While the fear psychosis of losing job is gripping the IT sector, the IT companies in Pune are becoming more and more sensitive towards facilitating psychological help for their employees. IT companies are now actively engaging with psychologists when it comes to lay-offs.
Last week, Niloufer Ebrahim, a psychologist working with Jehangir hospital in Pune, got a call from the HR of an IT Company informing her that they had laid off around 300 people. Niloufer said, “The HR person of the company, who had called me, said that those employees who are being laid off might call me for the counselling. The company, in this case, pays us and we offer free counselling to those employees who are laid off. I must say that companies are now becoming more and more sensitive towards their employees and engaging in positive manner when it comes to lay-offs.”
Psychologists say that in the last 2-3 years, more and more companies are coming forward to engage psychologist in more organized way, especially when it comes to lay-offs. When laid offs are happening every now and then in companies, employees are finding it difficult to manage the stress and depression.
“These young computer engineers have the burden of EMI’s and if they are suddenly laid off, panic sets in. But this generation finds it difficult to manage the stress and depression and therefore counselling has become essential,” added Ebrahim.
Psychologist think mental health laws in India and suicides committed by employees’ due to lay-offs is also one of the reasons that has forced companies to be more sensitive with lay-offs. “Now there are mental health laws in the country. If an employee commits suicide inside the campus of a company, then the company is made accountable for that. With the number of such cases rising in the country, IT companies are coming forward to engage a psychologist when it comes to decisions like lay-offs,” said Yajyoti Singh, Development Psychologist from the city.
“Although I have noticed that mid and small companies are more forthcoming in engaging with us than that of large companies,” she added.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic attacks, low self-esteem, clinical depression are the types of disorders that psychologist have noticed in employees post a lay-off. Singh said, “The anxiety is more seen in mid-level and high-level employees. Apart from financial burden, they find it difficult to get absorbed in the market,” said Singh.
It is not just the employee, but the family members too need counselling. “I am counselling the children of those who lost their job. Suddenly, disciplinary pattern changes and changed behaviour of parents is forcing children to come and seek our help,” she added.