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November 15th, 2021 · 5 min read

How to foster a growth mindset in the workplace

How to encourage a growth mindset at work

  • Reward effort and learning
    An employee's efforts to grow must be acknowledged, regardless of whether or not the results greatly improve performance or productivity. This helps your people feel lauded for their efforts, rather than reprimanded for their failures.
  • Prioritize progress over goal completion
    In today’s rapidly changing workforce landscape, the end goal of L&D is a constantly moving target. Rather than focusing on a final signifier of development, the continuous process of learning and improvement should be the thing that both L&D leaders and employees strive for. This approach reinforces ongoing growth as the ultimate goal.
  • Encourage experimentation and imperfection
    Facilitating a culture of perfectionism in learning does nothing to support actual growth and may alienate your employees rather than motivate them. Encourage team members to do their best, provide them with the tools they need to succeed and let them know that making mistakes is just part of the learning process. 

Growth mindset at the organizational level

  • Drive learning culture through the C-suite
    Like many components of company culture, the concept of growth has to start with leadership first. When the executive team adopts growth-minded values, that attitude can start to shape and influence the learning culture within the rest of the organization. 
  • Align business goals with L&D strategies
    Your organization’s individual growth initiatives should be leveraged to support development of the company at large. Start by taking a look at what your company needs to achieve in order to reach its next phase of expansion and growth. You can then reverse engineer what learning needs to happen at both the departmental and individual levels in order to make that happen.

Growth mindset at the team level

  • Define individual contribution to team growth
    Your teams will function best when individual contributors have a clear understanding of how their work affects the group’s performance and goals. This starts with clearly defining roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate team effectiveness
    Help your individual teams and departments understand their importance within the greater organization by regularly showing them how their efforts affect or contribute to organizational growth.
  • Provide access to team-wide development resources
    Simply put, teams should have the means to engage in learning opportunities that contribute to team performance by cultivating individual competency. This can include things like team-wide training workshops, the ability to attend relevant events and/or seminars and even more robust initiatives such as educational opportunities.

    To take it a step further, make it clear how these learning opportunities coincide with career development within a team. Encourage employees to take part by aligning their learning to clearly defined career outcomes, such as a promotion into a future role or the ability to move to a different team.

Growth mindset at the individual level

  • Provide employees with a personalized learning experience
    Avoid engaging learning programs with a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Employees come from a variety of educational backgrounds and varying levels of experience that directly impact the level of learning and education necessary for their development.

    Consider personalized learning programming, such as a strategic workforce education program, that meets learners exactly where they are in their journey and makes continuous learning accessible.
  • Demonstrate internal paths for growth
    Motivate your employees by demonstrating the potential career outcomes that are possible if they take advantage of the learning and development opportunities that are available to them. Developing new skills and pursuing a credential or working towards a degree while being employed full-time is a significant commitment. Employees want to know that these opportunities are going to be worth their time and effort. 

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