Episode #144 – The 6 Six Factors of a Brain Friendly Workplace

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Join us for an insightful episode of the Team Anywhere Leadership podcast as we interview Hilary Scarlett Founder and Director at Scarlett & Grey and a renowned expert in workplace dynamics and resilience. Hilary reflects on the adaptability and resilience displayed by individuals during the rapid shift to remote work. We explore the positive impact of flexible and hybrid working models and the significance of trust in enabling remote productivity. Discover the importance of social connection, setting short-term goals, and the six factors of a brain-friendly workplace that enhance employee engagement. Tune in for an inspiring conversation with Hilary Scarlett on building successful teams in the modern work environment.

What Hilary Learned Over the Past 3 Years

Hilary Scarlett reflects on the workplace changes over the past two years. She highlights the adaptability and resilience of human beings, with many quickly transitioning to remote work. The positive outcome has been the widespread acceptance and implementation of flexible and hybrid working models. Trusting employees to work remotely has proven successful, allowing some individuals to work from anywhere in the world. 

However, the lack of social connection and relationship building has been a challenge, particularly for new employees. This period of separation has emphasized the importance of relationships and social connection at work, shedding light on their undervaluation by organizations. The experience has made people more conscious of taking relationships for granted and has increased awareness of the need for connection.

Setting Short-Term Goals is Important! Here’s Why

Hilary emphasizes the power of setting short-term achievable goals to alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of accomplishment. These small victories positively impact the brain, creating a rewarding and settling effect. Scarlett highlights the beauty of neuroscience, which reveals that minor actions can make a significant difference in helping individuals settle their minds, enhance focus, and improve collaboration and performance. Leaders can implement these simple strategies to create a positive work environment.

The 6 Six Factors of a Brain Friendly Workplace

According to Hilary here are the 6 Factors of Brain Friendly Workplace for team members:

  1. Self-Esteem: It involves feeling good about oneself, having a positive self-narrative, being respected and trusted by others, and experiencing a sense of mastery and skill development.
  2. Purpose: Having a sense of purpose and finding meaning in one’s work is crucial. Knowing that one’s contributions make a difference to others fosters positivity and satisfaction.
  1. Autonomy: Providing employees with some level of control and influence over their work and allowing them to have a say in decision-making helps create a constructive and positive mindset.
  1. Certainty: While complete certainty is unattainable, the brain craves information and a certain level of predictability. Leaders should provide relevant information to alleviate uncertainty and help employees feel more secure.
  1. Equity: During times of organizational change, the need for a sense of fair play and equal opportunities increases. Employees should feel that they have a fair chance of obtaining resources, training, and desirable roles.
  1. Social Connection: Humans are inherently social creatures, and fostering social connections in the workplace is vital. Belongingness, manager interest, and team cohesion significantly impact performance and well-being.

The Happy Brain Vs. Sad Brain

When employees have a happy brain, free from stress and negative emotions, they are more likely to exhibit creativity, curiosity, problem-solving abilities, and the energy to support others. By considering the six factors of a brain-friendly workplace (self-esteem, purpose, autonomy, certainty, equity, and social connection) as a checklist, leaders can create an environment that promotes positive brain states and maximizes employee engagement and productivity. The factors serve as a planning tool, helping leaders assess upcoming situations and address any gaps to ensure a positive workplace environment.

Who is Hilary Scarlett?

Hilary is an international speaker, consultant and author. Her work has spanned Europe, North America and Asia, and focuses on helping leaders in the private and public sectors to introduce change efficiently and effectively. In particular, she designs masterclasses and workshops based on the belief that if we can understand our brains better, we can work with that knowledge and help improve both our wellbeing and performance at work.

Hilary holds an MA from Cambridge University, has a post-graduate Certificate in the Psychology of Organisation Development and Change and is an accredited executive coach with the Institute of Leadership and Management. Hilary works with neuroscientists in the UK and in the USA, bringing their work out of the lab and into the workplace in a very practical and accessible way. A second edition of her book Neuroscience for Organizational Change – an evidence-based, practical guide to managing change was published in 2019 and has been widely praised. Hilary published Brainpower at Work – tips on building a brain-friendly workplace in 2022. Hilary is a member of the British Neuroscience Association and the British Psychological Society.

How to Create A High-Performance Remote Team:

Improve Remote Team Work:

How To Excel as a Remote Team Member

Improve Remote Leadership Skills:

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager

How to Build Virtual Accountability

The 6 Six Factors of a Brain Friendly Workplace Quotes

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