A Neuroscience Framework For Performance Management

A Neuroscience Framework For Performance Management

A performance management program that isn’t focused on the growth and performance of employees is not likely to be successful.

Many times, we witness the mental as well as emotional obstacles that cause anxiety, distrust, or even hostility from employees to annual reviews and other traditional methods of performance management. These barriers must be eliminated before any progress is achieved.

Conversations that are more frequent and informal will engage employees more in real-time rather than just a one-time performance evaluation, and neuroscience can provide a practical framework to conduct these discussions.

The social and cognitive requirements.’

Research conducted by researchers from the University of California and the University of Queensland has identified six cognitive and social requirements that are common to all people. The known RELISH model addresses these needs and lays the foundation for more efficient conversational performance:


The human race has evolved over time to feel part of a larger group and feels that this group is fair, cohesive, and secure. Leaders must define their role in the discussion and the role of the employee, and the goal of the conversation, so that people feel valued, respected, and secure.


The majority of professionals are taught not to let their emotions out, which is why they prefer to hide them. However, suppressed emotions have a terrible habit of becoming dominant. Leaders must encourage the ‘labeling of emotions in order to reduce the impact and intensity of their emotions and create a more positive environment that allows for two-way feedback.

Leaping the Pack

Recognition, status, and self-confidence are the long-term motivations for performance. Employees must feel confident and accomplished. Leaders need to set achievable goals, targets, or KPIs, recognize individual goals and motivations, and strive to connect them with the goals of the team.

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Interpersonal Connection

Our brains require to be supported, understood, and connected to people at a deeper level. Leaders should understand and connect with those they’re talking to, rather than giving instructions to the conversations. There is no way to give and receive feedback simultaneously.

Seeing Progress

They must be able to believe that they have a sense of the world around them and are making progress toward their goals. Leaders need to show how employees are able to clearly measure the progress made towards the agreed goals or KPIs in order to keep them motivated.

The Future is bright. for the Future

When individuals are aware of the group and what’s required from them, they have to know where they’re going. Leaders should be clear about the next steps, the date and time of the next meeting be, and what the reason is; the direction that things are taking for each individual and the whole organization.

Effective and meaningful performance discussions require all of the above mentioned needs to be fulfilled by the leaders. This will lead to more excellent communication channels and more opportunities for creating conversations that boost motivation, help build stronger teams and ultimately result in higher performance.

This could require changing the way managers think about their job. More controls, measures, matrices, or even compliance can only alienate workers as well as create more power struggles and create unhealthy competition.

Constant, collaborative, and developmental-focused discussions result from first looking at the essential human behaviors’ basic elements.



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