. Can you emulate any of their techniques or behaviors?

However, that may not always be the case. What if the difficult behavior is pervasive throughout the team, or workplace? No one seems to have a handle on how to handle the issue. You are aware that several team members are actively looking for a transition out of the team, organization or department. You watch as other peers just seem to “keep their head down and plow through” each day, hoping to complete their assigned tasks with as little issues as possible. In these circumstances, repeated exposure to such workplace behavior can impact the worker’s self-esteem. In this example, the help of a physician or mental health professional is crucial to help deal with the daily stressful situation in an effective way.

If your organization offers it as a benefit, workplace counseling is a specialized, independent resource for individuals working across multiple sectors and in any working environments. When a company gives its employee an access to a confidential, free workplace counseling service, and those strategies learned implemented, some work issues can be positively impacted.

On a periodic basis, the news media highlights workers(s) experiencing problems at work.

Counseling can help put perspective and suggest alternative reactions to the issues that arrive.   It can be an informal method to sort out problems before they develop into disciplinary issues. Workplace bullying and harassment, depression, stress, gossip, communication and others are some of the main issues why people seek for medical care and/or workplace counseling.

Sometimes we simply cannot avoid workplace issues.

These health care professionals can assist you with:

  • Providing a “safer”,  environment to discuss the issue(s)
  • Techniques to recognize the signs of potential conflict
  • State your own priorities, attitudes and beliefs on an issue
  • Prepare yourself to listen to the input of others, and evaluate your participation level within workplace conflict
  • Develop techniques to contribute to a friendly workplace
  • Identify methods to avoiding or diminish workplace disagreements
  • Lead the example and promote a collaborative and respectful workplace
  • Treat workplace conflicts and concerns fairly, confidentially, impartially and seriously
  • Identify when and if to escalate the issue formally within your organization or seek legal advice

Counselors have a specialized set of skills and focused viewpoint. They significantly have two clients – the organization (the employer) and the worker to consider. Who is paying their daily billing fee for their services? Is that even a consideration? Counselors may be aware of the organizational culture, its requirements and possibly the individual teams where the employees work. The counseling approach used will vary with the specific situation.


Benefits | Workplace Counseling

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Serena, Fear, Winning

“I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.” ~ Serena Williams

In summary, facing workplace issues is a hard task.

Coworkers, project team members and your first line manager will evaluate your work performance, your ability to get along with others, as well as your workplace presence and attitude.  Since these are unavoidable outputs of the workplace, an action to consider is to equip yourself with the best knowledge and tools needed to improve potential workplace roadblocks that arise.

However, under consistent, persistent, difficult workplace circumstances, seeking the help of an experienced physician or mental health professional may be a wise course of action to maintain your career success.

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