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 employees.

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 and output.

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 and Failures

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 procedures:

Discourage MultiTasking

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 productivity.

The rule here is simple; focus on each task separately.

Break Down Bigger Tasks into Smaller Tasks

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 together.

To-Do Lists

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 priority.

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 Environment

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.

Final Thought

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 staff turnover.

Author BIO

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.

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