Failure. It’s something that the majority of us have a great fear of. Whether it’s failure at work or in relationships, no one ever wants to feel as if they aren’t good enough at something. However, encouraging your employees to embrace failure can actually benefit your company. Looking forward helps your employees to realize their full potential in the workplace. Cultivating a growth mindset is an essential part of this process. Here are three ways to encourage growth in your employees and show them that failure is okay.
Model your behavior
If you want your employees to have a growth mindset and be unafraid of failure, then you need to be practicing what you preach. Leaders who openly discuss their past struggles and failures and what they learned from those experiences will help their employees know that they can do the same. Openness about these failures will help their employees to see that one failure does not destine you as a failure for the rest of your career, that failures are instead opportunities to learn and improve your performance.
Focusing on your own need for development can help those around you to do the same. It’s essential for employees to realize that even leaders take the time to work on personal and professional goals and that development is an ongoing process and not an end goal. Leaders should involve themselves in their employees’ development as well. Ask about your colleagues’ goals and aspirations and have discussions about what will need to happen to achieve these goals and how you can assist in that process.
The hardest part about shifting to a growth mindset is giving up that unwillingness to fail. This feeling runs deep into organizations, with many unwilling to try new ways of doing things in favor of the old, tried-and-true method. However, struggles are part of the process of growth, and it’s crucial for everyone in an organization to see that. Help your employees accept failure by talking to them about how they’d like to fail. Have people identify what risks they want to take or what ideas they have. Acknowledge that these risks and ideas may not work out, but that’s okay. When it doesn’t work, no one will feel shocked because they were told there was a chance that it wouldn’t. Innovation can only arise through frequent failure. Employees must feel safe to fail, so it’s necessary to cultivate a culture where that’s true.