The 7 C’s of Onboarding: How to integrate ‘Confidence’?

Appical Team
Jessica Heijmans
December 21, 2022
min read
Table of Contents
How to boost employees' confidence in the workplace? Constructing an onboarding experience that nurtures employees' confidence from the beginning is not an easy task, but it is certainly worth the effort! Learn more about this particular 7 C of onboarding and how to put it into practice to help build employees' self-esteem in the workplace.

The 7 C’s of Onboarding explained

First things first, a little history. Years ago, Taya Bauer created an onboarding framework that would help ensure success in the onboarding process. She originally established four C's: Compliance, Clarification, Connection, and Culture. Later, she included two more: Confidence and Checkback. Appical then added a seventh C, Creativity.

> Catch up on the 7 C’s of onboarding in our whitepaper

You may have already read some of our blogs on the 7 Cs, for example Compliance, Clarification, Culture or Connection. Or this is your first one. Either way: we can’t wait to dive into a new ‘C’ with you.

What is the meaning of ‘Confidence’? 

Truth or myth? “Confidence: You either have it or you don’t.” 

Fortunately, confidence is not something you are born with. Confidence is something you can develop. A skill like any other.

When searching for the specific definition of ‘confidence’ the first hit we come across is: ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’. Confidence is also a belief in one's self: a belief in your own ability to do things and be successful.

Talking about onboarding, (self) confidence refers to employees' feeling that they are doing their job well and that they are capable of taking on new challenges. While an organization can’t directly help new employees feel better about themselves, they can design onboarding journeys that help employees build self-confidence.

Why is ‘Confidence’ an important part of employee onboarding? 

With a new job, there's lots of change. A new commute, colleagues, new tasks and expectations. Most of the time, it will take some time to get used to and get to know everything and everyone. 

Logically, it also takes some time to feel like you know what you’re doing. But your new employee might feel the pressure of needing to know it all right from the start. 

Not feeling capable to tackle this new challenge, can make for a difficult start without the right people and tools to help guide them.

The importance of confident employees

You might wonder: why is having confident employees so important? In addition to providing a sense of security for the individual, employers stand to benefit greatly from having employees who are self-assured and sure of their capabilities.

A couple of benefits:

  • Increased productivity: nearly all employees (98%) who participated in a survey by Indeed say they perform better when they feel confident.
  • Reduced employee turnover: 96% of respondents are more likely to stay at a company if they feel confident
  • Happy employees: 94% of respondents say they’re happier when they feel confident at work.

A confident workforce can be resilient, productive and loyal.

How do you boost ‘Confidence’ through your onboarding program?

As previously mentioned, some aspects of building confidence in the workplace may be beyond your control. Nevertheless, there are many things you can do to boost employee confidence.

1. Give an office tour

One of the primary objectives of the onboarding process is to ensure that the employee feels welcomed, confident, and comfortable. It is essential to avoid the feeling of being lost. To ensure a smooth transition, reach out to the new hire before their first day and invite them over. Start with the basics: make sure your employees get a tour of the office so they feel right at home and  don't literally get lost. 

2. Hand out all the information and tools they need

Give your new employees the tools to succeed in their new role, such as access to playbooks, software and a proper transfer of knowledge. Make content easily accessible, for example by storing your files in a clear way and delivering a handover from their predecessor. 

3. Communicate where to find additional information 

Questions will pop-up during the onboarding process, and new hires need to know where to look for answers. Identify individuals within the organization who can provide help, and create a Q&A section in the onboarding tool to address the most commonly asked questions. This will ensure that everyone has quick access to the information they need.

4. Set attainable goals and challenges

Give clarity about the expectations and the first week of the new hire by setting attainable goals together and creating small tasks. The key word here is ‘attainable’.  Burdening an employee with an out-of-reach goal can lead to frustration, a lack of motivation or confidence.

Setting attainable goals serves as a motivation trigger that keeps employees engaged and interested in the work they do. The goal is to assign projects that are challenging yet achievable. 

When you feel that your employees lack self-confidence at work, add more details about what you want from a task and provide your new hire with the tools they may need to complete the task successfully.

Learning, performance and personal goals

It can be helpful to break the goals into categories like learning, performance, and personal goals:

  • Learning goals: To set their learning goals, consider what knowledge and skills are needed and what kind of behavior is expected of them. How can he/she best absorb and acquire that information and those abilities?
  • Performance goals: For their performance goals, create measurable objectives that need to be completed or achieved within a certain timeframe.
  • Personal goals: Personal goals should be set to help the new hire become familiar with their team and build relationships with key people in the company. Read more about nurturing relationships in our Connection blog.

Learning is an essential part of not only developing skills, but also increasing confidence. Gaining knowledge of something new can be incredibly rewarding, and this feeling of accomplishment can lead to a greater sense of self-worth. Therefore, always strive to provide chances for professional growth and development.

