How your employees can start 2017 with a bang

by L&D12 Jan 2017
The end of the Christmas break can be a great time for employees to consider how to start the year in the best way possible, according to a recent article in Smart Company.

“Luckily, researchers, academics and industry leaders have increasingly begun to focus on this question of how we can make the most of how we think about our work, how we think about ourselves at work, and how we can use these insights to be at our best,” the article states.

“These insights are becoming fundamentally important in shaping culture, workplaces and managers views of our performance. Stanford University Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck has been at the forefront of this dynamic work for a number of years and is credited with developing the concept of the ‘growth mindset’.”

The article’s author, Mike Davis, said this can be explained as “showing up with the right mindset and attitude to bring about positive outcomes, through continual learning and hard work”.

“The growth mindset means coming to work ready to adjust and change through challenge and disciplined learning,” Davis said.

“By contrast, a ‘fixed mindset’ assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static and unchangeable. Buying into the growth mindset means continually going after “stretch goals” and outcomes that exceed your usual output.”

Davis shares a few ways that you can develop a growth mindset to ensure that 2017 is a year of great personal and professional growth.

1. Realise your true potential for growth
We can start to ‘buy in’ to the growth mindset by realising that we do not have set qualities or attributes that define us. In some cases it is the boundaries (these become self-reinforcing over time) set by our trusted colleagues, family members or friends that keep us within the fixed mindset.

Henry Ford said it pretty well when he said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t … you’re right!”

One way to begin the journey is to seize the quiet time at the start of the year to write up some plans outlining where you are now, where you want to be by the end of 2017, and the steps you’ll need to take to get there.

Share these with your trusted colleagues, friends or managers and be jointly accountable for them. Consider pinning them up somewhere you will regularly see them.

2. Help others to help yourself
In his book Give and Take, Wharton Professor Adam Grant makes the case that helping others drives our success.

He says that people that are “otherish” in their motivation, combining both individual goals and community facing goals, are the most successful achievers. Think about how you might set some goals to help others regularly throughout the year. This could be with work colleagues, friends or even interest groups.