Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need
This book impressed me on two counts before I even opened the front cover. Firstly, I was highly intrigued by “a brain-based approach” on how to improve employee engagement — because why not! And then I was excited by the foreword, written by engagement guru David Zinger. If you haven’t come across David’s work, you really should look him up. But I digress… In this book, author Brady G. Wilson dedicates one chapter each to 10 different leadership principles based on the findings of brain science. Furthermore, Wilson tells you very clearly what you should be focusing on and what you should be avoiding, if not outright ignoring.
For example, many workplaces approach employee engagement through surveys and logic — if this aspect is low, then we need to increase this other driver over here. But Wilson points out, quite logically, that this is not always how it works. People are emotional creatures and if all we do for engagement is manage the numbers, then we are missing many opportunities for real meaningful impact.
Where Wilson really goes beyond engagement is, of course, in the neuroscience. He pulls in the role of oxytocin (known as the “cuddle hormone”) and how your brain responds to positive feedback as a motivational tool. Believe it or not, Wilson also discusses DNA through a short history of Africa, and makes a compelling case for why so many managers get engagement wrong. This was a very interesting book, and I’d love to see more workplaces pick this up and share it widely. It’s for everyone’s benefit.