Employees need to be happy in their work. If they don’t feel fulfilled and enjoy some sense of autonomy, absenteeism and other ills will follow. Happy brains are creative brains. That’s one conclusion from psychiatrist and attention deficit disorder expert Edward Hallowell’s book Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best From Your People.
Happiness should be a big aspiration in talent management due to its impact on productivity, creativity and loyalty. Since 2008, people are often producing within a pressure cooker of deadlines and an avalanche of information. Yet many high-potential, high-growth career tracks offer less time and fewer resources to draw out an employee’s best.
The executive parts of the brain, the frontal lobes, which excel at sequencing tasks, solving problems and producing results, are not online when people are under excessive stress. Further, prolonged stress ultimately triggers the fight or flight emotional parts of the brain, the limbic system, that make people feel and react, but not do, according to Hallowell. Instead of happy brains, people have stressed brains and low career satisfaction, which translates to low productivity and decreased innovative thinking.
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