How Top Companies Measure Growth Mindset Success

How Top Companies Measure Growth Mindset Success: Insights from Microsoft, Google, and More

In today's fast-paced business environment, a growth mindset isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have for companies aspiring to stay ahead of the curve. Organisations tailor the concept of a growth mindset to resonate with their distinct culture, highlighting development, empowerment, and openness. They utilise a range of metrics to measure key initiatives around leadership development, employee engagement, innovation, and learning culture, crucial indicators of a growth mindset. These metrics are vital for driving digital transformation, pivotal for adapting to the relentless pace of technological change.

To embed a growth mindset successfully, companies need unwavering support from the top echelons of leadership. This support is coupled with establishing habits and rituals that reinforce these principles. Firms measure the effectiveness of a growth mindset through various talent processes, including hiring, onboarding, performance management, and leadership development programs. Employee engagement surveys have become a standard tool for measuring the impact of growth mindset initiatives, aiming to evaluate how learning and adaptability are integrated into daily responsibilities.


Expanding the Measurement Matrix: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

Quantifying the advancement of a growth mindset within a company is multifaceted, involving both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Companies often use a blend of surveys, performance metrics, feedback mechanisms, and cultural indicators to measure the shift towards a more growth-oriented culture. But what sets the measurement of a growth mindset apart is the balance between capturing statistical data and interpreting the subtleties of human behaviour and organisational culture. Below are expanded methods companies have employed to measure these enhancements:

  • Employee Surveys and Assessments: At Microsoft, under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, the reinvigorated corporate ethos revolves around fostering a growth mindset. This strategic pivot has led to a series of initiatives designed to measure employees' growth mindsets through regular surveys. These surveys delve into employees' attitudes towards learning, their responses to failure, and their approach to challenges. For example, employees might be asked to respond to prompts such as "When faced with a complex problem, I tackle it knowing that I can learn from the experience" or "I see challenges at work as opportunities to grow my skill set." The responses are then analysed for trends and areas of improvement, guiding leadership on where to focus their developmental efforts. Microsoft's efforts have paid off; since implementing these measures, they've seen a cultural shift that has been widely reported in case studies, highlighting the importance of a growth-oriented mindset in driving business transformation.
  • 360-Degree Feedback Google's approach to cultivating a growth mindset is rooted in its data-driven ethos. The tech giant utilises a comprehensive 360-degree feedback system that measures how employees embrace challenges, seek feedback, and support the growth of their peers. This approach provides a comprehensive view from the managers, peers and direct reports to help individuals understand how their growth mindset is perceived across different relationships in the workplace, and how they contribute to a culture of change and development. This culture of candid feedback has been instrumental in creating an environment where employees are motivated to take on challenges and learn from them.
  • Learning and Development Participation Rates IBM, a pioneer in the technology industry, measures the embrace of a growth mindset by tracking engagement in learning and development programmes. The company offers a wide range of digital and in-person learning opportunities and monitors enrolment and completion rates. An increase in these rates is regarded as a positive indicator of a culture that values continuous learning and improvement, resulting in higher job satisfaction and productivity.
  • Performance and Goal Achievement Metrics Accenture has shifted from traditional annual performance reviews to a more dynamic system that emphasises continuous growth and feedback. By setting and tracking dynamic goals throughout the year, the company can measure improvements in performance that result from a growth mindset, such as taking on challenging projects and demonstrating learning agility. This method allows the company to measure performance improvements and the adoption of a growth mindset more fluidly. By doing so, Accenture has seen a marked improvement in employee morale and performance, as they focus on setting and achieving personal and professional goals throughout the year.
  • Innovation and Risk-Taking Metrics Amazon encourages a culture of innovation and is known for its principle of "Disagree and Commit." The company is a standard-bearer for fostering an innovative culture, measuring growth mindset success by the number of new projects initiated and their outcomes. The company tracks the initiation of new projects and the outcomes of risk-taking endeavours as metrics for measuring a growth mindset. A higher tolerance for risk and an effective approach to managing failure are indicative of a strong growth mindset. This philosophy encourages employees to take bold risks, leading to innovative products and services that have kept Amazon at the forefront of its industry.
  • Cultural and Engagement Indicators Salesforce conducts employee engagement surveys with questions related to growth mindset attributes, measuring perceptions of inclusivity, growth opportunities, and the openness to propose new ideas. High engagement scores, particularly in areas related to personal development and innovation, suggest a successful growth mindset culture. Salesforce has reported that this focus on growth mindset has led to greater employee retention and satisfaction, contributing to its ranking as one of the best places to work.
  • Qualitative Feedback During Performance Reviews Deloitte's approach to performance management includes structured conversations that focus on growth and development, rather than just evaluation. The company uses performance reviews as an opportunity to foster a growth mindset through structured conversations that emphasise growth and development over evaluation. The quality and tone of feedback during these reviews are key indicators of how well a growth mindset is being cultivated. Deloitte's focus on growth-oriented feedback has been linked to higher employee engagement and performance levels, demonstrating the efficacy of their approach.


Each of these corporate behemoths demonstrates that there's no cookie-cutter approach to measuring the adoption of a growth mindset within an organisation. It's a complex blend of direct measurements and indirect indicators that provides a comprehensive view of the cultural evolution towards a learning and growth-focused mindset.


Observable Shifts: The Evidence of Growth Mindset at Work

When a team enhances its growth mindset, there are noticeable shifts that occur, reflecting the core belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed. These changes are not just internal feel-good factors; they have tangible impacts on the team's performance, collaboration, approach to challenges, learning, and innovation. These observable shifts are beneficial not only for the individuals within the team but also contribute significantly to the overall performance and competitive edge of the organisation.

The journey to cultivating a growth mindset requires intentional effort, strategic measurement, and robust leadership support. However, the transformative impact on team dynamics and the significant improvements in organisational outcomes are well worth the investment.


By Jessica Choo, Founder & Chief Strategist of Integrated Learning Systems Pte Ltd



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