5 Signs Your Team Is Underconfident and How to Fix It

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Productivity and good performance requires focus and devotion, however, lack of confidence can surely get in the way of that. When someone is newly employed, and your employees are faced with a more demanding task for the first time, experiencing doubt is completely natural. It is not necessarily negative since it can make us more vigilant and meticulous.

Unfortunately, too much doubt and lack of resolve are definitely going to be counterproductive. It is extremely stressful to do something without knowing whether you are doing exactly what is expected of you, which causes people to be overly cautious. Too much hesitation and constant check-ups will make the project last longer than it needs to. Here we will discuss how to determine whether your employees are under confident and how to deal with this issue.

Look for the signs

First of all, as an employer or project manager, you should have enough competence to identify a project that might be arduous or hard to comprehend by your team members. Once you explain such project to your employees, be prepared to hear some follow-up questions.

If nobody asks anything, it indicates that peer pressure prevents them from expressing their doubt, because nobody wants to appear incompetent in front of either their superiors or other co-workers.

Another sign that can be noticed later on is that a tasks takes too long to be completed and yet the employee or employees are constantly working on it. Furthermore, an employee can react differently to certain things if he or she is not clear on what to do. The person might also refuse help and say “everything is under control”.

Other signs might be that employees are more stressed out and tense than usual. They can be tired or unmotivated, however, these signs can also be related to something else.

All of these problems can be dealt with and we will explore the solutions throughout the rest of the article.

Use communication to clarify things

This is the best way to handle underconfident workers. Make sure you make a business meeting where you will explain to everyone what they need to do, and make sure that everyone is on the same page.

If you think that they are ready for it, ask if anyone has anything to add, and ask them what they think would be the best way to handle the task. If they are struggling with some elements, provide references, examples, research material, or try to simplify the instructions. However, it’s probably best to be certain that your team is ready for something like this, as you might end up putting more pressure on your colleagues.

Once the project starts, maintain this frequent communication. Ask if everything is going as planned, and check how they have done their job up to that point. If everything goes according to schedule, it means the employees know what they are doing.

User-friendly collaboration tools are good if employees think they lack competence

Many businesses of all sizes rely on project management software to keep things organized, to distribute tasks, and to store their sensitive data. If you are planning to use project management tools in your company, it would be ideal to use those that have a user-friendly interface, so that your employees can intuitively figure out how to navigate them.

Employees will feel far more confident knowing that they can immediately use the software, without any need for special training. Moreover, these tools have various features, and you can easily organize an online training course for your employees.

So, by using the right knowledge management tool, you can help your workers become more confident by giving them extra training that they can access from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.

Positive reinforcement to reassure them they have done good work so far

If employees are not sure whether they have done a good job, it is likely that the progress will be delayed. In these events, it is completely possible for your team to overthink the situation and to be hesitant to move forward.

This is why positive reinforcement is desirable during the initial stages of the project, or an employee’s career in general. You should oversee these early steps and immediately compliment the worker, or correct them, and once they have rectified the mistake, then compliment them.

Inspire sense of achievement to help them realize they are making progress

In order for employees to remain productive throughout the whole project, they need to experience progression and to get the feedback on how their efforts were meaningful. It is always better to segment the project into more milestones and to have a minor celebration upon reaching them.

A sense of achievement serves as a good source of motivation to move forward and allows team members to assume a more positive attitude towards the project.

Use team building to create friendlier atmosphere

People are less likely to lack confidence if the atmosphere is friendlier, and they are also bound to be more productive and helpful. In other words, you should ensure that people involved in the project or simply people who work together have an opportunity to bond and get to know each other outside the workplace.

A team building exercise is a perfect way of creating a better atmosphere at work. You can either visit a remote location, where you can participate in different games and exercises, or you can visit one of those “escape the room” events and have a wonderful team building experience.

These were some of the most effective solutions you can implement to build up the confidence of your employees and create a more productive environment. If any of your workers are having trouble at the office, or feel uncomfortable, try using some of these tips to identify the root of the problem and to boost their morale.



Jason Grills is a writer and a technical support executive currently associated with ProProfs Knowledgebase Software. He enjoys writing about emerging software products, new designs and trends in content marketing. He lives in Los Angeles, California. In his spare time, Jason enjoys pampering his pet dogs, shopping, and doing all things creative.

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