Your employees spend the majority of their lives at work. They are together for at least 8 hours a day, five days a week, for years. They depend on each other through lunch hours, meetings, big announcements, company gatherings…the list goes on. And if you want them to enjoy each others’ company, and be satisfied and engaged at work, your team members need to feel confident. 

Confidence at work is built through a variety of ways: receiving consistent responsibilities, encouragement to take on new opportunities, ownership of deliverables and decisions, the ability to manage their own time, and recognition throughout every quarter, just to name a few. Notice how all of these factors are independent of other people?

When employees have to compete — have to assert their dominance over others in their department and team — their behavior towards their team members change for the worst because they feel the pressure to be better, to do better. Even if they’re not a sales team, or reaching other quotas, the stress to “be the best” invades cubicles and office space, creating a cloud of tension. While productivity might be high, overall confidence, satisfaction, and engagement are low. 

This is where you, as a team leader or manager, step in to make a difference. 

If an employee knows regardless of their team members’ successes that they will be recognized and appreciated by their organization, then they will be just as productive, if not even more so. Being measured independently, based on individual accomplishments, will lead to your employees treating each other with more care. They’ll be encouraging, respectful, and work better as a team — free to collaborate and communicate without attributing who directly did each step or win. 

So how can you make them feel appreciated on an individual level, while still keeping a close, family-like team environment without excluding anyone? 

A great approach to generating top team and individual confidence is creating two tracks of recognition. The first track is on a personal level, where you reward individual employees upon certain milestones. For example, when a team member gives a presentation, completes a task that was especially challenging, or hits a certain KPI, they can be recognized with some form of a “job well done.” This can be a card, a dinner out on the company, a trip to the spa — anything that will break up the ordinary day. Building employee confidence doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a gift. Display your trust in your employees by giving them work flexibility. Allowing them to work from home, or work remotely — even for a few days out of the year — instills confidence in them that they are trusted to get their work done out of the office. 

The second track is on a team-wide level, so while your team members enjoy individual confidence boosters, they are also able to celebrate while united. Sending everyone a gift card, thank-you note, or other personal gifts at the same time lets everyone feel appreciated, together. You can also reward your team at work by bringing in vendors or specialists to treat your employees. Manicurists, masseuses, ice cream trucks parked outside, musical or comedic performances are all surprises that companies have hosted in order to show appreciation for their employees. These group rewards encourage your team to enjoy a break in their work week together. 

Combining individual and team-level appreciation makes for a better work environment and higher-engaged employees. You’ll see your team become stronger, and your team members happy to come through the door every day. 

Now, setting up rewards, and keeping track of them is time-consuming. Implementing a consistent recognition program in your team or organization enables you to automate appreciation for your employees. Gifted is an employee appreciation platform that allows managers and human resources to set up both reoccurring and one-time gifts, eliminating the need to spend any extra time on keeping employees satisfied, and teams united. Employees can receive gifts through text and e-mail, at anywhere and anytime, and range from a nice meal out to outdoor sporting goods. To get started, sign-up at www.gifted.co and see all the possibilities for confidence boosting.