Build them up

10 ways to create confident employees

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:33 pm

A leader’s dream is to have employees that have the wisdom to know the truth and the guts to do something about it. This type of discernment, in the moments that matter, assure leaders that their employees have the confidence to overcome obstacles and make effective decisions that align to the company’s vision, values and goals. I call this wisdom “gut intelligence.”

Here are 10 ways you can create confident employees who have increased gut intelligence and, therefore, are able to make clear, calm and confident decisions:

Strategic planning

When a leader engages employees in the creation of the vision, values, goals and initiatives—they become invested in the execution and results. This contrasts with a top-down process, in which leaders tell employees what the vision, values, goals and key initiatives will be. Being asked one’s opinion on strategy creates confidence, because that which we create we support.

Vision board quest

After co-creating the company’s vision, values and goals, have each employee create a vision board to help them see how they can personally contribute and add value. This helps to bring the unconscious knowing from the gut, up the gut-brain axis, for greater clarity and confidence.

Meditation practice

Encouraging employees to take half an hour a day to ponder how to handle issues will help them increase their gut intelligence and confidence. When employees meditate, they are less likely to put the monkey on someone else’s back, ignore cues at the tip of the iceberg or take someone else’s monkey on their back. The reason is: the more we meditate, the more we become clear, calm and confident.

Create teams

While many initiatives are assigned to departments or individuals, there will be some initiatives that are better off being assigned to cross-functional teams. This is a good idea when greater intellect and buy-in is needed. When we create cross-functional teams that have a clear problem-solving question to answer, we create confident employees who learn more about the business from different vantage points. This helps them to make more confident business decisions for the overall good of the business.

Cross training

Providing cross training increases gut intelligence, promotes overall decision-making and confidence because it allows employees to better understand other areas of the business. To make cross training pay off, be sure to have employees focus on a goal and how each department can better reach that goal. Creating consciousness and collaboration increases confidence.


Recognition is often considered the responsibility of one’s own manager. But what if recognition became more of a responsibility from everyone in the organization? When everyone partakes in recognizing who is contributing to achieving their goals, getting their initiatives done on time, meeting standards of excellence, innovation, customer service, teamwork and helping to achieve a ROI, it builds confidence because everyone’s perspective is considered.

Quarterly scorecards

Quarterly scorecards allow leaders to have a culture of increased gut intelligence and confidence. By doing scorecards quarterly, instead of yearly performance reviews, leaders give employees confidence by praising them on what they are doing well and coaching them on where they need improvement in a timely basis.

Digital result boards

When leaders use a digital results board they help their employees increase their gut intelligence and confidence by showcasing progress to the goals and initiatives. The digital results board also inspires commitment, as it communicates publicly to everyone what they confidently know they can do, versus focusing on what they can’t do.


Huddles are a great way to raise the level of gut intelligence, solve problems, make collaborative decisions and increase the confidence in your employees. Huddles are used to have a quick meeting of the minds on issues that arise so everyone can move forward in a unified and confident way.

Goal-alignment conversations

Similarly to the huddle, the goal-alignment conversation can be used to increase gut intelligence and confidence so that all agree on how to achieve the goals. A goal-alignment conversation is used to sync up a team, departments or individuals who may be rowing in different directions and therefore not using an agreed-upon approach.

When you utilize these 10 ways to create a foundation that supports increased gut intelligence, your culture will produce employees who are confident and make wiser decisions.

Challenge: How might you increase your employees’ gut intelligence and confidence so you can have greater results?

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Susan K. Wehrley is an executive coach and business consultant that aligns executives and businesses to their vision, values and goals. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes. You can email Susan at, (262) 696-6856 or visit her website for more details.

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