Demonstrating the effectiveness of workplace counselling

New research undertaken by the Institute for Employment Studies – commissioned by the Employee Assistance Professionals Association and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy– explores the effectiveness of workplace counselling for this new world of work: the urgent need to see employee mental wellbeing as a platform for organisational resilience.

Key findings

  • If implemented and utilised effectively, workplace counselling can be positive for both employees and those organisations wishing to provide timely support which minimises sickness absence and presenteeism, and maximises job retention and vocational rehabilitation.
  • There is still a need for standardised definitions of terms such as ‘utilisation’ so comparisons between providers and improved state of the market evaluations of workplace counselling can occur.
  • With an increased demand for workplace counselling services anticipated, more counsellors with a workplace focus need to be trained to ensure an adequate supply of skills is available in the market.
  • Qualified workplace counsellors could play an enhanced role in supporting workplace health interventions in collaboration with other professions (eg physiotherapists, occupational therapists).

The report concludes: “If more employees can access high quality, trained workplace counsellors through their employers, then the evidence suggests that this can be a cost effective approach to providing employee wellbeing services and improving mental health outcomes across the UK economy.”