Given this article is not entitled “why you should stick two fingers up at science and cultivate a fixed mindset culture at work”, you can safely assume that we are about to swoon over the benefits of a growth mindset in the workplace.
However, before we do, we need to address the fact that we have been hearing some (not-so) chilling stories about various myths associated with fixed and growth mindsets.
So, let’s open with a refresher from our last blog of the two terms first coined by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
- A fixed mindset believes intelligence is static.
- A growth mindset believes intelligence is developed through hard work.
Pro tip: In case somehow you haven’t read our previous blog on growth mindsets, and you need a more detailed dissemination of the terms above, take a look at this piece — How to Develop a Growth Mindset at Work
We’re not even going to ask which one you think will pay dividends when it comes to hiring, training and retaining staff. Instead, we’re going to skip to the part that explains all the benefits this approach delivers in the real world. So, we have 5 reasons to strive for a growth mindset in the workplace, let’s get going…
Reason #1: Employees want to be at work
One of the key benefits of adopting a growth mindset in the workplace is that it makes the working day easier.
Employees who embrace this approach enjoy their day-to-day lives. This is quite often down to the fact that they feel they have been given the tools to do the job. What’s more, they want to continue getting better at it.
The net result of all this is commitment. Want us to put a number on that? Okay —
“Employees in a ‘growth mindset’ company are 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company.” 1
You’re very welcome.
Reason #2: Employees actually collaborate and innovate
A growth mindset champions the value of interactions. More specifically, it:
- Encourages employees to see every conversation as a learning opportunity.
- Promotes information mining among peers (sounds evil but isn’t).
When staff are encouraged to mix and share knowledge in this way, good things tend to happen. When employees have the courage, the mindset and the skills to operate beyond the confines of their role and their team, you have a breeding ground for collaboration and innovation.
But there is also merit in what can be avoided. Individuals in fixed-mindset companies report a culture of cheating and deception. This is an unfortunate by-product of the talent game, where staff are forced to operate as individuals and not team players.
Reason #3: The effort, recognition, motivation loop
Recognition plays a big part in determining the impact of a growth mindset culture as it can inspire perpetual development.
When employees set learning goals, toil relentlessly to achieve them and the organisation acknowledges said effort, the working world is a better place. The company evolves, your team members progress and — here’s the good bit — as a result of the recognition deservedly given to them, they maintain the momentum and the motivation to do it all again.
Suggested reading: Keen to dig deeper into this topic? Try this article on why continuous learning is key in an evolving workplace.
Learning and progress should also be the subject of praise and the route to development — seeking feedback, operating outside the comfort zone, adopting new strategies should all be emphasised.
When the type of goal employees set becomes learning itself and not something along the binary of success/ failure, things are really starting to look up.
Reason #4: Employees can go for the win
Workplaces that embody a growth mindset encourage appropriate risk-taking. This doesn’t include, for example, shuffling along a window ledge to scare off that pigeon whose relentless cooing is really unsettling Colin from Planning.
Rather it’s about promoting an approach like:
- “What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working. This could make it work.”
- “Nobody has tried this before. We could change everything.”
It creates a safe space that allows staff to adopt a new strategy with the prior knowledge that it might fall flat on its face. And that can lead to anything from increased market share to improvements in the bottom line.
This is possible because the goal isn’t everything. Employees are instead rewarded for what is learned — even when the original objectives are missed.
It’s not that failure is tolerated in this environment. Rather, the word has no meaning. This isn’t a place of ‘never’. This is the world of ‘not yet’.
Reason #5: Employees believe what they’re told
A growth mindset will never take root in the workplace if words and deeds don’t align. And let’s be real for a second, while the appeal may be universal, the appetite to implement may not.
However, when a company takes concrete steps towards ensuring every member of the company has the resources, opportunities and support needed to make this ideal a reality, employees will see that this isn’t just the brainchild of a restless CEO. It becomes something tangible they can get behind and this will inspire confidence.
Pro tip: Internal hires are the hallmark of an effective growth mindset and when this approach colours company policy, employees have reason to aspire.
A growth mindset culture breeds a level of trust that transcends the organisational hierarchy. And this is diametrically opposed to the cheating, deceit and ruthless competition that characterises a business shackled by a fixed mindset.
How Video Arts can help you foster a growth mindset in the workplace
So there you have it. A brief look at a handful of reasons why a workplace growth mindset is worth the effort. Off you pop and make it happen.
Ah, right. You’ve tried demanding that everyone abandon their fixed mindset persona. And… no. There really is no reason to think that would work. Well, good news is there’s hope. We have the learning materials they need to get there on their own.
Video Arts can provide access to all the engaging learning materials and resources required to make this transition. No, seriously. These are not corporate training videos dressed up with a jazzy theme tune and ‘funky’ graphics. This is legit, humorous content featuring BAFTA-winning comedians. I know, right? There’s a healthy chance your employees will actually want to watch that.
Why do we do it that way? Well, the brain guys convinced us that humour is the secret to learner engagement.
What’s more, the formats and the platform we use are highly conducive to learning. Hordes of content on an intuitive LXP? (Or alternatively, if you already have a system in place, our content is completely integratable with any other LXP or LMS). Well, that means staff can watch when it suits them, however their organisation chooses. Quickfire videos with a concise learning objective (known as microlearning)? Well, that means time isn’t an obstacle. iFrames that you can drop into your already well-established learning material? Well, that means you get to increase learner engagement without reinventing the wheel.
Here’s some fact-based noise to hammer home our point:
- Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text.2
- Microlearning combats short attention spans. In fact, it is up to 17% more efficient than the long-form alternative.
- Our brains process video 60,000 times faster than text.3
We agree. It’s a compelling argument.
So if you’re serious about fostering a growth mindset across your organisation, we think it’s time to get in touch.