Business support comes in many guises

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Business support comes in many guises

The 2022 mental health survey conducted by the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS) highlighted the pressures that exist within the glazing industry. Faisal Hussain, DGCOS Chief Executive, talks about how business support and mentoring can help alleviate these stresses and improve profitability.

I recently looked again at the results of the DGCOS mental health survey that we conducted in 2022 and it’s worth reiterating how shocking they were: 89.5% of respondents had seen an increase in workload since the pandemic, and 76.3% had experienced burnout within the previous 2 years, yet only 23.7% of respondents had sought help. Both employees and employers took part in the survey, demonstrating that the challenges were being felt by everyone.

Since we did the survey, the subject is certainly less taboo and mental health challenges are both acknowledged and discussed – which I think is fantastic, but there is still so much more we can do to support each other and make our industry better.

Supporting through mentoring

One of the most positive experiences of my career is having a mentor. Even today, I have a network of people to turn to when I need some advice.

Whether someone is starting out on the first steps of their career or running a business, a mentor can be invaluable. We’re lucky to have a vastly experienced workforce in this industry with a fount of skills and advice that could be passed on and I would certainly encourage businesses to look at how they can introduce a mentoring scheme within their businesses. There is no downside: the mentor can gain satisfaction from passing on their knowledge to someone less experienced and the person being mentored gains skills and the opportunity to reach their full potential. For the employer, this helps plug the skills gap and offers sustainable value.

It can be lonely at the top

Building skills within your workforce by putting a mentoring programme in place is great, but who is supporting the people at the top? Worry about finances, sales, service levels, training, recruitment, and workload are very real, and all take a toll on mental health, which can sometimes lead to other health issues and negatively affect productivity.

One strategy is to find a critical friend, a trusted person who essentially lifts you up. They are similar to a mentor in that they have skills and experience you can learn from, but they recognise your strengths, champion you to succeed, help to identify blockages in processes or performance and can provide solutions through intelligent and honest, yet sometimes critical, thinking. This is entirely different from having a critic who sees fault in everything and only identifies flaws. For peer-to-peer support, having a critical friend can be an invaluable asset and alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed by the challenges of running a business.

Business support assets inside and out

There are business support assets, too, that can add to the performance of a business and help to take the strain off both employees and owners. In addition to internal functions such as HR, administration, or office management that help the day to day running of a business, there are organisations like local business hubs. They can connect you with wider local service or like-minded people. DGCOS also provides help and support in multiple areas from sales and marketing, customer service, selling, installing, to setting up a new business.

Our installer benefits are designed as a roadmap to help installers navigate the challenges they face. This includes help, advice and practical support across multiple distinct touchpoints at every stage of an installer’s journey, and with 2 and 6 year registration options now available, being a member is more cost-effective than ever.

With so many tools available in our efforts to be healthy and productive, and having been on the receiving end of some of these initiatives myself, I now make a point to pay it back. In my own small way, I can now provide help and support to other people – thereby passing on the benefit of my experience and contributing to a better working environment.

To find out more about our installer benefits programme, visit

See the mental health survey results here:

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