Thriving at Work

What defines the mindsets of people who thrive at work?


Three key values set thriving professionals apart

Today’s professional landscape is defined by high levels of uncertainty and complexity as well as constant change. In this context, thriving at work means far more than meeting job requirements; it encompasses a holistic sense of well-being and engagement at work that supports ongoing success, adaptability and resilience.

Members of our new corporate culture practice wanted to gain insight into mindsets of people who thrive at work. Drawing from a large dataset, we analyzed the values of those who report high levels of workplace thriving, and found that three key values tend to set these professionals apart: embracing Personal Challenge, cultivating creativity, and valuing Personal Expression.



Personal Challenge

A value that signals a growth mindset

Embracing personal challenges is at the core of professional development. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, pushing boundaries, and being on the lookout for opportunities to learn and grow. Individuals who actively seek out and embrace challenges tend to thrive at work because they have a growth mindset, viewing setbacks as opportunities to learn, adapt, and improve. As they meet these invited challenges, they develop a powerful sense of efficacy – becoming more convinced (through experience) that a stumble is often a prelude to a larger triumph.

Thriving professionals are those who proactively seek out new projects, take on leadership roles, and tackle complex problems. Welcoming challenges not only fuels these professionals’ personal growth, it also benefits their organizations as they contribute to problem-solving and adaptability.



Personal Creativity

A value that fuels innovation

Creativity is the engine of innovation and a vital tool for thriving in today’s competitive work environment. Individuals who show an inclination toward Personal Creativity are more likely to feel like they are thriving in the workplace because they often bring fresh perspectives, unique ideas, and innovative solutions to the table.

Thriving professionals are not confined by conventional thinking; they see possibilities where others see obstacles. Of course, thinking differently can be risky – whether it’s the calculated risk of investing in an unconventional approach, or simply suggesting an outlier of an idea in a meeting and risking blank looks from colleagues. But smart leaders and teams know how to make room for off-beat ideas, recognizing that a willingness to experiment, fail, and learn is far from a weakness. People who score high on the value Personal Creativity are likely to support innovations and advances, adding value to their organizations while bolstering their own sense of personal accomplishment and engagement at work.



Personal Expression

A value grounded in authenticity

People who score high on the value Personal Expression are committed to the art of being their authentic selves everywhere, including at work. Thriving professionals, who tend to stand out on Personal Expression, understand that their uniqueness is an asset, not a liability. These individuals feel safe and secure in bringing their full self to work, helping to foster a culture of inclusion and diversity. In an environment that values Personal Expression, individuals are more engaged, motivated, and satisfied.

When employees are encouraged to freely express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions, they are more likely to contribute fully to their projects and teams. They’ll tend to build stronger relationships with colleagues and clients, leading to improved collaboration, creativity, and overall job satisfaction – key facets of the experience of thriving at work.




Thriving Through an Understanding of Values and Mindsets

Personal Challenge, Personal Creativity, and Personal Expression are not mere buzzwords, but deeply held values that shape how individuals understand and respond to the world.



Understanding the power of these concepts can help organizations create an attractive work culture that aims for more than “employee satisfaction,” building a workforce that truly engages and thrives.


The dividends of such an approach are numerous, including longer retention, lower turnover, easier talent attraction and acquisition, increased productivity, enhanced collaboration, higher-quality output and greater overall organizational resilience. By prioritizing these values and nurturing these mindsets, organizations can create a workplace where more employees not only excel individually but also collectively contribute to the enduring success of the company.


How is your organization working to nurture Personal Creativity and Personal Expression while supporting team members in embracing Personal Challenge?

Find out how our Workplace Culture team can help your organization

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