GUEST POST BY Wendy Jenkins OAM, READY RESILIENCE
Ready Resilience helps organisations thrive during times of change and challenge, using practical neuroscience-based resilience tools that have been proven to offer in-the-moment solutions and long-lasting results.
August 2023 Resilient Leadership Tips
The impact of an unhealthy workplace on our brains can be profound.
The type of environment that you create as a leader can even physically change your team members’ brains.
For example, within our brain we have a region called the hippocampus which plays a key role in learning and memory consolidation.
One of its main jobs is to hold short-term memories and transfer them to long-term brain storage.
Research has shown that ongoing exposure to stress can damage the hippocampus, reducing hippocampal volume, and impairing memory and learning capabilities.
As a result, individuals may struggle to retain new information, leading to reduced performance and difficulties adapting to changes in the workplace.
If their hippocampus has shrunk, then not only can less information be saved, but their brain also must decide what information to prioritise.
Are they thinking lots of negative thoughts from being in an unhealthy workplace?
Their brain will see this as a priority leading to more negative thoughts being retained leading to a potential downward spiral.
As a leader, creating a culture of safety and wellbeing must become a non-negotiable priority.
Under WHS laws in Australia, organisations must eliminate or minimise psychosocial risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
Stress itself is not classified as an injury under the model rules but if it becomes frequent, prolonged or severe it can cause psychological and physical harm.
Leaders who really understand how unhealthy workplaces impact their team are in a better place to champion the necessary changes.
By prioritising a healthy and supportive work environment, you have the power to positively shape (not reduce in size!) the brains and wellbeing of your team members.
Prevention is always better than crisis management.
If you are intrigued about the neuroscience and want to learn more, Wendy has recently created an infographic about the impact of an unhealthy workplace on our brains.
You are welcome to download a copy at https://bit.ly/RRINF83
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Jenkins is the founder of Ready Resilience, Co-Founder of the Lungitude Foundation, Speaker and Lung Transplant Survivor. Ready Resilience helps organisations thrive during times of change and challenge, using practical neuroscience-based resilience tools that have been proven to offer in-the-moment solutions and long-lasting results. Having been told she had two years to live over sixteen years ago, Wendy is driven to help people transform their perspective on challenges in life. To find out more visit www.readyresilience.com.