Wondering what fuels a high-performing team? Spoiler alert: it starts with building confidence in your employees. Putting in the work to create employee confidence is more than just a generous attempt to improve morale. It’s also a strategic approach to enhance your organization’s overall productivity and innovation. 

Why should you build confidence in the workplace? A confident workforce feels empowered to take calculated risks, propose new ideas, and tackle challenges head-on. This confidence can then drive the company forward. 

How can you build confidence? Today, we’ll take you through the five crucial steps to build confidence in your team and arm you with the knowledge and resources needed to begin this process. We’ll also include statistics and studies showing why these methods work and share applicable employee confidence-building activities. Let’s get started. 

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1. Recognize employee achievements 

Building confidence in your team begins with the simple practice of recognition. Just imagine your mom standing next to you saying, “And what do we say when someone does something nice for us?” 

It’s that elementary. Thanking your team for their hard work and going out of your way to acknowledge their contributions is a cornerstone of good leadership.

By consistently acknowledging and celebrating employee achievements, you can establish a positive feedback loop that significantly enhances morale and bolsters confidence. 

Recognizing employee achievements can: 

  • Help you retain top talent
  • Enhance employee engagement
  • Build a vibrant company culture of appreciation
  • Promote high performance in your organization
Employees who feel they stand an equal chance of getting praise for their work are twice as likely to go above and beyond their regular duties.

Why this method works (statistics and studies)

Great Place to Work’s 2023 discretionary effort study found that employees who feel they stand an equal chance at getting recognition for their work are twice as likely to go above and beyond their regular duties. 

You don’t have to overcomplicate this process. The same study found that just a genuine ‘thank you’ from managers can ignite a 69% increase in the likelihood of employees putting in extra effort at work.

Repeat after us: “Thanks for your hard work on this project; I appreciate the extra effort you put in and am impressed with the final product.” And, scene. 

Practical tips

  • Employee recognition program. Implement a program where employees are nominated and celebrated for exceptional work. Whether this is an employee of the month, star of the week, or a more spontaneous recognition program, the important thing is to recognize hard work. 
  • Announce achievements. Use company-wide platforms like Slack to highlight achievements. Recognize employees during team meetings or through company social media channels to give them public acknowledgment. At Hubstaff, we have a Slack channel called #Hubstars where employees can recognize their peer’s hard work. 
Example of a shout out in our #Hubstars Slack channel

2. Provide constructive feedback 

Delivering constructive feedback is an art. There’s a thin line between constructive feedback and unnecessary criticism and nitpicking. As a manager working to build confidence, walking this line is critical. 

Constructive feedback is crucial for development and confidence building. It helps employees understand what they’re doing well and what they need to improve upon in a supportive context. 

For example, instead of simply telling an employee that a presentation could have been better, offer specific suggestions for improvement and highlight what parts engaged the audience effectively. 

Why this method works (statistics and studies)

It’s never fun to hear that your work wasn’t good enough, but that’s how you grow professionally. Studies show that nearly all of us want feedback on how we’re doing. A 2022 study by researchers at Harvard and Berkeley found that 86% of people want feedback. But here’s the catch: only 48% want to deliver it.

As a manager, it’s your job to be the one delivering critique, but that doesn’t mean it has to be devastating and harsh. That’s why learning the art of constructive, helpful feedback is the second step in our confidence-building process. 

A 2022 study by researchers at Harvard and Berkeley found that 86% of people want feedback, but only 48% want to deliver it.

Another study by Gallup shows that 80% of employees who have received meaningful feedback in the past week are fully engaged. Employee engagement is critical for managers, as engaged employees are more productive, profitable, and less likely to leave the company. 

Practical tips

  • Be specific with feedback: Instead of giving vague comments, provide specific feedback that details what an employee has done well and areas for improvement. This precision helps employees understand what behaviors or outcomes are expected of them and how they can continue to grow in their roles.
  • Use the “I” technique: Experts suggest using phrases like “I believe” and “I suggest” to demonstrate that your feedback pinpoints the circumstance and not the person. This approach personalizes the feedback, making it easier to accept it as your point of view and less likely to be perceived as a personal critique.
  • Use feedback tools: Utilize 360-degree feedback systems that allow for anonymous and comprehensive reviews from peers, subordinates, and supervisors. These tools provide a well-rounded view of an employee’s performance, encouraging a culture of transparency and continuous feedback.

3. Encourage professional development 

Employee confidence grows when people feel competent in their roles. Providing access to professional development courses or training can empower them and help fight off imposter syndrome.

Professional development doesn’t have to be your job, but you need to empower your team to find their own courses, webinars, and conferences to continue to grow in their field. And, of course, this shouldn’t be done on their own diem

Investment in development shows employees that the company believes in their potential and is willing to invest in their growth, which then increases their confidence and loyalty.

Why this method works (statistics and studies)

Training programs boost employee confidence by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to perform their roles effectively. Fostering a sense of competence and self-assurance in employees’ professional capabilities helps them advance in their careers.

Companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without standardized training programs.

Not that you need an incentive to develop your team, but studies show that this investment can pay off in the long run. Companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without standardized training programs. Plus, these companies also have a 24% higher profit margin.

