Growth Mindset Aids Economic Recovery

By Kathleen Eischeid, Edcor Business Growth and Development Coordinator

As businesses reopen and work their way through the effects of the coronavirus, one of the most valuable tools they can have is a growth mindset. Decades ago, Carol Dweck, psychologist and psychology professor at Stanford University, developed the concept that people have either a fixed or growth mindset. People who have a fixed mindset see their intelligence or talents as a natural gift, something that is permanent and fixed. People who have a growth mindset believe they can develop their intelligence, skills and talents through effort. For businesses, following the pandemic and recession, a growth mindset is key to success.

Instead of focusing on business losses, a growth mindset will propel businesses forward, focusing on services and products consumers will demand in the new marketplace and how to create success. The McKinsey report “Bubbles pop, downturns stop,” says that one reason some companies have success after an economic downturn is that they focused on growth. A focus on growth and a growth mindset is what companies need to recover from the economic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations that have a growth mindset share certain characteristics. According to Dweck, these companies reward their employees for lessons they learn along the way, even if a project doesn’t meet original goals. They support collaboration among employees rather than competition. And they are committed to the growth of every employee through development and advancement opportunities. Steven Childs, Forbes Councils Member says, “while a fixed mindset views employee talent and capability as being limited, a growth mindset is one that recognizes that each team member is capable, and most importantly, can get better.”

Edcor clients are among those that offer development opportunities to employees through education benefits. Supporting employees with tuition assistance so they can pursue multiple levels of higher education at diverse colleges and universities creates opportunities for employees to develop skills and talents that benefit both the individual and the company.

Senn Delaney, an organization that helps develop company cultures, conducted a two-year study of Fortune 1000 companies to determine the effect of the company mindset. The purpose of the study was to show how a growth mindset, a “culture of development” compared to a fixed mindset, “a culture of genius.” They found that in a company with a growth mindset:
• Employees had 47 percent higher agreement with statements about trust in their company.
• Employees were 34 percent more likely to feel a sense of ownership and commitment to the future of the company
• Employees showed 65 percent stronger agreement that their companies support risk-raking
• Employees also showed 49 percent agreement that their companies foster innovation

Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, David Rock, says “The truth is, while the pandemic and resulting economic impact are certainly outside our grasp, how we respond to crisis isn’t—especially at the level of each organization, and what we decide to do next.”

Response to the pandemic that includes creating a growth mindset within a company may be one of the most important responses a company can have. Providing tuition assistance for employees who work hard because they believe they can improve their skills and achieve more is a positive step toward stability and growth after the pandemic. Tuition assistance creates a growth mindset that encourages employees to be innovative, take risks and push forward. It creates high levels of employee engagement, and it creates the mindset of continual development and growth.