Demonstrating the effectiveness of workplace counselling

Reviewing the evidence for wellbeing and cost-effectiveness outcomes

Bajorek Z, Bevan S  |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Jul 2020

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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an upsurge of workplace stresses and concerns, with many employees experiencing significant changes to work and life. Finding the best forms of support for employees will be an essential concern for employers, especially as they begin to manage future workplace adjustments and the possible return to the office.

Research commissioned by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Employee Assistance Professionals Association, looked to explore the effectiveness of workplace counselling. The research report draws on a rapid evidence review of recent literature on workplace counselling, in addition to convening an expert roundtable to collect the views of experienced practitioners.

The report aims to promote an understanding of what workplace counselling is, its purpose and the evidence-base underpinning its use. In addition, the report discusses the future of workplace counselling and ways that its benefits and impact can be more widely understood.

Both the literature and roundtable evidence suggested that, if implemented and utilised effectively, workplace counselling is positive for both employees and organisations committed to providing support, minimising sickness absence, reducing presenteeism and maximising job retention and vocational rehabilitation. At a time when many will be returning to workplaces after a sustained period of uncertainty and potential ill-health (both mental and physical wellbeing), this form of support is especially important for both employers and employees.