All changes or improvements in external performance and behaviour begin with improvements in the self-concept; to put it another way, all changes in the outer world of the individual begin with changes in the inner world.
The leader who creates a positive, high-self-esteem workplace will have higher performance, lower absenteeism, lower employee turnover, higher productivity, and fewer mistakes. Here are seven ways the leader can build and reinforce a positive self-concept to motivate employees:
1. Challenge. Give people jobs that make them stretch. Challenges inspire engagement.
2. Freedom. Give people sufficient autonomy to work without close supervision.
3. Control. Set regular times for feedback. The more regular feedback that employees get on their performance, the more valuable they consider their work to be.
4. Respect. When you ask for people’s opinions, listen closely to them when they want to talk as they feel more valuable and important.
5. Warmth. The more your people see that you like and care about them as individuals, in addition to them as members of staff, the better they will perform.
6. Success Experiences. Give people jobs that they can perform successfully at their levels of experience and skill. This is key to building both self-esteem and self-concept.
7. Positive Expectations. This is perhaps the most powerful motivator of all. Nothing boosts self-esteem and improves performance more than when people sense that their boss believes that they are good and competent and that they have the ability to do the job well.