India Inc on counsellor?s couch
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India Inc on counsellor?s couch

The stress and the increasing demands of family and friends are pushing execs into a pressure cooker-like existence, writes Mini Pant Zachariah.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2006 01:01 IST

The traffic, the stress of a highly competitive work environment and the increasing demands of family and friends on their time, are pushing executives into a pressure cooker-like existence.

Unlike the American or European firms, the corporate mantra in India so far was ‘all work and no play makes Jack industrious’. But that is slowly changing. Global awareness, which dictates that ‘a happy employee is a more productive one’, is now entering the Indian market place.

“In fact, if you take the training programmes run by the corporates, stress management would be a close second to communication skills programme in terms of importance,” says Anshuman Panda, Manager, Learning and Organization Development, Hewlett Packard, Global Delivery India Centre, Bangalore. Apart from the de-stressing programmes like yoga and meditation, corporates are turning to employee counselling by providing anonymous access to professional counsellors. “Participation in anonymous counselling services is as high as 10 to 12 per cent of the workforce,” says Panda.

Azfar Hussain, a senior HR professional, swears by these programmes. He cites the example of a manager, who despite being a good worker was finding himself unable to manage work-related stress and seemed in danger of having a nervous breakdown — “He was advised to register for the employee assistance programme. After a couple of weeks, he took leave for a month, continued with the sessions and returned a changed man.”

“A 2-3 days residential course on stress management would cost Rs 60,000 and upward,” says Panda. He also says that an organisation like his, spends up to Rs 10 lakh annually on stress management programmes and counselling of its employees.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 01:01 IST