May 5, 2023
Written by UJJI Team
The business community's efforts to address chronic stress in workplace culture show a more responsible social connection between employers and employees. Business mental health programs that don't emphasise neuroscience will never achieve the desired outcomes. Even worse, they might hurt workers.
It need not be difficult to create a healthy workplace, but it must be aware of what supports and hinders the brain. We pay too little attention to how important social connections are for our brains. Our brains respond differently to small acts in a dramatic way. What a difference it would make to managers' understanding if they knew what our brains must do to function at their best.
In this article, we will discuss the neuroscience meaning, why it matters and why you must integrate neuroscience techniques in your workplace for higher productivity.
Neuroscience studies how the brain influences behaviour and cognitive processes or how individuals think. They also look into the effects of neurological, psychological, and neurodevelopmental problems on the nervous system.
Neuroanatomy and neuropsychology are only two examples of the many specialisations available to neuroscientists. Research in this area can improve our understanding of the brain and body, how they function, and the health problems that affect them.
We still share many essential characteristics of our prehistoric predecessors' brains, even though ours has changed. The wiring in our ancestors' brains help them avoid "threats" and look for "rewards," like food and shelter.
Being in a threat condition affects our brains' capacity to work at work. Our brains are sharper, more resilient, innovative, and more collaborative when in a reward state. This has a favourable effect and fosters an "engaged" mindset.
Our brains are prediction machines; they strive to make sense of and forecast what is happening in our environment. Predictability reduces energy use.
The four enablers are necessary for us to feel engaged at work. Neuroscience explains why this is the case in a scientific manner.
From a neuroscience standpoint, knowing where we are going gives us assurance and the capacity to forecast. Our sense of personal worth increases when we see how we contribute to the organisation's mission. They induce a "towards" improved thinking state in our brains.
According to neuroscience, we have underestimated our brains' need for social interaction. Managers must ensure that each team member feels a sense of belonging to them and an "ingroup." Our Intellect suffers when we exclude, according to research.
Our desire to be in charge of our work is fundamental to our survival instincts. Our stress levels, memory, and cognitive abilities are all affected by feeling powerless. It hurts you mentally and physically.
Our brains enjoy certainty and a sense of fairness when our values align with actual values, since we know what to do to be recognised. Fairness is implemented in us and impacts our brains' capacity to function; a lack of it will induce a dangerous state in us.
Here are the most typical ways your workplace wellness programme can harm mental health, along with the techniques you should use in their place, supported by the study.
Workplace wellness initiatives based on pseudoscience emphasise stress reduction for increased productivity. This may instead remove the intrinsic motivators that motivate us to perform better. According to psychological studies, to achieve a state of sharpened focus at work, we need a specific kind and level of stress. The reticular activating system is to thank for our capacity to enter "the zone" (RAS).
Cortisol, the main stress hormone, releases as our stress levels rise. It causes the RAS neurons to fire more quickly. The anxiety, or "bad stress," that causes us to feel paralysed, terrified, and distracted is a result of high cortisol levels. Eustress, or "good stress," includes brief spikes in moderate cortisol levels, which makes us stay focused under pressure.
We will likely scale our performance when we are at this stress level. We feel motivated, energised, and focused on getting the job done. Low- or no-stress employment doesn't stimulate our minds enough to keep us interested. We wouldn't experience stress or burnout if there was no work stress. We would be completely bored without the regular, moderate release of stress hormones.
Many organisations prioritising well-being have internal task forces to assist employees with known mental health concerns. They spot workers who might need support by watching for telltale signs of mental illness. This can include absence, sharp declines in performance, or out-of-character responses during a 1:1 check-in.
But it can take a while for a mental disorder to manifest before an employee displays telltale signs. And by then, the condition can already be chronic and need a lot more time to address. Because of this, workplace wellness programmes need to start providing services for problems and preventative mental health care.
Employees can make proactive efforts to care for their brains like a corporation might send out pedometers to encourage staff to do 10,000 steps.
Workplace wellness initiatives based on pseudoscience provide extensive support for the common problems up to 80% of your workers may experience. Because they cannot consider cognitive variety, they attempt to treat the most prevalent mental disorders with standard treatments.
Our brain's organs develop to scan, adjust to, and react to our surroundings. Our brains are as distinctive as our fingerprints as a result. Attending a peer support group for those with high anxiety may feel reviving to one employee while triggering anxiety in another. Businesses must consider the various life experiences that affect employees' cognitive landscapes.
Workplace wellness programmes should enable employees to understand their brain health. They should not be reactionary, one-size-fits-all programmes targeted at reducing stress across the board.
Since the 1980s, when workplace wellness programmes began to consider psychological health, technology has advanced. Modern neuroinformatics-based workplace programs are important. This is because they provide employees control over measures of improved brain health.
These resources allow staff members to assess and control their anxiety, excitement, attention, and relaxation levels. We make inaccurate assessments of our stress levels, necessitating the need for these proactive, personal management methods. We wind up overworking when we need to take a break and recuperate.
Think about a worker who feels stressed out after a morning of meetings. They could take a break when they finish their last call at 12:30 in the afternoon. But they work through until their regular lunchtime at 1:30 p.m., during which time they never get much done.
Neurotechnology can detect the overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol, which indicates distress, and inform the worker to prevent cognitive overload before it happens. The ability of the employee to identify personal stress triggers and install preventative behavioural change will have the biggest impact. Reclaiming an hour each day is a nice productivity boost.
What you can't measure, you can't improve. Employees who can track, measure, and manage their cognitive needs have knowledge about brain health unmatched by pseudoscience. This allows businesses to conduct mental health initiatives to produce more potent, proactive, and individual results.
Using neuroscience techniques in high-stress circumstances, such as a change-management process, can improve the final result. How you interact with your personnel in these circumstances impacts how their minds can handle it. Also, by understanding why some people are more productive or achieve their goals, businesses may use knowledge to support everyone in improving their performance.
UJJI is something you should try if you want to incorporate neuroscience practices into your place of work. Our tried-and-true life coaching methods support its method. Gamified self-assessments, video and audio courses, serious games, and practical assignments are all included in UJJI sessions. It also draws on behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience. Well-known Oxford University neuroscientists and psychologists are in charge of all research rounds.