With all the ambiguity and stress of the past several months, your sales reps are likely feeling overworked and overwhelmed. As a result, it’s difficult for them to be productive and innovative, which ultimately impacts your bottom line. Great managers know it’s part of their job to help their team members adjust to workplace changes, which helps mitigate burnout. But how can you effectively do that?

Lolly Daskal, a leadership and management expert, says there are many ways to help guide your team through difficult times and minimize the effects of burnout. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Daskal’s top strategies leaders can use to protect their teams during high-stress times.

Have conversations with your team members. If you’re not asking questions about what your sales reps might need or what is stressing them out, you can’t really help them avoid burnout. It’s important to understand their workload and where they might need a little extra help. By asking thoughtful questions, you can get a better feel for where people are and you can lead them effectively and productively, says Daskal.

Highlight the good. Instead of focusing on what still needs to get done or where your team is falling behind, Daskal recommends emphasizing the positive. Commit to looking for what’s going right and working well, and then communicating those good things to your sales reps. This burst of positivity can help keep burnout at bay by giving your team the motivation to keep moving forward.

Manage your expectations. This includes letting go of assumptions, notes Daskal. During difficult times, it’s important to make sure the things you require of your team are actually achievable. If you set the bar too high, you enhance the risk of burnout on your team. When setting expectations, be sure to bring understanding and empathy. When your sales reps know you stand with them, they are more likely to respond with increased energy and commitment.

Express your gratitude. We are living in uncertain times. It might feel challenging to express appreciation when stress levels are so high, but Daskal says gratitude is a critical way to ward off burnout. When your team members are showing up and doing their jobs despite the stress they might be experiencing at home, always acknowledge their efforts. Whether it’s a handwritten note or a small token of appreciation sent to their home or left on their desktop, a little thank-you goes a long way.

Remember that your team is your most valuable asset. You can help them perform at their best by working to prevent burnout. Talk with your sales reps often, making sure to show your appreciation for their hard work. Be sure to keep your expectations reasonable and lead the way with positivity. Your leadership sets the tone, so lead in a way that uplifts and inspires your team.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Lolly Daskal is founder of Lead from Within, a global leadership, executive coaching and consulting firm based in New York City.