Woman wearing a mask at work

Zest: The Secret to Employee Productivity

We are biologically wired to explore, learn and extract meaning from our environment to survive. The part of the brain that helps with this is called the “seeking system.” When the seeking system is fully activated, we feel motivated, purposeful and zestful. In the workplace, self-expression, experimentation and having a sense of purpose can fully activate the seeking system.

Neuroscience shows that when workers feel zestful about their job, it can lead to more productivity.

To trigger the seeking system and feelings of zest about their jobs, workers need to:

  • Experiment
  • Stretch beyond their specialized roles
  • Leverage their unique skills
  • See the impact of their work

Since organizations use a framework of processes and policies to be successful, workers and their leaders need to work within that frame when trying to stimulate their seeking system at work. Some actions that can encourage workers toward a zestful feeling at work include:

  • Asking employees:
  • How can I help you succeed?
  • How can I help you address these issues?
  • Do you have ideas on how to do this better?
  • Encourage more creativity or problem solving.
  • Consider adding a personal learning goal to annual goals.
  • Show employees how their work positively impacts the customer and others.

Learn more about steps you can take to encourage zestfulness at work in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.

Join us for a special upcoming webinar with Eric Hipple

Join Eric Hipple, former quarterback for the Detroit Lions, as he builds awareness and breaks down stigma around depression in a special Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar on Tuesday, May 18 at noon. Hipple has been a mental health advocate for over a decade focusing on mental fitness. Register at this link.

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Photo credit: Getty Images 

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