Sharing your work frustrations and job-related deficiencies with an employee counselor might not sound like a productive way to spend your day, but honest communication could ease your work troubles. When your boss insists that you schedule an appointment with an employee counselor, take it as an opportunity to confide in a professional about difficult workplace situations. Your boss probably doesn't want you to talk to the counselor as a form of punishment -- she's likely looking for ways to resolve workplace tension.
Consider Your Shortcomings
Introspection is a difficult process, but it's worth the effort when you're required to consult an employee counselor. Before you meet, do a self-evaluation to see if you're contributing to any workplace problems. It's better to discover them yourself, than have the counselor catch you off guard. Assess whether your attendance is questionable, your work ethic has gone downhill, or you've made it difficult to interact with co-workers, clients and management. For example, excessive sick days are expensive for an employer and often lead to reduced productivity, according to the McGraw Hill Education website. When you honestly consider your shortcomings, you'll be less likely to get defensive if the counselor mentions them.
Listen to Constructive Criticism
An employee counselor often focuses on the outcomes of an employee's behavior, according to the University of Wisconsin Human Resource Department. So, consider whether your behavior needs an overhaul. For example, the counselor might say, "your tardiness to team meetings is making it difficult to meet deadlines," or "by not submitting purchase orders on time, clients are complaining that they aren't receiving their products when needed." If there's a justifiable reason behind your behavior, discuss it with the counselor so she can help you find an acceptable solution. Otherwise, take her constructive criticism to heart and make some changes.
Discuss Underlying Stress
Your boss may want you to talk to an employee counselor because she's concerned about you and sees signs of depression. If you've withdrawn socially, feel unmotivated, have difficulty performing job responsibilities, experience fatigue, and never look rested, your boss might have reason for concern, according to an article in ''Forbes'' magazine. This is the perfect time to talk to an employee counselor about healthy ways to deal with work-related stress. If the stress is a result of personal issues or family-related concerns, the counselor may recommend a psychologist or other mental health professional.
Prepare for the Worst
It could be your boss's last attempt to address your work performance before she has to make some changes -- or let you go. According to the McGraw Hill Education website, if an employee doesn't fulfill her job duties or shows insubordination, a meeting with an employee counselor may be necessary. Your supervisor may be exasperated with your conduct and hope that a session with an employee counselor will help you see the error of your ways.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.