12 Growth Mindset Activities for the Workplace

Every employer wants their employees to grow and thrive, but it’s pretty common to feel stumped when asked how to make that happen. What now?

The answer often begins with cultivating a growth mindset!

Today we’re taking a look at 12 growth mindset activities designed to foster resilience, adaptability, and a passion for lifelong learning in the workplace.

1. Create A Fail-Safe Place

Let’s kick things off with something essential: making everyone feel okay about not getting it right every time. Think of this as setting up a cozy, fail-safe zone where messing up isn’t a disaster, it’s part of the process. Here’s how you can make this happen.

Because you’re reading this article, it’s safe to say that a significant number of employees aren’t meeting expectations. Unfortunately, many of them have the ability but are fearful of making a mistake. Others were “trained” to do what they were told and not ask questions. The burden to grow can’t be placed on employees’ shoulders, to be carried alone. Creating a fail-safe – a psychologically safe environment – is essential.

Creating this fail-safe zone is about building a culture where it’s cool to push limits, try new things, and be okay with the fact that not every swing is going to be a home run. This often requires a change in management and manager attitude, too. 

Growth is a participation sport. It requires a balance of employer and employee contribution and collaboration. But to ensure success, one hundred percent of the responsibility to create the fail-safe-place falls on leadership and management. It’s in this space that everyone feels they can step out of their comfort zones, innovate, and really grow, both personally and as a team.


2. Setting Growth-Oriented Goals

Embarking on a journey towards a growth mindset in the workplace begins with setting goals. This isn’t about ticking off the usual targets on your list. We’re talking about setting sights on objectives that gently push you beyond your current capabilities. 

When we talk about growth-oriented goals, we mean goals that make us step out of our comfort zones. These are the kinds of goals that might make you a bit nervous at first.

That’s actually a good sign. It means you’re aiming for something that will make you grow. The beauty of these goals is that they focus on the journey of learning rather than just the end result.

For instance, instead of setting a goal to simply ‘increase sales,’ a growth-oriented goal would be to ‘learn new sales techniques to increase sales by 10%.’ This way, you’re not just looking at the end results – the numbers, but the process and your workplace skills, too.


3. Feedback Culture Implementation

Creating a culture where feedback is shared openly and regularly is key to fostering growth mindset skills in the workplace. Imagine a place where everyone feels comfortable giving and receiving suggestions on how to improve.

This kind of environment encourages us all to keep getting better at what we do. That’s why that fail-safe place I referred to in the first activity is so important.

Feedback should not be something that makes us anxious. Instead, it should be seen as the oxygen that ignites the growth fire within us and others. 

When we share our thoughts on someone’s work in a constructive way, we help them see where they can improve. And when we receive feedback, it gives us a clear idea of what we’re doing well and what we can do better.

To make this work, it’s important to set some ground rules. Everyone should understand that feedback is meant to help, not hurt. It’s also crucial to be specific.


4. Peer Mentoring Programs

Peer mentoring programs are a fantastic way to learn and grow together at work. Imagine pairing up with someone else in your workplace. Your partner could be someone who has different skills or more experience in certain areas.

Together, you share knowledge, skills, and experiences. This sharing helps both of you grow.

In a peer mentoring setup, both people get to play the role of the teacher and the student. You might teach your partner about something you’re good at, and in return, you learn something from them.

This exchange makes learning a two-way street. It’s not just about getting advice from someone more experienced. It’s about sharing and growing together.

One of the best things about peer mentoring is the support it offers. Facing challenges at work can be tough. But with a peer mentor, you have someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through.


5. Skills Development Workshops

Skills development workshops are a great way to boost everyone’s abilities in the workplace. Think of them as special classes where you can learn new things that help you do your job better.

These workshops can cover anything from technical skills related to your work, to soft skills like communication or teamwork, grit and resilience. And while a growth mindset is not a skill in the traditional sense, acquiring the attitude is a future-ready ability that every one of us needs.

The idea is to pick topics that are useful for many people at work. For example, team building activities like a workshop on a new software tool can help everyone who uses it do their jobs more efficiently.

Or a session on adaptability can make the whole team think more creatively and positively.

These workshops shouldn’t feel like just another task on your to-do list. They should be engaging and fun. This way, everyone looks forward to them and feels more inclined to join in.


6. Reflective Practice and Journaling

Reflective practice and journaling are powerful tools for personal and professional growth. This involves taking some time to think about your work, what you’ve learned, and how you can improve.

Writing down these reflections can make them clearer and more meaningful.

