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Employees with Grit are More Successful

January 28, 2019

Are You Gritty?

Why Employees with grit are taking over the workplace. GRIT. Do you have it? Maybe it’s a characteristic you’re proud to have. Or maybe you’ve never put much thought into it. Either way, the concept of grit has been gaining attention as the potential link to individual success.

One of those conducting research is Angela Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s spent much of her career studying students, teachers, and other professionals to determine what role grit plays in success. Her research has continuously shown that those with grit tend to find success more than those without this unique characteristic.

This led us to wonder what was more important in the workplace. Brains? Training? Talent? Or maybe grit? Here’s what we found.


What Is Grit?

Grit is a characteristic easily recognized but sometimes difficult to describe. Think of some of the most successful people you know. Would you say they’re:

  • Courageous?
  • Spirited?
  • Tough?
  • Tenacious?


If someone is gritty, they’re full of determination and perseverance. This doesn’t mean success comes easy to them. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. They may face extreme challenges and hurdles while working towards their goals. But what makes them different from the non-gritty is that these challenges don’t hold them back.

Still not sure if you’re gritty? Consider using Duckworth’s Grit Scale to see how you compare to your peers.


Benefits of Employees with Grit

It’s often easier to notice grit in others rather than ourselves. We might think we’re persevering when we’re selling ourselves short. Sometimes we think we’re failing when we’re pushing through tough challenges.

But is grit all it’s chalked up to be? When it comes to employees with grit, the following benefits are often noticed.


More confidence

Rather than believing they’re failing, employees with grit push through their setbacks. Losing a client or missing a deadline doesn’t result in a loss of confidence.


Improved focus

Those with grit know that it’s only worth focusing on what they can control. They don’t waste time or energy worrying about what’s out of their hands.


Learn from mistakes

Just because an employee with grit isn’t scared of a challenge or setback doesn’t mean they go out looking for them. When they make a mistake, they learn from it, move on, and do what they can to prevent the same issue from reoccurring.


How to Become Grittier

While there’s still much to learn about what drives us as employees, there are ways researchers say you can make yourself grittier.


Get out of your routine

Challenge yourself. If you’re comfortable, you’re not doing enough to move forward. For those struggling with spotting shortcomings and strengths, consider working with a mentor.


Learn your why

Why are you working towards a certain goal? Knowing why you’re working towards something will help you keep your eye on the prize and remain focused.


Check in with your feelings

Ignoring feelings or giving them too much attention can hold you in place. Learn how to recognize and validate your feelings, process them, and respond accordingly.


Remind yourself you can’t control everything

Part of grit is knowing what to do when things don’t go to plan (which happens more often than not). Don’t waste energy getting upset over things you can’t control. Instead, learn how to bounce back with minimal damage.

When it comes to working towards your work goals with grit, it’s not about the cards you were dealt. It’s how you play them. Rather than focusing on the end goal, set smaller goals. Persevere through them and finish strong.

Employees with grit tend to be more successful. If you’re wondering how to take your career to the next level, working on developing grit could be the solution.


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