The Brain-Friendly Workplace

Why talented people quit and how to get them to stay

A smart, science-based approach to retaining your talent
and making the world of work a better place

Right now, we’re confronting a once-in-a-century opportunity to create a future of work that’s better for everyone. The old corporate standard of extreme hours, sleep deprivation, and nonstop travel is dead. And knowledge workers don’t miss it. They’re expecting today’s leaders to create the workplace of tomorrow: a hybrid ecosystem that thrives on flexibility, diversity of thought, and enables every employee to reach peak performance. In The Brain-Friendly Workplace, Friederike Fabritius offers a science-based and field-tested blueprint for tomorrow’s workplace. Through her easy-to-follow program, entire organizations are discovering how small, inexpensive changes can lead to advantages like better employee performance, higher job satisfaction, and stronger talent retention.
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Companies are struggling to retain their talent, while improving diversity, performance, and well-being. Yet most of these initiatives fail. Why? They keep trying to change the workers instead of the workplace.

Let’s face it. The old corporate paradigm of extreme hours, little sleep, endless meetings, and nonstop travel is dead. No one wants to go back to that. It’s bad for performance, bad for everyone’s mental and physical health, and above all, it’s bad for our brains. The future of business requires a bold, flexible new plan that helps each of us to reach our peak performance without sacrificing our well-being, our social life, or our sanity.

What can we do to retain our most talented employees while boosting performance, well-being, and diversity?

  1. 1 –
    A brain-friendly workplace can close the growing “neuro gap”, discouraging toxic work environments and rescuing failed gender-diversity initiatives.
  2. 2 –
    They may not be quite as unique as our fingerprints, but each of us has our own neurosignature, the product of four neurochemicals that defines the way we approach our lives and determines what we consider fascinating, stressful, or boring. Modern workplaces need to add what I call “Neurosignature diversity” to their agenda.
  3. 3 –
    More companies need to replace the long hours of a “hustle culture” with an “outcome culture.” Those that have are experiencing greater productivity and witnessing a “happiness impact.”
  4. 4 –
    To get more done in less time, employees need to be able to access the flow state often and easily. A simple cocktail of three ingredients – fun, fear, and focus – can make this possible.
  5. 5 –
    Likewise, workplaces that support sports, sleep, snacks, and sunlight will help employees achieve “neurobalance” and realize their full potential.
  6. 6 –
    Although extreme stress is bad for all types of brains, we each have our own “optimal stress point.” It’s vital to know how to hack stress to work for you—instead of against you.
  7. 7 –
    Bonding at work is all about oxytocin, the neurochemical that fosters trust and love. The 10 Commandments of Great Work Relationships can help teams to foster emotional connections – even across Zoom!
  8. 8 –
    The traditional workplace often alienates introverts and squanders their strengths. The brain-friendly workplace can unleash the quiet power of introversion.
  9. 9 –
    Most workplaces are child-free, forcing parents to choose between their careers and their kids. The brain-friendly workplace will attract top talent by integrating family life.
  10. 10 –
    Groupthink can destroy the creativity of even the most thought-diverse team. The brain-friendly workplace encourages dissent, promotes group flow, and leads to greater innovation.
Although the problems may seem insurmountable, the science-based solutions are out there. We have a once-in-a-century opportunity to create a future of work that’s better for everyone, a chance to finally get the office in sync with the way our brains really think.
»Fighting burnout, finding focus, and giving your employees time to rest and recharge. It's obvious that the old ways aren't doing it. Friederike's book provides exciting new ways of rethinking the workplace that help both businesses and their employees to thrive.«

Stephan Aarstol, author of The Five-Hour Workday: Live Differently, Unlock Productivity, and Find Happiness
»It's clear that the modern workplace isn't working for many people and that changes are imperative. Friederike outlines some practical science-based steps to get us from here to there: to cultivate a world that works well for all of us.«

Riaz Shah, Global Learning Leader, EY
»Friederike's bold new book is smart, friendly, and science-based. It's filled with practical suggestions for how to make the workplace more inclusive, productive, and rewarding.«

Aidan McCullen, author of "Undisruptable" and host of "The Innovation Show."
»This book is a great read for anyone involved in group decision making. It enhanced my understanding of diversity while highlighting how important it is. It focuses on taking care of your self and each other, having fun, and why one should eat more chocolate. It made the work place come alive as a place to want to be.«

Jeff Furman, President of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and the “&” in Ben & Jerry’s
»The Brain Friendly Workplace, Friederike Fabritius reframes the so-called "Great Resignation" as a crisis of meaning, purpose and care. She seizes on the idea that our present distress is also an incredibly opportunity to change our bad work habits into healthy work habits using brain-friendly practices.«

Kelly Leonard, Learning and Applied Improvisation at Second City Works

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