The relationship between self-esteem and performance begins early — as early as primary school. Studies have shown that high levels of self-esteem are a strong indicator and predictor of academic achievement in students. This is a trend that continues throughout our adult lives, with another study confirming a clear positive relationship between self-esteem and job performance. Of course, this relationship works both ways. Confidence in your abilities can improve your job performance and, by the same token, job success can seriously boost confidence levels.
The general rule of thumb appears to be that we “don’t usually perform beyond the limits of the way we see ourselves, whatever those limits may be”. Josh Bersin has recently suggested that as well as being corporate enterprises, companies should do their part to become social enterprises and encourage healthy mental wellbeing. By taking the time in your one-on-one coaching conversations to prioritise issues relating to self-esteem and confidence, companies will begin to experience the benefits.
More Confident Employees Take Part in Team Activities
Every business wants to encourage teamwork and collaboration between employees. However, not every employee will feel confident and able when it comes to making their voice heard when they are in a group. Employees with healthy levels of self-esteem will value their own opinion and feel more empowered about speaking up and contributing in team activities. This could result in more creative and varied solutions to business problems, as well as promote more of an inclusive, tight-knit environment.
If you feel your employees are capable, but holding back due to self-esteem issues, you could begin by encouraging more regular use of performance management software. Such software allows the exchange of real-time feedback, and it has been shown that software is helping employees speak up at work, as such platforms provide an informal “safe space”.
Emboldened Employees Take Chances and Are More Creative
Life coach Rebekah Fensome believes confidence in your professional life is key to cultivating a successful career. When you have more self-esteem and belief in your abilities, you are more willing to take calculated risks, more willing to learn, and more likely to use your strengths to explore different avenues. Confidence breeds self-assured, experimental employees, which are hugely beneficial to companies who are eager to grow and develop.
Confident Employees Waste Less Time
An employee who lacks confidence will inevitably need more reassurance than one who feels more capable. They will approach their managers frequently with questions on how to proceed, which isn’t in itself a problem — after all, it is important that managers are there to provide feedback when needed. However, if employees feel empowered to press ahead without second-guessing themselves, they will get more done in a shorter amount of time. They will simply get on with what needs to be done. This will save a company hundreds of hours and help the business’ bottom line.
Employees with More Self-Esteem Require Less Management
You have likely read about the dangers of micromanagement. In fact, it’s recently been revealed that Tesla CEO Elon Musk regularly wastes time and money due to his constant micromanagement. You might not want to micromanage your employees, but if you believe an employee is crippled with a lack of confidence, you might feel you need to hover to a certain degree until they feel they have found their footing. However, as mentioned above, confident employees are more engaged, more autonomous and more self-reliant. This means that employees are not only more efficient, but management time is also freed up to focus on more pressing matters.
The Solution: Give Positive Feedback in Performance Coaching Conversations
It is not simply enough to tell an employee to work on their confidence levels. While the development of self-esteem is, in part, employee responsibility, it is also a management and HR concern that should be taken seriously. Employees can only truly be confident in the right environment, and this is something in your power to cultivate.
During your regular performance coaching conversations, take the time to give detailed feedback and focus on strengths. Recognition and reward are important for self-esteem, so take the time to make mention of any recent milestones, achievements and efforts. On top of this, let it be known that you value your employees’ opinions. Ask them for their opinions on current processes or what can be done to improve life at work. When employees know their insights are wanted and appreciated, and when they see their suggestions being put into effect, it can do great things for overall morale, engagement and confidence levels.
To find out how Clear Review can help your company introduce agile performance management to boost overall employee engagement, get in touch today or book a performance management software demo.