If you’ve been paying attention to the Best Boss Ever podcast, you know that there are a few topics that come up regularly–and one of them is confidence. So often, when talking to guests about their “best boss ever,” we end up touching on the way that boss enhanced my guests’ confidence.

This is just one of the qualities that helps identify a “best boss ever,” but in my opinion, it’s one of the most important.

But why do I believe that confidence boosters are so critical to a company’s success? Because confident employees get the most done. They perform at their best. They feel safe psychologically, making them more comfortable experimenting, trying things out and testing new products, methods, and more. They feel safe learning experientially, rather than always feeling like they have to go back to their boss and constantly check in.

Confidence doesn’t always get the spotlight it deserves, but it’s absolutely critical in creating high-performing, well-adjusted teams. And our leaders have the power to enhance that or deplete it.

One thing to note about building confidence in the workplace is that it’s not about being the loudest or the most opinionated, it’s about instilling a quiet type of assurance in your team members. It gives them the knowledge and support they need to take risks, speak up, and innovate, knowing that they have the iron-clad support of their leader (or even better, their leadership team).

It’s also not often that I have the opportunity to talk to someone who exemplifies this behavior–but on episode 10 of the Best Bess Ever podcast, I did. Greg Hewitt joined me, and I have to say: Greg is the personification of a confidence booster. Now the CEO of DHL Express US, Greg has had an impact on so many within his organization and can speak to the benefits of boosting employee confidence, which is such an important aspect.

Greg told me about a time when he was managing a new team member, fresh out of college. This new hire was hesitating to make a decision that she was fully qualified to handle–and Greg knew that she needed a confidence boost. Instead of stepping in to make the decision, he encouraged her to trust her gut, telling her that he trusted her judgment. In the end, she made a decision that not only turned out to be spot-on, but also accelerated her growth within the company.

Confident employees are less reliant on leadership, and are able to get a lot more done without a ton of oversight and hand-holding.

So how can we cultivate more confident employees? Here are a few tactics that have come up time and time again in discussions on Best Boss Ever:

  1. Provide well thought-out feedback regularly: Feedback is important for employee development, but it needs to be balanced and well thought out. While it’s important to address areas for improvement, it’s just as critical to acknowledge and celebrate what each person is doing well. This reinforces their strengths and helps boost their confidence.
  2. Encourage professional development: Invest in employee growth. This could be through workshops, courses or assigning them to new projects that expand their skills. This boosts confidence by demonstrating that you believe in their potential and see a bright future ahead. 
  3. Delegate! Show that you trust them by delegating meaningful tasks that stretch their capabilities. Better yet, delegate the vision and ownership, not just the specific task at hand.
  4. Be transparent: Keep the lines of communication open to demonstrate that you value and trust your team, boosting their confidence in their role, their position in the organization and their leadership.
  5. Celebrate: When someone does something great, say so. Take the time to celebrate small victories and milestones, along with the major ones. It boosts morale and confidence.

Being a confidence booster is not only a step towards becoming a “best boss ever,” but it’s a strategic leadership quality that leads to higher job satisfaction, reduced turnover and better overall employee performance. A confident team is a more capable team.

What do you think? Join me on LinkedIn and let’s continue the conversation.

Share this