Ways Company Leaders Can Help Employees Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence at Work - two woman smiling and writing on whiteboard at work

Ways Company Leaders Can Help Employees Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence at Work

Haeli Harris
May 30, 2022
October 9, 2022

Mental health is a topic that applies to everyone and in all areas of life, and it’s something that should never be ignored or brushed under the rug. Employees spend about 40 hours—give or take—in the workplace every week, yet discussions surrounding mental health among colleagues is often not considered a pressing matter. Self-esteem and confidence are closely tied to the state of mental health.

This study that was conducted with healthcare workers in India indicates that younger individuals that are not in leadership roles tend to suffer more from low self-esteem as well as high levels of stress. Low self-esteem and confidence in the workplace can quickly result in the development of burnout or even anxiety and depression if things aren’t addressed soon enough.

A person’s mental health is just as important as the other aspects of their health, and when it’s not being properly supported, it starts to affect all other areas of their life. Mental health is absolutely a topic that should be talked about in the workplace.

For those in leadership roles, it’s imperative to recognize the fact that we all face ups and downs with the state of our mental health and to provide an atmosphere of understanding and support. As a leader, you have the special ability to help boost self-esteem and confidence in your employees when they might need it most. Today, we’re going to discuss how to build confidence and self-esteem at work as well as the immense importance of these topics.

The Importance of Self-Esteem and Confidence

It’s safe to say that most of us probably know what it feels like to struggle with low self-esteem and low self-confidence from time to time. It’s not a good feeling, and it’s certainly not beneficial to anyone when employees feel this way in the workplace. We know that self-esteem is fundamentally connected to the state of mental health, and positive mental health shows when we feel great about who we are and the work we’re involved in.

Company leaders can absolutely help facilitate self-esteem and confidence, but these are aspects that can only come from within. Others can tell us all day long how great and skilled we are, but this won’t have any effect if we don’t truly believe it for ourselves. This is precisely why creating a stable and positive environment where everyone is supported and encouraged from the start is so vital. Over time, this will naturally boost company morale, and employees won’t feel burdened with low self-esteem due to leaders that may not be acknowledging the hard work they’ve been contributing each day. When we’re shown that we are trusted and appreciated in the workplace, our confidence effortlessly thrives.

Related: Building a Culture of Feedback, Not Just An Effective Employee Review Process

How to Improve Self-Esteem at Work as a Leader

As someone in a position of leadership, you have the unique opportunity to help build your employees up in a remarkable way so they can feel confident, inspired, and motivated to perform their best at work. There is much more to this than praising them for a job well done, although that can’t hurt either! Some other great ways of how to build confidence and self-esteem at work as a leader include:

1. Positive Reinforcement

Ways Company Leaders Can Help Employees Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence at Work - two woman smiling and writing on whiteboard at work

Positive reinforcement can come in many different forms, like verbally commending your employees or showcasing your appreciation by rewarding in them in some way (i.e., buying lunch or even providing a salary raise when it seems fit). As their supervisor, you can also focus on empowering your employees in different ways, such as by trusting them with new and potentially more challenging projects. Doing so can also translate into a higher sense of confidence and accomplishment.

2. Create an Open Line of Communication

As a leader, it’s so important to ensure there’s an open line of communication between you and your employees. When employees feel like they have to walk on eggshells in the workplace or don’t know how to approach the higher-ups, this can have a large negative impact on their mental state and their degree of self-esteem. Communication is truly key in all aspects of life, and when everyone feels like they can openly ask questions and discuss what they need to, not only will work get done more efficiently but confidence will be boosted, too.

3. Allow Breaks when Needed

Breaks should never be looked at as a bad thing, but rather as a tool to help increase motivation and productivity. Overworking is very real, and when there aren’t sufficient breaks allowed in the workplace, employees start to face concerns like burnout and chronic stress. Taking breaks during the workday has many benefits, such as improved creativity, a reduction in stress, and boosted employee engagement.

4. Encourage Employees to Lead

One of the best ways you can help build self-esteem and confidence among your colleagues is by delegating tasks and encouraging them to lead. This isn’t to say to dump other responsibilities that aren’t a part of their job onto them, but rather to allow them to partially oversee other projects and to act as a resource or mentor in instances where it makes sense. This tells your employees that they’re trusted and doing a great job, which results in improved confidence and self-esteem at work.  When we address the fact that mental health applies to every single one of us and acknowledge this in the workplace, everyone reaps the rewards. Focusing on how to improve self-esteem at work allows us to feel happier and more confident in the environments we spend so much time in. A positive domino effect is created and those around us in the workplace as well as in the other areas of their lives start to see and feel the benefits. Employees that are more self-assured and confident because of positive leadership are the foundation of a successful and productive work environment.


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Haeli Harris
Haeli Harris
Haeli Harris, LMFT is the Director of Clinical Operations at Nivati. She has been practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2014. Haeli has experience working as a therapist in private practice settings, residential facilities, outpatient treatment care, schools, and telehealth.