Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Times of Change

Every new year brings its new set of challenges and opportunities. A lot of trends in the workplace for 2024 have been predicted, from global work stress being reported at an all-time high according to Gallup, to AI creating new opportunities as well as concerns across several industries. One thing is certain, the world is undergoing change, and the way we handle it will determine whether the year holds significance or not. 

This is why the concept of ‘mindset’ is crucial for us at trivago. A person’s mindset reflects how they interpret and respond to situations, whether in their personal lives or at work. Mindset influences behavior, decision-making, and reactions to challenges or opportunities. Two commonly discussed mindsets are the fixed and growth mindsets. While the fixed mindset spurs people to believe that their intelligence and skills are inherent and cannot be changed, the growth mindset is a practical belief that one’s skills and intelligence can be developed through effort, hard work, and perseverance.

In this article, we will share how we implement the growth mindset in our working culture and why it matters, exploring the following dimensions:

Seeking To Learn 

One of the fundamental aspects of the growth mindset is the willingness to learn and improve. This ties in very well with our core values “fanatic learning” and “trust”. Learning can occur through various ways but one clear way we encourage this, is through testing and experimenting to know what works and how we can do 1% better. At trivago, we’re on an endless quest for knowledge, constantly pushing our boundaries through reflection. We try to create safe spaces where our talents have the trust and support of their team to learn from successes or failures. We know that both are necessary parts of learning. By having trustful relationships we can openly share our opinions and candid feedback which help us to learn from each other. Our open-minded approach to development allows us to quickly learn, adapt, and improve. 

Despite working under immense pressure and constant change, our team motto of “coping with and learning from chaos” propelled us forward. Interestingly, despite these challenges and associated strains, many of us, myself included, recall these moments as some of the most satisfying and joyful periods of our lives.

Johannes Thomas, CEO

Rolling With Change 

Change is disruptive. Many times even uncomfortable. The reality, however, is that change is a constant factor, not just in the workplace but also in our personal lives. Most times, we do not have control over the changes that happen to us, but we have control over our responses. At trivago, we strive to openly embrace change, knowing that with every change comes a new opportunity to have a fresh perspective and a fresh outcome. This is how we fuel our core value of “entrepreneurial passion”. We know that there are external factors that might cause changes to our business. We also know that we have to take calculated risks, go beyond our comfort zones, and bring about the desired results we want. Sitting still is not our style. We proactively push trivago forward with an open and strategic mindset – implementing our ideas without hesitation. 

Embracing innovation is not just a choice but the very essence of how we navigate change, ensuring we not only adapt but thrive in an ever-changing industry. In the wake of the late 2022 emergence of conversational AI models, a milestone comparable to the transformative impact of the iPhone’s debut, we recognize the need to explore new frontiers. This is why we’re developing features like ‘Hotel Highlights’ which condenses many traveler reviews into short summaries, giving users clear insights into hotel experiences.

Andrej Lehnert, CPO

Recognizing Effort

Winning isn’t everything. Achievements and success stories are great, but simply celebrating our victories doesn’t factor in the most important aspect of successes and failures – our effort. This is why at trivago, we focus on effort as it is key to continuous improvement. We want our talents to always go beyond the wins and losses to acknowledge the work they put in. This approach helps us internalize the value of hard work and persistence, which are critical for long-term success. This is important because sometimes, effort does not always lead to immediate successful outcomes. People with fixed mindsets would see themselves as failures if they couldn’t tick off the “success” box resulting from their efforts. This is not the mindset we want to cultivate, because it’s only a failure if we don’t learn and improve from our experience. Our commitment to the “power of proof” as a company value therefore enables us to objectively evaluate our actions, learn from each experience, and determine the value of the effort we invest. 

Currently, we are extending our recognition portfolio to give our talents even more tools and opportunities to give and receive recognition for outstanding contributions to the business, as well as for contributing to our culture and work environment. This is aligned with our focus on recognizing the value of hard work and continuous improvement.

Nicolas Schiffer, Events & Recognition Lead

Keeping It Real With Feedback 

At trivago, we value open and candid feedback. With “authenticity” guiding us, we encourage our talents to speak their minds as well as remain open-minded to receiving feedback. We believe that we can help each other succeed by exchanging feedback in a caring, yet authentic way. No bad intentions. No judgement. Just pure motivation to see each other get better. We are not only talking about top-down feedback, but also horizontal, where talents can leave feedback for our leadership team to take action. We don’t get defensive, we don’t criticise, but rather draw inspiration from feedback, because there are always lessons to be learned from it and through thoughtful self-reflection, we can better understand our actions and our impact. 

Personally, I’ve had my share of feedback in standardised processes in other companies, but nothing compares to the honest and caring talks I have experienced at trivago. It’s a constant process, not an annual event, and it comes from everyone, not just your lead. trivago’s feedback culture has been a game-changer for my own growth.

Julia Baur, Talent Experience Lead

Bouncing Back From A Setback

Facing a setback puts your resilience and endurance to the test. For us at trivago, revenue drastically went down during the pandemic and it was a deeply challenging time in the travel industry. Post-pandemic, we made the decision to concentrate entirely on our core business, striving to build the best hotel meta-search platform and revive our global brand. Guided by our mission statement and the utilization of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), we avoid distractions from our goals, upholding our core value of “unwavering focus”.  A steadfast commitment to our mission drives us to deliver exceptional, five-star experiences to our users. We know that things won’t always go as planned, but we refuse to give up. Rather we collectively focus on what works and how we can scale it, letting our creativity and productivity unfold. 

We know that a lot has changed in the media industry and trivago since the pandemic. So we mapped out the biggest performance drivers and ran small-scale tests to get a sense of how we can make the most impact. We deactivated historically strong markets, retested strong creative concepts, and optimized our spend. Not all our tests showed positive results but many did. So we focused our energy on scaling those learnings fast. We know there’s no silver bullet, but how we win is by staying curious, continuously coming up with hypotheses on how to move the needle, executing well, and learning fast.

Jasmine Ezz, CMO

We hope that you will see challenges as exciting adventures, mistakes as great teachers, feedback as a personal guide, and effort like exercise. Cheers to a year filled with learning experiences! 

Life at trivago
Life at trivago

A career at trivago is a journey designed for people who crave continuous development and want to thrive in a high-performing team. Here you will find those who aren't afraid of change but rather embrace it, turning every challenge into a pathway for growth. 'Life at trivago' blog is a space for our talents to share their expertise, thoughts, and experiences from their life at trivago and beyond!

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