Cultivating a Growth Mindset Boosts Employee Engagement

Many of us have worked in organizational cultures that are characterized by what Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck terms a “fixed mindset.” Employees basically clock in, do the minimum work required to receive positive performance evaluations, and clock out. Employee engagement remains low, and employees believe that they won’t build their skillsets or knowledge bases in a meaningful way.

These mindsets can permeate companies, leading to a workforce more interested in getting through the day and maintaining the status quo than innovating or taking on challenges.

This is why it’s so important for organizational leaders to encourage the opposite kind of thinking—a growth-oriented mentality. People with a growth mindset look beyond the qualities they’re told they naturally possess, such as strong computer or communication skills, and see even their perceived weaknesses as areas for potential growth and improvement. And this type of mindset leads to greater employee engagement.

Steffen Maier’s recent article on CMSWire offers an overview of how to instill a culture that values continuous employee and organizational growth from the top down. It starts with:

  1. Ensuring that you encourage employees to continue growing their skillsets, even beyond areas in which they deem themselves “naturally talented.”
  2. Setting learning goals with your employees to encourage them to keep taking on new challenges and building new efficacies.
  3. Avoiding static ranking practices and instead embracing processes that encourage risk taking and autonomy.
  4. Offering feedback based on the amount of effort an employee puts into their work or tasks rather than natural aptitudes.

Even top performers can continue to develop career skills, meaning that the potential for every employee to stay engaged and motivated is truly infinite when leaders cultivate a growth mindset.

For more tips on instilling a growth mindset and keeping employee engagement high in your company, check out Maier’s full article.