- Working remotely has been mentally and emotionally taxing for many. If you haven’t already, it's time to start having conversations with your team about mental wellness.
- Team members are naturally hesitant to admit something’s wrong. But if you lead by example and start honest conversations, you create space for them to open up and ask for help.
- Encourage your team to talk about their personal gains, hobbies, and what makes them proud or grateful. Embrace and support the whole person, not just what they bring to the sales table.
First of all, let’s take a collective deep breath.
We all need to give ourselves a break. It’s been a rough year-plus. The turmoil, uncertainty, and disruption we’ve all faced has taken a toll on every aspect of our lives both in ways we can recognize and in behaviors that are perhaps more difficult to identify.
One of the most abrupt adjustments so many of us have had to make is the shift from working in an office to working from home. It’s a drastic departure from a workplace convention that is centuries old. It’s a change that can cause many to feel isolated, less productive, and emotionally drained.
Which is why, in this brave new era of remote working, mental wellness is more important than ever. 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.
So here are five ways you can foster an environment of mental and emotional wellness among your team.
1. Understand What Company-Provided Resources Are Available to Employees
It’s common these days for companies to offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 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. Your team may not be aware they exist in the first place.
2. Ask Your Team What Would Be Helpful 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.
3. Think About Energy Budgets
Energy budgets are a simple concept that can help staff manage their energy and wellbeing. Just like financial budgets, energy budgets track gains and drains. Good sales call 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. 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.
4. Practice Intentional Communication
It’s a great skill for anyone working in sales to have. But intentional communication is even more important when most of us are working remotely. 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. Develop a cadence of regularly scheduled and unscheduled informal check-ins with your team. Make it an ongoing conversation, not a one-and-done check of a box. Keeping the lines of communication open helps to establish and foster camaraderie, community, and trust.
5. 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.
These conversations about mental wellbeing really are indispensable in our new working world. They can also be difficult, which is absolutely okay to feel. What matters is that you’re taking steps to creating a culture of trust and empathy – cornerstones of any truly successful team.
Want to Learn More?
We’d like to thank Wellity Global for inspiring these tips. We recently hosted a session with Wellity where we chatted about mental wellbeing in sales and how team leaders can steer the conversation.
To see the full session with Wellity, watch it on demand.