Neuro-Science. Is It Working?
The study of neurosciences has come leaps and bounds in the recent years.
With constantly improving technology and increasing specialists dedicating themselves to the field, neuroscience is becoming much more influential.
The study of the brain and its nervous system can unlock a lot of questions about how the mind works, along with debunking certain myths surrounding it.
So how can this be taken into the context of human resources, and more importantly, can it be used to benefit?
Thinking of what can be unlocked from the study of the human brain and how it works seems to make a perfect marriage for HR in business.
The constant strive to improve your staff and work force through HR processes can take some of the information we are learning about how the mind works, and implement it into knowing which methods can improve things such as productivity and job satisfaction.
HR policies could now be shaped by taking into account some of the facts that neuroscience is unveiling. As the human brain is quite the complex piece of machinery, let’s take a look at a few examples of how findings in neuroscience could affect HR.
How the brain perceives its surroundings can have various effects on different parts of the brain. When these areas are activated, we will react to it, and in the case of rewards, our functioning can improve. So when gaining a reward, be it praise or otherwise, our function can greatly improve, making us more motivated. Implement this in a work place and you can see that by using this process, you could very well increase productivity.
Our brains are naturally programmed to be attracted to rewards, we will naturally move towards these.
A natural balancing act of sorts exists in our minds along with this reaction to awards, and that is the concept of threat.
Another hardwired characteristic of our brain is the reaction to threat – commonly referred to as fight or flight.
It is a natural instinct that has developed thorough evolution of the human mind, and is one of the important factors that helped us get to where we are -the ability to sense a threat and move away from it at all costs. When we feel threatened, all other function will drop, as it will be in our mind concerns to deal with this threat, and at the sacrifices of other cognitive functioning.
So how can this be relevant in modern HR?
Whilst many feel terrified by their boss or manager, it is generally considered that these fears are in no way of physical threat, which is what it was originally developed for. Yet feeling threatened by your boss can have a deterring effect on just how effective you are in your job.
Many at the top end of business hierarchies across the world take the hard nose route; it is a classic method of management.
Things such as control management or creating a hostile work environment may be a traditional method of managing employees, but it is not necessarily a good thing. People are naturally motivated, increasing threat levels may actually increase demotivation and as a result quality of work and overall functioning could decrease.
Simply taking two of the many areas of neuroscience and applying it to HR practices showcases how valuable it could be for a corporation. Knowing the exact science behind how the mind works, and therefore how to get the best out of it could see all levels of improvement from HR departments.
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