The Importance of Promoting a Growth Mindset Culture

3/1/2021

Even if you love your job and your company, work can be challenging. Work during an ongoing pandemic can be especially challenging. One of the most effective ways to help your teams overcome challenges is to enable members to develop resilience and flexibility. Developing a workplace culture around a growth mindset can be critical in helping employees become more engaged with and excited about their work, even in the face of challenges.

What is a growth mindset?

Psychologists believe there are two types of mindsets people have that orient them to how they see circumstances and embrace change. A growth mindset can help shift a perspective on almost any difficult situation, while a fixed mindset can hold people back.

  • Someone with a fixed mindset is likely to believe that they’re unable to change or develop their intelligence or character and feel that these are static, innate characteristics. Those with a fixed mindset usually have a strong fear of failure, as it might, in their mind, point to a personal, unchangeable defect or shortcoming.
  • Someone with a growth mindset doesn’t see either intelligence or personality as static, but believes that failures and change offer the opportunity to grow, learn and adapt. This means that success is always possible and that failures or setbacks aren't signs of personal flaws, but occur because there’s simply something they haven’t learned yet.

A growth mindset, then, is more than just a series of positive thinking mantras. Instead of simply being a way to encourage employees, it helps them take ownership of their goals, push past their comfort zones, and improve communication.

How to help teams develop a growth mindset

A willingness to grow and change, even and maybe especially when it’s difficult, can be built into the culture of your organization. This can slowly help to shift people’s attitudes toward change, challenges, and more. 

  • Set learning and development goals: Establishing learning goals sets the precedent that learning is important for success. These goals should be more than just encouraging employees to attend upskilling sessions or go to lunch-and-learn seminars, but should focus on taking on new challenges and setting stretch goals with the intention of learning from the experience, whatever the outcome.
  • Redefine success: Success in training should be about more than pass/fail, and instead encourage curiosity and questions. Overall employee success should be linked to more than just metrics like meeting sales goals, but also a willingness to take on new challenges such as leading meetings and presentations or trying to create a process for project intake.
  • Offer positive critiques: Even when mistakes are made (perhaps even especially then), there’s an opportunity to point out what went well – even if it’s just an employee’s attitude to try to fix the problem or willingness to ask for help.
  • Solicit feedback: Asking employees for feedback about training programs, development initiatives, company events, and other organizational actions helps to reinforce the idea that learning is key to growth, and that your leadership is always willing to learn.

A healthy workplace is one where employees feel empowered to reach their goals and are free to embrace and learn from their mistakes. If you’re looking for more insight about how to set learning goals for your teams, we can help. If you want to develop programs that help create an impactful culture of testing and learning to encourage a growth mindset, get in touch with our experts today.

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