Guess Less. Gain More.

How neuroscience could change the game for executive health & performance programming.

In the current competitive labor market the challenge is not only to attract the best talent, it’s also to keep them as long as possible and get the best performance out of them while you have them. More than ever, high performers want to find meaning in their work or get a sense that their work adds value to their life. Salaries are no longer the key differentiation for engaging key talent. Instead, helping high performers better themselves as people, and as workers helps them feel valued, fulfilled and more connected to your company.

Traditional executive health programs, like broader wellness programs, are largely generic and offered in the periphery as a fringe benefit. While it’s nice to have these programs, the irony is that the executives that may need them the most, the ones who are most stressed and time poor or the ones who are least proactive with their health, are the least likely to seek them out.

Now neuroscience is changing the game. Executives need programs which are efficient and relevant. The power of neuroscience in executive health and performance is that it allows for highly personalized, precise, and relevant interventions that executives can see benefit and meaning from. The other powerful benefit of having insight into personal brain chemistry is that it not only provides short term benefits, but it also (and perhaps more importantly) allows for predictive and preventive interventions which can help high performers better understand and mitigate the negative impacts of natural behaviors under periods of high stress. In contrast, other generic “stress management” programs require a lot of self-directed learning as well as trial and error to find what works for an individual under specific circumstances. That takes time and effort – something employees under high stress don’t have!  

How many high potential leaders have been lost as a result of burnout? What if that risk could be minimized while also boosting performance under periods of stress? What if you could help executives improve their communication and relationships (both inside and outside of work)? What if you could help executives understand why they behave how they do – even when those behaviors may be counter to their health or performance goals? These are exactly some of the ways in which neuroscience can provide more precise answers and add value to an executive health and performance initiative.

Besides the individual value for executives or high value talent, there are broader potential impacts. Do you have “executive support for wellness” but struggle to actually get your executive teams to actively participate? A “good for our people but not good enough for me” type attitude can be very damaging toward attempts to build a culture of health. It also widens the gap between management and the broader population by feeding that “them and us” mentality. A program which genuinely provides management with positive personal value in regards to improving health, wellbeing, and performance can make your executives some of your biggest champions for broader health promotion. Nothing helps build support like experiencing personal success. Not only are they more likely to inherently understand the benefits and support the programs, but they are more likely to be seen actively promoting or participating. That difference between supporting in principle and actually leading by example can have a huge impact on culture and the promotion of organizational values.

If you’ve struggled to engage executives in effective health promotion or to find something that can give add more meaningful personal value in developing both personally and professionally, then a small pilot (say, a team of 5 for 8 -12 weeks) incorporating and utilizing the insights of neuroscience is fairly inexpensive and can achieve short term health improvements, long term resilience and performance gains, as well as boosting job engagement for your biggest human assets. To learn more, contact us and ask about out Chemistry for Success brain chemistry program.       

Published on by Andrew Stephenson.