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An industrial psychology perspective of workplace counselling in the changing world of work

Thapelo S. Moralo, Lené I. Graupner

Abstract:Orientation: Regulations for the industrial psychology profession state that short-term counselling may be provided to employees in the workplace. It is therefore necessary to be equipped with the required skills to assist employees especially to cope in the changing world of work. Research purpose: The general objective of this research study was to explore the role of industrial psychologists as workplace counsellors in the changing world of work. Motivation for the study: In light of recent changes in the world due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there seems to be a strong motivation to explore the importance of workplace counselling with regard to the changing nature of work. Research approach/design and method: A qualitative descriptive research strategy was utilised, with homogeneous sampling of 22 industrial psychology practitioners (n = 22). Main findings: The results showed that workplace counselling as an intervention provides the support employees need to adapt to changes in the workplace. Technological advances have a major impact on the manner in which people work, and therefore employees need the support to cope with these changes. Counselling from an industrial psychology practitioner could provide this type of support. Practical/managerial implications: Industrial psychology practitioners in the role of counsellors in an organisation play a major part in helping employees with accepting and coping with the changes and challenges presented by the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Contribution/value-add: This study could contribute by providing organisations with valuable feedback on how to address challenges presented by the changing nature of work, specifically the importance of the role of workplace counselling provided by industrial psychology practitioners.
Keywords: workplace / cope / employees / coping with the changes / industrial psychology / changing nature / counsellors / nature of work / adapt

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