Many Indian corporates these days are engaging counsellors as part of employee assistance programs, aimed at increasing productivity and reducing attrition.
The initiative is catching on in many Bangalore-based companies offering offshore support, primarily due to a mandate from their multinational clients.
Counselling and 'seeking help' are losing the stigma attached to them and India Inc. is investing in the mental and emotional well being of its human assets. Managers are realizing that an employee cannot be expected to check her baggage in at the door, and are taking steps to help her travel light.
We have been offering one-on-ones using a non-intrusive form of counselling that does not require personal details and content of the problem. This leaves the individual's privacy intact and her trust in the organisation and us, her coaches, increases.
Although one is unable to directly connect profitability with employee interventions such as these, we monitor success of our consults based on results in the focus areas/goals elicited at the start. Return on investment is evident through decreased absenteeism, better team bonding or boss-subordinate relationships, increased focus, and an ability to meet deadlines and take better decisions, among other results.
We consulted with a young girl who was working in a very important account and who was required to travel onshore. She was reeling under the stress of a demanding client, long work hours and the constant fretting from her over-protective parents. Her health and confidence were taking a beating.
Our job was to get her to manage the stress of working with the client on his turf.
We used our blend of mocks for her to learn to be more assertive, and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) exercises focused on her health and confidence.
She reported that she was able to manage client expectations and her personal commitments better, all stemming from using more assertive communication.
All in a day’s workJ