Having employees with high self-esteem and confidence has a direct correlation with job satisfaction and performance. In fact, healthy, strong self-esteem creates employees who feel good about themselves. They are typically able to focus better, need less time off and generally get along well with coworkers.
However, some workers find themselves crippled with doubt and fear, unable to take necessary risks, voice their insight or perform at their best; ultimately leaving them disengaged and isolated. But an employee doesn’t have to build his or her self-esteem and self-confidence alone. Leaders and managers can significantly contribute to this process through authentic communication and encouragement. Here are five ways you can support your employees, so they can be their best selves at work.
Listening and open communication
Listen closely with the intent to understand. "Listening is essential. You always listen to someone who you value," according to business trainer Brian Tracy. Listening with the intent to understand is a practiced skill and one on which we could all use a little more cultivation.
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.
Recognize your employee’s work
As humans, we love to be appreciated. If people get the appreciation and acknowledgement for their hard work, their self-esteem and self-confidence will increase significantly. In fact, giving specific examples of praise may go even further.
For instance, if you demonstrate how an employee made a difference on a project when they completed a certain task, those specifics could help significantly contribute to increasing self-esteem. It’s also important to give recognition evenly and consistently. Strong leaders will find something to recognize in each employee based on their daily job performance and contributions to the overall business goals.
Celebrate your employees' improvements
You can help your employees continue to build self-confidence through celebrating "incremental improvements." By celebrating as you go - at intervals - instead of at the end of a project, or after a year of improvements, your employees can build self-esteem and skill sets at a faster pace by getting feedback along the way.
Let them teach others
When employees have high self-esteem and are confident in their work, they are the best teachers. Letting them teach other employees about a company process that they have mastered will further boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Most of the time, employees would rather learn a new process from an employee that they will be working with. This approach will free up a manager or supervisor to perform other important tasks. Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition is also very valuable for increasing self-esteem, while at the same time cultivating a culture of recognition at large.
Coach your employees through setbacks
Help your employees realize that setbacks are "stepping stones to achievement," or teach your employees to "fail forward." Any event, no matter the phrase you use, as employees encounter failures or setbacks, encourage them to learn from their mistakes, if mistakes were made, or from the circumstances of the project that enabled the setback.
Often, when self-esteem and confidence are low, employees automatically look to themselves as the reason the project failed when that may not be the case. A debriefing may be in order so that employees can learn to look at these situations more objectively, thus allowing their self-esteem and confidence to grow through tough times.
Confident employees are more at ease with taking on complicated projects, working with others, and making decisions. Most of all, these employees feel valued and appreciated. They feel part of the team - your team. And these confident employees move your business forward to the next level.