Confidence can play a significant factor in the workplace. From productivity to morale and even employee retention, it can really impact the way a team operates and views the organization they work for.
Managers have a lot of responsibility to ensure that they're doing everything within their power to boost self-esteem among employees. But how can you improve confidence within your team?
1. Be a coach
Managing a team is often like coaching and, if confidence is low, you need to re-evaluate your approach and go back to basics. Guidance will only be effective if you have built a strong connection with each individual employee. Trust is always the foundation of such a relationship and, as such, you need to be completely honest and transparent with employees if you want to have a meaningful impact on their morale.
This means acknowledging the areas in which they excel, backed by data if possible, and where they may need additional support to reach their full potential. Confidence is all about knowing where your strengths are and how to utilize them, but often professionals struggling with self-assurance need to have these pointed out.
2. Find their niche
A great way to help employees realize their own potential is to identify key areas that they are particularly skilled in or feel passionate about. You can then look at ways they can develop these skills internally or externally. This will give them a sense of confidence in their own abilities, especially if there's a way to test or regulate their progress.
3. Talk openly about their performance
People can struggle with their confidence if they feel that their manager isn't being open and honest with them so it's important to be as transparent as possible. This means talking openly about their performance, whether it's bad or good. No professional is constantly excelling so it's crucial that you know how to deal with periods of weaker results. When employees are experiencing rough patches, reassure them that you are confident in their skills and ability to turn it around.
4. Make them teachers
One of the best ways to build confidence is to encourage professionals to take on a training role in some capacity. This may be within the team, to the wider company or externally as part of consultant work, but can make a considerable difference to how employees view their own skillset.
Of course, you don't just want to throw them in at the deep end. Talk to them about the areas in which you'd like them to deliver training and assure them that you have every confidence in their abilities. Often the process of planning will be just as beneficial as the actual sessions, allowing them to see the true value of their skills.
5. Treat them with respect
One of the most damaging things managers can do is disrespect their team. This can come across in a number of different ways. Whether it's turning up late for meetings, passing people over for key projects or being dishonest, small gestures can lead to a dent in a team’s confidence.
Ensuring that you are treating every member's time, skills, and opinions as though they are valuable to you will have a massive impact on how your team views themselves - and you.