Nothing boosts an employee’s confidence faster than the feeling of being appreciated. People generally begin a new position full of high hopes of excelling and making their mark in their new role. They want to fit in and impress their leaders and peers. As time goes on, if there is no feedback from either, they can start to wonder if they are doing well.
This can be avoided by communicating along the way — not waiting until review time. By practicing these steps, employees can retain their confidence and grow in a healthy environment. It is up to you as their leader to set the tone and to make people feel more comfortable and stable.
Spend time one on one
When people see that you are genuinely interested in them personally, and you set up regular one-on-one meetings with them, it creates a rapport. Team members are more likely to approach you with any difficulties they are facing in any aspect of their job.
People are more apt to confide about an issue because they find you approachable. They become comfortable enough to give details that can help you and team members to devise solutions together, thus empowering employees and putting out fires before they rage.
One-on-one meetings provide stability to employees as they try to navigate through their new position. They can grow faster through regular input from you and the more seasoned employees around them. This kind of investment produces less-stressed team players who feel valued, appreciated, and that you are on their side.
Be a good listener
When you are a good listener during a one-on-one or group meeting, it builds trust with employees.
Offering to think through solutions with them shows you care about their thoughts. Not only is active listening good practice for you, but it may do something significant in the life of the employee. There can be spill-over effects that positively influence their workday, thereby improving team morale.
When you lead by that kind of example, you set the tone for the company’s culture as well as building a healthy trust. Imagine the positive ripple effect that would have on the company as a whole.
Assign a special project
Ask an employee to take on a new task or project that utilizes his or her strengths or talents. When employees are assigned tasks that use their strongest abilities, they feel appreciated and quickly rise up with excitement, wanting to exhibit great and thorough work because they are confident. They will treat it as their “baby,” take responsibility for it, and do their best.
Other behaviors may improve as well. If someone is habitually late coming in to work, it can mean they don’t see their work as fulfilling. If they perceive their work as meaningful, it gives them a sense of ownership, and they will want to dash in on time or early!
Micromanaging them and their project is a quick way to kill their momentum and their spirit. Instead, try to give positive feedback and helpful suggestions; it will be well-received and the supervisor-employee relationship will positively grow.
No doubt, one quick way to make employees feel happy, valued, and appreciated is to bring in lunch. Bringing in food is a great way to have some fun community time. It changes the atmosphere. It is a guaranteed way to break away from stress, even for an hour, and it is so appreciated.
Monthly/yearly team awards, contests, and challenges keep staff on their toes. It is fun to be recognized as employee of the month, for example, or for a small or sizable accomplishment. Friendly competition within the team can spark the feeling of being appreciated when employees are recognized for their achievements. The whole group will strive for the next month’s award if they didn’t receive it this time around.
Leaving employees to wonder if they are doing a satisfactory job sends them down a path that leads to insecurity and doubt about their abilities. Conversely, when there is communication along the way, it minimizes stress.
When you show interest in individuals, you foster a relationship that will ultimately build up the employee as well as the company. Getting together one on one to focus on an individual and listen to their thoughts helps build trust.
Assigning someone a project communicates confidence in their abilities. The result can be an exciting, dramatic shift in the atmosphere of the company’s culture. Being occasionally rewarded with food or awards can cause some friendly competition, boost morale, and promote the feeling of genuine appreciation.
Jim Rowell is the CEO and co-founder of Rising Sun Consultants, LLC, Hershey, and assists clients in building the health and well-being of their organizational cultures. Co-author of The 10 Keys of Effective Supervision. He can be reached at Jim@risingsunconsultants.com.