Renew a team’s focus on the company mission, why they do what they do and what impact they have on customers.

Five months into the current health and U.S. economic crisis, companies are facing new challenges to keep employees engaged in a remote or hybrid environment, maintain a high level of energy among sales teams, and prevent work-from-home burnout.

Here are some of the approaches suggested by our portfolio company CEOs and CROs during recent virtual collaboration sessions to address these challenges.

Strategies to Promote Mental, Emotional and Physical Health:

  1. Frequent check-ins with individual employees are still paramount, as is extensively reinforcing Employee Assistance Programs to make sure they are taking advantage of available resources to support their mental, emotional and physical health.
  2. Skip-level meetings can help employees feel more connected to leadership and can enable conversations focused on their mental health. For example, direct managers can cover pipeline updates with sales reps during daily or weekly check-ins, but having CROs or VPs meet with reps can ensure senior-level attention is given to their mindset and attitude.
  3. Give extra days off to employees if they aren’t taking vacation days while remote.
  4. Invite employees to suggest resources like meditation and yoga instructors that can help employees stay healthy. The effort doubles as a way to support local independent business owners, as well.
  5. Consider a quarterly, if not monthly, talent review like a 9-Box exercise not only to look at performance but also attitude and engagement. See where top performers intersect with attitude issues, then make the effort to get to the root of their struggles and uncover individual solutions.

Having CROs or VPs meet with sales reps can ensure senior-level attention is dedicated to their mindset and attitude.

Tactics to Keep Sales Professionals Fresh and Motivated:

  1. A sales re-kickoff can renew a team’s focus on the company mission, why they do what they do and what impact they have on customers. Share customer success stories large and small to remind them of their power to make a difference.
  2. Hold highly actionable but bite-sized sales enablement and training. Rather than just giving them instruction from leadership, ask reps to give their pitches live and then have the team offer real-time feedback based on what they’ve seen work lately. Don’t give sales reps more than a day’s notice so they can’t over-prepare.
  3. In the absence of travel-related performance incentives, share the cash value of the reward with the sales reps or other employees and let them identify something physical and personally meaningful to them to have paid for.

Ways to Engage Large Groups or a Full Staff:

  1. Predictable cadences for virtual town halls or other large group meetings improves overall employee engagement, as does keeping them short and focused. Some examples:
  2. Many companies shifted from their traditional one or two-hour, quarterly town halls to weekly sessions of 15-30 minutes. It has enabled more frequent updates on KPIs and products, discussion on issues of the day, a chance to celebrate smaller and more frequent wins, and made a significant impact on engagement.
  3. Others deployed Workplace by Facebook and found it to be an effective tool for employee engagement and interaction on many levels, including weekly videos from the CEO on key updates, metrics and new issues.
  4. The Donut app on Slack is being used create chance encounters among employees that help replace office drop-bys or coffee machine conversations. Donut sets up 3-person random conversations once per week and has received very positive feedback from employees.

Here’s the Bottom Line.

As businesses continue to adjust – and readjust – to ever-evolving conditions, new challenges arise across all areas of our businesses each day. LLR will continue to bring together the leaders of our portfolio companies to support each other with creative ideas, anecdotes of what’s working and what’s not, and a collaborative network to keep asking questions. We hope to pass along more insights, both large and small, to help other businesses get through these most unique times.