If you build employee confidence, you build your company.
Long-term, sustainable growth comes when we can effectively delegate to competent and confident team members.
Here are 10 Habits you can implement to build employee confidence:
1. Convey Your Confidence in Them
As a business owner, you greatly impact how your employees view their performance.
They understand that you make important decisions about their employment and promotion. Your opinion matters. Use your unique position to instill confidence in your team.
Give them opportunities and responsibility. Acknowledge specific strengths that qualify them for the task you are delegating. Communicate that you believe they can and will do the job well.
When you identify an employee’s exceptional skills, allow them to teach others. This is a huge vote of confidence.
As an extra benefit, teaching helps the teacher learn. As they teach others, their own skills will continue to develop.
2. Communicate Realistic Expectations
Challenge your employees with Stretch Assignments, assignments that are just beyond their comfort zone. But also monitor the expectations you place on your team members.
Scale-up their responsibilities gradually, building off previous skills and successes. Once they have run 5 miles, they can run 10, but asking for 10 upfront can be overwhelming.
Identify which team members respond well to high-pressure challenges and which team members need a more gradual approach.
Study your employees, ask questions, and find ways to understand how they think and work. We suggest using a personality test like the Predictive Index test.
3. Praise Their Successes
When a team member does something well, be quick to praise them!
We often spend too much time focusing on what needs to be improved. So consider spending at least 50% of our feedback time on acknowledging successes.
When we acknowledge good performances, the team benefits in three ways:
- Their confidence grows
- They see an incentive for performing well
- They are able to easily identify what behavior is appreciated by their leadership
- Other team members are also able to identify what actions elicit praise
Implement these habits:
- Be Specific: Explain exactly what they did well: “I really appreciate how you got the conversation rolling in the brainstorming meeting yesterday. Your comment about using recycled paper opened up the conversation and got others talking.”
- Be Timely: Don’t wait to acknowledge them. Respond quickly to show that you see what your team is doing and you value it.
Praise them in front of others. Your employees want you to see their efforts, but they also value the opinions of their colleagues.
With public praise, remember to be as equal-opportunity as possible. Build employee confidence, not toxic competition.
4. Ask Them What They Need
Go to the source. Ask them what they need from you. Here are a few helpful questions:
“How can I help you feel prepared for the tasks I assign?”
“Are there any areas where you need more resources?”
“Are there any areas where you feel underprepared?”
“What kind of tasks do you feel you excel at?”
5. Identify and Leverage Their Strengths
Play to their strengths. Identify where they are succeeding and what they are passionate about.
Assigning tasks and responsibilities is one of the highest value activities for a leader. As much as possible, a leader should strive to place each member of their team in their “element,” a.k.a their Unique Ability.
When each member spends the majority of their time on their strengths, productivity rises, wins are created at a higher rate, and confidence grows.
6. Provide Decentralized Praise
Employees feel confident and encouraged when they receive praise from their direct superiors, but they also glean value from knowing they are respected and viewed positively throughout the company.
To help cultivate this understanding within our team, we devised a culture-building strategy called Decentralized Praise.
When a team member has done something well, we share it with the general leadership team. Different leaders who are not their direct supervisors then volunteer to reach out and mention hearing about their success.
A message may look something like this:
“Hey! Earlier today Tom told me about the success of your campaign idea! It’s fun to hear about the progress over in marketing – I can see your work is making a big difference. 😀 Keep it up!”
7. Encourage Employees to Share Their Wins
Many employees feel hesitant to share their wins. They don’t want to come across as boastful or looking for attention. Encourage a culture where sharing wins is the norm.
An easy way is to implement communication channels for sharing wins if you use an application like Slack or Teams. Also, during department meetings, you can allot a time for each member to share professional and personal wins.
Don’t forget the power of small wins. Acknowledge them and create them.
8. Provide a Support System They Can See
Provide Tools: Starting an unfamiliar task can be nerve-racking. Providing your team with tools and resources alleviates pressure and boosts confidence. It’s important to note: they need to be aware of the resources available to them.
Here are some best practices:
- Develop a resource library and frequently announce it to your team.
- Provide tools and the training that will help them do great work.
- Ask your team what tools will help them. They will often know better than you. Let them state their case.
Provide a Team: Create a culture of support in your company.
Use in-person meetings and company-wide/department-specific messaging channels to allow for idea-sharing and support between the team members.
As much as possible, set up mentor and mentee relationships.
Allow more experienced members to mentor someone who is newer than them. This boosts confidence in the mentor and provides a resource for the mentee.
Mentors do not always need to be veterans with decades of experience. Even after a few months, your team members will have valuable insights to share with newer members. Early and proactive activation of your employees is a powerful tool for boosting confidence.
When documenting a process for your team, here’s one of the communication tricks you can use:
Record a video of yourself doing the task and send it to your assistant – you may need to throw in a few explanations as you go.
Your assistant can clean up the video, document the process, and use it to explain the process to others.
9. Create Guidelines in Which They Can Make Decisions
Write playbooks outlining processes and expectations for different tasks that your team needs to complete. A lot of employee anxiety come from worries about “doing the job right.”
Alleviate these concerns and build employee confidence by making expectations and play-by-plays readily available to your team.
You cannot and should not be actively directing each employee’s workflow. But your playbooks and protocols can.
10. Thank Them
A simple “thank you” can have a powerful effect. A thank you puts the giver in a humble position, allowing an employer to connect with their employee on an equal, human-to-human level. We are all people, and we all desire human interaction and genuine feedback.
“Thank you” may be the two most powerful words you can utter today.
These are our 10 tips for building employee confidence. We’d love to hear your ideas! Feel free to comment below.
Interested in building your team or learning more about Superpowers and our Executive Assistants? Book a discovery call today!