How to Boost Employee Motivation With the Aid of Neuroscience

How to Boost Employee Motivation With the Aid of Neuroscience

The motivation of employees has been identified as a significant issue in many organizations across the globe.

If it’s a Gallup report that shows how employees’ satisfaction levels have dropped to their lowest or a company having trouble understanding the Gen Y employees he employs within his organization is becoming challenging to keep employees engaged and happy.

Traditional management and leadership models of training aren’t going to address the issue. In fact, it’s this specific thinking that has led to the problem. But, when we mix this type of management with psychology and neuroscience, it is possible to take a need-based solution to the issue.

More than setting goals

We frequently hear about the importance of goal-setting for motivating employees. Recently, 40 managers from large companies within the UK contributed to a Scarlett Associates study which looked at the motivation of employees as well as performance management systems and appraisals for staff.

The main conclusion of this research was setting short-term goals positively influenced motivation at work, providing employees with an appreciation for their accomplishments and the feeling of satisfaction that stimulated the reward portion in the brain. The result was that neurochemicals were released that helped people feel more enthusiastic and less anxious.

While it is true the fact that setting achievable goals for employees and rewarding and recognizing their accomplishments can create an environment that is more positive than an atmosphere of threats and stress but the reality isn’t as easy.

Humans have a variety of intricate creatures which are influenced by a variety of aspects: it’s not possible to give praise for goals that are being met and expect an increase in productivity when there are other problems that aren’t being taken care of.

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The needs of cognitive and social of employees

Neuroscience has revealed six essential cognitive and social needs of people working in teams or groups that are applicable to workers in the workplace.

It will be clear how goal-setting is a part of these requirements as part of the equation; however, addressing each of these needs will have an even more significant influence on motivation since people feel respected, have the freedom to express themselves, feel appreciated and respected, and know where the organization is headed and what their part is in the process.

A brief overview of these six requirements follows:


Our brains are “wired” to be protected when we are in groups. Every human being would like to understand how they can fit into the group as well as what the most basic rules are and what their part in the process is.


Professionals are instructed not to show their emotions and often hide them. This can hinder their capacity to think. Individuals must feel comfortable in expressing their feelings.


People are able to achieve status by excelling in things. Recognition of achievements is often a bit elusive in stressful contexts. It is essential to focus on the intrinsic feeling of competition that individuals have about team goals and recognize the moment they are met.


It is essential for people to be able to feel comfortable and appreciated by their peers. This can be a struggle when working environments are too analytical, and leaders should focus on creating a more welcoming atmosphere.

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It is also essential for people to look at how far they’re making. So the interpersonal relationships should be balanced by transparent evaluation of the most crucial aspects of work.

AFFECT HOPE for the future

Finally, employees must be able to progress with the sense that they are optimistic. The vision must be communicated only after the team members have already been entirely on board and have the initial five requirements satisfied – or else it could be ignored.