Insecure employees? Ways to boost their confidence

    December 1, 2018

    One of your employees has worked hard over the past year, and you believe he’s ready to take on more responsibility. Unfortunately, he’s not as confident about his abilities as you are. So how do you approach this?

    Or perhaps there’s another member of your team that you know is doing innovative work independently, but she lacks the necessary confidence to express her views when the opportunity arrives to work in a group.  

    In situations like the ones above, employees’ lack of confidence can get in the way of their performance, their career advancement, and even the overall potential of your team. Fortunately, there are several confidence-boosting strategies you can employ:

    • Be realistic about employees’ strengths and weaknesses. By being objective, you can help them understand in what areas they’re proficient, as well as which of their skills need improving. With this type of transparent feedback and support, even the most insecure employees can benefit from your honest insights and learn to trust in themselves.

    • Recognize the whole person. In the Forbes article “4 Ways to Build Employee Confidence and Increase Engagement,” Stacey Pezold advises that by learning more about your employees, you can find out what their personal talents are and work with them to determine how to leverage those skills in their job.

    • Assign stretch assignments. By giving your employees incrementally more challenging tasks and providing constructive feedback, you can help them develop their existing skills and learn new ones. Remember: There’s nothing like a string of accomplishments that are built upon newly acquired skills to bolster an employee’s confidence. 

    • Acknowledge improvement. Keep a close eye on your employees’ work so you can monitor their progression and show them how they’re improving. When employees realize you acknowledge their positive development, they’re much more likely to embrace future challenges with a can-do attitude. 

    • Help them through mistakes. As Karin Hurt points out in her Success article titled “7 Ways to Build Your Employees’ Self-Confidence,” for insecure employees, even the smallest error can be discouraging. That’s why you need to teach them to analyze their mistakes so they can learn from them.

    • Celebrate successes. When employees perform well, celebrate it by thanking them for their contributions. If appropriate, you can even do this in a team meeting or email update. The results are a win-win for you and your employees.

    As a manager, your team’s success is your success. By patiently helping your employees become more confident about their abilities, you’ll not only help them in their career development — you’ll also build a stronger, more capable, and more engaged team.



    View Related: Managing Employees

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