Companies focused on adaptability and growth should be familiar with the “growth mindset,” first introduced by Dr. Dweck in 1988. This research-based model demonstrates the relationship between mindsets and measurable performance improvements.
Dweck concluded that those who embrace the concept of a continually developing intelligence, rather than the belief that intelligence is stagnant, tend to search for opportunities that encourage learning and personal improvement. People with this mindset tend to:
- Embrace challenging activities.
- Have a high resiliency.
- Put more effort into what they are doing.
- Respond positively to constructive criticism.
- Look towards other’s achievements for a source of inspiration.
These characteristics lead to higher levels of productivity, self-motivation, and achievements. Employers should encourage the growth mindset to get the top performance out of their employees. Such an encouraging mindset can spread throughout and employee base and help to create a positive company culture built around self-autonomy, personal growth, and the desire for employees to perform to the best of their abilities. By investing earlier in such a workforce, like-minded talent will be attracted to your company, and this will become an easily sustainable mindset.
1. Train Leadership and Actively Recruit Talent with a Growth Mindset
To embed this trend and self-motived, goal focused progress into your company culture, train your leaders to reflect these values and promote them in their employees. A top-down approach allows for a trickle-down effect as the motivation of others will encourage employees who were stuck in a fixed mindset to follow suite. Leaders should use the following tactics:
- Encourage employees to step outside their comfort zone and tackle projects that spike their interest, but they do not necessarily have experience with.
- Treat failure as a learning experience and provide non-confrontational feedback.
- Educate employees on the growth mindset and determine what would inspire them to continually learn.
Once leaders and those involved in the hiring process know the benefits and signs of someone with a growth mindset, actively seek those people when recruiting. High turnover rates are costly to companies; prioritize candidates who are passionate about growth and learning to ensure that new hires will adapt to your improved company culture. Over time, your company will build a reputation as a productive, adaptable, and growth-oriented workforce that will appeal to the top talent in your industry.
2. Offer Opportunities for Growth and Advancement
Encourage your employees to learn new skills and push the envelope. Creating opportunities for high-achievers and rewarding them accordingly will set the tone for the rest of the company. Expecting employees to push themselves to achieve higher levels of success is unrealistic when the company ignores such efforts. A few popular ways to encourage a growth mindset include:
- Promoting within the company.
- Providing tuition reimbursement programs.
- Offering informational courses.
While a positive company culture can encourage a productive employee base, the opposite is just as true. Stagnation and a lack of internal opportunities will demoralize even your top performers over time.
3. Encourage Inter-Department Interactions
A well-communicated and overarching company goal will motivate your workforce as they see their success as essential to the success of the company. This positive correlation will be reinforced and just continue to feed the employees’ desires to improve their performance as they see the direct result of their efforts. Ensure that all employees are working towards this goal regardless of what department that they are in.
Additionally, encouraging projects and communication between departments will better demonstrate to your employees how impactful their work is not just to the team but the company, too. These projects can also serve as a new, motivating challenge to high performers and encourages adaptability to work with a variety of teams and projects. Promoting an adaptable employee base proves essential to the success of companies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As workplaces shifted to remote settings and business needs change, employees struggle to adjust. The growth mindset will help prepare employees for upcoming changes and provide them with the tools needed to achieve and adapt to unprecedented circumstances.