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How to Boost Employees’ Self-Esteem at Work?

Employee self esteem is one of the crucial factors for building the confidence of an employee at work. High self esteem results in better employee performance.

How to Boost Employees’ Self-Esteem at Work?

Thursday July 04, 2019,

5 min Read

Employees are the pillars of an organization’s success. Effective employee engagement makes employees enthusiastic about whatever they do. It helps to build the reputation of any organization. There is no dearth of talent. While hiring you to hire the best ones. But you need to remember one thing, “Employees cannot achieve their full potential when they have low self-esteem?” 


Your employees need to believe in themselves in order to achieve their goals and the targets of your organization. Employees with good self-esteem tend to trust their abilities and possess better decision-making capabilities. They have better interpersonal relationships and make effective contributions in a dynamic work environment. High self-esteem is one of the factors that makes an employee happy and successful.  

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You ought to focus on reinforcing their development rather than just berating their performance. Your actions determine and influence their self-esteem and it impacts the way they operate in a workplace. Effective leaders encourage them to be creative, give constructive continuous feedback and focus on creating engaged work culture. Remember, that your employees who possess low self-esteem would exhibit unproductive behaviors such as being too rebellious or getting withdrawn at work. 


Let us look at some of the ways through which you can boost your employee’s self-esteem at work:  

 Respect your employees and Trust them to deliver  

Treat everyone with respect and build a personal connection with them. They are not the task they perform; they are individuals with different personalities, capabilities, and dedication.   

It is important for you to remember that you ought to give your employees that little autonomy that they deserve. Your employees do not want to look completely inconsequential. Most employees with a lack of self-esteem hardly speak their minds. Even if they do, they are often confused as to how their leaders are going to perceive it.  

It is understandable why you feel that you need to check on your employees every now and then while they are doing their tasks. But you also need to realize that sometimes employees would not prefer that kind of intrusion every now and then. Sometimes, you need to take that leap of faith and trust them with the tasks you assign them.  

 Specificity in communication  

You need to be specific in your communication. Modify your feedback in such a way that your employees feel inspired and motivated in their work. Focus on their positives. Their abilities to face challenges. You need to clearly define your expectations to your employees before you expect that next to perfect performance. Convey their targets clearly and let them seek your help when they are confronted with issues.   

At least that way, they will feel accountable for their tasks and will not get disheartened when things go wrong. This improves their self-esteem as they are now accountable for what they do and you trust in them.  

 Let them lead 

There are a lot of employees who possess impeccable skills when it comes to their work. They might have a lot of experience in their field. But often we see that they never talk about their strengths. They are either shy to express anything or probably too conscious about what they say in public. Nevertheless, these feelings emanate from a lack of self-esteem. In such scenarios, we need to ensure that they showcase their abilities. Ask them to coach others. 


As a leader, you can try to encourage such employees to discuss how they acted in certain scenarios. How they faced challenges? And you can always get them to train the other employees on their expertise. If you ever notice great skills in such employees. Always get them to share their knowledge with others. Let them know, that they have a lot to offer to the workplace. Delegate important responsibilities to them in certain projects and encourage them to lead their team. They will then realize that their skills and talent are being used appropriately.   

 Recognize and reward them  

You need to remember that your employees are not robots. They work towards the success of your organization, so it becomes your responsibility to provide them with the appropriate rewards and recognition for their work. Employees do not like to be taken for granted. They need to be appreciated for their work. When you reward them with incentives or bonuses, their self-esteem goes up. They will be motivated to give more. 


Employees invest their time for the betterment of the organization; hence, they also prefer that the management is invested in them as well. Sometimes, it does not take a lot of time and resources to appreciate them for their work. One can even celebrate their achievements by expressing gratitude. It is as simple as that. Your employees would then feel confident about themselves and inspire the others around them.  

 Let them fail forward 


Employees with a low sense of self, do not perceive mistakes in an optimistic manner. Even if they commit an insignificant mistake, they are going to build feelings of inadequacy. This feeling hampers their self-esteem further. Thus, your responsibility here is to tell them that it is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to fail. Because people learn from their mistakes. It is an opportunity for them to learn.

The one thing most employees are afraid of is the negative feedback they would receive from their leaders. Therefore, instead of reprimanding them for their mistakes, tell them constructively what can be done to fix their mistakes. 


 Closing thoughts

 In conclusion building, your employees’ self-esteem might be quite challenging sometimes. Different employees have different ways of dealing with criticism and their work in general. Therefore, the trick here is to understand each employee and tailor your strategies in a way that suits your employees. When you become successful in boosting your employee’s self-confidence, then it becomes an achievement on your part as well, because, that is how you become a successful leader.