Journaling isn’t just about keeping a diary. It’s a way to explore your experiences at work. You can write about the challenges you faced, the successes you achieved, and the lessons you learned along the way.

This process helps you understand your own growth and how you can continue to improve.

Reflection is like having a conversation with yourself about your work. It encourages you to think deeply about what you do and why you do it. This can lead to valuable insights about your own habits, your strengths, and areas where you can improve.

To get started, you don’t need anything fancy. A simple notebook or an online journal works fine. The key is to make it a regular habit. Setting aside a few minutes at the end of each week to reflect and jot down your thoughts can make a big difference.


7. Embracing Challenges as Opportunities

Seeing challenges as opportunities is a core aspect of developing a growth mindset in the workplace. This mindset shift can transform the way we approach our work and how we deal with obstacles.

Instead of seeing a difficult task as something to dread, we learn to view it as a chance to grow and improve.

When we encounter a challenge, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at first. However, embracing these moments as opportunities encourages us to push beyond our current limits and discover new strengths.

It’s about asking ourselves, “What can I learn from this?” rather than “Why is this happening to me?”

I recommend an activity I call “The Yeti Challenge.”  You can do this individually or in teams. It starts by asking everyone to identify something that they aren’t very good at: let’s say math or creativity. Each person writes down this sentence, filling in the blank: “I’m not very good at [blank].”  In this case, I’m not very good at math. Step 2 is to add “yet” to the sentence. Step 3 is to add “I” as in I’m not very good at math YET I will sign up for an online course in the next month.  (This is just one of the many growth mindset activities included in my 30-Day Mindset Challenge.)

To foster this perspective, encourage everyone to share their challenges and the lessons they’ve learned from them. This can be done through regular team meetings or informal chats.

Hearing how others have turned their struggles into stepping stones can inspire us to do the same.

Moreover, providing support and resources to tackle these challenges is crucial. This could mean offering training, access to mentors, or simply time to brainstorm and come up with creative solutions.


8. Celebrating Efforts and Progress

Recognizing and celebrating the efforts and progress of team members is essential for nurturing a growth mindset. It’s about acknowledging the hard work and dedication it takes to learn and improve, regardless of the immediate outcomes.

This kind of recognition shows everyone that their growth journey is valued.

When we celebrate effort, we’re sending a message that the process of learning and growing is as important as the final result. This can be incredibly motivating. It encourages people to keep pushing themselves, even when things get tough.

Celebrating small wins and milestones along the way keeps morale high and fosters a positive work environment.

To make this work, it’s important to find ways to recognize progress in a meaningful way. This could be through shout-outs in team meetings, a note of thanks, or even something fun like a ‘most improved’ award.

The key is to make sure that these celebrations are sincere and specific. Mentioning exactly what someone did well and how it contributed to the team’s goals makes the recognition more impactful.


9. Reflective Practice Sessions

Reflective practice isn’t just about looking back; it’s also about looking forward. By understanding our past actions and their outcomes, we can make better decisions in the future. This process helps us grow not just as professionals but as individuals.

Reflective practice sessions are taking a moment to pause and think about our work journey, celebrating the wins and learning from the challenges.

During these sessions, team members can share their experiences, insights, and reflections with each other. This sharing can happen in team meetings or as part of a more informal chat, as long as you’re practicing step #1: Create a fail-safe place!

I’ve found the Six Thinking Hats approach an excellent way to encourage openness, from creating new ideas to getting your fears out and concerns off your chest. It encourages diverse perspectives, fosters focus, and compartmentizes communication. For example, in a conversation about developing a growth mindset, the Six Thinking Hats method could unfold like this: the ‘white hat’ presents factual evidence on the benefits of a growth mindset; the ‘yellow hat’ explores the positive outcomes of embracing challenges; the ‘black hat’ considers potential obstacles in shifting mindset; the ‘green hat’ suggests innovative strategies for fostering growth mindset within the team; the ‘red hat’ expresses the fears, feelings and reservations about change; and the ‘blue hat’ synthesizes these insights, guiding the discussion towards actionable steps for cultivating a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Reflective practice sessions are a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. These sessions are a time to look back on our experiences, understand what we learned, and think about how we can apply these lessons in the future.


10. Goal Setting Workshops

Setting goals is a key step in fostering a growth mindset within the workplace. It’s not just about deciding where you want to go but also figuring out how you’ll get there.

Goal setting workshops are an excellent way to get everyone on the same page about their ambitions and the strategies to achieve them.

In these workshops, employees can learn how to set SMART goals-those which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

This approach helps in creating clear and actionable objectives that can guide their efforts in a focused direction. It’s crucial that these goals are challenging yet attainable, pushing employees to stretch their abilities without causing undue stress.

