How to Help Employees Develop a Growth Mindset
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The imperative to develop a growth mindset is critical. What is a growth mindset and why should you develop one and help your people do the same? Enjoy this guest post by Lisa B. Michaels and find out!
Simply put, a growth mindset is a firm
belief that one’s abilities are not cast in stone. It’s the belief that talent
can be nurtured and that intelligence can be fostered.
Think of it as an attitude that also
entails a sincere hope that leadership and creativity can be developed. Note
that subscribing to a growth mindset is an imperative attitude and not
particularly a skill.
Growth-oriented workplaces like Microsoft
and LinkedIn seem to have figured out what developing a growth mindset is all
about. For example, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, stands out here for several
reasons. He’s credited with leading the multi-billion dollar company through a
much-needed culture shift using a growth mindset strategy.
The company is now using the approach to
develop its next crop of leaders. LinkedIn CEO, on the other hand, advises
employers to focus on skills, not qualifications, when considering potential
Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets
Individuals with fixed mindsets firmly
believe that their skills and intelligence are intrinsically linked to
themselves. Thus, rather than being motivated to develop further, they view
constructive feedback as personal attacks. This often triggers an emotional
reaction to feedback, which blocks potential personal gain.
People with growth mindsets are the exact
opposite of their counterparts with fixed mindsets. They see challenges and
obstacles in the workplace as opportunities to improve.
They are open to feedback and criticism.
To them, critique and feedback open up avenues that can fuel their performance
How Leaders and Managers Can Help
Their Employees Transition from a Fixed To a Growth Mindset
Think of it as a gradual process, so be
patient. Understand that individuals adapt to change differently. The following
tips can help you expedite the process:
Encourage Employees to Learn and
Set Their Own Development Goals
Many employees crave for this kind of
freedom. It comes in handy when transitioning from a fixed to a growth mindset
for pretty much obvious reasons.
Your employers will set their own
development goals based on what they are good at. They’ll also set the goals
based on how fast they can get projects done. Be sure to allow them to choose
their teams. More freedom means more output. It is a win-win situation.
Ask Your Employees for Their
Opinion on Solving Some Issues
Think of your workplace as a big
classroom where everyone is a teacher and a student at the same time. In other
words, you can learn a lot from each other.
For that to happen, ask your employees
for their opinion on different things. Find out what they think about trying
out a new system, working hours, and everything and anything that affects them.
Provide Learning Opportunities
This is, by far, the best way to impart a
growth mindset at the workplace. Provide numerous learning opportunities at
work time and again.
Be sure to make the process fun. Bring
onboard experts and have them train your employees on the best practices in the
market in your field of work.
Be Transparent About Challenges
This applies to both management and
employees. It’s one of the most effective problem-solving skills in any
work environment. It’s also an excellent way to diffuse bureaucracy and
protocol issues that often bar employees from reaching out to their bosses.
Accountability and Independence
One of the most effective strategies to
develop a growth mindset at the workplace is to make employees accountable for
their work and give them sufficient independence.
But before giving them all the autonomy they need, train them to stay productive, and to manage their time. Train them to prioritize and identify how their work can contribute to company goals and objectives.
This is precisely where time management
strategies come into the picture. To succeed at it, use the following
Many employees fall into the multitasking
trap without even realizing it. They try to do multiple projects at once and
end up not getting anything done at all. Assign single projects to your
employees. Give them room to brainstorm on ideas that can help them execute the
task with minimum ease. Note that research shows multitasking decreases
The rule here is simple; focus on each
Break Down Bigger Tasks into
It‘s easy to get overwhelmed by big
projects sometimes. You can find it hard to know where to start.
To confront this, take the whole project
and break it down into smaller tasks. You can also try to batch smaller tasks
Create a list of things you need to do in
advance. Invest in software that can do this easily. The software should be
able to make it easy for your employees to create their to-do list.
Remember, though, that the traditional pen
and paper to-do lists are still useful. Encourage your employees to use them.
Train your employees to evaluate their
responsibilities based on urgency and importance. Besides, you
should emphasize that they complete their projects, starting with the highest
Remember that this process calls for
effective communication between employees and their supervisors. This will
ensure that priorities are adequately and appropriately aligned with
departmental and overall company goals.
Every second lost because of a misplaced
document or file is time that could have been used to complete a task. Insist
on personal space as well as personal organization at the workplace. This will
not just help you save time; it’ll go a long way to improve your employees to
maximize their output.
Create a Favorable Working
Make your employees feel excited to
report to work. The environment should stay productive throughout the day. This
doesn’t just apply to workspaces.
The printing room, washrooms, and even
the waiting lobby should all be comfortable. Where possible, incorporate an
element of fun at the workplace.
Be Open to Ideas
Be approachable. Often, employees have ideas
on how to get work done faster. Unfortunately, bureaucracy and protocol make it
hard for them to air their views.
By all means, avoid this at the
workplace. The rule here is simple: listen to your employees all the time.
Encouraging employees to have a growth
mindset is about creating a favorable environment for them to express their
ideas independently. If done correctly, it can boost productivity and reduce
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor,
and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed,
she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech.
Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.