If you’ve ever doubted your ability to complete a project or felt those new-workplace nerves, then you’ll know that self-confidence can have a massive effect on your work life. Boosting employee confidence in the workplace can have a range of benefits for employees and employers alike, and contribute to an environment of productivity and innovation.
In this article, we’ll outline why confidence is so important in the workplace before presenting 5 strategies you can use to instill confidence in your team.
Why is confidence important in the workplace?
What causes low confidence at work?
Low confidence in the workplace can be caused by a range of factors, from negative relationships with coworkers to being overly self-critical. However, the most common reason for poor workplace confidence is a poor relationship with a boss or manager.
This means that when it comes to building confidence in the workplace, managers need to play a key role in supporting employees to thrive.
Benefits of building confidence in the workplace
Not only is feeling confident at work likely to boost your employee’s morale but it’s also associated with a range of positive traits that can help your whole team (and organization) succeed.
Increased workplace confidence is associated with:
- Increased assertiveness
- A willingness to try new things and engage in smart risk-taking
- Increased productivity
- Improved quality and efficacy of workplace communications
- Increased performance and happiness at work
- A workplace environment characterized by trust and security
- Increased knowledge and skill development
- The creation of a positive work environment.
With these benefits in mind, it’s clear that boosting employee confidence is an organizational strategy well worth investing in!
Strategies to boost employee confidence in the workplace
To give your employees a boost in building confidence at work, you can start by implementing the following strategies:
Identify employees’ existing strengths and weaknesses
Before you can work on boosting your employees’ confidence, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of where their current strengths and weaknesses lie. Aim to be objective – an unbiased assessment of where your team is at will set you up to offer them honest and constructive feedback that best supports them.
At this stage, it can also be beneficial to schedule 1:1 conversations with members of your team to facilitate self reflection on their professional development. You might ask:
- What do you feel are your strengths in your current role? Your weaknesses?
- Which tasks do you find easiest? Most challenging?
- Are there skills you would like to develop?
- What are your career aspirations?
Having a clear sense of where your employees are at can help you collaborate to provide opportunities for professional development that boost their confidence at work.
Assign stretch projects to challenge employees
A stretch project is a project or task that is beyond an employee’s current level of knowledge or skills. Stretch projects provide employees with opportunities to learn new skills, demonstrate adaptability, and grow into new areas of expertise. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that 71% of respondents stated that stretch assignments had the greatest impact on developing their potential.
When assigning stretch projects, it’s important to use your knowledge of an employee’s current skill set to set a project with an appropriate difficulty level. Assigning a project that is too difficult – or too far outside of the scope of the employee’s current skill set – has the potential to do the exact opposite of intended and decrease the employee’s confidence.
Acknowledge and welcome diversity
No two people are the same, yet many companies emphasize a unified working style for their employees. Embracing employee diversity is proven to have a positive ripple effect throughout an organization – with benefits including higher productivity, reduced turnover, increased creativity and innovation, and increased revenue.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) refers to three inter-linked organizational values that emphasize the importance of creating workplaces that value and support individuals and groups of different backgrounds, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ethnicities, religions, physical ability, and neurodiversity – to name a few!
One of the effects of DEI initiatives is an increase in employee confidence, and diverse teams tend to show higher morale, be more productive, and innovate more. To get started championing diversity in the workplace, you can:
- Offer education and training on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Evaluate the leadership of your company’s leadership team
- Treat all employees with respect and consideration
- Foster a culture in which all voices and opinions are heard and valued
- Ensure you have anti-discrimination policies in place
- Review your recruitment policies
- Ask current employees what would help them feel more welcome at work.
Offer regular and constructive feedback
When you offer feedback on an employee’s performance, be sure to be specific.
Letting an employee know that they have done a “good job” can offer a short-term confidence boost, but offering specific feedback on the exact task, method, or quality that merited your praise is likely to be more beneficial in the long term.
For example, suppose an employee gave a presentation to the rest of the team, instead of reassuring them that the presentation “went well”. In that case, you might offer feedback such as “You succinctly highlighted key data points” or “Your speaking pace gave the audience plenty of time to reflect on each point made”.
In addition, providing regular, scheduled opportunities for feedback can decrease anxiety around the feedback process. Over time, this can contribute to employee confidence and create a constructive and secure environment for growth.
Well-timed praise can go a long way – especially if an employee has stepped out of their comfort zone to embrace a new project or learn a new skill. Taking the time to celebrate your employees’ (and team’s) success is an essential component of building confidence within your department.
Judith E. Glaser, CEO and Organizational Anthropologist comments: “When good performance comes with appropriate, honest, and well-deserved praise, employees feel they are trusted and supported by their boss.”
Great opportunities to celebrate employee success include:
- First time wins
- Positive impact on the wider team
- Innovative ideas
- Actions that align with company values
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Exceptional work
- Consistent high-quality work
Whatever you find to celebrate, ensure to be specific about what you are praising, the effect that it had, and what the offered reward is. When it comes to how you show your appreciation, get creative! Building employee confidence can be a fun experience for all involved.
Help remote employees communicate with confidence with VODIUM
Remote employees can encounter unique barriers to workplace confidence. Designed with the virtual work environment in mind, VODIUM exists to empower remote employees to communicate with confidence.
VODIUM offers an intuitive app-based teleprompter that syncs with your videoconferencing platforms to subtly display your notes or script on-screen while you present. Suitable for presentations, events, recruitment, sales, video recording, and more, VODIUM’s teleprompter is the confidence must-have of the virtual age.
To find out more about how you can support your remote or hybrid employees or to start your free trial of VODIUM’s virtual teleprompter, check out VODIUM today!