Growth Mindset at Work: Why and How?

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

Find me on:

Our mindset, which reflects our beliefs and attitudes towards our abilities, is a powerful determinant of our behaviour and influence on others. Extensive research has shown that our mindset plays a crucial role in shaping our future success. Essentially, our beliefs can be the driving force behind our achievements or the obstacles that hold us back.


The benefits of a growth mindset for organisations

1. Improve performance

2. Better management

3. Greater diversity

Cultivating a growth mindset at work

1. Inspire more

2. Make room for growth

3. Establish a learning culture

Growth Mindset at Work: Why and How?

Carol Dweck, the author of the famous book “Mindset” has introduced the world to two new terms after years of studying the human mindset: Fixed mindset and Growth mindset

From research, she found a growth mindset is invaluable in instilling a learning culture and enhancing employee engagement and innovation in the workplace. 

Employees who work in companies that promote a growth mindset are more collaborative, committed, and not afraid to try new things. Meanwhile, for companies that are more on the fixed mindset side, things are more clustered, and people are more careful in their jobs. Thus, collectively, they are moving forward more slowly.

Read more: Why a Growth Mindset Is What You Need for Life Success

Back to the top

The benefits of a growth mindset for organisations

Improve performance

Mindsets influence the way we perceive goals and deal with effort and struggle. Hence, a team with growth mindsets can effectively stimulate development and innovation – not only for the organisation but also for each other.

As for those with a fixed mindset, their reluctance to change can potentially hinder the innovative advancement of the organisation. These individuals would constantly be looking for opportunities to prove their talents (instead of learning). And they view experimenting with new tasks as a chance to fail and risk their performance at work. 

On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset always welcome challenges and setbacks through which they can see where things went wrong and how to deal with failures and convert them into successes.

Read more: Want to Grow? Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Into the Growth Zone!

Back to the top

Better management

Managers with a growth mindset benefit their team substantially. Why? A growth-oriented manager will be more open to feedback and ideas from their team members without misinterpreting it as an attack on their capabilities. 

When it comes to coaching and mentoring, managers with growth mindsets are better at approaching and guiding people due to their belief that one’s ability can be cultivated and developed. They will invest more into coaching and training their employees, thus fostering a growth culture in the organisation.

Managers with a fixed mindset tend to believe in the first impressions they have of the employees. This means that if the manager regards an employee as a “high performer”, they will retain their opinions even when the employee shows degradation in their performance.

Conversely, a growth-oriented leader will be more attentive to the changes in their employees, meaning both negative and positive changes are well-noted regardless of their previous performance.

Infographic: Understand the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Back to the top

Whitepaper | Developing Growth Mindset in Middle Managers

Greater diversity

Organisations that promote a growth culture are more open to establishing a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Leaders with growth mindsets don’t believe in “fixed traits”. Thus, they welcome all individuals who are open to perpetually improving and adding value to the organisation. Moreover, when employees work in a growth-attuned environment, they feel encouraged to collaborate more.

Such positivity in collaboration and perception makes people feel safe from stereotype threats and comfortable stepping out of their comfort zones. 

Stereotypes are often common among individuals with a fixed mindset as they believe that one’s talent is permanent. They easily stereotype a group of people to have low performance regardless of their actual accomplishments, particularly those who belong to the underrepresented groups.

Read more: Three Pitfalls to Avoid in Leadership Development

Back to the top

Cultivating a growth mindset at work

Inspire more

Studies have found that people tend to learn more effectively when they feel encouraged, motivated, and acknowledged. In other words, people will continue to grow and stretch their abilities if they feel ignited to become better and explore all the possibilities to become more successful. 

Studies have also found that it is more likely for an organisation to attract growth-oriented candidates if their recruiting posts use phrases like “learn new things” or “highly determined”. Mentioning "opportunities to learn" makes the organisation appear more growth-oriented and approaches more growth-oriented candidates. 

Moreover, when talking about failures, try to emphasise how you can overcome challenges rather than scrutinise your employee’s performance.

Read more: What Should Your Employee’s Development Plan Contain? (P.1)

Back to the top

Make room for growth

Coaching is one of the most effective methods to develop your talent pool. Coaching sessions are where knowledge and wisdom are transferred from one high-potential professional to another. 

It encourages employees to try to emulate successful recipes from their coaches. Through coaching sessions, individuals also learned to ask powerful questions, identify their strengths and weaknesses, establish goals, and most importantly, inspire and motivate others.

In organisations that have more of a fixed mindset, people are occupied with proving their intelligence and competing against one another, which consequently, can hinder development and innovation in the organisation. 

Read more: Top Business Coaches in The World – Who Are They?

Back to the top

Establish a learning culture

It is important to let employees understand that their current position is not where the organisation expects them to be forever. During regular performance management, avoid comparing employees. It is better to identify and provide them with the tools they need for improvements.

From the top down, the management board should be the ideal role models for their employees to look up to. As leaders of the business, they should feel comfortable sharing their stories of failures and how they overcame them. Inspiration does not come from success stories but from the journey that led to success.

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, cultivating a growth mindset is more important than ever. With the globalised and diverse nature of the workforce, it is crucial to adapt and embrace new challenges. The old ways of thinking, characterised by a fixed mindset, will no longer suffice in empowering your team to move forward.

One major mistake companies tend to make when it comes to employee engagement and development is overlooking the middle management level. Often, companies tend to focus on fresh graduates or upper management, neglecting the equally important middle managers.

Engaging and developing employees to foster a growth culture is essential for organisational success. However, without the contributions of middle managers, who act as the vital link between top-level expectations and lower-level members brimming with ideas, all investments in employee engagement and development may go to waste.

Back to the top

To strengthen this crucial link in your organisation, we invite you to download our latest whitepaper, available today! Don't let a fixed mindset hinder your team's progress. Embrace a growth mindset and unlock the full potential of your workforce.

Whitepaper - Developing A Growth Mindset in Middle Managers

Topics: Talent Management

Upcoming TRG Events

Latest Posts

Most Viewed Posts

Our Editorial Mission

rick yvanovich resized 174

 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

With TRG International Blogs, it is our mission to be your preferred partner providing solutions that work and we will make sure to guide your business to greatness every day.

Subscribe to TRG Blog

Follow Us