Employee counseling programs and job performance in the Kenya police service. The case of Nairobi county
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This study sought to assess the effects of employee counseling programs on job performance in the Kenya Police Service. Employee counseling programs are beneficial to solving employee problems that affect job performance. Their service ranges from problem assessment, supportive counseling, and referrals to higher levels of treatment, wellness education and training, and follow-ups for both employees and family members. Within law enforcement, employee counseling programs have given rise to positive outcomes among officers and their job performance. The Kenya Police Service adopted employee counseling programs through the National Police Guidance and Counseling policy (2009) as a means of improving their psychological wellbeing and job performance. However, despite the counseling programs in place, issues such as substance abuse/dependence, violent acts, suicide, homicide, involvement in criminal activities such as robbery, among others, remain common among police officers. These issues are related to poor job performance and in larger extent; they adversely affect ones psychological health. The study applied mixed research design to obtain quantitative and qualitative data. Data was collected using questionnaires and structured interviews. Out of sixty questionnaires administered to police officers, thirty eight were filled and returned. In addition, thirty questionnaires were administered to members of the public. Qualitative data was also obtained from interviews with ten counselors and ten relevant stakeholders. Stratified sampling technique was used to select respondents. Members of the public, counselors, and stakeholders were selected using simple random technique. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0. The analysis showed significant difference between employee counseling programs and job performance in the Kenya Police Service. The finding revealed positive effects of employee counseling programs on job performance. All police officers who had gone through the counseling programs recorded great improvement in their job performance. The finding also showed positive outcomes of employee counseling programs in influencing work morale and interpersonal relations among police officers. It was recommended that the management of Kenya Police Service should establish more counseling centers, employ more counselors, and adopt modern ways of delivering counseling services to members of the Kenya Police Service as major ways of yielding improved performance in future.