Mankind has seen tremendous changes taking place in the world since its inception. But, there has been no change in basic human needs and behavior. Human race has seen the destruction of two World Wars as well as well as the unbelievable technological revolution. But human beings, retains all the characteristics of their ancestors. There may have been an enlargement in the needs as well as sophistication in the behavior, but the basic human core retains its originality.
An organization is a complex combination of people having different social, cultural economic and intellectual background and outlook. It is the right kind of interaction among them that leads to a successful organization. Organizations which are able to cater for the basic human needs, physical as well as intellectual and emotional are the most successful organizations.
Employees like every other human being, have their periods of stresses and strains. There are, times when they feel overwhelmed by the pressures and tensions ranging from domestic to job related problems. They feel unable to cope with the situation resulting not only in deterioration in their physical being, but also in the quality and measure of their work. A dissatisfied employee may not only cause harm to himself, affecting the work, but also demoralize all those who are working with him. Organizations have been quick at realizing this important fact and in acting to find a remedy.
One of the most important human need is, to be cared for and listened to. Man longs for sympathy, advice and guidance. An ear to talk into, an eye to watch and guide and a hand for a pat on the back is all that the man wants besides necessities of life. Problems whether personal or collective are always a source of irritation. A lingering problem is like a hanging sword which can take its toll any moment. It is, always wise to tackle a problem or a potential problem at its earliest, to get around its consequences. Different organizations have different methods for dealing with day-to-day as, well long-term problems.
Employee counseling is one of the modern management technique for solution of problems. It is in fact a method for satisfying the emotional and mental needs of employees in an organization. Counseling is a process whereby the counselor helps the counseled in overcoming his difficulties by a a get- together with him and suggesting suitable remedial steps.
Taken in the perspective of Management-Employee relationship counseling is a medium of Communication between management and an individual employee who due to some emotional stress or psychological problem is unable to do his duties to the best of his ability. The counselor helps the employee in overcoming his problem by using the tools of discussion, guidance and advice and in the process not only removes the cause of dissatisfaction, but also imbibe a feeling of self-assurance in the employee concerned.
Counseling in fact encompasses the gamut of communication, education, motivation and satisfaction. Starting from simple communication, it takes the form of education and then is converted into motivation and satisfy the employee. Counseling encourages the employee to have a better picture of the real situation as well as in re-orienting his thinking.
A two way communication between the management and the employees is a sine qua non for a smooth and harmonious relationship between the two. Counseling helps management in establishing a direct contact with the individual employees and, also provides a medium for self-expression.
The style of counseling may differ from organization to organization keeping in line with its peculiar circumstances. Counseling is done by professionals as well as by non-professionals. However, according to one view a professional Counseling may defeat the very purpose of counseling, because it would make the atmosphere very formal and business like instead of a relaxed and informal atmosphere which is the basic need for an effective counseling. The idea behind counseling, is to set up direct contact with employees to cater for their emotional and intellectual needs and to satisfy them , it may take any form as long as the main purpose is achieved.
Counseling may take the form of advice given by the counselor to the employee. Counselor uses his expertise to understand the real problem and then give advice to the employee about the solution in a purely professional way. It has nothing to do with the management- employee aspects and is more like the recipe given by a medical practitioner. This type of counseling is practiced in the most advanced countries by professional Counselors.
In the second form of counseling the counselor when approached by an employee listens to his problem patiently and then discussion ensues between the two on different aspects of the problem and its likely solution. Finally, after reaching a definite mutual conclusion about the steps to solve the problem,. the counselor motivates the employee for doing the needful to solve his problem. There is a two-way communication and instead of giving advice the counselor helps in solving the employee's problem by encouraging him to think over the problem by himself by clarifying to him different facets of the matter. Counseling in this form is more in the nature of guidance than advice and helps not only in raising the mental level of the employee, but also his morale and makes him a more confident person.
The third kind of counseling is devoid of any hint of guidance and is most subtle. In this form the counselor is able to set up a mental equation with the employees. There is a regular exchange of views and ideas between them and the employees take, solace in speaking their hearts out in front of the counselor. This may take the form of discharge of pent-up emotions, a harangue or self-expression on some experience relevant to the present situation. The role of counselor in this form is very ticklish. He has not only to listen to and digest irrespective of it's its having any relevance and which to him could be nothing but the ravings of a disgruntled person, but he has to show his interest and appreciate the feelings of the employee, and at the same time try to bring him toward the path of normality. After the employee has regained his composure, the counselor tries to balance out his point of view by showing the unreasonableness or superfluity of the negative aspects of his utterances, but at the same time keeps on showing genuine respect to his views and emotions as well appreciating thepositive aspects of the matter. By a slow and gradual process the counselor is able to show to the employee the previously concealed facets of the matter. This form of counseling helps in unfurling the real personality of the employee, his innate feelings, desires and ambitions and is more in the nature of a confession before a priest. A successful counselor could make use of the good qualities of an employee at the right time and try to avoid situations where negative aspects of his personality may find an outlet. It may need more than one session for this kind of counseling. However, once the counselor is able to prove his credibility he may find that well begun is more than half done. This kind of counseling is instrumental in providing long-term benefits to the organization. It helps in giving employees a broader vision and a more analytical approach. It is also a source of feedback for the management about its policies and its style of management