When we feel good about ourselves, our workplace performance and our career prospects, our work tends to thrive. That positive feeling is confidence. Although sometimes perceived as a fixed trait, confidence is actually a “soft,” or difficult-to-measure, skill that changes over time.
Indeed research reveals that employee confidence brings similar benefits as happiness, which evidence shows can boost workplace productivity. We recently polled 800 U.S. workers to find out more about career confidence right now.
With positive news about the job market, the stock market and the economy, it is no surprise that workers and job seekers feel confident. In fact, workers are more confident in their work performance (90 percent) and the job climate (91 percent) than in the recent past.
Yet, the real impact of employee confidence stretches to the company as a whole. I find that confident employees perform better. That makes sense when you consider that many foundational workplace skills, including work ethic, are driven by confidence.
While some factors shaping confidence are outside of our control, company leaders can build a culture of confidence that boosts the entire organization. Here’s how:
Promote good managers - Strong managers set the tone for teams, and being part of a strong team contributes to worker confidence. Positive feedback from managers is one of the top five contributors to confidence according to survey respondents.
Offer fair recognition opportunities - Recognizing good work is never wasted. By highlighting employee excellence, employers can promote workers’ positive feelings about themselves and boost confidence.
Invest in further education - Offering learning and development opportunities for employees sends an important message. When a company actively promotes career development, it demonstrates support for employees and shows they are valued members of the firm.
Develop a clear process for raises and promotions - Understanding what it takes to earn a raise or promotion makes it more likely that employees will set goals and work towards success. Meeting short-term goals helps further boost confidence.
- Communicate the company’s vision and goals - With a clear understanding of company goals and vision, everyone understands the work that needs to be done.
We do our best when we believe in ourselves, our work and our future. Confidence is key to long-term success of both individuals and organizations. Employers can - and should - nurture this quality across the workforce by promoting a company-wide culture of confidence.