Constant pressure at work to meet deadlines or to work overtime can be overwhelming. Plus, failure to meet employer’s expectations disappoints, and thus negatively affects one’s self-esteem. Employees with low self-esteem find it hard to achieve goals and feel less important. There is a lot of information out there about the importance of self-esteem in romantic relationships, in the family circle, and everyday life. Yet, how important is self-esteem in the workspace?
Healthy self-esteem can help employees have an improved level of confidence when handling difficult tasks. Employers feel good about themselves, can focus more on their work, and can get along with co-workers.
However, some employees doubt their importance in the workplace, and this can make them afraid to voice their insights, or take necessary risks. Building self-confidence among workers is more important than any education they might have. There are things you can proactively do to make your employees feel important, worthwhile, and respected.
1. Open Lines of Communication
Encourage your staff to talk about pressing issues in the office. Open communication makes the other parties feel valued. Business trainer Brian Tracy notes that you listen to someone you appreciate.
Effective communication is a major concern in the workplace. A survey by Harris Poll showed that 69% of managers said they felt uncomfortable communicating with employees. This statistic shows that poor communication could be a reason for conflicts in the office, leaving some workers feeling isolated and undermined.
Effective communication in the workplace avoids confusion, creates accountability, and helps all to achieve their goals. Communication can take many forms:
Commend your employees if they do something right. If you need to give feedback, be specific to the person you are addressing and point out what needs to be improved. Let your employees know they can seek your help when in need. Open communication inspires employees and makes them feel useful in the decision making process.
2. Reward Them
No one wants to feel like a project. Employees do not want to be taken for granted. Recognize their achievements and reward them with incentives. This goes a long way toward boosting their self-esteem.
You can also include end-year bonuses or shopping vouchers. This can not only motivate workers, but it can also help them feel worthy.
You don’t have to organize an elaborate party to celebrate your employees’ achievements. Sometimes just a simple expression of gratitude can make them feel good about themselves.
A Gallup survey on employee recognition, found that employees who receive regular praise feel satisfied and more valued. They thus they perform best at work, and stay committed to their job for a long time.
3. Avoid Negative Talk
Avoid negative statements like “you can’t do that”. Positive speech helps workers believe in their ability to accomplish tasks; big or small. No matter how complicated a project is, once you are optimistic about the situation, you build self-confidence in others.
Of course, constructive criticism is not bad. However, constant, unproductive complaining creates a toxic environment in the workplace, leaving workers feeling drained emotionally and less important.
Do you have to react to every situation? Think about this before you lose your temper when something does not go as planned.
Employees who face constant negative talk from their bosses may become dissatisfied with their jobs, and lose their morale. Negative talk is a barrier to healthy and happy office life.
4. Include Brief and Easy Exercise Sessions in the Office
Sitting all day in an office can not only be boring but affect a person’s mood. Health experts have expressed concern over the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
In a study, 36% of people who feel positive have a habit of exercising more often during the week. Exercise helps workers feel better physically, and feel more energized to overcome obstacles in the office.
There are lots of exercises you can introduce to your team members to help them avoid the bad effects of sitting all day, and most importantly boost their self-esteem.
Have brief sessions of simple exercises in which your employees can engage in. Here are some examples of exercises to get your employees off their duffs:
· The Hamstring Curl
Stand straight beside your desk, bend arms at the elbow. Bring one foot up towards your back. Straighten your arms when your hands are down, and when the foot is up. Repeat the exercise for about 20 times.
· Desk push up
Place your hands on the edge of the desk. Lean forward legs out behind you. Push off as you bend forward and back, repeating the workout about 10 times.
5. Encourage Idea Sharing
Employees might hesitate to voice their opinions due to various reasons. It could be fear of ridicule, being off-topic, or fear of annoying the boss.
Make employers feel comfortable sharing ideas, and create various platforms where these ideas can be shared. You can use suggestion boxes, online systems, or any other practical platform. Listen carefully during such forums, and acknowledge good ideas. Idea sharing boosts employee confidence.
Helping coworkers with ideas is also an effective way of boosting the morale of others. Others appreciate it when their ideas are considered.
Collaboration in idea sharing makes employees more responsible. This in turn, improves their motivation levels. It adds value to how your employees view their assignments. This results in job satisfaction because they are happy with the results of their work.
To Wrap Up
The way employees feel about themselves, has a direct bearing on the success of an organization. Employees who have a high level of self-esteem are confident in their judgments and are therefore in a position to make better decisions.
Low self-esteem gives way to negative traits such as complaining every time and a rebellious attitude. In such an environment, there is limited progress.
Leaders can promote positive self-esteem in the workplace by encouraging open communication, celebrating their achievements, and incorporating brief exercise sessions in the office.
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