According to a survey of more than 200 people of all genders and across multiple sectors, only 4% of employees feel fully confident at work. The good news is 71% said their employer has their best interests at heart.
So our intentions are in the right place, we just need to take considered action to nurture confidence in our teams. Because when people are confident, we all win. To help, I’ve put together a list of 5 ways to boost employee confidence.
Give feedback in the moment
According to Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor, feedback has a short half life and the benefits quickly deteriorate. Rather than waiting for a review or appraisal to give praise or criticism, pointing it out in the moment gives the receiver the opportunity to fix the problem or build on their success. You’ll also be able to be much more specific with your feedback, as the event is fresh in your mind.
Giving your team the power to act on your feedback will help them build confidence and also shows you’ve got their back. Plus, 77% of respondents to our 2021 State of the Workplace survey said regular feedback would help them feel more confident at work.
Organise regular 1:1s
Having said that, regular feedback is not a substitute for 1:1 conversations. It’s important to create a safe space for your team to vent, make suggestions and seek advice. Sit back and let your team member do most of the talking, your job is to ask questions to help them open up. Most of the time, you’ll find they’re able to come to their own conclusions just by sounding things out – this in turn helps them build confidence in their own abilities.
You should also ask for feedback on your own management during these sessions – asking for both praise and criticism shows you’re open to the same kind of feedback you’re giving to your team and builds their confidence in giving feedback up the chain of command.
Invest in training
64% of respondents to our State of the Workplace survey said external training would help them to feel more confident at work, while 59% cited internal training as a potential solution.
Training in soft skills such as confidence and creativity has become much more prevalent in the workplace over the last 5 years, with providers such as The School of Life and Roar! Training leading the way. Many organisations also invest in coaches to help their employees work through any emotions they might be experiencing, whether they stem from the workplace or not.
Encourage your team to create success spreadsheets
Creating a success spreadsheet can be a really powerful way to celebrate yourself and remember your wins when times get tough. As humans, we often focus on what’s ahead, forgetting to reflect on how far we’ve come.
Encouraging and reminding your team to log their successes can be a valuable way to instill confidence. Ask them to keep a folder on their laptop or in their inbox and keep a record of every time they receive positive feedback. This can then become a way to reflect on their strengths when they’re lacking in confidence.
Be a good role model
Being a good role model starts with admitting to your team when you don’t feel confident. So often, we look at our line managers as infallible and, as bosses, we feel pressure to present ourselves that way. But the reality is we’re all human.
Confidence is not a personality trait, it’s something we all feel at different times in our lives. Showing this to your team will help cement the idea that confidence is something they can work on feeling more of, rather than an all or nothing situation.
Hopefully you’ve picked up some helpful tips for building confidence in your teams. If you’d like to chat more about confidence in the corporate world, I’m all ears. Find us on Instagram or get in touch.