But why is confidence so important in the workplace? And what can organisations do to naturally increase their employees’ confidence? Read on to find out.
Just as important as a confident workforce is a diverse one. Learn why here.
Why is confidence in the workplace so important?
Boost confidence in your employees, and you’ll improve your workplace as a whole as a result. Here’s why.
It boosts productivity
A lack of confidence has a significant impact on a worker’s output. If an employee doesn’t believe in their own ability, that will translate into their work too.
This is especially true if a worker is performing challenging work. Undertaking new problems and overcoming them requires confidence — without that confidence propelling them forwards, your employee won’t have the self-belief required to get the task done.
It increases team cohesion
It takes confidence to be part of a team — especially if that team is full of people with loud voices and even louder opinions. Being able to speak up and make your voice heard requires courage.
Increased confidence means an increased willingness to pitch in with the rest of the team. It prevents people from being wallflowers and encourages them to engage with their co-workers on a deeper level. As a result, it boosts team cohesion and creates a workplace where everyone gets their say.
It creates leaders
Look at the best leaders and you’ll find confident individuals who know their own limits and their own abilities. Know yourself (strengths and weaknesses), and you’ll know how to lead others too.
But recognising and embracing your own potential requires immense reserves of confidence. Beyond simply knowing your strengths, it’s also about having the humility to know what you’re not good at, and when to ask for help.
How can I boost employee confidence in the workplace?
There are several ways employers can boost their employees’ confidence naturally at work. Here are just a few you can use today.
Provide genuine feedback in the right way
It’s no secret that feedback is one of the most important and effective ways of boosting employee confidence. Sincere, honest appraisals of an employee’s performance can dramatically improve an employee’s self-worth — when it’s delivered in the right way.
Take the time to provide honest feedback to each employee. It’s important you tailor this to each individual too — it shows you’re engaging with them on a personal level, rather than lumping them in with the rest of their team.
However, only provide feedback when it’s genuinely warranted — fail to do so and your employee will notice and feel patronised. Beyond that, it makes feedback a natural part of your office culture. As Lianne Lyne from PLP Coaching advises:
“You owe it to your team members to provide in-the-moment, direct, focused and actionable feedback to help them identify where they can improve their performance and contribute more effectively to the team.”
Make feedback an everyday task, rather than an infrequent event, and employees will engage with it and become more confident as a result.
Assign new starters a mentor to assist in their new role
This one is especially useful for nurturing confidence in new employees. Starting at a new workplace is daunting at the best of times, with new systems, new processes, and new people to get used to.
Getting used to this new environment (with the inevitable mistakes that come with it) can knock a new employee’s confidence, slowing their engagement with the company.
Assigning a new starter a mentor overcomes this. It gives them a designated point of contact for their concerns, shaping their journey in those crucial first days at a company. A small mistake early on in a new employee’s time in a new role can profoundly impact their confidence — mentors are the buffer that protects against this.
Transform employees into mentors to improve self-worth
Just as being assigned a mentor can improve confidence, so too can encouraging an employee to be a mentor themselves.
In this podcast, Orion Talmay of Orion’s Method describes how needing to be confident for someone else increases your own confidence:
“I’m doing it to fulfill my greatest mission of empowering people around the world and making them feel powerful, and alive, and transform [...] If I want to do that, if I want to help effect transformation in others, I have to get out of myself and into service.”
Put simply: helping someone else improve has the same effect on the enactor.
Similarly, putting someone in such a role shows that their skills and strengths are valued within the workplace. It shows that you believe in them as a person without ever explicitly saying so.