Success relies on our ability to believe we are capable of it. Confidence allows employees to learn and produce without fearing the consequences of failure. Everyone experiences insecurity when faced with work tasks, or workplace dynamics, they don’t understand.
Confident employees are realistic about their abilities, comfortable with their role in your company’s success, and face challenges without fear. Their positive influence adds value for productive, supportive, and cohesive company culture.
Assessing employee confidence
Identifying insecurity is not an exact science. Behaviors interpreted as signs of insecurity can result from cultural differences, personality quirks, neurodiversity, or a risk-averse nature.
Assessing employee confidence means engaging with your employees to evaluate their level of confidence in their work and your workplace, whether they need extra support or accommodation, and what type of assistance would be most effective.
When employees assess their own confidence, they frequently cite insufficient knowledge and training as reasons for work-related insecurity. Since the end goal of job training is competence, we can draw a fair conclusion about the relationship of competence to confidence. Building employee skills increases competence, and competence, in turn, boosts confidence.
Benefits of a confident workforce
Why is employee confidence important? Confident employees are assertive, honest, and able to interact with colleagues, clients, and company leadership with sincerity and conviction. They are more likely to be engaged than intimidated by the challenges their work presents, and they’re willing to step outside their comfort zones. As such, confident employees are likely to grow into good leaders.
97% of employees surveyed report confidence at work improves their job performance. Confident employees are less stressed by fear of failure, so they remain more focused on their jobs. Stress contributes to absenteeism and workplace accidents, so a more positive employee outlook improves attendance and safety — and increases productivity.
Confident employees tend to be high performers and capable problem solvers. They confront challenges with equanimity and a keen sense of purpose, and they distinguish themselves by consistently observing deadlines, working well with their teams, and planning for future success. Confident employees are typically strong candidates for leadership coaching, and businesses focused on building and sustaining employee confidence enjoy higher rates of retention.
Strategies for boosting employee confidence and morale
Employees are more confident when they feel valued by the company and its leadership. Help your employees feel more confident, empowered, and valued by implementing these morale-boosting strategies:
- Build on employee accomplishments. When reviewing the success of a project or acknowledging an accomplished goal, take time to discuss employee roles and their professional goals. Recognize their ability to achieve by supporting them as they pursue the next step, training, project, or position. A lack of challenging work is one reason workers move on to other companies. Make sure your employees have ample opportunity to learn and grow in their field.
- Give positive feedback and reinforcement. People aren’t always aware of their strengths; notice and mention positive qualities, such as good communication skills, timeliness, attention to detail, and planning ahead. Praise employee effort and achievement when progress is made, and bring other employees into the loop by celebrating everyone’s milestones. Positive feedback motivates employees and inspires more engagement. Employees feel more confident, productive, and self-aware when feedback is focused on their strengths. Turnover rates are nearly 15% lower when employees receive positive feedback.
- Offer support and clear expectations. Provide the tools and training necessary for your employees to succeed in any task or project, and follow up to make sure any additional needs are met. Talk to individual employees to make plans for their progress and future success. Mentors can provide an excellent go-to source of support for individuals and/or teams.
- Show respect for individuals and their efforts. Recognize the steps employees have made toward their goals, and offer feedback and assistance as needed. Ask employees how they feel about their progress, and listen with intent when they discuss their feelings of achievement and/or frustration. Focus on the whole person. No one likes to feel like a number or a project, and every employee has a unique perspective to offer.
- Respond to mistakes with encouragement. Mistakes are an inevitable part of learning. Recognize problems when they occur, give employees the means and information they need to move forward, and offer assistance if they request it. Every problem is an opportunity for improvement and learning. Encourage your employees to explore mistakes and setbacks from a perspective that acknowledges ownership and progress rather than failure.
- Praise progress and success. Feedback must be timely and sincere to be effective. Celebrate victories and steps in the right direction even as you acknowledge difficulties. Learning can be leveraged in future endeavors, and employees should view their efforts as part of an ongoing process.
Building and maintaining a culture of employee empowerment and confidence is a long-term project — one worth the time and effort it takes to engage every employee.
To learn more about boosting employee confidence and morale, visit terrastaffinggroup.com.