To say that the last year has been challenging would be an understatement. Between lockdowns, remote working, and general pandemic blues, we have all faced significant difficulties. As such, prioritizing mental wellness has been vital for organizations large and small over the last year, particularly for employees on the frontlines of customer interaction. Luckily many have benefited from applying readiness strategies, wellbeing principles and relevant content to engage and support their people.
Sales teams have not been exempt from the challenges of prioritizing and maintaining their mental health and wellbeing. Current events have only exacerbated an already stressful role. A recent survey estimates that more than 40% of sales workers struggle with their mental health. That’s two out of every five members of your sales team. Additionally, a survey by PayScale ranked Sales Account Managers as the second most stressful job — a massive 73% of respondents said the job is highly stressful.
Despite this, mental health issues are often stigmatized or swept under the rug. Worryingly, 92% of people with mental health conditions think that admitting these conditions at work would damage their career.
These statistics should be concerning for anyone involved in sales. After all, to provide an amazing customer experience, sales managers, L&D, and sales enablement leaders must first support their sales team by providing an exceptional employee experience. Don’t just take our word for it. Statistics from the Sales Health Alliance show an average of 230% return on every dollar invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Basically, it is in everyone’s best interests to remove stigmas and support your sales team’s mental health. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also leads to happier employees, more satisfied customers, and even increased ROI.
So, what does supporting your sales team’s mental health look like in practice? Follow these three techniques.
Reduce workplace stigma
The first step to supporting your sales team’s mental health is reducing workplace stigma relating to mental health. As mentioned, 92% of people with mental health conditions think that admitting these conditions at work would damage their career. What’s more, a SANE Australia survey found that almost three-quarters of respondents living with a mental illness (74%) have experienced stigma.
Mental health stigma is a barrier to open, supportive, and productive workplace dialogues. Not only are mental health stigmas harmful to employees, but they’re also just bad business. The business case for reducing mental health stigma at work includes:
- Reduced turnover and costs related to recruitment and training
- Attracting top talent that prefers a workplace that supports mental health
- Reduced burnout as employees are supported to be productive at work
- Corporate social responsibility by providing a workplace that supports employees
- Improved performance by supporting employees to produce their best work
Strategies to reduce workplace mental health stigma include: educating employees about mental health and the associated stigmas, fostering awareness through online training, encouraging open dialogues about mental health, and asking your leaders to promote mental health awareness.
A great way to do this would be to encourage sales managers to use a sales readiness platform to communicate (with feedback flowing both ways), coach, and offer direct support to their reps, especially during today’s all-remote environment. For example, MindTickle can be used by sales managers to keep in touch with their reps on a regular cadence to check in on them as well as to coach reps on ways to minimize stress and offer tips on working smarter, not harder, to beat quotas more efficiently.
Provide social support
All too often, mental health issues are isolating. People regularly feel like they have to suffer in silence. In times like these, a strong and robust social support network is essential.
A social support network is a group of people you can turn to for support in times of need — particularly if you are experiencing mental health issues. Your support network may include family, friends, colleagues, or even online communities.
Building your social support network is as simple as identifying the people in your life with whom you feel comfortable sharing important thoughts and feelings.
According to Very Well, some of the key benefits of social support are increased motivation, healthier choices, and reduced stress. They add, “psychologists and other mental health professionals often talk about the importance of having a strong social support network. Research has also demonstrated the link between social relationships and many different aspects of health and wellness.”
For many people, workplace teams can feel like a second family. As such, workplace social support is critical to supporting your sales team’s mental health.
According to Health Behavior and Health Education, there are four different ways to provide social support. These are:
- Emotional support, which means “expressions of empathy, love, trust, and caring.”
- Instrumental support, which means offering “tangible aid and service.”
- Informational support, which means offering “advice, suggestions, and information.”
- Appraisal support, which means “providing information that is useful for self-evaluation.“
To best support your sales team’s mental health, keep these four types of social support in mind.
Promote mental health self-care strategies
Finally, encouraging teams to develop mental health self-care plans is an excellent strategy for supporting your sales team’s mental health. In simple terms, a mental health self-care plan is a list of activities or techniques that you can turn to when things feel overwhelming. A mental health self-care plan can include general self-care, self-care at work, interpersonal self-care, and psychological self-care.
General self-care strategies might include getting enough sleep and exercise and following a healthy and nourishing diet. In an office context, self-care might mean regularly checking in with your supervisor to reduce stress when your workload feels overwhelming, setting strict work-life boundaries, or taking regular self-care breaks throughout the day.
Finally, psychological self-care strategies can include making time for hobbies, reframing negative thoughts, mindfulness meditation, and yoga.
Tackling mental health can be a daunting task. Luckily, Go1 makes it easier, especially when its content can be used on MindTickle, where it can be part of the ongoing readiness and enablement experience for every valued team member, helping to mitigate stress and address mental health issues head-on. With a range of mental health courses from world-class training providers, Go1 can help support your sales team’s mental health, reduce stigmas, and start open, productive conversations.
Want to learn more about how you can leverage Go1 content on the MindTickle platform? Request a demo here.