Adjust Your Companies Work Design to Create Growth in 2021

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Incorporate growth mindset into tasks, activities, relationships & responsibilities to increase employee engagement, foster creativity and reduce workplace stress. 

Corporate wellness was the top trend in 2020, as many employers & employees felt a workplace jolt or realignment – courtesy of COVID 19. The pandemic forced many organizations to quickly adapt a new workplace environment, procedures, and processes to survive. However, some organizations thrived as they were already incorporating a “thrive mindset” into their culture, according to a Deloitte Global Human Capital survey of 6,000 professionals across every industry, sector, and region of the globe. In fact, “15% percent of executives that stated their organization was very prepared for the pandemic were 2.2 times more likely to pivot investments for changing business demands,” according to the same study. Preparedness for a crisis of this size underscores a set of organizational values within their culture such as flexibility, efficient decision making, assertiveness and resilience. The executives in the study showcased their preparedness & ability to adopt and implement a growth mindset.

Why is Integrating a Growth Mindset into Your Work Design Important?

A growth mindset occurs when leaders understand that restrictive environments also present an opportunity for creative growth and fostering that mindset to every level. In moments of forced adjustments, companies initially feel the strain of incorporating new ways of doing business. That strain solely falls on a business’s most precious resource, its human capital, as observed over the last nine months. The second and third order effects of the Corona Virus are widely documented.

Experts predict a second wave of mental health issues will arise due to the ongoing stress of the Corona Virus Pandemic. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking poll from July, 53 percent of U.S. adults reported that their mental health was negatively affected by worry and stress over the pandemic—up from 32 percent reported in March. Moreover, civil unrest, a decline in America’s economy and political divisions caused many people to become distracted on external stressors. How do we lessen the strain on our workplace family, pivot for growth while forecasting to meet future demands?

Integrate growth mindset practices and procedures into each employees’ tasks, relationships, roles, and responsibilities – also known as work design (Parker 2014). Growth mindset training must be incorporated into the overall work design of a company – not a stand-alone training or service, as outlined in a thoughtful analysis by Deloitte Global Human Capital. Incorporate growth mindset practices on an individual level – across all pillars and operational functions. From a growth-oriented perspective, each employee requires a framework to better understand themselves in different social situations, responsibilities and activities that arise within the workplace. In the context of this article, one subset of a growth-oriented culture is when you allow your colleagues to explore their social perceptions, reasoning, judgment, and behaviors – specifically in the context of your unique working environment. This allows each team member the opportunity to create a self-awareness approach to their activities – efficiently self-evaluating and regulating their performance. Incorporating growth mindset practices creates a level of autonomy within our colleagues which increases job satisfaction, according to a study by Lancaster University Management School. Below are a few mindset practices you can incorporate into your work design that increases cooperation, employee satisfaction, decreases stress and enables stronger levels of emotional intelligence.

1)    Connection Ports:

For the purposes of optimal function and performance, several basic human traits must be well aligned and balanced such as: assertiveness, patience, direction with creativity, action with wisdom, and finally, courage. Everyone has different connection ports. Think of things you enjoy doing where you simply lose time and are filled with enjoyment. For some people that means going for a walk into nature or physical activity. Others enjoy more contemplative practices such as mediation or breath counting. Each of those activities allow persons to balance their energies and become more aware of their emotional profile. When your colleague’s emotional profiles are balanced, connection ports provide an optimal backdrop for each member of the team or department to best execute their roles. Especially due to the Covid-19 challenges, people are feeling suffocated, isolated, and lethargic. Connection Ports become a vital enhancer to one’s life and therefore, work productivity.

2)    Process:

One of the most critical areas of focus is morning and evening processes. This ensures continued levels of motivation, effectiveness, time management, and productivity. Members of a corporate team or department must consider themselves “Corporate Athletes”. Throughout any given day, fluctuations of various hormones and neurotransmitters can either enhance or completely deflate one’s energy, concentration, and focus. This dramatically and directly impacts workplace performance. When morning and evening processes are balanced, teamwork and efficiency increase. For example, if you are involved in the production of marketing material, create a morning and evening process of accountability to ensure deliverables are accurate and on time. Review your morning and evening processes in each department to better understand where you can provide your employees more time integrating their unique skills into business procedures.

3)    Review & Wins:

Through a collective and communal process, create an opportunity for each team or department to “review the direction” of the day collaboratively. By doing so, you create a focused effort to the work needing completion over the next several hours. Similarly, at the end of each day, create an opportunity for each team or department to count the wins (being grateful) of the day. The action of participating in such a ritual has shown to dramatically alter one’s perspective as it relates to accomplishment and therefore motivation, effectiveness, and productivity. Finally, there is a host of evidence that supports being grateful improves your overall physical well-being, creates more nurturing relationships, enhances empathy and self-esteem.

Final Thought:

The mentioned growth mindset techniques allow organizations to create a resilient culture – capable of thriving in uncertain times. Moreover, the mentioned techniques create a work design from the inside – not relying on external methods to improve corporate culture during moments of crisis. During moments of crisis, you should be prepared and at your absolute best. Your human work family relies on you to operate in such a manner.

Originally posted on LinkedIn by Beau Blouin

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Beau Blouin

Growth Mindset Coach

Beau Blouin honorably served nine years in the United States Marine Corps. During his time in the Marines, he deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. After seeing combat in Afghanistan, he decided to take his leadership and growth mindset training back to states to create two social enterprises. 

Beau Blouin

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