This is what Carol Dweck says about the sort of talent we need to compete successfully in a dynamic and volatile environment “Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset”.
These people tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (who believe their talents are innate gifts) because they worry less about looking smart and they put their energy into learning. Typical of growth mindset thinking and behavior is the sharing of information, collaboration, innovation, seeking feedback, and admitting errors.
Dweck maintains that individuals and organizations have much to gain by deepening their understanding of growth mindset concepts and the processes for putting them into practice. It gives them a richer sense of who they are, what they stand for, and how they want to move forward.
It’s relevant to note that it is important for managers to cultivate a growth mindset as part of their own personal development; when they relinquish any fixed mindset, they are enabled to provide more accurate performance appraisal, feedback, and helpful employee coaching.
The opportunity to acquire skills and experience is a key driver of employee motivation and job satisfaction. This, obviously, should translate to positive gains for the employer by enhancing organizational effectiveness and improving work quality. Providing such opportunities help the organization to attract and retain high-performing employees; development opportunities are an important component of the employer brand offer.
Improving the quality of employees’ work experience facilitates the development of talent to optimize potential. Opportunities for that enable growth and development include:
- Access to continuing education courses
- Tuition reimbursement
- Career development and planning coaching
- Skills training either in-house or via external providers
- Opportunities for promotion and internal career advancement via projects, tours of duty, secondments, stretch assignments
- Coaching, mentoring, and leadership development programs
Gallup researchers found that the best candidates look for certain things in an organization and that high-quality applicants are more likely to prefer roles which provide opportunities to learn and grow; their ideal job features professional development or growth opportunities. They point out that an employment brand that portrays a strengths-based culture is instrumental in attracting top talent. A strengths-based employer brand attracts job applicants who are motivated to use and develop their innate abilities, those who demonstrate energy and commitment to high performance and thrive in a demanding work environment.
The collective vision
In an agile career world, organizations need people who have broader more diversified capabilities, while maintaining their specific area of expertise and competency as they move up towards higher levels of contribution. Our research shows that:
- On-the-job development opportunities, such as lateral moves, increase engagement by up to 30%
- Organizations who support more junior candidates to acquire the skills necessary to ‘step up’ reported 50% better overall recruitment metrics.
At 10Eighty we believe it is important that senior management ensure that line managers have the skills they need to provide good, constructive, feedback and to manage meaningful career conversations with their teams. Sculpting job roles to meet employee aspirations will increase engagement and business performance, by up to 30% and that affords the organization the talent mobility they need. In the modern workplace development initiatives need to be employee enabled, facilitated by the worker.
Development initiatives, grounded on the real work of the organization, should include support such as mentoring, coaching, and job shadowing which are particularly useful in equipping candidates with the skills and experience relevant to leadership roles. The end game is the development of an energized team of co-leaders and co-learners committed to collaborative action in the service of a collective vision. Such visionary leadership strategy enables an organization fit to meet the challenges of disruption from new entrants, disruptive technologies and changing consumer behaviors.