Employee Counselling: Meaning Definitions, Objectives, Skills and Techniques

06/04/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

The management is concerned with these problems as they are interested in the well-being and development of employees and they would like to deal with their abnormal behaviour which might disrupt work and demotivate other employees.

Counselling has been defined as a process which takes place in one-to-one relationship between an individual beset by problems with he cannot cope alone and a professional worker whose training and experience have qualified him to help other reach solutions to various types of personal difficulties.

Counselling is concerned with bringing out a voluntary change in the client. The counsellor provides help to achieve the desired change or make suitable changes. The client alone is responsible for the decisions, though the councilor may assist the client by his warmth and understanding relationship.

Counselling is the process of helping other persons to find solutions to their problems and anxieties. The person carrying out Counselling is known as counsellor and the person being counselled is called counselee or client.

Keith Davis defines the term Counselling as “discussion of emotional problems with an employee with the general objective of decreasing it”.

The aim of counselling is to provide help and support to the employee during the difficult times of their lives to enable them to face problems and challenges successfully. It is generally conducted as a private face-to-face meeting between the employee and the counsellor where the counsellor attempts to understand the employee’s problems and give him suggestions.

Employees may face problems in their personal or professional life which may start affecting their performance and work place behaviour. When a person faces some difficulties, his stress level would increase and start having a negative influence on his work performance.


  • Provide an opportunity for the employee to discuss his frustration, tension, conflicts, concerns and problems.
  • Understand his behaviour and reasons for such behaviour.
  • Help the employee to realise his potential.
  • Help him to understand his strengths and areas for development.
  • Understanding the work environment.
  • Improve his personal and interpersonal effectiveness.


  • Service offered to employees.
  • Service is conducted in organisation.
  • Focus is on problems faced by employees.
  • Objective of counselling is problem solution.
  • Employee counselling serves all concerned.
  • Employee counselling is a continuous process.
  • Role of counsellor is important in counselling.
  • Half knowledge is a dangerous thing, is completed through counselling.



It involves a change in the employee’s psychic self through a change in basic goals and values. Mostly, it needs a revision of the employee’s level of aspiration to bring it more in line with actual attainment. It is largely a job of the professional counsellor.


One of the important functions of counselling is offering advice “to the counselee.” The counsellor has to understand the problem of the counselee completely, before offering advice and suggesting a course of action.

Clarified Thinking:

Another function of counselling is that of clarified thinking. As emotional blocks to straight thinking are relieved while narrating the problems to the counsellor, one begins to think more rationally. Clarified thinking tends to be a normal result of emotional release, but a skilled counsellor can act as a catalyst to bring about clear thinking more quickly. The client begins to accept responsibility for his own problems and strives to be more realistic in solving them.

Release of Emotional Tension:

Releasing emotional tension is an important function of counselling. People feel emotional release from their frustration after counselling. Release of tension may not solve the entire problem, but it removes mental blocks to the solution.


In order to give courage to face a problem confidently, counselling provides employees with reassurance. Normally reassurance is not acceptable to the counselee. However, it is useful in some situations.


Counselling helps improve both upward and downward communications. In an upward direction, it is a key for employees-to make the management know their feeling. Counselling initiates an upward signal. Another part of the counsellor’s job is to discover emotional problems relating to company’s policies and to interpret those problems to top management.


  • Counsellor should be a morale booster for the employee
  • Counsellor should be unbiased and must never compare one employee with other employees
  • Counsellor should have warm manners and social etiquettes
  • He/she must be well versed in excellent communication skills
  • The counsellor should possess professional qualifications, experienced, maturity
  • Effective listening skill
  • Pleasing personality
  • Immense Patience
  • Compassionate approach
  • Non-judgmental towards a problem or an employee
  • Research-Oriented as counselling is an ever evolving profession
  • Empathetic and sympathetic towards the employees
  • Discrete outlook
  • Ever encouraging to employees to come forward for redressal.
  • Employee counselling has a positive impact on the employee’s life as their problems are solved and they lead a stress free life.


Directive Counselling:

As the name implies, directive counselling is a process of directing the employees to solve their emotional problems through advice, reassurance, communication, release of tension. The counsellor deals with the emotional problem of the employee patiently, and then decides with the employee what to do and then motivating the employee to do it.

The counsellor takes an active part in discussing every aspect of the problem and helps in devising the solution and suggests the ways to get it. It is assumed that the counsellor is superior to counselee and knows what to do.

Non-Directive Counselling:

Non-directive or client-centred counselling is the process of skillfully listening and encouraging a counselee to explain bothersome emotional problems, understand them and determine the course of action. The central point in such type of counselling is the counselee and not the counsellor. This technique is mostly used by professional counsellors but managers can also practise it in their organisation.

The role of a counsellor is simply to listen to the person and try to understand his feelings and encourage to discover and follow improved course of action. He should not suggest or reassure any course of action rather he should accept his feelings without any judgment.

He should also avoid blame or praise or doubts during the course of counselling otherwise the role of counsellor will change because it may be possible that the person may not come out with his true feelings and the very purpose of such counselling may be defeated.

The counsellor throughout the interview should attempt to ask discerning questions, restate ideas, clarify feelings and understand why these feelings exist. There exists a fluid and sensitive relationship between the counsellor and counselee that requires minute attention to every detail in the overall situation.

Co-Operative Counselling:

Employers make limited use of non-directive counselling because it requires professional counsellors and is costly. On the other hand, directive counselling is often not accepted by modern, independent and democratic employees. This is why that organisations in general use counselling which falls between the two extremes of directive and non-directive counselling.

This moderate, or middle-of-the-road approach, is called ‘co-operative counselling’. It is called ‘co-operative’ because it uses the co-operative efforts of both the counsellor and the counselee. It is neither entirely counsellor-centred nor counselee- centred. In fact, it requires that both of them come forward with their varied knowledge, perspectives and insights to resolve the counsel’s problems in a work-together” setting.

Keith Davis has defined co-operative counselling as “a mutual discussion of an employee’s emotional problem and a co-operative effort to set up conditions that will remedy it.” Co-operative counselling starts with the listening technique of non-directive counselling but as the interview progresses, the counsellor plays a much more important and positive role than he plays in non-directive technique.

The counsellor initiates the discussion and discusses the problem with the employee from his broader perspective of the organisation, thus, throwing various perspectives before the employees for comparison.

Co-operative counselling applies four functions of counselling, i.e., reassurance, communication, release of tension and clarified thinking. It has no room for advice. If reorientation is needed, the counsellor refers the employee to a professional counsellor. If direct action is required, the manager takes the action but he does so in his capacity as a direct superior and not as a counsellor.