Practical tips

  • Provide tuition reimbursement. Offer support for courses related to employees’ roles. This financial assistance not only alleviates the burden of educational expenses but also signals the company’s investment in their long-term growth and professional development.
  • Pay for conferences. Sponsor or facilitate attendance at industry conferences. Covering these costs encourages employees to engage with new ideas and networking opportunities, enhancing their skills and integrating them more deeply into the professional community.
  • Create mentorship programs. Pair less experienced employees with mentors within the organization. This pairing can dramatically accelerate a newcomer’s learning curve and integrate them into the company culture, fostering a supportive and collaborative work environment.

4. Foster an inclusive environment  

An inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed can significantly boost an employee’s confidence. The first step in this process is to ensure that your company policies reflect inclusivity and equality. 

Then, you can consider organizing workshops and training on diversity and inclusion to educate your team or creating a culture committee that includes employees from various backgrounds. 

The key is to ensure everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work because that feeling of comfortability is where creativity and ideation grow.

Why this method works (statistics and studies)

Inclusivity builds employee self-confidence by creating a supportive workplace environment where individuals feel valued and respected for their unique perspectives. This then enhances their sense of belonging and empowers them to contribute openly and confidently.

Companies with a more diverse management team have 19% higher revenue.

A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study has found that companies with a more diverse management team have 19% higher revenue. This higher revenue was linked back to increased innovation. 

Practical tips

  • Provide diversity training. Conduct workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These sessions are crucial for fostering an understanding and appreciation of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which can reduce biases and enhance team cohesion and collaboration.
  • Create a culture committee. Form a committee representing various employee groups to advise on company policies. This ensures that diverse viewpoints are considered in decision-making, promoting a more inclusive workplace where every voice is valued.
  • Work on transparent communication. Maintain open lines of communication and encourage feedback on company culture. This openness helps build trust among employees and management, ensuring that concerns are addressed promptly and effectively. This then strengthens the overall workplace environment.

5. Enable autonomy and responsibility 

When employees are free to make decisions and manage their own work, they feel trusted and respected, which can significantly increase their confidence. 

Start small by allowing them to lead projects or take responsibility for client communications. Gradually increase their autonomy based on their comfort and competency levels. Provide a safety net by being available for guidance but avoid micromanagement. 

One excellent way to provide more autonomy on your team is to allow flexible working arrangements. For different industries, flexible working arrangements can mean different things, from flexible scheduling to working from home

Regardless of the method you choose to implement, your employees will feel more confident (and be more productive) when they can decide how they work best. 

Why this method works (statistics and studies)

In 1985, American psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci introduced self-determination theory, which asserts that internal motivation is the key driver of human success and fulfillment. Today, business owners can embrace this theory by boosting employee confidence and enabling autonomy in their teams.  

Employees with the freedom and autonomy to work remotely spend more time each day on focused tasks. According to Hubstaff data, remote work protects an estimated 62 hours’ worth of work annually that in-office teams lose due to daily interruptions.

Remote work enables deeper focus

Practical tips

  • Be clear on project ownership. Delegate tasks and let employees lead projects or parts of projects. This approach clarifies roles and responsibilities and empowers team members to take initiative and demonstrate their capabilities. This can then foster a sense of ownership and pride in their work. 
  • Give employees decision-making power. Grant your team the authority to make decisions on tasks. This autonomy helps streamline workflows by reducing bottlenecks, building trust, and boosting workplace confidence as employees feel their judgment is valued and trusted.
  • Enable flexible work options. Offer flexible working hours or remote work when possible. This flexibility can significantly enhance job satisfaction and loyalty, allowing employees to balance their work and personal lives more effectively. Better work-life balance is often linked to increased productivity and well-being.

These strategies build team members’ confidence and enhance overall team dynamics and organizational success.

The lasting impact of building employee confidence

Building employee confidence is more than just a short-term investment in workforce morale. It also yields long-lasting benefits that ripple through every aspect of an organization. 

The link between team confidence and productivity is well-documented. And, frankly, it’s not that complicated. When employees feel confident, they are more likely to engage in proactive problem-solving, enthusiastically tackle challenging projects, and drive innovation.  

Still, let’s wrap this up by taking a quick look at the facts about what confident employees can do for your team dynamic:   

  • Improve company culture. Confident employees go beyond building their own confidence levels. They also contribute to a healthier, more positive work environment. When one employee displays confidence at work, it can be contagious. 
  • Build communication channels. Self-esteem does wonders for interpersonal communication. Confident employees tend to communicate more openly and assertively, improving team dynamics and reducing misunderstandings and conflicts. 
  • Employee development. When employees feel secure in their abilities, they are more willing to support their colleagues and share knowledge, leading to more effective teamwork and better outcomes for group projects. The new skills they learn can lead to healthy self-confidence that is reflected in their daily work. 
  • Reduce turnover. Employees who lack confidence in their workplace are more likely to leave. A confident workforce is typically more satisfied and emotionally invested in their roles, reducing turnover rates.  
  • Built-in brand ambassadors. Confident employees often embody the company’s values and goals, making them excellent brand ambassadors. This can help with product adoption and even recruitment efforts. 

In the long run, investing in building employee confidence is a strategic approach that enhances individual performance and solidifies the foundation for a resilient and progressive organizational culture. 

By fostering a confident workforce, companies pave the way for sustained growth, innovation, and a competitive edge in their respective markets.

Category: Management