Developing the commercial skills of an entire workforce should be a top priority for business leaders in any sector.

In order to develop commercial acumen effectively, leaders have a responsibility to maintain an engaging and inclusive work environment to be able to give employees the confidence to improve. If those who make mistakes are mocked or belittled when trying to learn new skills, it is more than likely to demotivate and upset them. By creating a culture that embraces mistakes as part of learning throughout workplace training, employees will collectively be able to develop while improving team development skills.

There are several ways in which business leaders can create a culture that embraces mistakes as part of the learning process during workplace training.

Developing a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset

If employees have a fixed mindset in regards to their roles, they will typically believe that their skills and qualities are traits and therefore cannot be improved on. This can have a negative impact on workplace training programmes as they may be unwilling to improve their skills, or may fear making mistakes which in turn will harm their development.

A growth mindset naturally differs from a fixed mindset in the sense that individuals who adopt it are more willing to learn and make mistakes in order to develop their commercial skills. This is the mindset that business leaders need to try and instil throughout the workforce in order to see real improvements.

Communicating openly and honestly during workplace training programmes about how mistakes are critical to personal and team development is beneficial in giving employees the confidence to take responsibility for their decisions and engage more with their training.

Improving commercial skills by creating an inclusive workplace

A toxic workplace environment will view making mistakes in training as a sign of weakness rather than an opportunity to learn and grow. Employees will naturally fear making mistakes and therefore business leaders need to reinforce the idea that mistakes are common and an important part of developing commercial skills.

By creating workplace training programmes that promote an environment where it is safe to take risks and make mistakes, individuals will be able to engage more and take responsibility for their actions, later assessing their performance more accurately than if they were to play it safe in fear of failing.

Reward mistakes as part of employee growth

Rewarding those employees who try and take responsibility during workplace training and make mistakes in doing so will encourage them to take the initiative in the future. If employees are ridiculed or belittled for making mistakes, they are more likely to become angry or upset and become disengaged with their roles.

Business leaders can reward employees who make mistakes by praising them for attempting to find the right solution and helping them to analyse where they went wrong and what could be done differently in a real-time situation to improve long term.

Ultimately, mistakes and workplace training go hand in hand when developing commercial skills. It is vital that mistakes are made to improve and find more effective ways of achieving business goals in the future. If an entire workforce pulls together to learn from failures and find alternative methods, they are more likely to improve, and satisfaction is more likely to remain high.