The average American spends one-third of their adult life at work. But workplace relationships can be complicated, and it’s common for employees to feel frustrated, resentful or hurt. Toss in some personal problems at home, and you’ve got a recipe for lower productivity and higher absenteeism rates. As a manager, you try to provide a healthier and more productive work environment for your employees, but some of their problems are out of your control. Getting to the root of those issues will help create a more productive work environment for everyone.

Workplace Challenges that Employees Face

These are some of the more common workplace challenges that employees face:

  • Gossip
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Poor communication
  • Performance problems
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Low job satisfaction

Personal Problems that Affect Job Performance

In addition to dealing with “office politics”, your employees could also be struggling with these personal problems at home:

  • Divorce or ending a long-term relationship
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one
  • Substance abuse
  • Life-altering medical diagnosis
  • Fear for their safety or for the safety of their child

Mental Health Warning Signs

Anxiety, depression and social withdrawal can all affect the job performance of your employees. As their manager you need to look for these mental health warning signs:

  • Poor personal hygiene or grooming
  • Excessive tardiness or absenteeism
  • Inability to focus on and complete routine tasks
  • Being disorganized
  • Sloppiness that causes accidents
  • Increased irritability, frequent complaining or argumentative behavior
  • Disappearing throughout the workday
  • Declining work performance

Occasionally exhibiting one of these behaviors might just mean that your employee is having a bad day. But when several of these symptoms suddenly appear over a short period of time, your employee clearly needs help. At that point, the best approach would be enrolling them in a good workplace counseling program.

What is Workplace Counseling?

A workplace is somewhere where the actual workforce spends most of their time dedicating themselves to the work that’s required. Think of workplace counseling as an employee health care program for the human brain.

In more technical terms, workplace counseling is a form of mental health therapy that’s offered to a company’s employees so that they have a safe place to confidentially discuss any personal or workplace issues that they are currently experiencing. In most cases, workplace counseling is offered through the employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

How Workplace Counseling Benefits Employers

When you provide the opportunity for your employees to participate in a workplace counseling program, as the therapy sessions restore and strengthen their emotional health it will provide you as their employer with these benefits:

  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Equips your employees with better coping skills
  • Increases self-confidence and team morale
  • Improves quality of life that carries over into the home and workplace

In the end, making workplace counseling sessions available to your employees will reinforce the fact that you care about them and their families.

Finding the Best Counseling Program

Like some of the other decisions you have-to make as a manager, choosing the best workplace counseling program for your employees can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Here are some of the key characteristics of a good workplace counseling provider:

  • Confidentiality – The private counseling sessions should have no impact on performance evaluations.
  • Safe environment – Your employees should always feel like they have a safe and comfortable place to talk.
  • Availability – The counseling services should be available around the clock, including during normal working hours, days and evenings, and any time emergencies arise.
  • Phone counselors – In addition to scheduled, face-to-face counseling sessions, the service should also offer 24-hour phone coverage.

Your Employee Assistance Program Provider in Worcester County

At Family Services of Central Massachusetts (FSCM) we understand that just because work starts it doesn’t mean life stops. That’s why we offer Employee Assistance Programs to organizations just like yours so that your employees can enjoy a healthier work/life balance by receiving the professional mental health counseling and assistance they need. For your convenience we provide face-to-face or 24-hour phone and emergency counseling sessions that are all conducted by experienced, Masters level clinicians.

Your customized EAP also comes with plenty of resources, like consultation services for supervisors, staff and supervisor training to encourage participation, your own personal account manager and a convenient toll-free number. If you’d like to learn more about how to increase the morale and productivity of your employees with an Employee Assistance Program from FSCM, contact our Worcester, MA, office today or visit: www.fscm.org.