Challenging the perceptions of mental health in a sales focused business culture can be difficult. In a sales role, professionals are typically given a target or quota that must be hit to be successful within the business. The fear of failing to meet these targets can be the cause of a lot of anxiety for some individuals. With the increasing competition coming through from a variety of facets with relation to pricing, quality, and service, it can be incredibly complicated to manage the mental health and wellbeing of your employees.
If your employees are unhappy, it is unlikely your business will be as successful as it could be. While the wellbeing of your staff should come before the bottom-line and revenue made, professionals who receive better support at work are more likely to be productive in their roles.
Mental health and wellbeing in sales
Is it time to re-evaluate your approach to mental health and wellbeing? Due to the nature of the environment, salespeople often put themselves under extra pressure to deliver and hit their targets. While delivery is important, the pressure of driving business revenue at the forefront of the organisation can be difficult to manage for some professionals.
What is most important is that sales organisations are aware of, openly talking about, and actively working to improve the mental health of their staff. The first place to start is ensuring that you operate an open floor for conversation and encourage your teams to look after their mental health.
Having a positive mental health outlook in your organisation does directly benefit the business. Happier people who have a support system at work and feel that they can be open and honest will be highly engaged in their role, and ultimately want to deliver better results. However, if they feel need to leave a part of themselves at the door when coming to work each day, then that will naturally limit their ability to be the best version of themselves.
Professionals at all levels of an organisation benefit from having an open forum available to discuss mental health, making the conversations easier to have on both sides. It is important to understand a person’s motives or challenges, as this can help in providing support. Every person is different and has different perspectives. It is important to understand how people need to be managed, what mental health challenges they may have, and what support they would need to get them to be the best person they can both in and outside of work.
Improving the message, outlook, and culture of your business
Mental health and wellbeing are often overlooked in businesses. Even though mental health is crucial, it is a fairly new topic in the grand scheme of things. However, in the sales discipline it can be exceptionally challenging due to the nature of expectation and the requirement to always be “on it” in order to deliver and reach targets. Considering these challenges, it is crucial for businesses to continuously improve the support provided to employees.
Firstly, it is about acknowledging what you want to implement, then seeking external help to gather insights into what methods can be used to improve the wellbeing of your teams. Next, you should consider what you want to achieve and the support you would want to provide to your people. Seek out individuals within the organisation who are passionate about wellbeing and suggest that they become mental health champions. These individuals can help to distribute knowledge and the initiatives that you are implementing across the organisation. Culture is a difficult element to change in any business or environment so buy-in at all levels is key. Recognise where you need to make changes and create simple, actionable steps to make this happen.
Finally, you need to bring your initiatives to life. Encourage people to share their own stories as it helps to break down barriers and remove any stigmas. Build awareness by supporting notable dates around mental health and signpost employees to where they can get help. Furthermore, training your line managers is crucial. The worst thing a line manager can do is nothing. Give them the confidence to at least ask the basic questions around mental health, and it will make it easier for employees to speak out when they need to.
Setting long-term business goals
Setting yourself and your organisation long-term goals that can directly benefit your mental health initiatives is important to ensure that developments are made and continuously tracked to see what benefits such initiatives give back. The biggest barometer of success is when people are comfortable enough to freely discuss their challenges, seek advice when needed, but also not feel as though they would be scrutinised or victimised should they step forward and ask for help.
If you are interested in hiring top talent to your sales organisation, get in touch with your local Michael Page office today. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about top skills or salary benchmarking, download our salary and skills guide for sales today.
Associate Director, Michael Page
UK Diversity and Inclusion Director, PageGroup