Individuals who believe that their skills, abilities and talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and positive relationships have a growth mindset.

Teams and employees with a growth mindset are able to thrive when faced with obstacles, and bounce back quickly after challenges and failures.

The growth mindset concept was introduced by Carol Dweck. Dweck’s research found that when teams and companies have a growth mindset their people are 34% more likely to feel committed to the joint mission, and 47% more likely to trust their colleagues.

In contrast to this, employees and teams with a fixed mindset believe that no amount of effort can help them improve their skills and talent.

This is why, not surprisingly, employees with a growth mindset regularly outperform their peers with a fixed mindset.

There are ways to encourage your people to develop a growth mindset:

  1. Walk the talk
    This is probably my favourite value – have integrity! Developing a growth mindset is not solely in the hands of individual employees.

    Leaders must have a personal commitment towards modeling a growth mindset. They must recognise the untapped potential of team members and, most importantly, their own growth potential.
  2. Reward efforts
    It is common for organisations to emphasize a performance driven culture where desirable outcomes and results are celebrated.

    Dweck’s research shows that this leads to employees avoiding challenges and difficulties altogether, as they only go after goals that can be easily achieved. This slows down productivity and innovation as teams fall into a fixed mindset.

    To help develop a growth mindset, spend time brainstorming, praise efforts, acknowledge steps taken towards a goal, and give regular feedback.
  3. Seize failure
    Organisations and leaders should create a safe space where team members can experiment, acquire new skills and learn from their failures.

    This decreases fear and encourages them to take on ambitious tasks and continuously improve, which fuels creativity and innovation.

    Challenges and limitations should be looked at as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than obstacles that should be avoided.
  4. Commit to an “always learning” mindset
    Teams with a growth mindset enjoy challenges, and strive to learn and develop new skills.

    Provide employees with learning and networking opportunities to build new skills and get out of their comfort zone. This will help them evolve, and commit to achieving their goals.

When leaders and organisations support and empower their team by focusing on their growth and continuous learning, employees are more motivated and find meaning in their work.

As a result they are more engaged. This not only has a positive impact on organisations, but also allows every employee to reach their full potential.

An engaged team adds significant value to a company’s performance, allowing organisations to be more agile and create a competitive advantage.

Introducing coaching in organisations is a powerful strategy to elevate employee engagement and develop employees across a wide range of needs and skills. Coaching promotes a process of ongoing development and learning that can help each employee make the best use of their talents, strengths, time and energy. To quote Bill Gates – “Everybody needs a coach.”

However, professional coaching is generally viewed as a development resource reserved for leaders and senior management. There is an assumption that the learnings at the top will filter through the organisation and that culture is driven primarily by those leaders. According to the Human Capital Institute report, only 23% of employees feel that everyone has equal opportunity to receive coaching in their organisation. This, when studies show that coaching high performing employees only has marginal benefits, while coaching average performing employees has the highest impact.

Wouldn’t it be better to provide teams, at every level, the tools to perform at their best, and look at individuals as the true contributors that they are?

Why should coaching be available to all?

Research shows that employees’ first few years in their career is critical in shaping them as professionals and to gain transferable skills that can have a significant impact on the pace of their growth. While the benefits of coaching senior managers and leadership has been well documented, it can also be vital for the development of employees who are starting out in their professional journeys.

Research by the International Coaching Federation reveals that 80% of employees who have been coached report increased self-confidence and over 70%  benefited from improved work performance, relationship and communication skills.

By creating a dialogue that leads to awareness and action, coaching helps employees become strategic thinkers, chart their courses within the organisation and navigate politics and personalities successfully. By making executive coaching available across the organisation as a development tool, every employee can have the opportunity to engage in their professional development from the very beginning and supercharge their contribution to their organisation.

Why should organisations care?

Organisations often struggle to maintain a high performing and engaged workforce. An agile organisation is one where leaders and employees can work together in the face of uncertainty, build competencies such as resilience, communication, emotional intelligence and collaboration to make the most of opportunities to adapt quickly and thrive.

Coaching focuses on active learning, developing strengths and remaining agile to equip employees and leaders with these skills. Gallup’s research shows that employees who are coached to use their strengths are able to contribute to 14-29% increase in overall business profits.

By offering coaching as a company wide benefit, organisations show employees that they care and have a vested interest in their personal and professional growth. When employees are given the tools to perform at their best, they are happier, confident and more engaged members of their organisation.

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