Elite Leaders Associate, Anji McGrandles, gives her top tips for helping employees to feel comfortable with themselves at work.


How can you support colleagues who don’t feel confident and comfortable in the workplace?

Connect with them

You can’t support someone if you don’t know them, so making a genuine connection and getting to know employees is key.  Understanding what makes them tick and where they are lacking in confidence will help you support them in the right areas.

Assign a mentor

Having someone to work closely with, learn from and just chat to will help unconfident employees.  Try and connect people with similar interests so they have a common ground to build on. As their confidence grows, reverse the process and get them to mentor new starters and colleagues.

Set them up to win

People lack confidence when they don’t feel in control of situations so giving a detailed brief and helping people prepare will give them confidence.  Encourage managers to spend a bit of extra time giving a full clear brief and ensuring people feel well prepared.

Encourage autonomy and opportunities to lead projects

Giving people autonomy and a project to run themselves is a great way to build confidence.  Don’t throw unconfident people in the deep end – they’ll drown.  Instead give them a framework that provides support and regularly check in with them.

Encourage Fail Forward

Ensure there’s not a ‘blame culture’ within your team. If you are feeling uncomfortable at work, any mistake, however small will make team members feel inadequate. Work through challenges and mistakes with employees, and come from a place that recognises that failure is an essential part of learning and growth.

Give praise

We thrive on praise, so recognition for achievement, however small, is going to help people feel more confident and comfortable in their role and with how they are perceived at work.  Make sure it comes from a genuine, authentic place, otherwise people see through it. No one wants to feel like a pet project


Listen to Anji’s “HRD Live” podcast where she gives her top tips to people leaders who want to implement mental health initiatives in the workplace.