Psychology in Business Series 2011: The Mental Health of Your Business

The Mental Health of Your Business In A Stressed Economy

In the last article I focussed on the individual person and how they could better cope while working in a stressed business. Today we are going to focus on how the business itself could better cope within this stressed economy.

Often what happens in a business or company in a stressed economy is that it either “bunkers down” and prepares to fight for its survival, or it desperately tries to grasp at quick fix solutions to battle the declining profit margins. Both of these reactions are an attempt to survive but they often result in further loss and more rapid decline of the business. For the business to stay afloat expenses need to be cut and sales need to be sustained or increased. Cash flow simply is a bottom line reality that no business can ignore. Unfortunately, the stress of addressing the cash flow issues can result in over looking other essential ingredients to the business’s survival that are just as important.

There are a number of different solutions to increasing the efficiency of your business in a stressed economy. One of the most important survival skills of a business is to take the appropriate time to assess the effectiveness of potential changes before making rash decisions and take into account how these changes can be best executed.

A business is like an organism with it own physical and mental health. Changes in a business may look like a solution to cash flow problems however, they may result in reducing the business’s ability to survive. The mental health of a business is dependent on the wellbeing of the staff, mangers and owners of the business. So any changes involving people will impact on the mental wellbeing of the business. The business’s mental health needs to be considered.

With this in mind, solutions to a struggling business may include staff cuts, changing roles and positions of remaining staff and looking for new business initiatives. Organisational change is a whole field in itself, but there are some important learnings from this field that show us what works and what doesn’t.

Future articles in this series will look at the following topics and how best to approach these topics. They include:

  • Staff cuts, how to face this necessary evil
  • Realistic and clearly defined positions and duties
  • Introducing new systems, strategies and initiatives
  • Involving staff in decisions and new initiates
  • Responsiveness to staff’s well-being
  • Adaptability is essential in this changing market. Knowing how to make changes and monitor the mental health of your business could be the deciding factor in its survival. Keep an eye out for these articles, as this information may help your business to adapt and grow in this unstable and unpredictable economic market.