This World Mental Health Day we hear from Dominic Allon, CEO of Pipedrive, who comments on the state of mental health after a challenging two years for most.
This World Mental Health Day is a real inflexion point following some of the most challenging times in a generation. From fellow unicorn start-ups to entrepreneurs, leading businesses all need to ensure that staff are given the freedom to check in with their working life, take stock, and make new plans for personal growth. With work a huge source of personal satisfaction and meaning in our lives, the past 18 months have been very different for some individuals.
Our global research revealed, for example, that COVID-19 caused a mindshift for salespeople, reflected both in their increased job success and satisfaction, and their positive attitudes to the contribution that sales could make to economic recovery. Almost half of the professionals (49%) became more satisfied in 2020, with only 12% experiencing a decrease. This was likely at odds with events occurring within many people’s personal lives, of course.
Mental health is an ever-changing landscape. More than a year ago when the pandemic hit, the global 2019-2020 State of Sales survey echoed a troubling trend for workers everywhere, suggesting that over two-thirds (70%) of sales professionals were feeling underappreciated in the business and at risk of burnout. 83% sometimes worked weekends, and during the pandemic, the number of English-speakers working over 40 hours weekly increased by 60% on the previous year. However, this extra effort can pay off, as 59% believed they became more successful.
Managing stress and mental health
Some employees will inform managers if they struggle with their well-being, but with stigmas still part of society, many will not. Additionally, we’re not all excellent at understanding our own well-being. Some employees may not be aware their mental health is poor as they try to get by. Some may thrive in situations where others feel overwhelmed.
A Gallup study found that people with good work friendships feel more supported and encouraged, and that co-workers will help them during stress and challenges. Foster a close-knit and friendly working culture where no people feel isolated. Social events outside of the working day, shared lunch breaks help build bonds. Mentoring and buddy schemes can fast-track new members into positive working relationships.
- Fighting the mental health pandemic with technology
- “We want action”: the need to transform mental health services with tech
- Hybrid work model improves mental health for over a third of UK workers
- The only NHS’ approved mental health app has raised £2.5mn in a record 10 days
It’s not all on the employee to flag upwards. Managers need to be aware of the signs of poor mental health, be open and empathetic in preparing plans to help struggling employees and take real steps to create a workplace of acceptance. Managers who truly believe in building high-performing teams will give employees the space to address their emotional needs. “Snapping out of it” is a demotivating message to hear. Businesses that make mental health a priority are likely to be those that face all challenges with empathy and courage – and are the kind of organizations that the best people will flock to.