How To Encourage Employees To Develop A Growth Mindset

develop a growth mindset

One of the problems businesses face today is encouraging their team to have the right mindset. Although people need the right skills and resources to succeed in any career, they also need a positive attitude to guide them in the right direction.

Unfortunately, many people have a “fixed” mindset. This essentially means that people believe that they don’t have much control over what happens in their lives.

Encouraging a growth mindset ensures that your employees not only learn from their mistakes but also that they constantly improve and evolve.

Here’s your guide to enhancing a growth mindset within your team.

What is a Growth Mindset?

To successfully nurture a growth mindset among your team members, you need to start by understanding what this term means. According to Dr. Tchiki Davis, the growth mindset is the belief that our skills and behaviors can improve through dedication and hard work.

In other words, rather than believing that some people are just born to be more successful than others, you focus on the idea that you can constantly grow and improve. This concept started with Psychologist Carol Dweck, who explains that people with a fixed mindset assume that their character, skills, and intelligence are things they can’t change.

However, the truth is that you can decide to implement a growth mindset at any point in your life. All you need to do is learn how to challenge yourself and respond to failures appropriately.

According to Bailey Sousa and Alexander M. Clark, the growth mindset offers benefits like:

  • Higher motivation
  • Being more comfortable taking risks
  • Enhanced brain development
  • Decreased anxiety and stress
  • Better working relationships
  • Improved employee performance

Here are some of the ways to nurture a growth mindset in your team.

1.   Use Failures as a Chance to Learn

When you have a fixed mindset, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by failure. Employees don’t know how to respond to failure, so they avoid taking risks.

Opportunities that would otherwise propel a business forward fall to the wayside, because people are just frozen with fear. That’s why it’s essential for business leaders to encourage their teams to think outside of the box and take risks.

If those people fail on the path to success, don’t punish them – look for ways to help them learn from their actions.

Always finding opportunities to learn and grow is essential for cultivating a growth mindset.

When something goes wrong in your company, sit down with your team and look for ways that you can take the lessons created by that situation, and use them to encourage growth. Get everyone involved in looking for chances to evolve.

2.   Be Open to Feedback

As you employ mechanisms that encourage a growth mindset among your employees, you also need to make sure you’re ready to learn from your team too. That means listening to their feedback and using your employees as idea generators.

Ultimately, no matter how much experience or knowledge you have in your industry, you won’t have all the answers to every issue your business might face. Other people will be able to view situations from a different perspective and see resolutions that aren’t obvious to you.

Organize an event where your employees can share their ideas and skills with you. This will help them to feel more confident in sharing their thoughts. Plus, creating an avenue for regular crowdsourcing will strengthen the bonds in your team.

3.   Upgrade your Performance Management Practices

Encouraging a growth mindset might mean making a few changes to how your supervisors and leaders manage performance.

For instance, a common practice in businesses is to explore “stack ranking” efforts.

This is a practice that ranks employees from the highest to the lowest-performing person. Unfortunately, this often leads to a lack of motivation among people who need help to perform better.

Suppose you want to encourage a more positive growth mindset in your workplace. In that case, you’ll need to ensure that your performance management process encourages regular feedback exchange and purposeful conversations with employees.

4.   Encourage Ongoing Learning

When people join your team, they’ll already have various skills they’ve gathered elsewhere. While some team members might be looking forward to finding new ways to improve, others with a fixed mindset might not want to push to accomplish anything more.

The key to creating an innovative and successful team is to encourage ongoing learning for everyone. This will push people with a fixed mindset to think about the possibilities they can discover for learning more, engaging with others, and becoming more productive.

One of the ways to encourage constant learning is to offer different kinds of educational experiences. For instance, some people will learn better through groups and team building activities, like competitions that pit groups against each other. Other employees might benefit from mentoring projects and one-on-one learning.

Make Growth Pa of the Company Culture

A growth mindset isn’t just another buzzword to make your business sound more appealing to the next generation of talent. Cultivating the right mindset among your employees ensures that you can help them to generate the best results for themselves and the rest of your team.

With a growth mindset, you’re prepared to handle failure productively and positively, rather than allowing every risk to paralyze your team. Growth-based thinking also ensures that your employees can continuously give feedback and insights that make your organization better.

However, like any business strategy, you can’t always cultivate a successful growth mindset overnight. It’s essential to take steps that will help you continue improving and growing as you learn more about your team.


Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.

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