All Articles Leadership Is your work culture affecting people’s brains?

Is your work culture affecting people’s brains?

What is neuroplasticity, and what does it have to do with the workplace?

2 min read


Is your work culture affecting people’s brains?

Alina Grubnyak/Unsplash

Do our work cultures actually impact the neural networks in our brains, for better or worse?

The study of neuroplasticity may shed light on this question. 

Neuroplasticity is a relative new field of study, Research first conducted in 1999 on animals and humans found that the brain continues to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity is the term for these brain neurons compensating for injury and adjusting their activity in response to new situations or changes in their environment.

This field of study holds great promise for treatment of brain injury and disease, including dementia and Huntington’s disease. And I believe this field of study holds great promise for understanding the power of our work cultures.

The key to the impact of work cultures on our brains lies in this core function of neuroplasticity: neurons adjusting their activity in response to their environment.

What we know is that work culture has a powerful influence on employee engagement, customer service, and results and profits. I can prove it.

We also know that the quality of most work cultures across the globe is dismal. TinyPulse’s 2019 Employee Engagement Report found that only 29% of employees rate their organization’s culture as “very good.” When asked “how happy do you think your average coworker is at work?” only 9% of coworkers were rated as “very happy.”

This same study found that only 26% of employees feel highly valued at work.

In today’s three-minute video episode just for SmartBrief readers, I propose that our work cultures impact people’s brains, and I describe how neuroplasticity might operate in healthy and unhealthy cultures.

Subscribe to my free twice-a-month newsletter. Subscribers enjoy free resources including a preview of my Amazon best-seller, “The Culture Engine,” which helps team and company leaders create a powerful, purposeful, positive, productive work environment.

And, subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find more short, crisp, and clear episodes of my “Culture Leadership Charge” video series.

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for SmartBrief’s free e-mails on leadershipcareer growth and HR, among SmartBrief’s more than 200 industry-focused newsletters.