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March 5, 2021 Haeli Harris

Employee Counseling: Do You Need It?

COVID-19 isn’t just a pandemic in the physical sense – it is also a pandemic in the realm of mental health. Rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues have increased dramatically since March 2020. Since the start of the pandemic, 41% of adults have experienced diagnosable mental health disorders, according to the NCBI

woman looking stressed while sitting behind a laptop

 

As employees have become more isolated, it has become more difficult for them to receive the support they need, leading to worsened mental health, reduced productivity, and decreased job satisfaction.

Odds are your company needs employee counseling. It is more important now than ever for employers to prioritize mental health. Providing employee counseling is one of the best, and easiest, ways for employers to do this.

What is Employee Counseling?

Employee counseling (also known as workplace counseling) helps employees sort through any problems they are facing – whether in their work or personal life.

This therapy service can be provided to employees through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or through traditional health insurance.

What are the Benefits of Employee Counseling?

During employee counseling, trained therapists provide employees with the tools they need to deal with their stress in healthy ways. These therapists can help employees address a myriad of challenges, such as work-life balance, management skills, relationship boundaries, workplace stress, communication, and more.

Employee counseling leads to the following benefits for employees:

  • Decreased stress

Stress levels have increased for most employees during the pandemic. Employee counseling can help individuals develop the coping skills they need to manage it – whether it is related to work-life or personal life.

  • Improved job performance

Stress dampens productivity. Counseling helps employees address the things that are holding them back from their work, such as stress, low mood, and anxiety.

  • Development of healthy coping skills to better face life’s challenges

Through counseling, employees learn to decrease their stress and increase productivity by learning how to address life’s challenges in healthy ways.

  • Free access to therapy – for employees and their families

Employee counseling, when provided by an EAP, is free to employees (and often their families!). Since employee counseling programs are part of an EAP (or, in Zenovate’s case, the employee wellness app), they are simple for employers to implement.

For employers, the benefits of employee counseling include:

  • Decrease absenteeism and improved employee performance

Healthier employees show up more and get more done! Employees appreciate being supported by their employers, and will often return the favor.

  • Improved relationship between employee and employer and improved company culture

Employee counseling programs help employees feel that their employer truly cares about their wellbeing, and helps foster a culture that prioritizes mental health. 

  • Increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates

All of the benefits listed previously help keep employees around. So many companies do not provide their employees with the support they need. Your company has the opportunity to be the exception. 

Barriers to Employee Counseling Through Traditional EAP Channels

Traditional EAP channels discourage employees from taking advantage of all the services they offer. The less employees use EAPs, the more money the EAP providers make.

As a result, employees encounter barriers to accessing employee counseling. Employees generally need to go through HR to access the employee assistance information they need – including access to counseling. Employees then must speak with an intermediary before they can set an appointment with a counselor.

This lack of anonymity and poor ease of access leads to less employees getting the support they need for their mental wellbeing.

Zenovate is the first employee assistance program that provides accessible wellness tools and provides the anonymity that employees want.

What are the Methods of Employee Counseling? 

There are multiple types of employee counseling, all of which are designed to provide employees with the support they need for their mental health. All of these types of therapy are private and confidential.

1. Face-to-face counseling

This traditional form of talk therapy includes setting an appointment with a counselor and meeting with them in person. Sessions tend to be an hour long.

2. Teletherapy counseling

Similar to a face-to-face counseling appointment, only conducted over an online teletherapy platform. Both teletherapy and face-to-face therapy also have options for group therapy sessions.

3. Live chat counseling

Live chat counseling involves texting online with a real trained counselor. This option is helpful for those who are uncomfortable with meeting in person and/or chatting over video. Live chat counseling does not require an appointment and can be accessed anytime.

4. Carebot counseling

This type of counseling is similar to live chat counseling in that communication occurs through text messages. However, the conversation is directed by AI, and responses are adapted based on the symptoms an employee is experiencing.

Zenovate helps connect employees to all of these types of therapy.

How Zenovate Can Help With Employee Counseling

Convinced your company needs to provide employee counseling? Look no further.

Most EAPs require talking to HR to set a counseling appointment, discouraging employees from actually using the service. Zenovate removes those barriers and allows full anonymity, providing employees the support they need wherever and whenever they need it.

Sign up for a personalized demo of Zenovate to help you meet your employees’ needs.

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Haeli Harris

Haeli Harris, LMFT is the Lead Counselor at Zenovate. She has been practicing as a marriage and family therapist since 2014.

Licenses, Certs, Memberships Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, UT 2020, 200 Registered Yoga Teacher , Trauma Conscious Yoga (2021), Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family TherapyEducation

BS Human Development and Family Studies. University of Utah MA Marriage and Family Therapy, Northcentral University

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