The workshops should also cover the importance of setting both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals act as stepping stones towards larger, long-term objectives.

They provide quick wins that keep motivation high and give a sense of progress. Additionally, these sessions can include training on how to adjust goals as circumstances change.

Flexibility is vital since the path to achieving a goal may not always be straightforward. Learning to pivot and adapt strategies in response to new challenges is a critical skill in maintaining a growth mindset.


11. Mentoring and Coaching Programs

Mentoring and coaching programs are key components of fostering a growth mindset in the workplace. These programs pair less experienced employees with more seasoned colleagues to guide them through their professional development.

It’s a relationship built on trust, where mentors and coaches offer advice, share knowledge, and provide feedback to help their mentees grow.

These programs are beneficial for both mentors and mentees. Mentees gain valuable insights and learn new skills from their mentors’ experiences.

They get personalized guidance and support as they navigate their career paths. Mentors, on the other hand, get the opportunity to refine their leadership and communication skills.

They also gain a fresh perspective by working closely with individuals from different backgrounds or with different viewpoints.

Effective mentoring and coaching go beyond just sharing knowledge. They involve setting clear objectives, providing constructive feedback, and encouraging reflective practice.


12. Professional Development Plans

Creating a professional development plan is an essential activity for fostering growth within the workplace. This plan is a roadmap that guides employees through their career progression, focusing on both their current role and future aspirations.

It’s about understanding where you are, where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.

Each employee’s professional development plan should be tailored to their unique skills, interests, and career goals. This personalized approach ensures that the plan is relevant and engaging for the individual, increasing the likelihood of sustained commitment and success.

This might include specific courses, workshops, or experiences designed to fill gaps in skills or knowledge.

It’s important to review and update the professional development plan regularly. Goals and interests may evolve, and the plan should be flexible enough to accommodate these changes.

Regular check-ins help keep employees on track and make adjustments as needed to ensure continuous progress and development.


Growth Mindset Activities for Success

Incorporating growth mindset activities into the workplace transforms challenges into opportunities for learning and development.

AQPlus is a trailblazing catalyst for those who aspire to challenge the status quo and be extraordinary, not just in work, but in life. Our mission? To not just prepare you for the future of work, but to make you THRIVE in it.

Get in touch today for big ideas on how to improve your ability to change, and how to focus on mindset, resilience, learning and unlearning rather than traditional management skills!

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First things first: what does grit even mean? You’ve probably heard the advice “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” attributed to coach Kunte Rockne. That quote captures the essence of grit.  The character trait of grit often refers to passion, the consistency of interest, and perseverance, the ability to endure tough times.

For instance, we’ve all experienced setbacks. They could range from struggling to learn a new skill, recovering from an injury, losing a job, or even bankruptcy.

What Does Grit Look Like?

People with high levels of Grit are confident in achieving long-term goals. They are often described as ‘determined’ and ‘hard workers’. No-pain-no-gain might be the grit motto. Gritty people tend to keep going until the work is done. They take pride in finishing what they start. Their mental focus and emotional stamina are very high. They don’t let short-term gains, negative feedback, or hectic schedules deter them. People with high grit are not discouraged easily; they see setbacks and obstacles as challenges that can be overcome with commitment and hard work. Grit, however, is not always a good thing. Gritty people are often so focused on their goals that they get blinded-sided by outside influences and have blind spots when it comes to alternative ideas. 

People with low levels of grit give up quickly. Setbacks and obstacles easily discourage them. When change happens they can find it difficult to stay on course with long-term goals. They flee at the first sign of trouble and often blame others. They start a lot of projects but get discouraged easily. 

How Grit Can Help Your Business

Why is grit something you need to look for when hiring and developing employees? The future of work is full of opportunity but the journey will be anything but certain. Perseverance and passion will be needed in abundance. These are some scenarios where employees with grit become a beneficial trait for your company.

They Understand That Good Things Take Time

Millennials have often been criticized for their need for instant gratification. While it might be true for some of them, grit had to be part of this generation’s makeup. Now in their 30s and 40s, they have endured school shootings, 9/11 terrorism, and the Great Recession…and they are now growing and thriving. It’s only human to get frustrated when we don’t see the instant rewards from our work. Contributing to a project day in and day out, and not getting recognition or confronting bureaucratic idiocy, is disheartening. Many employees may be tempted to just quit.

If your employee has grit, however, they know good things take time. Setbacks are not failures, but part of the journey.  When personal interests align with goals, it’s easier to persevere and feel that your efforts will be rewarded. People with grit stay and push through.