You probably know it but let’s remind ourselves one more time – confidence is crucial for your career success and overall job satisfaction. It helps you to deal better with conflict, improves your communication skills, can make you happier at work, enables you to take feedback better, and it can make you a better manager or leader.
Having this in mind, I can say that regardless of the skills, background or experience an employee possesses, if they lack the confidence in the work they’re doing, they’ll perform below their potential. Employees who lack confidence fear taking risks, sharing their opinions and are unsure of their work and abilities. Consequently, their lack of confidence contributes to them becoming an underperforming employee.
According to an Indeed survey, 97% of employees said when they feel valued by their employer it boosts their confidence therefore they perform better. As a result, companies benefit from having happier, loyal, innovative and high performing employees who are committed to the long-term success of the company.
And as a leader I think it is crucial to be part of this process. Leaders and managers can significantly contribute to this process through authentic communication and encouragement.
Here are five ways managers can help their employees build their confidence.
Listen, but really listen and act
Listen closely to your people. A recent Survey from OnePoll found that the general failure of managers to follow up concerned employees. 26% of respondents said their managers could improve the situation by following up concerns more effectively.
Then, once you listen, act on what you have heard. Take your employees concerns to heart and take action. Your employees will feel appreciated and important.
And finish off by going back to basics! All the best leaders know that saying thank you is an incredibly powerful motivator, and it costs nothing. Unfortunately failing to thank employees means you won’t get the best from them.
Recognize their efforts
Providing positive feedback to your people is a great way to motivate employees to keep striving even when they’re struggling. Celebrating their achievements helps to build employee confidence. Likewise, getting employees onboard to celebrate each other’s strengths and wins keeps them focused and eager to accomplish what they’re working on.
According to Gallup, strengths and engagement work leads to: Employees feel more confident, self-aware and productive when focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. In turn, this leads to higher employee engagement, increased performance and significantly lower attrition rates.
The very comprehensive Gallup study showed that strength-based development leads to:
- 10% to 19% increased sales
- 14% to 29% increased profit
- 3% to 7% higher customer engagement
- 9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
There’s a connection between strengths and engagement that’s fundamental to the employee experience.
Help them through mistakes
No one likes to fail. And while we all know the importance of learning from mistakes, both individuals and teams can struggle to bounce back from big blunders.
Research shows that a leader’s feelings are far more contagious than a team member’s so, try not to create a negative space. My experience has taught me not to sugar coat this kind of situations. Instead of that, to have a real conversation about the lessons learned from the experience. Do not lecture, discuss. Be clear what went wrong and teach your people to analyse their mistakes so they can learn from them.
Make coaching conversations more effective
At Olive Jobs, we have a coaching culture. The past year has showed us that it increases employee engagement, job satisfaction, performance, and collaboration. Coaching is central to improving the performance of entire teams.
In fact, coaching conversations empower employees through encouragement and teaching. When managers coach, they reinforce strengths and explore challenges with the employee. Successful coaching guides employees towards success but promotes independent thinking and collaboration to overcome obstacles.
Whether a coaching conversation is part of weekly meetings or set up separately, managers should always schedule a time to follow up with the employee. A follow-up meeting ensures accountability and allows the managers to check-in or the employee to ask further questions.
And to ensure coaching conversations are positive and effective, ensure managers are asking open-ended questions.
Managers should be leading the employee to a solution, not telling them what to do.
So, what questions should managers be asking of their employees? The GROW model is a popular technique for structuring coaching conversations. GROW stands for: Goal, Current Reality, Options, and Way Forward.
Provide training and development
Training programs provide your people with the necessary education for becoming a valuable part of the workplace by teaching them specialized skills and familiarizing them with the duties of other positions in the company.
Offering training, including reskilling and upskilling courses and cross-training, to employees will lead to additional benefits for the company. Not only will employees gain additional skills that will boost their own career growth, but it will boost their confidence as well. You can also use the programs to prepare high-potential employees for more senior positions rather than risk hiring an unknown applicant who is unfamiliar with the company’s culture and policies.