Employee burnout is an unfortunate but common part of working in the sales industry. We can’t perform 100% all the time. That will quickly lead to burnout in any role. However, there are ways to limit how often “slumps” caused by burnout happen and how long they last. Unfortunately, burnout is something I see often. So my goal is to help you, as a rep or manager, understand some of the reasons why slumps happen and how you can help your reps out of them as fast as possible.
What is Employee Burnout?
Burnout can look different depending on the person or situation, but typically it is when someone has lost the motivation to do their job due to overworking or stress in the role.
From the outside, these slumps are when someone just can’t seem to hit their goals or they completely lack the motivation to do their job.
Basically someone who is struggling.
It can be hard as a manager or coworker to identify when their rep is burning out until it starts affecting sales stats. But there is an added element of frustration, fear, and dissatisfaction when someone experiences burnout. It can often be accompanied by continued doubt, fear, low confidence and self esteem, embarrassment and burnout.
Most people who experience burnout look at it in a negative way and feel like there is nothing they can do. They can’t seem to do anything right. The outcomes they are after seem impossible. Slumps are an awful thing to experience.
Why Does Employee Burnout Happen?
In sales there are a variety of reasons that burnouts happen. Some of which are out of your control, and many that are.
These “slumps” most often occur when an individual’s focus has shifted from a task focus to a self focus. This means that instead of paying attention to what tasks they’re doing and the actions they need to take, they’re focused on how the work is affecting them. I see this constantly happen because of the pressure career professionals place on themselves or the pressure placed by others.
Remember, your results are only the byproduct of your actions.
Another reason why slumps occur is because employees stop caring. The results are no longer worth the effort and although they’re going through the motions, reps are not utilizing their skill set anymore.
Either way, most people who experience “slumps” are so preoccupied with getting the end result, that they fail to focus on the actions that need to be taken to get out. Some of the most common causes are:
- The sales culture is toxic
- There’s no reward for hitting or exceeding goals
- Management doesn’t help reps when it’s needed
- No clear goals or expectations are given
4 Steps to Escape Rep Burnout:
- Realize that you are burned out.
- Ask yourself two questions.
- Commit to the actions you identified.
- Take action.
#1 Realize that you are burned out
You might know because your numbers are low or your leadership has pointed it out to you. Or you are just not feeling like yourself. Regardless of why, step one is to realize that you are not doing what you need to, in order to get the positive results you’re after. It is hard to get out of a slump you don’t know you are in.
#2 Ask yourself two questions
What will you continue to do? What will you do differently? Answering these simple questions will help you shift back to a task focus. It might be hard to ask yourself these questions but it will be helpful in the long run.
#3 Commit to the actions you identified
There’s no point to realizing burnout, identifying the issue, and then not holding yourself or your employee accountable to the solution. The best possible way to dig yourself out of a burnout hole is to make actionable tasks and goals no matter how small; and after that’s done, you have to commit to the actions to make it work.
#4 Take action
All the planning and focus in the world will not help you accomplish anything if you do not take action. You may need to get an accountability partner to help keep you on track. Whether it’s a sales manager, coworker, or even a friend, we can all help each other to avoid further burnout.
Are you Experiencing Burnout?
Don’t know if you or someone you work with is burned out or not? There are 4 simple ways to see if a sales rep is experiencing burnout and get them on the right track.
Experiencing burnout is no fun for the individual experiencing it, nor for the leadership trying to help. The faster you can go through the steps, the sooner you can be on your way toward performing at your potential. Remember that sometimes it takes more effort today than it did to do the same thing yesterday. But, just because it takes more effort, does not mean that the goal changes. It just means that your focus and effort need to change.
Let’s keep in touch
This is the second blog in our Manager Series so there will be more to come (plus another webinar) so be looking out for that! If you like learning about mental toughness and want even more tips, let’s chat about it. Shoot me a DM on Instagram @chris_pierce and look out for the next exciting blog we’re releasing about mental toughness in sales to make you a better manager.