2021 State of the Workplace Report

Kirsty is on a mission to help everyone become their most confident selves, whatever that looks like. The State of the Workplace survey was designed to help gain an insight into confidence in the workplace in 2021.

Focusing on everything from turning down promotions to confidence levels being knocked by toxic work environments and Imposter Syndrome, our research shows that the reasons employees are feeling less confident are varied. However, these issues were in place long before the pandemic. It’s just that many of us are feeling the impact that bit more right now.

Key Findings

The study of 202 respondents gave a unique insight into confidence in the workplace. Below are the key findings included in this report.

  • Only 4% of respondents said they feel fully confident at work.
  • 53% of respondents admitted to having turned down work opportunities due to lack of confidence.
  • Support from peers (82%), practice (81%) and support from employers (74%) were cited as the most popular ways to help boost confidence.
  • 96% of people said they have experienced imposter syndrome.
  • 74% said company culture was very important when looking for a job.
  • 76% said their employer has a good company culture, but 58% said their expectation of the company culture didn’t match the reality.
  • 86% reported having worked in a toxic work environment in the past.
  • 37% said they are expected to work out of hours on a regular basis.
  • 49% feel fully supported by their employer, 46% feeling supported sometimes and 5% don’t feel supported at all.
  • 71% feel their employer has their best interests at heart.
  • 78% of people said their employer supports a good work/life balance.
  • Regular feedback (77%), external training (64%), internal training (59%) and regular catch ups (54%) were mentioned as the top ways employers could help their staff to feel more confident.

Current Perceptions

How confident do you feel at work?

Only 4% of respondents said that they feel fully confident at work. That leaves 96% of us struggling with confidence issues on a regular basis.

53% admitted that they had turned down work opportunities due to lack of confidence.

This is in line with previous studies from Roar! Training which showed that 38% are saying no to promotions because they lack confidence. In fact an earlier global study showed that 29% avoid putting themselves forward for opportunities they might enjoy or benefit from due to a lack of confidence. However, they are keen to volunteer for more opportunities at work.

What helps boost your confidence?

Keen to help find practical, actionable ways to boost confidence the April study asked people what helps them. Support from peers came up as the top choice at 82%, followed closely by practice at 81% and support from employers at 74%.

What causes you to feel unconfident?

When asked what caused them to feel unconfident, the responses were varied with some general themes coming through:

Workplace culture

A company can appear great from the outside looking in, but great culture is not cultivated overnight and rarely depends on how many ping pong tables and Friday beers you offer.

At its core a great company culture should be based on the people at the heart of it. 74% of respondents told us that company culture was very important when looking for a job.

Does your employer have a good company culture?

76% said their employer has a good company culture, however 58% said their expectation of their company’s culture doesn’t match up to their original perceptions.

To learn more we asked if people had the unfortunate experience of working in a toxic work environment in the past. 86% said they had worked at a toxic workplace.

So what about their current workplace? 37% said that they are expected to work out of hours on a regular basis. However it was promising to hear that 49% feel fully supported by their employer, with a further 46% feeling supported sometimes and only 5% not feeling supported at all.

71% feel their employer has their best interests at heart and 78% said their employer supports a good work/life balance. Work/life balance is incredibly important from a health perspective. It also has a knock on effect on happiness, confidence levels at work and how long people stay working for their employer.

What could your employer do to help you feel more confident at work?

Regular feedback (77%), external training (64%), internal training (59%) and regular catch ups (54%) are the top ways people said their employer could help them feel more confident at work.

5 Quick Ways To Combat Crisis Of Confidence 

So how can we set ourselves on the right path to become our most confident selves? Confidence coach Kirsty Hulse has compiled a list of 5 quick ways to combat a crisis of confidence.

  1. Set an ambition to become your own cheerleader. Write it down. Commit to it. We cannot develop confidence overnight, but our intention tells us we are worth a shot.
  2. Create a success spreadsheet. We often focus on what’s ahead, forgetting to reflect on how far we have come. Acknowledge and integrate your growth by consistently logging wins and reminding yourself when you need it.
  3. Ask for feedback. Sometimes, we just need reassurance. Ask those that you can trust around you. “What do you think I do well? What are my talents?” The answers will often surprise you.
  4. Stop saying stop. When we want to be more confident, we tend to say “stop being nervous, stop overthinking.” Instead, think about what you need to start for that to happen. This gives us a directive and moves us from judgement to action.”
  5. Think about who you are when you’re confident. What do you wear? How do you stand? How do you speak? How do you treat others? Have a clear, mental picture and start by trying to embody that for a few moments every day.

Summary

The results of the survey show that there is definite room for improvement to ensure that the workplace is a safe, enjoyable space where employees are encouraged and left feeling as confident as possible.

Whether external training is needed to put that framework of encouragement and support in place to boost confidence, or company culture needs to be addressed and improved, positive change is very much at the core of what we all need. 

You can download this report in full here.

Contributors

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the report and for taking the time out share their experiences of confidence in the workplace in 2021. 

Get in Touch

To discover how Kirsty can help you and your colleagues become your most confident self get in touch today.