Engagement is the psychological state in which “people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”

Kahn, 1990

Our theoretical approach: based on Neuroscience and Engagement Theory

Employee engagement is a hot issue on the agenda of each organisation which values, appreciates, develops and motivates the people as its most important asset. In general, employee engagement is described as something given by the employee and which can benefit the organisation through commitment and dedication, advocacy, discretionary effort, using their full potential and contributing to the organisation’s goals and values. Furthermore, it is a two-way beneficial relationship between employer and employee, in which the organisation plays a crucial role in enabling a working environment that creates unique employee experience. When people know and feel that they are contributing to something worthwhile and meaningful, their impact is acknowledged and valued, and they have the opportunity to develop their skills and competences in a supportive and trustful working atmosphere, they are ready to go the extra mile for their company.

The current level of research in neuroscience has shown that much of our motivation driving social behaviour is governed by an overarching organising principle of the brain – minimising threat and maximising reward. Тhis is a survival mechanism which helps people stay alive by evoking immediate reactions what is good and bad in the environment. The significance of the threat-rewards response becomes more relevant in the working context once people realize the dramatic effect that these states can have on perception and problem solving, and the implications of this effect on decision-making, stress management, collaboration and motivation.

When talking about people engagement, there are 5 particular qualities which enable employees and executives to minimise threat and maximise reward response summarised under the acronym: SCARF™️ (Rock, 2009). The 5 SCARF™️ domains (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness) enable people to easily remember, identify and potentially adapt the core social domains that drive human behaviour two-fold – avoiding drivers that cause a threat response or activate more often actions which trigger the reward response, relying more on internal rewards than external ones (Rock, 2008). This will help them build more effective and trustful relationships and create a supportive and empowering environment to foster the personal and professional development of each one employee.

The practical implementation: Employee Engagement Survey

CATRO team embedded the well-established employee engagement models the neuroscientific framework SCARF™️ into an innovative employee engagement survey.

This Employee Engagement survey is unique due to its academic and practical implications: on the one hand, it brings added value to the emerging research field of neuroscience by exploring the SCARF model and its impact on the level of employee engagement which is still underexplored area. The research brings also concrete benefits to the Management of the organisations who can easily identify which management and organisational practices drive the people in toward state and make them anticipate and/or experience a reward, and which are by default activating the threat centre in the brain (like formal feedback giving or the annual performance appraisal).

This will support the Senior Leadership Team to develop:

If you are curious to explore in depth what are the real motivational triggers of your employees and care about constant adaptation and improvement of positive, empowering and enabling working environment, SCARF Employee Engagement Survey is your key for this mission.

Our drive is to understand your drive, and support you in developing the appropriate measures for boosting engagement levels in your organisation! Please make sure to book time for discussion with our experts HERE to get to know our unique methodology and adjust it to the needs of your company!