Motivate staff through self-esteem

Look at strengths-based development for staff, rather than trying to create 'all-rounders'

10 Aug, 18

Motivate staff through self-esteem

Associate consultant at learning and development consultancy Charlotte Burton-Barker says motivated employees perform better at their jobs. She says boost your staff’s self-esteem

Healthy levels of self-esteem among employees are positively correlated with job performance and satisfaction.

It is important for businesses to recognise and try to improve self-esteem among their employees.

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Self-esteem affects virtually every aspect of human life, however, it is an area especially overlooked in the workplace.

According to research, healthy levels of self-esteem among employees have repeatedly been positively correlated with employee motivation, organisational commitment, job performance and job satisfaction.

Employees who are more confident in themselves have fewer sick days, better relationships with their colleagues and are more focused on their work.

Low self-esteem can prohibit an employee from reaching their full potential and prevent them from achieving their career goals.

Consequently it is important for employers to recognise and try to improve self-esteem among their workers as it is a key determinant in organisational culture and can affect business outcomes.

Using strength-based development

Many techniques for improving self-esteem rely on the individual changing their own behaviour, however, there are also methods managers can use to help boost their employee’s self-esteem.

One such method is the use of strengths-based development.

Strengths-based development is a relatively new concept and leadership trend.

The strengths-based theory has been formed through work by the Gallup Organisation, as well as research by Peter Drucker and Jim Collins.

It is now used in the learning and development programmes of many highly successful companies.

While it has long been commonplace for managers to try and develop employees to fit a perfect ‘all-rounder’ mould, this notion ignores individual differences between employees thereby overlooking their personal strengths.

It is in opposition to a more traditional approach to training known as the deficit model of professional development, which focuses on developing the weaknesses of employees to create a staff who have all been trained to a uniform level.

Strength-based development focuses on recognising, encouraging and applying employees personal strengths in their work.

Enhancing work culture

Research from the Gallup Organisation provides evidence that building on employee strength is far more beneficial than trying to develop employee weaknesses.

The Gallup studies identified many positive outcomes for businesses that use strengths-based development including increased employee engagement, increased retention among both customers and employees and more consistent performance across departments.

Further, strengths-based development actually makes group interaction more important and common.

Colleagues can recognise each other’s strengths and therefore relate to each other more easily, enhancing cohesion amongst teams.

In using strengths-based development businesses create diverse teams with a broad range of strengths – giving a competitive advantage over businesses in which all employees are simply trained up to one standard.

Research has made it clear that strengths-based development has the potential to completely transform organisational cultures, employee happiness and achieve improved business outcomes.