Neuroscience for HR Directors – the missing piece?

Neuroscience based techniques for HR to boost wellbeing

Problems in staff attrition? Sickness absence? Accidents or errors of judgement at work? Challenges in performance? Equipping yourself with neuroscience based techniques could be the solution. Pressure to boost performance and achieve targets from leadership creates a battle between well-being and performance. Employee well-being should be the number one priority, and with a positive approach to well-being, one among many results will be boosting performance.

In many UK businesses today, we are seeing real issues being faced by managers to create an environment that properly supports one another.

With less than 10% of employees feeling comfortable talking about depression, or discuss their inability to cope with unacceptable work pressures, it’s no wonder performance is down (Bowcott, 2017). According to the 2017 Thriving at Work report (Department of Works and Pensions, 2017), there is a strong link between mental health and productivity.  If people can’t connect and openly discuss their emotions, presenteeism will continue to rise. Presenteeism, or going to work whilst ill, currently costs more than £4000 per employee annually according to research by Nottingham Business School (Whysall, Bowden and Hewitt, 2018). Many line managers and HR directors are simply not well equipped enough to recognise new issues that have arisen due to changing work ecologies.

Changing work ecologies, you say…

Yes, that’s right. With our new digital age, workplace ecologies are radically changing at an alarming rate. Connectivity between employees is no longer face to face, but online. Of course, this is a great thing for innovation and improving workplace efficiencies. But what’s it doing to employees? Evolution takes time. Our ability to adapt our brains to changes in our ecology is slow. We are misunderstanding emotions that are created by change and associating them with negativity. No greater is a relationship misunderstood than that of the one between employees and stress itself.

The belief that stress is harmful to us, is more harmful than the stress itself. Stress, if managed correctly can be of great benefit to you and your team. With a little physiological intervention through applying very simple steps, we can face those scary stressful moments and become courageous and enjoy the whole experience: we change the chemistry and our attitude changes automatically.

So what can I do for my team?

An understanding of the science behind wellbeing, using neuroscience based coaching approaches, we believe, is at the heart of all positive people development as well as effective leadership and management. Coaching skills are life skills and essential business skills for an organisation to compete in the market with a robust and adaptable workforce. We can guide you step by step on a learning journey to really understand the effectiveness of brain science.

HR team members regularly encounter difficulties managing and responding to poor performance, as well as the challenge of one to one meetings. The outcomes may see HR coming across as the ‘bad’ people. Having to fire someone, make redundancies or disciplinaries. For many, this does not come naturally. Neuroscience techniques can be deployed to turn around performance, attitude and outcomes for individuals and their line managers. Neuroscience makes real culture change not only possible, but it enables it to happen fast.

Wellbeing applications, such as CARI™ have been developed to provide greater insight into organisational health using cutting edge neuroscience research. This easily deployed tool can rapidly assess the wellbeing of employees in the organisation, and pinpoint those who need help. You can learn to deliver this within your organisation, to transform your workplace ecology. This highly effective tool could be the missing piece in the puzzle, to providing better mental health and wellbeing in your organisation.



Bowcott (2017) Research shows most employees will discuss mental health issues with someone, but rarely their employer. Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2018).

Department of Works and Pensions (2017). Thriving at work – The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers. London.

Whysall, Z., Bowden, J., and Hewitt, M. (2018) Employees spend 2.5 weeks a year working when ill – costing businesses £4k per employee in lost productivity. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2018).



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