Coaching in times of economic downturn is hard.
With so much uncertainty, teams look up to leaders for their organizations’ assumptions about the business – how fast it can or should grow, the size and growth speed of their market, etc. This makes effective coaching that much more difficult, and also that much more important.
In this new era of uncertainty, being a great coach isn’t necessarily about having all of the answers. It’s about adjusting to the new environment, and fostering a culture where mental wellness is at the forefront of everything. In fact, your team’s mental wellbeing is mission-critical to the success of your business. After all, a mentally and emotionally healthy team is an effective team.
To help, we’ve compiled five ways you can foster an environment of mental and emotional wellness.
1. Bring Attention to Company-Provided Resources
You’ve probably nailed (or gotten close to nailing) coaching and training your team to reach their full potential. You’ve also probably learned all of the ways that you can mentor and motivate them during that process. But what happens when they need something outside of the scope of your typical sales manager description?
Plug in Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
Most companies today offer EAPs and other services to help team members deal with difficult personal and/or work-related problems. Familiarize yourself with these confidential resources, use them yourself, and encourage your team to take advantage of them as well. They may not be aware they even exist in the first place.
2. Think About “Energy Budgets”
“Energy budgets:” a simple concept that can help staff manage their energy and wellbeing.
Just like financial budgets, energy budgets track gains and drains. Good sales planning, time management, and positive relationships with colleagues are energy gains. Unattainable targets, interruptions at home, and team strife are energy drains.
Encourage your team to self-manage their gains and drains, and provide resources to help them learn to do that.
And don’t forget your own energy levels – you’re a vital part of the team, too.
3. Practice Intentional Communication
Good communication with your team is more than just being able to assign tasks. It’s about your ability to inspire, to motivate, and to relay both positive and constructive feedback.
Be clear and direct when you ask staff how they’re doing. It might feel clunky at first, but your team might not volunteer the information if you don’t.
Then, develop a cadence of regularly scheduled and unscheduled informational check-ins with your team. Make it an ongoing conversation, not just a one-and-done check of a box. Keeping the lines of communication open helps to establish and foster camaraderie, community, and trust.
4. Encourage Staff to Protect Their Time Away From Work
We all need “me” time. It replenishes our energy, feeds our creativity, and refreshes us.
Communicate to your staff that being professionally reliable is not the same thing as constantly available. Intentionally build a culture where downtime is encouraged and celebrated as a vital part of your business’s success. You can add to this by asking your staff about their personal wins and what they’ve enjoyed doing during time off.
5. Ask Your Team What They Need, Right Now
It sounds obvious, but asking struggling team members how you can help is the simplest way to identify issues and begin to get them the support they need. It’s also the most direct way to potentially spot gaps in company-offered resources that, if available, could be helpful.
Conversations about mental wellbeing are indispensable in our new working world. They can also be difficult, which is absolutely okay. What matters most is that you’re taking steps to creating a culture of trust and empathy – cornerstones of any truly successful team.