How to Build Self-Efficacy in the Workplace

Read this lesson to learn three different ways employers can help increase the self-efficacy of their employees. You’ll also see that an increase in self-efficacy will in turn, lead to an increase in productivity.

What Is Self-Efficacy?

This lesson is about self-efficacy. Just what is self-efficacy? Self-efficacy is defined as the confidence you have that you’ll successfully complete a task or project. A simple example is that of you doing your dishes. Before you begin doing your dishes, you know full-well that you’ll be able to complete the task. You aren’t afraid of doing the dishes even if you don’t like the chore. You have self-efficacy when it comes to doing the dishes. You’re not afraid to show somebody else your finished project- your clean dishes.

In the workplace, self-efficacy presents itself when you go about doing the various tasks of your job. For example, if your boss asks you to run a report for the meeting this afternoon, having self-efficacy means you are confident that you can do the report and finish it on time. You’re not afraid and it doesn’t stress you out.

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Self efficacy is confidence that you will do a good job
self efficacy

Sometimes though, there are employees that lack self-efficacy and when they are given new projects, they aren’t able to complete them well. There are also times when an employer knows a certain employee has the skills to do the job, but the employee lacks the confidence, or self-efficacy, to carry it through. What can employers do in these situations? Let’s take a closer look.

Praising Successes

We’ll look into the office life of a little company that sells wooden bow ties. You have the manager/owner and you have two employees. One employee makes all the bow ties while the other employee is responsible for the marketing and sales of the bow ties. This little company has been successful and it’s because the manager and the employees all work on increasing self-efficacy when it comes to growing the business.

One way they do this is by making sure to praise the successes of everybody on a personal level. Instead of giving everyone a gift or bonus when the company does well, employees receive commendation when they have done something well. For example, when the employee that makes the bow ties is able to produce quality bow ties at a faster rate than usual, he/she is praised for their work.

Giving praise for successes such as these, helps boost the confidence that the employee has in his or her ability to complete a task.

Provide Learning Opportunities

Another way that the bow tie company helps increase self-efficacy in its employees and workers is by providing learning opportunities. Employees are given a chance to attend lectures or classes that will help them improve their skills. By improving an employee’s skills it also helps increase his or her self-efficacy because that employee will have confidence in what they’ve learned.

For example, the employee in charge of marketing and sales is given opportunities to attend sales seminars and classes that talk about new methods of marketing that either are able to reach or persuade more people. By learning about new methods and staying up to date with current trends, the employee’s self-efficacy increases because he or she has learned better and more efficient ways to do their job.


One last way that the team’s self-efficacy is improved is by simply doing the jobs and tackling any difficulties that come up. This gives the employees experience. And when these experiences are successful, it automatically increases self-efficacy as employees see first-hand that they are successful at handling the tasks. The more positive experiences the employees have, the higher the self-efficacy is of the employees.

For example, as the marketing and sales employee sees how their marketing campaigns are actively increasing the sales for the company, his or her self-efficacy is increased and they have more confidence that what they are doing is the right thing. The employee experiences their own successes.

Lesson Summary

Let’s review.

Self-efficacy is defined as the confidence you have that you’ll successfully complete a task or project. In the workplace, it’s about having the confidence that you’ll be able to accomplish a certain task and do it well.

To increase self-efficacy, you can do these three things.

  • Praise successes
  • Provide learning opportunities
  • Experience

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