Adam, a top recruiter in his team, was facing major disappointment. Six months after he’d hired them, 7 out of 10 new employees were on performance improvement plans. As candidates, many were seen as top industry talent. What could have changed so quickly?
Because the company had recently evolved its operational model, core technical experts were also required to face clients independently. Unfortunately, the new employees were not in sync with this shift; they saw this new responsibility as a distraction from exercising their core strengths.
Understand the fixed mindset barrier
Such fixed employee mindset is a top reason that keeps change management initiatives from being effective. This is because such mindset strives for excellence and perfection over curiosity and continuous learning. It keeps employees hard-wired to always succeed, thereby stopping them from exploring newer ways of working, taking on unconventional role mixes, and ultimately, leading to them failing fast.
As a talent manager, know that you cannot simply avoid hiring candidates with such a fixed mindset. In fact, traditional performance structures are responsible for nurturing such a mindset.
To counter this, you need to train every hired candidate for a growth mindset. When you encourage and reward such a mindset, employees are more likely to feel safe exploring opportunities wherein they have little experience and will be more willing to risk failure to learn something new.
Delink performance and success
The first step to establishing growth mindset at a company level is to do away with the link between performance and success. Your culture, policies, and performance measurement frameworks should reward lateral, and out-of-the-box thinking and skilling. Here’s how you can get started:
Make L&D a diverse space
Center your Learning and Development (L&D) initiatives around new possibilities rather than linear, defined growth. For instance, a finance ops professional should feel encouraged to pursue a program that involves elements of customer experience (CX). Build a learning environment that encourages employees to view emerging role challenges as opportunities for growth.
Show that you value different voices
Create a safe space for employees to voice their unique opinions. This can help them feel less stressed about change. Knowing that they have a system to fall back on when they embrace new opportunities, risks, and mistakes helps. Encourage open communication, constructive feedback, and acknowledge that setbacks are inherent to growth. Use the various employee channels to customize communication and make every employee feel heard. You can get started by understanding the current employee sentiments and perspectives with a quick employee engagement survey. Based on these insights, you can work on expectation management, process training, follow-up feedback sessions, and continued monitoring.
Nurture mental resilience and adaptability
Navigating challenges and initial failures with fortitude is vital to effective change management and growth. Equip employees with the tools to bounce back from setbacks, including workshops on stress management, resilience-building activities, and access to mental health resources.
Celebrate learners along with achievers
In a business landscape prone to change and disruption, innovation is imperative. This calls for a highly inclusive environment that encourages and rewards everyone for their ideas and implementation. Recognize and celebrate individuals and teams that demonstrate a proactive approach to learning and adapting to change. Share success stories and encourage knowledge-sharing forums to inspire others. This continual reinforcement is essential for ingraining a growth mindset in your company’s DNA.
Reset processes around growth mindset
It’s not enough to just create a safe space for failure. You need to reset processes to help employees develop a growth mindset.
Align individual goals with your company’s objectives
The traditional top-down approach is one of the key reasons why employees tend to have a fixed mindset and resist organizational change. It makes talent feel undervalued and overlooked in the large scheme of change management. Counter this by aligning KRAs to change management goals. When you show employees how their personal growth and career path aligns with the company’s new levels, their receptiveness shoots up. This also motivates employees to take more ownership of change at all levels.
Leverage the right tools and technology
There are tons of resources out there that enable growth mindset. From podcasts and digital mentors to gamified experiences and module-based programs, give your employees ample exposure and access. You can also use AI to personalize learning paths based on individual strengths and areas for improvement.
Measure impact and recalibrate
Evaluate the effectiveness of new processes that are centered around a growth mindset. Regularly assess employee sentiment and performance, and monitor key metrics such as the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). This will help you understand employee engagement, employees’ adaptability to new processes, and their sense of purpose. The resulting insights will help you take action early on, thereby creating a culture your employees thrive in.
Growth mindset and the future
As change becomes frequent, fostering a growth mindset is not just an asset; it’s a necessity. By equipping employees with the tools and beliefs to embrace uncertainty, you can forge a path to sustained growth for your company. The best way to get started is to balance need-based hiring with growth, and strategize learning and development activities to focus on a change management mindset.
As you begin training employees on a growth mindset keeping the above points in mind, you will see the difference as employees participate and contribute to the business beyond just the tasks at hand.
Ready to get started with training your employees to have a growth mindset? You can get started now by understanding their current stance – and taking the right actions to inspire growth and learning.
SogoEX can help you capture the insights you need to transform your workplace culture. Let’s get on a quick call, and we’ll show you just how we can help!