Our brain is the repository of our memory, the connection to our senses, the director of our drives. In many ways, the brain remains a mystery and we will never fully understand it – yet a great deal of information is already available. Fascinating, isn’t it?
That’s what we thought when we realised that HR is doing almost nothing with all these insights. That’s why, at WayFinders, we consistently integrate the neurological aspect into our approach. Regardless of whether it’s about selection, assessing potential or developing employees. It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle to be able to put together a nuanced whole.
You’re still wondering why? Because we work with people, and the brain is the source of emotions and behaviour. You have a liver. You have hands and feet. But you are your brain.
So, the brain is a treasure trove of information. As unique as a fingerprint, each brain has its own combination of strengths and natural preferences. The interaction between brain and environment leads to behaviour. Behaviour that we (as colleagues, managers or HR) are all too happy to judge…
You will no doubt remember this, or see it in your (grand)children: we all have a natural talent for doing certain things better and with more energy, a natural talent if you like. Did you used to be creative, or did you have a knack for maths or language?
As children, we were close to these natural talents, but in our society, throughout our schooling and careers, we seem to be alienated from what we like to do and what we are good at. And here we are, in a great job and so many years of experience later, but are we happy? No, we burn out. Burn-outs at their peak. How many more headlines do we need to acknowledge that a different approach is needed?
BURN-OUT, OR ENERGY-IN?
The reality: burn-out figures continue to rise, with work stress as the main reason. ‘We offer our employees a lot of possibilities and opportunities’, I hear you think. Or even stronger: ‘We are not a non-profit organisation, we are not responsible for people’s well-being, they have to take care of that themselves’.
I don’t even disagree with you one hundred per cent: employee welfare is a shared responsibility. The role of HR or employer is to support employees or provide them with the necessary tools that give insight into natural potential. In order to get back a little closer to what gives them energy and what they are good at. Goodbye to estrangement, hello to an energy-boost!
OK. AND HOW?
Sounds good, but how on earth do we know what this natural potential is if we have been alienated from it for years and have not had the chance to develop it into a real talent? Of course, we wouldn’t be writing this blog if we couldn’t provide an answer to that.
In Belgium, WayFinders offers a unique tool that provides insight into the executive brain functions (read: functions that are necessary for efficient and goal-oriented behaviour). These include analysing complex information, setting goals, working memory, processing feedback, identifying mistakes, switching quickly in changes or between tasks, letting go of done things, stress resilience, and so on. We don’t look at where people are already good at today – we do that in one of our other pieces to put that nuanced puzzle together.
The tool provides insight into what a person naturally – and therefore spontaneously – has a greater aptitude for, and what he or she can develop with greater ease or energy, as well as what will require more energy and effort. Imagine giving people this self-insight as a gift. Or even go a step further and look at the diversity within your team and who should take on which tasks in order to lose as little energy as possible.
As mentioned before, insight into the neurological talents of employees is crucial. We like to emphasise that this is one of the pieces of the puzzle and is best combined with insight into context, identity, behaviour and motives. Only then can we see the person behind the person and reach conclusions together.
Want to know more? Send a request or read more about the Brain Profile here.