Today we know so much about the kind of work environments that stimulate employee engagement. Why, then, are there still such high levels of employee disengagement? Why is it considered a “win” when less than half of global employees say they’re engaged? Is there anything employees and employers can do to increase the number of employees who feel fully engaged with the work they do?
This post will focus on why and how a winning mindset can lead to greater employee engagement and your organization’s success. We’ll also look at ways employee engagement activities such as gamification and competition can help employees develop a winning mindset while creating a culture where they want to excel and drive their—and your—success forward.
Importance of Employee Engagement
Organizations that make employee engagement central to their business strategy are rewarded with significant results, including a boost in productivity, which, in turn, leads to greater business success. There’s plenty of research to back this up and lots of advice on measuring how well your engagement efforts work.
Things get a bit more challenging when trying to figure out how management can best engage and develop employees. But figure it out they must because managers account for an incredible 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement. In other words, a manager’s experience plays a huge role in defining the employee experience. One crucial way managers can inspire employees to be more engaged is by helping them develop a winning mindset.
Why is an Employee’s Mindset Important?
There’s a strong link between attitude and performance. Ask just about any successful athlete, artist, or entrepreneur about their key to success and they’ll likely mention how they “set their mind” to reaching their goals. You’ll also hear things like “If you want to win, you have to prepare to win” and “I believed in myself.”
A winning mentality is when a person believes in their ability to achieve what they’re setting out to do. It doesn’t come naturally to many people, but the good news is that it can be developed through hard work and the right guidance.
Qualities of a Winner
Before we dive into what determines a winning mindset, let’s talk for a minute about what qualities define a winner, particularly in the workplace. Five traits of winners, no matter which field they work in, are:
- A positive attitude.
- High but achievable goals.
- Emotional mastery.
Most importantly, while winners may love earning a reward or getting public recognition, they consider winning an attitude. And they love proving to themselves they can set and surpass self-defined goals that bring them one step closer to success.
What Is a Winning Mindset?
The psychology of winning has fascinated researchers for decades. Known in psychological circles as “the winner effect,” this biological phenomenon occurs when feel-good chemicals are released in the brain after a person wins at something. Over time, changes to the brain’s structure occur and the person becomes more confident and able to take on greater challenges.
People with a winning mindset tend to display four core elements:
- Great goal clarity.
- A high level of self-confidence and self-belief.
- The ability to take personal responsibility for successes and failures.
- High levels of resilience and tenacity that let them manage their state of mind during challenging situations.
A winning mindset helps employees take more risks and feel confident about their ability to reach their goals. Each achieved objective boosts their morale and increases their job engagement.
How Can You Develop a Winning Mindset?
A winning mindset helps people make smarter decisions that result in better business and personal outcomes. Strategies that help develop a winning mindset include:
- Put yourself in challenging new situations. People gain confidence by overcoming challenges but must be willing to put themselves in a position where the outcome might not be as successful as they hoped. Growth is only possible through success and failure. In the workplace, that can be as simple as offering to be involved in a new project.
- Find a mentor who has a winning mindset. Mentorship is a proven way to build confidence and job success.
- See failure as a learning opportunity. People who succeed at everything they do are rare. If you’re always “winning,” it might be a sign you aren’t challenging yourself enough. Reframing failure as an opportunity for growth ultimately makes it easier to take risks.
- Memorialize your efforts. Keeping a list or file of moments you can be proud of (and ones that didn’t go quite as planned) can be a great source of inspiration for current and future projects.
- Surround yourself with other “winners.” Spending time with other people who have winning mindsets can play a significant role in your own positive attitude. Look for those who can teach you new things and encourage your efforts.
- Take the time to de-stress. Work-related stress is well-documented. It’s important to find a work-life balance that allows you to disconnect. Doing so not only reduces the effects of work stressors but helps you stay motivated, productive, and engaged.
- Develop routines. What you do and how you think when you first wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day. Simple morning routines like working out, meditating, or eating a healthy breakfast while listening to your favorite music or podcast can result in a positive state of mind you carry with you throughout the day.
- Set achievable goals. If you’re serious about developing a winning mindset, take a different approach to goal-setting. One of the main reasons New Year’s resolutions often fail is because they’re vague. Creating goals that have a fixed deadline can reshape how you think about handling projects, build confidence as you achieve them, and change your mindset to one of “I can do this.”
- Learn to trust your instincts. First thoughts and gut instincts are two different things, with gut instincts often good predictors of what action we should take. Confidence in your instincts is a critical component of success and a winning mindset.
- Don’t stagnate. A sure way to become disengaged at work is to feel you’re not learning new things or being challenged to grow.
Your mindset is affected by your work and life, and the way you handle life and work affects your mindset. Even small changes in attitude can increase work performance and reap incredible rewards in your career.
How Can You Change Your Mindset at Work?
How can you reach higher levels of engagement, productivity, and success by changing your mindset at work? While there’s no one tactic that’s right for everyone, there are certain things everyone can try to see if they fit.
- Change your internal conversations from “I’m not good, smart, or worthy enough” to “I can do this.” It really works.
- Remove the words “always” and “never” from your internal and external dialogues. A willing mindset doesn’t limit itself.
- Act “as if.” When you believe you’re capable of something, you already have the mindset to succeed. Over time you’ll “trick” your brain into adopting new thought patterns that put you in a winning frame of mind.
How a Winning Mindset Can Improve Employee Engagement
People with a winning mindset look beyond the personal qualities they’re encouraged to leverage and seek challenges outside their comfort zone. They view these challenges as potential areas of growth and improvement. This type of mindset leads to great employee engagement.
Employee engagement programs like gamification are an effective way to speak to a workforce that prefers instant gratification and rewards. Gamification works so well because it plays on the psychology of winning we discussed earlier. Humans are naturally driven to compete, out-do, and improve. And they like getting instant rewards while doing so.
Gamification drives engagement and increases productivity, even with remote workers. Done right, interactive promotions reward employees for their efforts, time, and performance. The good news is that gamification can work in almost any environment or department. Marketing, sales, customer service, training, and mobility are all areas that can benefit from gamification.
- Pop quizzes can keep employees on their toes.
- Online scratch cards can be used to reward meeting deadlines.
- Customized games can “pat employees on the back” for a job well done and track important milestones, all while encouraging employees to strive to achieve rewards and level up.
BeeLiked creates employee engagement games that reward positive behaviors, build lasting relationships, and deliver value in terms of improved productivity and profits. We’re committed to the idea that gamification is one of the best ways to boost employee morale and your bottom line. To learn more about our products and solutions, get in touch with us today to set up a no-obligation discovery call. Head to our blog for more employee engagement guides and resources.