According to the CDC, the health effects due to workplace issues are estimated to cost employers approximately 200 million lost workdays each year – with a projected expense of $17 to $44 billion for the employers.    Periodically, the news media highlights workers(s) experiencing problems at work, across multiple industries both small business and global enterprises

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 – within your daily working life, you may experience different forms of workplace issues. These can range from miscommunication, incivility, gossip, bullying, microaggressions, and/or harassment. You may experience multiple issues simultaneously, increasing the negative impact on you, the workplace, and the organization.

What if the difficult behavior is pervasive throughout the team?

Are you a target of workplace microaggressions, incivility, or bullying? 

  • Have you observed or overheard incivility at the meeting, while passing in the work passageways, or during meetings?  
  • Have you hesitated to do anything?  
  • Were you the recipient or the observer of the intolerable behavior?   
  • Did you question whether you should do anything?  
  • After the situation passed, did you evaluate how you could avoid the scenario in the future? 
  • Are you looking for effective ways to handle your situation?

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.

With repeated occurrences, you may begin to ask yourself “Why is this happening – and to me”? Notwithstanding 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 suitable responses or actions that you can take. In these circumstances, repeated exposure to such workplace behavior can impact the worker’s self-esteem. 

As you observe your coworkers and their interactions, You notice that 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, completing their assigned tasks with as few interaction issues as possible.

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. In this situation, 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 environment. When a company provides employee access to a confidential, free workplace counseling service, with the strategies learned implemented, reported work issues can be positively impacted

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.

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

During the session with the professional, consider these actions:

  • 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

Be aware, the counseling team may have two clients – the organization (the employer) and the worker to consider. Ask yourself several key questions to gain clarity.   

  • Who is paying their daily billing fee for their services?
  • Is that even a consideration or impact on your decision to seek help with this professional?

As a benefit, the counselors may be aware of the organizational culture, and business requirements. The counseling approach used may vary with the specific situation. 

Seeking the help of an experienced physician or mental health professional may be a wise course of action to maintain your career momentum, improve working relationships, and your job, should you choose to remain with the organization.