What Neuroscience Tells us About Employee Retention

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 4, 2011

Some people dismiss employee engagement research as "too fuzzy."   Not me.   We have successfully integrated key principles of employee engagement research into our recruiting process.   I know it works.    And naturally, as a headhunter, I'm also fascinated with how people make decisions, so I devour research on the neuroscience of decision-making.

So when Scott Campbell used neuroscience research to validate the key findings from one of my favorite books on employee engagement, it was chocolate and peanut butter for me.  Do yourself a favor and read Scott's post on Leader's Beacon.  Here is a quick snapshot of his argument:

"Different (employee engagement) research organizations classify their findings in different ways. David Sirota’s formulation is a simple and useful model. His research suggests that there are three factors that, together, create strong engagement: the employee’s sense of (1) fair treatment, (2) achievement, and (3) camaraderie.[i]

Neuroscience has been making remarkable progress in helping us understand the workings of our mind and illuminating central truths about human nature. In some cases, the findings confirm the validity of existing leadership and organizational practices; in other cases it is turning them upside down. In this case, it confirms that Sirota’s three factors are real, universal, and fundamental in fostering a strong level of engagement in employees."

David Sirota's book,  "The Enthusiastic Employee"  - is probably the most important book on HR that nobody has ever read.   That's unfortunate because the authors really did their homework.  Over a decade, Sirota Consulting surveyed 2.5 million employees who worked for 237 organizations in 89 different countries.  If you want to know why your new hires just aren't that into you anymore, read the book (or at least read my blog post about it).

And now, coming from a completely different perspective, neuroscience is backing up Sirota's findings.   Delicious.

Topics: Human Resources, Performance Management, Hiring Managers