What’s interesting about confidence is that it’s fickle. On some days, your employees are busy trying new opportunities, ready to accept more assignments and step out of their comfort zones. But on other days, they’re so anxious that they can’t get a single word out during ideation. This can be a result of your company culture. If you want to boost your employees’ confidence (and their productivity), you have to watch out for these confidence killers:

Perfectionism

As the boss, you expect your team to perform well. But sometimes, “best” for you can be a little too much. You might be holding your employees to unrealistic standards. For instance, do you set tight deadlines for labor-heavy tasks? Do you always point out little mistakes, neglecting the bigger picture? If you say no a lot when it comes to your employees’ ideas and suggestions, you might be a perfectionist boss. Understandably, you want everything to be excellent. But being uptight certainly won’t help. If anything, it will only discourage your employees or dampen their morale. How do you improve your team’s confidence? Whenever your employees do something right, acknowledge it. Whenever they suggest something, consider it. Finally, whenever they make mistakes don’t freak out, especially if their blunders won’t sink your company. These exercises can help break your perfectionist perspective.

The Fear of Failure

businessman frustrated with background of arrows pointing down

When employees feel that what they’re about to do will ultimately fail, they will hesitate. This doesn’t happen only when you challenge them with a big project. This can occur even in little tasks. For instance, they might not give their opinion in a meeting because it might get rejected. They might refuse to lead a brainstorming session because it might not go well. In many instances, this isn’t a case of incompetence or a lack of experience. This way of thinking often stems from the culture of not celebrating small wins enough. Your team might have done so many good things, but when recognition isn’t given, they will have little to no memory of their achievements. When confronted with a new challenge, your employees don’t have much to bank on or draw confidence from. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to small victories. It can be as simple as sending them an e-mail of appreciation or mentioning their name during your town hall. You can professionalize this system further with employee incentive programs.

The Negativity of Colleagues

How employees relate to one another affects their confidence as well. When an arrogant, rude, or overly critical team member comes into the picture, it dampens the professional relationship and somebody else’s self-esteem. No matter how hard they embrace the habit of not getting affected, in one way or another, they will be. What can you do about this? Pay attention to your employees’ behaviors. You’ll see something strange in their facial expressions or body language when someone makes them uncomfortable. From there, talk to each worker and address attitude problems.

Overall, confidence is such a valuable trait in the workplace. You want your employees to embrace it so that they can be their best. Reflect on these things that kill your team’s confidence and make the necessary changes.