Promote employees' growth as individuals
Developing your own employees internally is just as important as hiring the best employees, or even more so. Having a good working environment which facilitates the development of the people that work there is one of the keys to the company's success, but failure to do so can lead to the stagnation of the company.
Spotify focuses on fomenting its employees' growth because they believe that this, in turn, will facilitate the growth of the company as a whole. It's about ensuring people grow in a way that helps both them and the company.
Instill a growth mindset in your employees
The first step towards growing as an individual is believing that you can do so. The only people that achieve personal development are those that believe in it. If you believe that your efforts to learn and improve are to no avail, you will not be motivated to put any effort into what you do and, indeed, they will be to no avail.
Spotify trains their employees to adopt a "growth" mindset, where they believe that they will improve at whatever they do if they practice, instead of a "fixed" mindset, where they think that intelligence is something that cannot be changed.
Here are some things Spotify does to foster growth mindsets:
- Giving more importance to effort and training than to being smart and not taking any risks.
- Trying to keep an environment where it's safe to fail, i.e., embracing failure and minimizing its impact when it does happen.
- Reminding employees that it's OK to fail. When they fail, they must learn from it and move on.
- Spotify wants creative employees, and employees that are scared of failing are not creative.
- Setting the example: in his speech to welcome new employees, Spotify's CEO talks about some of his failures and what he learned from them.
Encourage mastery, autonomy and purpose
These should be the employees' ultimate goals. In order for people to grow, they need autonomy. They need room to grow, make mistakes and learn from them. Spotify wants its employees to work in an environment where mastery, autonomy and purpose are achievable.
Remind employees that they are responsible for their own development
This is linked with the notion of autonomy. Employees have many tools and opportunities to learn at their disposal, but, at the end of the day, it is up to them to make good use of them. In fact, employees choose which types of training they want to undertake, which tools they use and which development talks they want to assist to. Spotify offers its employees guidance to be aware of all their options and make the best choices for them.
Offer supporting leadership
Even though autonomy is important, it should not be without any kind of support when employees need it. Spotify's leaders offer guidance to support individual and team growth. A big part of their job is to give good feedback that allows employees' growth, and managers are given the necessary tools and training to be able to do so.