How to Alleviate Employee Burnout

Tara Sestanovich


May 27, 2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, rates of stress, anxiety, and depression have skyrocketed.  The combination of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion is what has led to 76% of people experiencing employee burnout.  And more than a quarter of employees say having a supportive and understanding manager would help them reduce and avoid burnout.  “The events of 2020 have put a tremendous amount of pressure on U.S. employees,” said Dr. Millard Brown, senior vice president of Medical Affairs at Spring Health. “Burnout is extremely costly for organizations, so it’s imperative that leaders take steps now to reduce and manage burnout symptoms for their workforce.”

As an employer, what can you do to help your sales team feel less stressed and start feeling more supported?  And, more specifically, how can you accomplish this from a compensation standpoint?  Two strategies we recommend are staying organized with your quotas and encouraging your employees to disconnect.

Avoid Burnout with a Blueprint to Quota

Being organized can make a huge impact on your sales team’s state of mind.  And it can be as simple as giving your team what they need to do to hit their targets.  We recommend building clear plans for each rep to hit quota and identifying indicators for when a rep needs help.  Building a blueprint to quota will help your reps know the activities they must do and when to do them in order to hit their goals.  Setting small, achievable goals helps boost confidence and feelings of accomplishment.  Motivate your team to set realistic goals and then break them down into smaller, manageable tasks.  Goals that feel psychologically closer help us subconsciously begin to translate goals to more specific actions.  Adding incentives to form habits, minimizing time spent on forecasting, and reviewing pipeline conversations also removes the ambiguity of how to reach targets.  As a result, this will reduce the stress and uncertainty your reps have about hitting their quota.

Not sure where to begin?  We’ve created a Blueprint to Quota worksheet to help you get started.  Download or make a copy of the worksheet and add your numbers to see when and what you need to do to help your reps stay organized.  This will help eliminate the distractions and stress of hitting their targets. 

Encourage Employees to Disconnect

Encouraging a work-life balance is key in building an engaged and productive team.  It’s important to set realistic expectations and to support setting boundaries between work life and home life, especially now that more people are working from home than ever before.  Educate your team on the warning signs of employee burnout and encourage them to take time off to recharge and indulge in some self-care!  Supporting employees to disconnect can help both the business and the employees in the long run. 

Reassure your team that it’s okay to disconnect and take time off.  Providing quota relief while your reps take time off and after they return to work will help them feel like they can disconnect from the grind of their job.  And when a rep takes a longer break, like a well-deserved vacation (or staycation!), give them a guaranteed commission so they’re not tempted to go online and squeeze in some emails and virtual meetings.  In some cases, it may even be worth it to double compensate your team.  For example, if rep A is on vacation and a deal needs to close, ask rep B to jump in.  If rep A feels the urge to log online, it defeats the purpose of disconnecting!  And just because it’s someone else’s deal, make sure that rep B gets paid for their work.  Be fair and considerate when compensating your team, so when rep B takes a break, they’ll know they’ll be in good hands.  

In Conclusion

It’s important to have conversations with your team around well-being to identify employee burnout, rather than solely focusing on work.  Demonstrate that you care about your team; people perform best when compassion is involved.  Offer clear paths to quota, support time to disconnect, and help your reps understand their value and contributions to the organization.

Next Steps

Learn more about how meditation can help your team recharge and re-engage with their quotas and how breaking down big goals can lead to building the right sales habits.

Book a demo with us today to improve your team’s motivation and performance with the only commission tracking software built on the science of performance.

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