Eight Components of Employee Esteem

by Laura DiPersia

Everyone has heard of self-esteem and we all know it is important in our personal lives but what about in our work lives? One aspect of employee performance is a direct reflection of how much esteem an employee has and whether their esteem needs are being met.  Based on the Eight Components of Employee Esteem below, are your employees’ esteem needs being met in the workplace? Are yours?

  1. Knowledge/Training - Is your employee trained to complete the job successfully? Have you trained your employees to do their job well or, instead, have they been given more responsibility but not the necessary training they need? A great example of this is promoting an employee to their first supervisory position but never providing supervisory training. Rather than your employee feeling like they have been thrown to the wolves help build their confidence, skill set and esteem by ensuring they receive the necessary training to meet your expectations. They will be better equipped to handle the job and you will feel better knowing they can handle their new responsibilities.
  2. Expectation - Does your employee understand the rules & expectations and are all employees held to the same standards? No one wants to be blindsided by suddenly being told they did not meet an expectation or follow a rule that has never been communicated. Are you clear about your expectations? Do your employees know the rules and policies they are expected to follow?
  3. Resources -  Does your employee have what is needed to complete the job/workload? The need for resources is often overlooked. Something as simple as not having printer ink or copier paper available can cause an entire project to be completed late resulting in a stressed out frustrated employee, dissatisfied customer and an upset boss. A lack of resources can result in your employee feeling stressed, fatigued, overworked, not appreciated, and not respected. Make sure they have what they need to complete their job.
  4. Trust - Are your employees empowered to do their jobs rather than micromanaged? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary trust is an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone. Do you trust the ability of your employees to do their job and empower them to do so or do you micromanage their projects and always peer over their shoulder? Building trust may take time with your employees but the more you trust them the more likely they are to take ownership of projects and tasks resulting in higher performance and better outcomes.
  5. Opportunity for Growth -  Do continual learning, training and skill development opportunities result in job mobility? Most likely your employees are interested in upward mobility in their career. Staying in the same position and using their same skills without seeing their potential can leave your employees burned out. Keep them engaged in their jobs and your company by discussing opportunities for growth, promoting skill development and listening to their career goals.
  6. Culture - Does the culture allow your employees to work within their own integrity, values and authentic self? A good match between organizational culture and personal integrity, values and authenticity can result in a highly engaged, high performing and highly satisfied employee, however a mismatch can be terrible for both the employee and the company. Employees working out of alignment may perform poorly, become negative, feel stressed out or even depressed. If there seems to be a mismatch, search for opportunities to allow your employee to work within their values and express themselves.
  7. Self-Value - Are your employees able to use their unique talents, skills and abilities? We all have a unique set of talents, skills and abilities that we value in ourselves and it makes us feel good to use them. Are your employees able to use theirs in the workplace either on a day to day basis or on special projects? Take the time to ask your employees what they are best at doing and let them do it.
  8. Appreciation - Are your employees recognized and thanked for individual contributions? Increase the value of a “thank you” by being specific. Rather than “thanks for doing a great job”, identify the behavior you are thanking them for, such as “thank you for creating such a useful spreadsheet. It has really increased our efficiency.” We are likely to repeat behaviors that are recognized and appreciated so make sure not to miss out on this simple, very valuable, opportunity!

Bottom Line: Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, employees have needs as well. Help meet those needs by reviewing the Eight Components of Employee Esteem with your team to see where everyone is and how you can build them up. A workforce with high esteem is high performing, loyal and satisfied.  What employer doesn’t want that?

Laura DiPersia is an organizational development and employee relations consultant, whose work focuses on organizational development, process efficiency, employee relations, outcomes development and performance management.

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