Last week, we posted Part 1 of our sit-down Q&A with Brady Wilson.
Here is more from our conversation with the author of Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need.
Brady, how does the human brain play into our ability to do good work?
Brain science shows that when we are low on energy, the first thing we lose is our “executive function”—that is, our ability to prioritize, to connect the dots, remain focused, and make and follow through on decisions. We essentially lose the “power tools” to be innovative. That’s why it’s possible for employees to be engaged—that is, dedicated and committed to the cause and organization—but not energized enough to do their best work.
So do you believe “employee engagement” is a thing of the past?
Not at all! Employee engagement is critical for building workplaces where people are dedicated and committed to the organization, and willing to give discretionary effort. However, employees can’t put forward their best work unless they’re also full of passion, resilience, verve and excitement. These things are by-products of energy. To create a truly engaged organizational culture, businesses need to focus on both engagement and energy—essentially, moving “beyond engagement” as we know it today.
You mentioned conversation as one way to create an energized organizational culture. Can you expand on that?
Absolutely. Brain science shows us that when leaders have energizing conversations with employees, high-performance hormones are released. In fact, brain mapping shows that, when energized, those hormones lead to more creativity, more connection, and less fear and worry in the system. By understanding the “why” of the brain, leaders can overcome three-quarters of resistance to usual employee engagement strategies.
What would you say to business leaders who want to effect change, but may think the concept of “energy” is a bit abstract?
From a business perspective, I understand that discussing “energy” may seem a bit ethereal at first. But what I would say is this: look to the brain science. If you want proof positive that energy is necessary in your organization, simply look at the facts. This isn’t about sitting in a circle, chanting or looking at crystals. Beyond Engagement is all about helping leaders understand how the human brain truly works, and providing implementable strategies to optimize employees’ executive function organization-wide.
Is there anything else we should know about Beyond Engagement and energy?
Since co-founding Juice Inc., I’ve been committed to creating workplaces where it feels good to work and it’s easier to get things done—essentially, Juice is about humanizing the work experience for all employees. But we also exist to help businesses transform themselves in a competitive marketplace. You simply cannot re-imagine or evolve your business without a strong, sustainable source of employee energy. That energy comes from accessing the brain’s executive function.
If your organization does not address this very fact and still continues to drive innovation, you will probably have very limited and pedestrian results. Make no mistake: energy is the next frontier for value creation and economic viability in today’s business world. I believe Beyond Engagement can help organizations build a better world not just for themselves, but for everybody.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
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