AV Integrators Should Pay Attention To Their Employees’ Mental Health

Younger generations are more likely to leave a job due to mental health issues. That doesn’t bode well for an industry dominated by older generations.

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I’m new to Commercial Integrator and I’m still learning about the AV industry and the issues, challenges and opportunities for workers in the field.

I’ve had several conversations with people in the industry through my first week, and like many other jobs, it seems like a high-stress environment.

Before Ci, I worked at three different news publications, each with daily deadlines that sometimes left me pulling my hair out or dreaming about cracking open a beer on my couch as soon as that story was filed.

With project deadlines to meet and budgets to adhere to, it seems like AV isn’t much different. I spoke to one integrator in a rural part of the country that said he doesn’t remember the last time his crew didn’t go into overtime on a project.

Related: AV Tech Burnout: The Dark Side of Working in Technology

According to a new study from Harvard Business Review, employees want their company to pay attention to their mental health.

Less than half of survey respondents said mental health was prioritized at their company, and even less said their company leaders were advocates for employees’ mental health

An overwhelming majority, 86%, said a company’s culture should support mental health. That’s increasingly important for Millennials and Gen Zers, who have higher turnover rates and are becoming the largest demographic in the workforce, but not so much the AV industry.

According to the study, half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers said they voluntarily left roles in the past for mental health reasons, compared with just 20% of overall respondents.

Other surveys suggest those demographics are hard to find in the AV industry, but integrators may want to pay attention to this if they want to retain skilled technicians and grow the next wave of AV professionals.

How do you tackle this difficult issue?

To do this, Harvard Business Review suggests taking three steps:

  • Start at the top. Encourage executive teams, managers and senior employees to share their experiences with mental health during open discussions with their team members, which can reduce the stigma and help others open up about their struggles.
  • Invest in education. CEOs and managers aren’t therapists, but they should have some basic knowledge of how to navigate difficult conversations and respond to employees who might be struggling.
  • Provide support. Make sure the mental health benefits at your company are solid. If they are, make sure employees know that those resources are available to them.