Time to Retrain Your Brain, Managers!

Hey Managers, ever felt like you’ve tried everything to boost employee engagement but still not hitting the mark? It’s time to dump that old playbook because neuroscience is in town, and it’s throwing conventional wisdom for a loop! Strap on your metaphorical lab coats; we’re diving into the science of the brain to rethink employee engagement.

“But We’ve Always Done it This Way!”— Debunked

Remember those employee surveys? The annual retreats that are more forced fun than meaningful connection? Neuroscience says, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Research suggests that many old-school methods for gauging and improving engagement don’t address core human needs.

Why? They often ignore biological triggers like dopamine and oxytocin, the hormones that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. When you’re providing a 20-page handbook on company policy but not fostering trust or mutual respect, you’re basically ignoring the brain’s call for connection. What a faux pas!

The Brainy Truth about Engagement

So what does the gray matter have to say? Well, according to a study featured in Harvard Business Review, high levels of trust directly improve team performance and overall happiness. It’s the oxytocin, baby! More trust means more of this “cuddle hormone,” which amps up collaboration and creativity.

***Watch my interview with Paul Zak, author of the HBR article on trust!***

And let’s not forget about rewards. Achievers argues that recognizing employee performance triggers a dopamine rush, reinforcing positive behavior. Yep, our brains are hardwired to say, “Give me more of that!”

Gethppy also adds to the mix by emphasizing the power of autonomy and purpose in driving engagement. Imagine that—people like having a sense of control and meaningful work. Shocking, I know!

The Shocking Truth

Only 39% of leaders are connected to their company culture!

(Maybe boosting engagement should start with leadership?)

Watch the full interview with Gallup’s Senior Practice Expert Vibhas Ratanjee.

Lights, Camera, Action: Tips for Managers

Ready to tap into that brainpower? Here are some tips to rewire your approach to employee engagement:

1. Trust is a Must

Kick-off team meetings by sharing something personal or acknowledging individual contributions. It’ll build rapport faster than you can say “neurotransmitters.”

2. Rewards that Rock

Ditch the generic ‘Employee of the Month’ plaque for tailored rewards. Know someone’s a coffee aficionado? A high-end French press will bring more dopamine delight than a stale certificate.

3. Define the Why

Be transparent about team objectives and individual roles. A sense of purpose is the ultimate brain food.

4. Flex those Flex Hours

Give people the freedom to set their schedules where possible. Autonomy is like catnip for the human brain, so let them have it!

5. Keep it Real

Frequent, candid feedback helps people know where they stand. Believe it or not, constructive criticism can also trigger a dopamine boost if delivered thoughtfully.

Conclusion: It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Brain Science!

So there you have it, folks. Neuroscience is giving us fresh, hormone-driven perspectives on employee engagement. Who knew the secrets were all in our heads? Now go on, start engaging those neural pathways and let’s bring science to the art of leadership!

Time to be not just brain-smart, but also brain-heart smart! 🧠❤️

Ready to transform employee engagement?

Isn’t it time to Start with WHY!

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Thanks for joining me again as I continue my myth-busting journey through the fascinating labyrinth of the human brain. I hope you’re enjoying my Brain Guide to Bossing series on debunking neuro-management myths enough to share this with just two connections.

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