Boosting employee confidence

Motivation theories have suggested that successful performance hinges on both having the needed skill and also the will to use the skill to achieve, but even motivated and skilled employees may fail to perform if they don’t have a personal certainty or belief that they can cope with what needs to be done. It would seem that confidence, too, is important. Alex Stajkovic, (Development of a Core Confidence-Higher Order Construct, Journal of Applied Psychology 2006), argues that all three — skill, will and confidence — are needed for action to unfold. Belief in one’s abilities to perform an activity comes through successful experience and may add to, or consolidate, a general sense of self-confidence. It follows then that the creation of meaningful experiences by managers where employees can succeed could be really helpful and could possibly lead to greater productivity, innovation and more positive results.

Managers have a role to play in boosting employee confidence and therefore should avoid the following:

  • Being an “answer-provider” — rather solicit solutions from employees

A genuine approach to boosting employee confidence is needed — an approach that could include some or all of the following actions:

  1. Creating situations where employees can practise — giving them time and support to become an expert. Increase the level of difficulty as the employee gains confidence.

Boosting employee confidence requires real conversations and face-time (presence), not surface accolades. It commences by understanding what is really going on — it requires digging beneath the presenting issues and obvious insecurity to grasp what scares them. It then progresses to an agreed development plan and the provision of support. It concludes with enablement — providing opportunity, empowerment and leadership. Therein rests productivity and performance.

Originally published at https://www.stretchforgrowth.com on June 11, 2018.

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Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.

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Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.