Companies with a strong growth mindset in their DNA are more likely to foster an atmosphere that is productive and pleasant for their employees, which in turn helps those employees flourish and produces positive results for the firm.
This is all going to start with leadership that follows a trust and inspire model of leadership. It is not enough to say “trust me” to an employee. The leader must show trust. As it is a two-way street, employees must be willing and able to be the best they can be in order to earn the trust and respect of the leader.
The growth mindset is a mindset that encourages effort and confidence regardless of success or failure, takes failures as feedback and motivation to improve oneself, and views failure as a means of feedback in which you learn from your mistakes so as not to repeat them.
Let’s take a look at some tactics that you could implement as a company leader to foster a culture of growth mindset within your business.
1. Set the Example
Leaders should exhibit growth mindset behaviors at all times. If a leader believes in himself, he will begin to see a growth mindset in others as well. By demonstrating that you have a growth mindset, you’re saying to your employees “you can do it too.” Your employees will believe that it is possible to improve and from there cultivate the same mindset.
2. Foster an Open Environment
Growth mindset cultures aren’t just about telling an employee that failure is acceptable and there to improve upon. It also must be accepted and even expected as part of the working environment itself. The more open the company is to experimentation, testing, or any creative projects or ideas, the more likely employees will feel comfortable enough to fail. If employees feel that failure is not allowed in any situation, then they will hesitate to experiment or fail with a project.
3. Be Flexible with Feedback
Managers should be flexible with feedback. After a failure, growth mindset managers will praise the good aspects of their employees work while overlooking the flaws or failures and find a way to turn that negative into a positive. By providing positive feedback moving forward from a failure, employees are more likely to adopt a growth mindset themselves as they may begin to see failure as acceptable under certain circumstances.
4. Maintain a Healthy Balance Between Resting and Working
Growth mindset leaders have a dash of rest in their work day. Providing ample time for employees to rest and work also helps promote an environment that is conducive to growth mindset. This is especially important because life and work balance is a very delicate balance that requires constant upkeep, so if it goes off kilter it may take longer than necessary to fix the problem.
5. Learn from failure
Discuss failures with your employees on a regular basis. Encourage a culture of learning from failures. When failures are addressed, leaders should encourage their employees to be honest about their mistakes and discuss how the failure will help them improve or what they would have done differently in the future. Employees are more likely to think outside of the box when they know that their ideas matter and will be taken into consideration by leadership.
6. Treat Employees as Individuals
Growth mindset leaders treat their employees as individuals, not as interchangeable parts of a machine. Leaders and managers should be cognizant of individual personalities that can affect the entire team. For example, encourage and nurture employees who thrive when they are given more responsibility or have more responsibilities placed upon them rather than those who excel with a clear roadmap of what they need to do. Growth mindset leaders would be wise to take this into consideration because resilient employee will generally still deliver their best efforts when given the freedom and responsibilities that are best suited for their individual personalities.
7. Encourage Creativity
Encourage employee creativity, innovation and ingenuity. Encouraging creative thinking allows employees to think outside of the box, create new ideas and break new ground in their business. Having a culture that encourages creativity and innovation may only be the difference between an idea that works and one that completely flops.
8. Do group activities that promote new challenges for employees
Grow mindset leaders need to look for ways to encourage employee growth. A good way to do this is by involving employees in group activities that encourage new challenges. For example, brainstorming sessions can be used. It is important that group time be set aside where employees can share ideas and learn from the experiences of other team members or other team members can offer valuable suggestions in regards to how they could do things better or improve their work processes.
9. Establish a learning and development budget and give access to team members
Growth mindset leaders make it clear that there is a learning and development budget for their team. They also need to give employees access to the company’s learning and development budget as it is setting them up for success.
10. Encourage your employees to ask questions, challenge authority: and help each other out
Encourage your employees to ask questions, challenge authority, help one another out, especially on creative projects. This will enable them to think outside of the box as well as question the status quo and be innovative.
11. Give employees responsibility and freedom
Growth mindset leaders give employees as much responsibility and freedom as possible while still getting the job done. This sets the stage for more innovation and creativity, which will help the business succeed in the long run. Growth mindset leaders are not afraid to get out of their own way. They know that oftentimes they may be a roadblock to success, so they give their employees the tools needed to succeed whether it’s through increased responsibilities or increased freedom to make decisions on their own.
12. Encourage employees to create a vision for the future
Growth mindset leaders encourage their people to dream about what the company could look like in the future and speak about it openly so that everyone feels involved. This encourages creativity and allows the employees to help each other out as they explore new ideas and ways of doing things that help improve the company in ways that would otherwise have never been thought of.
13. As a manager, it is important to set the right tone
As a manager, it is important to set the right tone so that employees know they can trust you. This goes both ways. It is important for managers to keep an open mind and be open to suggestions from their employees. It is also essential that you are firm but fair with your employees so that they can be accountable for their actions and remain committed to their goals.
14. Promote a team spirit
Encourage team spirit and promote a healthy culture by encouraging your employees to work together. This will set the stage for people to work together towards a common goal. Research has shown that people need to feel like they are connected to each other in order for them to actually be productive.
15. Be transparent and give feedback often
Being transparent helps build trust between the manager and employee, which is critical for creating a workplace environment that encourages growth mindset thinking. Managers should be honest and clear about their expectations so that the team knows exactly what to expect from them. Bosses and leaders are also wise to provide feedback on a regular basis so that employees know where they stand in comparison to their peers. Failing to give feedback can leave team members confused, which only serves to stifle motivation and creativity.
16. Be creative in motivating your employees
Leaders should be creative when it comes to motivating and inspiring their employees. If the usual ways aren’t working, it may be time to change things up a bit. For example, if you reward employees by taking them out to lunch once a month, try having the entire team over at your house for a potluck instead. The goal isn’t to throw tradition out the window but to look for ways of doing things differently in order to keep people engaged and motivated.
17. Be open to radical ideas
Being open to radical ideas may help your business stay ahead of the game. Look at innovative ways that other businesses have been doing things differently and see what value you can add in transforming those ideas into productive actions for your own business.
18. Give employees a chance to shine
Sharing the spotlight with your employees will only help them become more productive and confident in the challenges they face. It also makes them realize that they are capable of excelling no matter what challenges they face.
19. Find out what motivates each individual employee and use it to your advantage
It is important to be informed about what motivates each team member so that you can use it as leverage when you need them to step up or get motivated to take initiative on a project. Be aware of the things that each employee likes so that you can recognize their achievements in those areas. For example, if one of your employees loves sports, use their affinity for sports as a reward for getting something done or completing a project ahead of schedule.
20. Make communication a top priority
An effective leader is one who can communicate with their team members in order to get them to learn from each other, share ideas and implement new methods and procedures that will help the company thrive. Studies have shown that good leaders are more likely to succeed because they understand how to communicate effectively with their team members. Understanding how to listen is also important as it helps you be open-minded in regard to those that you work with.