Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Today isn’t about sales. It’s not about your clients or landing a shiny new account. Nope, it isn’t even about ensuring your product is moving at all.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness month, make today completely about your employees and their mental health.

Most of us are uncomfortable with the topic. However, focusing on the overall well-being of your team is critical for their career and personal success. Unfortunately, well-being among healthcare employees is dropping dramatically. An astonishing 6 percent of healthcare workers are thriving in their well-being, according to a recent Gallup poll.

This extreme low in well-being is likely due to burnout, stress, and overall career pressures. For medical sales employees, the dedication to their careers and competition can prove overwhelming. While your team is full of resilient sales pros, everyone eventually deals with challenging customers and even product controversies.

So, take a day to address your team’s mental well-being and ignite a brand new company-wide mental health mindset. Here’s how you can get started:

Know the warning signs

Everyone handles stress differently. Some people are natural talkers, and they’ll quickly open up to you and other leaders about their issues.

However, addressing everyone’s mental health isn’t this easy, though.

Other employees aren’t as comfortable opening up about their anxieties and stressors. To enhance your team’s well-being, HR pros and company leaders need to be in tune with their medical sales teams.

Watch for small signs showing your employee(s) needs support:

  • Becoming overly quiet or subdued
  • Immersing themselves entirely in their work
  • Secluded from co-workers and disinterested in team bonding
  • Unusual sloppiness in wardrobes
  • Unexplained tardiness and absences

Any of these, and many other small details could be signs that an employee has reached a point of burnout, is struggling at home and/or work, and needs help from you to get their mental well-being back on track.    

Offer constant support

Addressing mental well-being with your medical sales team isn’t a one day project — it’s a lifestyle. When your team feels continuously supported and backed by HR and company leadership, they’ll be quicker to come to you with issues. In return, you’ll have a better opportunity to tackle mental health problems with them and offer direct ongoing support.

One of the simplest but most impactful ways to offer support is by checking in regularly with your team. For smaller companies, this can be done in a one-on-one weekly setting. For larger companies, this can be done using daily or weekly polls to assess how happy employees are with their overall jobs and work environment.

When you’re advocating for mental health benefits at your company, take these to your team to see which they’d find beneficial:

Offer day-off plans

I mentioned these in the list above, but day-off plans deserve further explanation.

Even though you work in the healthcare field, it’s likely your team forgets to nurture their own mental health. When your employees are constantly on the road and pushing towards their next sales goals, it’s easy to ignore company offered PTO.

Encourage your team to remember how important it is to take care of themselves by designating a set number of days to use when they feel stressed or on the brink of burnout. They can use these days consecutively, on an as-needed basis, and the plan can be altered if the issue becomes severe.

Further help employees use their mental health days by removing the worry and burden of taking a day off. Offering backup sales buddies is a perfect way to ease medical sales pros’ minds while they’re away taking care of themselves.

These ‘buddies’ are other members of the sales team who familiarize themselves with each other’s clients and sales expectations. Then, when one person is out, the other can jump in already prepared to handle anything timely that comes their way.

Following steps is just a start to addressing your employees’ mental health. The best thing you can do for your team is to break the silence surrounding mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, burnout, mental disorders and diseases, and yes, even suicide. By opening up the line of communication, you could drastically improve your team’s overall health and well-being.

What are some other easy ways for medical sales leaders to support employee mental health? Share in the comments.

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