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How Boosting Self-Esteem in the Workplace Can Help Productivity

  • by: Charlotte Robinson
  • On: 14, May 2024
3 min read

Many businesses are trying to improve the mental health of their teams. It has many benefits, from lowering turnover to increasing productivity, but mental health is a complex subject, and it isn’t always easy to know where to begin.

One of the simplest ways you can help to improve the mental health of your team is by increasing their self-esteem. It doesn’t require extensive training, or changes to the structure of the business. Self-esteem is something that can be built up relatively quickly, easily, and for free, and you can start today.

Why is self-esteem so important for work?

Employees who feel good about themselves are typically able to focus better, need less time off and generally get along well with coworkers.

Employees with low self esteem may work slower, make more mistakes, and hesitate to try their hardest, possibly because they believe their best effort simply isn’t very good.

 When team members feel capable and trusted to do their work, they’re often empowered to achieve more, pushing themselves further because, based on past performance, they know that they’re set up to succeed. Quite simply: they do better because they believe in themselves.  

This can create a positive feedback loop: employees push themselves harder because they know they’re capable of good work, they achieve good work, they see that their work is good and they continue aiming high.

So how can you help your team to have good self-esteem?

How to help improve your team’s self-esteem

Recognise individual efforts

 The simplest and most immediate way to improve the self-esteem of your team members is to recognise when they’ve done a good job, and tell them.

It’s likely that most of your team do great work most of the time, but think how often you take the time to show appreciation for that. Even if you do, keep in mind that a sincere, genuine, authentic word of recognition, one to one, can make a huge difference to how that individual feels about themselves and their work.

 But it’s not just about recognising when work has been done. You can also encourage your employees to be the best that they can be, reminding them of past successes, and letting them know that you believe in them, trust them, and know they can excel at their work.

 If you have faith in them to do their job well, they may start to have more faith in themselves.

Group Activities

Group activities can also help your team members build their self-esteem. When team members work together, they support each other, and get to see each other’s strengths. Words of praise or support from others can be incredibly motivating, and have more of an impact than we think.

When a co-worker recognises our work, it comes from a place of genuine respect, especially if it’s an important skill being demonstrated. There are so many different skills needed on even a single project, let alone an entire business, but often we forget that our skillset is important or impressive, because we’re so used to just getting on and doing our job.

 That’s why working in a group is important, it allows for recognition across the team, not just from managers. The next time you’re impressed by a colleague, tell them.dylan-gillis-KdeqA3aTnBY-unsplash-1

Company-wide recognition

 There’s nothing more demotivating than working hard, achieving your goals, and then not being recognised for it.

When team members work hard, the company should know about it, and recognise it. This reinforces the image of the team member as someone capable, not just to the company, but themselves as well. 

This can be as simple as an employee of the month award, but really this should extend across each team, so everyone can hear about who’s making a difference.  

While a lot of our self-esteem is generated internally, external validation goes a long way too, and can remind us of what we’ve achieved when we aren’t feeling our best.

Helping to boost your team’s self-esteem will lead to improved mental health, better relationships between team members, and increased productivity across the business.MicrosoftTeams-image (35)

Read more about improving mental health at work, or learn how to address the engineering skills shortage.

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