> Check out our 100 day plan for new hires

5. Mentorship program

If the opportunity is there, pairing your new hire with a more seasoned employee can be incredibly beneficial. A mentorship program can help your insecure employee gain confidence and develop their skills. By having someone to guide them, it can give them the confidence to set and pursue goals, receive feedback on their choices, and take on new opportunities and challenges.

6. Communicate how your employees’ work matters 

To ensure that your employees understand the importance of their work, they should be educated on your products and services, the problems they solve for your customers, and how their individual contributions contribute to the overall success of the company.

This all starts with establishing clear expectations from the outset, even before the first day. What is your new hires’ role, how do they contribute to the company goals? With every project they are working on, let them know how it fits into the company strategy.

>  Find out more about the importance of Clarification in our blog

Be aware: especially employees who work completely remotely may ask themselves: “Do I matter as a remote employee? How can my colleagues see what I'm doing?" Therefore, communicate how their work matters and highlight it to the rest of the company!

7. Celebrate successes

Now that we are talking about highlighting work: be sure to celebrate the successes of your (new) employees. Celebrating milestones helps to build employee confidence because it shows employees that their hard work and efforts are being noticed and appreciated. 

It is clear that a large majority of employees who resign from their jobs are doing so due to a lack of appreciation, as 79% state this as a primary factor (O.C. Tanner). This is not shocking considering that 65% of employees reported not receiving any recognition at all in the last year.

Celebrating milestones helps employees to feel a sense of accomplishment, which can lead to further job satisfaction and productivity. 

A couple of ideas to celebrate successes:

  • Cover the basics, by celebrating the arrival of your new hire
  • Don’t overthink it: employees feel 116% more appreciated with a deliberate “thank you” (O.C. Tanner)
  • Praise someone for the small things they do every day.
  • Celebrate together: take your team to lunch or arrange for breakfast to be brought in. Keep in mind that celebrating is a cornerstone of social bonding.
  • Encourage your employees to go public with an achievement (in your internal communication channels, during meetings or even on LinkedIn).
  • Or post about the employee or team on your social media with details about their achievement.

Feeling valued by their employers boosts confidence for nearly all workers (97%) - Indeed

8. Provide genuine feedback in the right way

How often are you receiving feedback or having your successes celebrated? Employee recognition is incredibly important!

Feedback can be an invaluable tool for boosting employee confidence, provided it is delivered in the right way and at the right time.

Give positive feedback where you recognize good work

Providing positive feedback is a great way to motivate employees to keep striving even when they’re struggling. 

This can be done by pointing out specific things they’ve done well, and things you like.  Also, describe the impact of their actions. This makes the person feel empowered and lets them know they’re on the right track.

“In one study of 65,672 employees, Gallup found those who received strengths feedback had turnover rates that were 14.9% lower than for employees who received no feedback.”

Give constructive feedback

Giving constructive feedback to employees can be an important tool in helping them to grow and develop. It is an effective way to communicate areas for improvement and to provide encouragement. 

Give regular feedback

Make feedback an everyday task, rather than an infrequent event. A research by Gallup

states that: employees who receive daily feedback from their manager are 3x more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less. Furthermore, 80% of Millenials said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews (ELI).

Give honest feedback

The way you are giving feedback also matters. In general, it is best to be direct, honest, and respectful. It is also important to focus on solutions, rather than just pointing out the problem. This will help to ensure that the employee understands the goals and is able to take the necessary steps to reach them. 

“65% of employees said they wanted more feedback” - Office Vibe

9. Listen to your employees’ ideas

Last, but definitely not least: listen to the ideas of your employees. The best way to make your employees feel confident, important, respected and valued is to listen to them. Asking employees to participate in the planning and decision-making will make them feel appreciated, which will increase their morale, motivation, and sense of purpose. 

By listening, both parties benefit. Your employees can be a great source of new ideas and especially a new hire can give a fresh perspective on things. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that one of your team members has a great suggestion to offer, and you wouldn't want to miss out on a potentially helpful idea. 

It is advised that you incorporate feedback into your onboarding process so that any issues can be identified and addressed during the early stages of the employee journey. Doing so will also help to create a smoother onboarding experience for future employees.

Best practice Celebrating Successes

At Appical, we have different ways of highlighting achievements, for example:

  • During our monthly town hall, where the whole company comes together, everyone can recognize another employee's accomplishment through the shout out portion. 
  • We use Slack to communicate successes, such as new client gains, success stories, and other celebrations.
  • Every couple of weeks, the marketing team has a sprint review and retro, where we reflect on the previous weeks. We use a tool called EasyRetro for this. As you can see in the image below, we categorize the feedback points (Things that went well, not so well, new ideas and compliments).
Blog 7Cs - Confidence


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