The impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on employees’ work and personal lives shows this is a crucial time for employers to invest in workplace counselling, according to a new report.

The research, carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), commissioned by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), highlights the effectiveness of workplace counselling. 

The report suggests there is strong evidence to highlight a link between workplace counselling and improved wellbeing and organisational outcomes.  It found that if implemented and utilised effectively, workplace counselling can play a role in minimising sickness absence, reducing presenteeism, maximising job retention and helping people with health problems stay in work.  It also highlighted that counselling is especially important for both employers and employees when people return to workplaces after a sustained period of uncertainty and ill-health.

"The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health and wellbeing has highlighted that organisations, employers, HR managers and wellbeing should be focussing on what interventions are most effective for improving and maintaining mental health at work.  This research has highlighted the important role that workplace counselling can have in supporting employee mental health.  With this on-going period of anxiety and uncertainty that has occurred as a result of COVID-19, and how this will continue to effect workplaces, job security and working patterns, now is the time for organisations to focus on what will work best for their employees – and workplace counselling could be a simple yet practical solution for providing support to their employees." - Dr Zofia Bajorek of IES, commenting on the report 

The researchers reviewed literature on workplace counselling, in addition to convening an expert roundtable to collect the views of experienced practitioners.  The full report aims to promote an understanding of what workplace counselling is, its purpose and the evidence-base underpinning its use.  In addition, the report discusses the future of workplace counselling and ways that its benefits and impact can be more widely understood.  It added it was important to recognise the roll workplace counselling can have, especially if it sits alongside other workplace interventions that also promote employee health and wellbeing.

Click here to read the full report

HDS provides an employee assistance counselling service

HDS works with organisations, large and small, to offer counselling and psychotherapy as part of their Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).  Our counsellors and therapists have broad experience of working with employees in the public, private and third sectors across Scotland.  HDS can offer face-to-face, online or telephone counselling at a time when staff may need additional support.   

Click here to find out more and make an enquiry about the HDS employee assistance counselling service