How to Use Brain Science to Maximize Employee’s Peak Performance

by Brusman, Dr. Maynard Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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The ability to select, motivate, develop, engage and retain top people is critical to a company’s success. If you want to build a company where people love to work you have to know how to hire and keep the right people.

Great companies and managers start with optimistic, change-resilient, and committed people whose values fit the workplace culture. Retaining peak performing people involves creating a healthy work environment where people can use all their knowledge, creativity, and skills. Self-managed organizations create work environments where people can continuously learn and make decisions.

Using Brain Science to Bring Out the Best

While no management guru has found the golden key to unlocking the full panoply of human potential at work, several diverse areas of research shed new light on the possibilities.

Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author of Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011), synthesizes such new research into five sequential steps managers can apply to maximize employees’ peak performance.
A psychiatrist and ADD expert, he draws on brain science, performance research and his own experience to present a proven process for getting the best from your people:
1. Select: Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains.
2. Connect: Strengthen interpersonal bonds among team members.
3. Play: Help people unleash their imaginations at work.
4. Grapple and Grow: When the pressure’s on, enable employees to achieve mastery of their work.
5. Shine: Use the right rewards to promote loyalty and stoke your people’s desire to excel.

“Neither the individual nor the job holds the magic,” Hallowell writes. “But the right person doing the right job creates the magical interaction that leads to peak performance.”

Hallowell refers to the five cited essential ingredients as “The Cycle of Excellence,” which works because it exploits the powerful interaction between an individual’s intrinsic capabilities and extrinsic environment.