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Survey finds nearly a quarter of salespeople were diagnosed with anxiety or depression in 2021

Matthew Shaw, Managing Director of Raiys

A new survey conducted by wellbeing experts has found nearly a quarter of salespeople were diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder or depression in the past 12 months, three times the national average.

Warrington-based Raiys, an app specially designed for salespeople to deal with stress and improve their mental health, created the survey to find out why people in the industry are struggling.

The majority of those surveyed stated that the attitude of their manager or a lack of compassion from management significantly impacted their mental health.

With many businesses tightening their budgets, delaying projects or going into administration, this has placed further pressure on departments with 73% of salespeople considering leaving their current job due to problems with their mental health. Tara, a recent university graduate, is one of those people. She quit her job in sales this year due to the high levels of stress it imposed on her. She said: “The results come as no surprise to me. The culture of working in sales and constantly needing to hit new targets creates a lot of stress for everyone involved, and this is what caused me to leave my position.”

“I firmly believe there is a stigma attached to the topic of mental health in all walks of life but especially in sales; no one discussed it in my previous role. In order for things to improve we need to see changes at the very top, as those lower down need to feel comfortable talking to their managers about these topics.”

Comparing its findings to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to see how salespeople levelled up against those in other roles, Raiys discovered that salespeople were three and a half times more likely to take time off to address their mental health than the national average.

Matthew Shaw, managing director of Raiys, wants to see a drastic change in these findings and is urging business leaders to consider what support they have in place to help their employees with their mental health. Matthew said: “We wanted to conduct the survey to emphasise the stress and pressure many in the industry face with little-to-no support.

“Businesses are entitled to take their own stance on whether or not they have a responsibility to look after an employee’s wellbeing however, few would argue that if the nature of the job is known to be the cause of an individual’s deteriorating mental health, those businesses have a fundamental duty of care to their teams.

“An important element of the survey was to understand the reason why people are feeling the way they do. In an industry where so many are looking elsewhere in order to better their mental health, the Raiys app aims to change workplace culture from the top down, by educating people at all levels about how to tackle the issue head on. Through honesty and open dialogue we can all start to take steps to better our mental health and progress in the workplace with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Raiys, a team of 15 which includes a team of psychologists and performance coaches, hopes to remove the stigma around mental health and equip those working in high-performing roles with the tools to feel more confident and motivated to succeed in their careers.