“Becoming is better than being.”
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., author of Growth Mindset
How could Carol Dweck say such a thing?
If we don’t have to work for something and can simply ‘be’ it as opposed to working hard to ‘become’ it, why would being what we want to be worse than putting in the long hours and toil that is required of us to become who we want to be?
Because if we can learn to become a certain way, we can teach others to become that way. Whereas people who are born with talent have zero shot at teaching others how to improve themselves in their respective areas of talent.
For those unfamiliar with Carol Dweck, she is a psychology professor at Stanford University and author of Growth Mindset, one of the most impactful educational psychology books of the 21st century.
Understanding the Growth Mindset in a Document Management Software Context
The basic precept of this book is that those who believe they can develop their talents with hard work, effective strategy, and being receptive to feedback from others will become successful.
The antithesis of the growth mindset is the fixed mindset, which most people hold; the latter of these two mindsets believe that ability is fixed, and therefore are less receptive to feedback, strategy, and learning processes because they feel these mechanisms will serve little if any purpose in self-improvement.
What most industrial organizational and educational psychologists have not addressed as it relates to the growth mindset, is how it can be analyzed through a lens of workplace technology—particularly technologies that impact every portion of the business process, like document management solutions.
With these solutions, we can all adopt a growth mindset and become better workers. First, however, organizations must decide which doc management technologies to pursue, and which document management platforms will work best for them.
Then they will have established a comfortable environment to ensure employees realize their potential to increase their own self efficacy, regardless of what roles they fill in organizations.
Below are several instructive tidbits on how human resources departments and executive teams can use document management technologies to apply Carol Dweck’s growth mindset in the workplace, which has been proven to improve productivity, morale, and motivation.
Document Automation Removes Fixed Ability from the Equation
If employees lose track of multiple tasks they are trying to juggle, chances are they have, at a very basic and subconscious level, a fundamental belief they lack the intrinsic ability to multitask or ‘keep track of things.’
This tells us that instead of using employees to keep track of things, executive teams and their HR departments or personnel can use document management systems to keep track of things for employees.
This helps to level the playing field, and provides room for employees to focus on developing their actual skill sets, not managing documents. We see evidence of this in Beaini Financial Solutions’ experience with eFileCabinet. As Bassem Beaini noted, “I want to tend to my clients, not worrying about paper lost in a filing cabinet.”
If ability is not fixed, then neither is technophobia—it can be transcended and overcome in the context of simpler document management interfaces in the workplace, and this precept is also applicable to other technologies that will impact the workforce in the next decade, including IoT (Internet of Things).
The HR Plague: A False Growth Mindset
A false growth mindset is just as debilitating as lacking a true growth mindset.
This phenomenon occurs in office environments when workers, managers, groups, (or other nodes), falsely believe they embody a growth mindset.
Here are just a few of the most common manifestations we see in office environments that prove growth mindsets are not adopted, even though many HR personnel and executive teams believe the growth mindset has been adopted.
Making the Wrong Praise Paramount
The problem with praise, as highlighted by Dweck’s work on the growth mindset, is that managers, executives, and even coworkers holding similar ranks to each other within organizations tend to give praise with fixed mindset connotations—a mentality that looks down on praising employees for hard work, diligence, and other attributes that are more likely to cultivate productive employees than talent alone.
For instance, we are more likely to compliment a worker by saying “You’re so smart,” than we are by saying “You’re working so hard,” although the latter of these two compliments is more conducive to progress and, therefore, more deserving of praise.
Perhaps the greatest component of a document management technology is its ability to trace and track activity on a company-wide basis, ensuring that everyone knows who is accomplishing what, and through which means.
Not only does this provide an effective framework for keeping tab of project progress, it also ensures those most deserving of praise receive it, and in the correct form.
Redefining New Hire Processes
Training is a vital component of any new hire process, no matter the industry or sector in which new hires work.
When training is not properly planned, it makes employees resort more commonly to negative perceptions about their own intrinsic value and ability.
But when training is organized, especially at the document level, employees will not only be quicker to grasp new concepts of the document software used in the organization and the processes of the organization itself, but will also be quicker to actualize their own sense of intrinsic value that they bring to an organization.
They will, essentially, be more equipped to fulfill their new roles with confidence, poise, and assurance if they are given one technology to use that touches every portion of the business process as opposed to having to learn numerous technologies that only touch minor parts of the business process.