James Routledge is the co-founder of Sanctus, a startup on a mission to normalise mental health in the workplace through placing Sanctus coaches into businesses.
Founder of Sanctus
To create a world where mental health is viewed the same as physical health
What was your response as a business leader to COVID-19?
We made one decision - to move the delivery of Sanctus coaching from in person to virtual. That was the decision. It ended up being really easy, it felt very natural, organic and everyone was really bought in. I am grateful that we took a quick decision rather than waiting to not make a decision at all.
How do you go about onboarding new clients in COVID?
So we would have a quick chat with you and learn more about your business, the current situation you're in. How many employees you've got and if you've done anything in regards to employee mental health before and then tell you a little bit of our story, Our approach to mental health, how we work, and if a new partner wanted to go ahead, we would do a launch event virtually for all or all of their employees. Then their employees would then have access to a SANCTUS coach online for 45 minute sessions delivered by Zoom.
What are you doing to keep your employees motivated?
What certainly comes to light whilst the world is going through a real change is the purpose of an organisation. Is there a purpose more than just making money and being profitable? Honestly, we’ve not had to do that much because the purpose of the business is so strong. Sanctus exists to create a real connection with people, so the team was honestly motivated without us doing anything. They were motivated by what we stand for.
Do you think businesses are concentrating on their employees' mental health enough now they are working from home?
I will say on a whole, I’ve seen what I’ll describe as a seismic shift toward businesses being aware of their employees' mental health and the whole world right now is aware of their health and their mental health in a way that I honestly believe we have never seen before. In times like these when shit hits the fan, frankly people's true colours come out. It's the pivotal time for businesses, because how you treat your employees now will be remembered for a long time. I actually think the biggest thing that any business can do right now isn't perks, isn't a funny social on Zoom. It’s to lead. Consistent, compassionate leadership and regular communication and transparency where possible. I think that is the single biggest thing an employer can do to support the mental health of their employees, because globally, every employee right now is worried about their job. Fact.
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