Why status matters (Guest commentary)

Neuroscience shows increasing workers’ sense of status boosts engagement
By Andrew Treash
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/25/2011

We all have interactions at work that influence how we see ourselves in the workplace hierarchy. Whether it’s a change in job duties, a pay hike or a conversation with a colleague, work experiences affect how important we feel at work.

Some leaders may find it obvious employees want to feel like they play an important role at work. They may also have noticed when employees feel good about themselves, they work differently. However, they might not understand why, exactly. Studies in neuroscience can help provide some answers.

When we are exposed to a stimulus, our brains enter an “approach” or “avoid” state, depending on whether we process the stimulus as being good or bad, according to David Rock, founder and CEO of Results Coaching Systems, in his paper SCARF: A Brain-based Model for Collaborating with and Influencing Others.