One SA’s company’s remarkable journey to empower its team with neuroscience insights for business
Energised. Refocused. And equipped with a whole new mental “language” to supercharge their individual and team performance. We got a glimpse into some awesome neuroscience-for-business applications at the recent neuro workshop at the Cape Town division of national catering specialist, Feedem.
“Our team really feel revitalised and excited after the session,” says Feedem Cape Town operations manager Marnel Coetzee. “We’ve been applying some of the key lessons every day in the office, and it really feels like it’s working
“Just a few minutes ago, a colleague quoted some of the new neuro language we learned, and it really helped put perspective on a particular opportunity we’ve identified.”
Here are some insights into the company, how they connected with LifeXchange Solutions, what the Neuromanagement Workshop entailed and the Feedem teams feedback. Plus: How you can do the same for your organisation.
WHO IS FEEDEM?
Established in 1975, Feedem is a large national contract catering company in South Africa that manages hundreds of catering sites around the country. From providing full-service catering – including food prep, supply and cafeteria management – at schools, hospitals, retirement villages to corporate offices and staff canteens.
Feedem specialises in food and nutrition on a large scale, also supplying events catering and auxiliary services such as catering consulting, facilities management, cleaning and laundry services. It employs over 5000 people in disciplines varying from professional chefs and food service staff to cleaners and catering managers, as well as their internal business support staff.
Having such a large footprint with so many diverse and specialised employees all around the country, Feedem needs to stay at the forefront of employee engagement to keep the business running smoothly. And that’s why it made sense for Feedem to get insights into the latest neuroscience fo business with a Neuromanagement Workshop by LifeXchange Solutions.
HOW THE NEURO WORKSHOP CAME ABOUT
“We do a lot of business supplying retirement establishments with food services,” explains Marnel, “and I was invited to speak at the recent Retirement Summit about nutrition and what we do. And I was actually just sitting and preparing my talk, because I was up next. When I had the opportunity to hear the speaker ahead of me.
“It was Dr Cobus Oosthuizen from LifeXchange Solutions. And the moment I heard him speak I knew this kind of insight into how our minds function at work was exactly what our team at Feedem needed. So I contacted him afterwards and asked him to come and do the neuro workshop with us at Feedem Cape Town.”
The neuro workshop at Feedem Cape Town was held at their offices and included their management teams. From district and ops managers to their supports and services staff, which incorporated the HR, buyers and marketing team, including graphic designers and more.
Mainly, it was Feedem Cape Town employees who worked in critical support sectors and who manage teams within the company.
WHAT THE FEEDEM NEURO WORKSHOP ENTAILED
“With these workshops, we always start by giving the team insight into how our minds work – each individual’s own mind, but also all the people around you at the office,” says LifeXchange’s Dr Cobus Oosthuizen. “A glimpse of the brain, neurons and our true capacity and the practical reasons why we sometimes get stuck in business.
“And that already opens exciting new doors as people realise that, firstly, we don’t really know our own amazing potential. And, secondly, the way we operate in business – or how we’ve been trained to operate – doesn’t fully utilise what each of us is capable of. We show you how to unlock everyone in the company’s resources to grow your business while allowing people to feel happy and excited to come to work.”
And then Dr Cobus goes deeper, explaining our brains’ tendency to self-regulate based on our core beliefs before showing the team some advanced new techniques for working with each other to get employees unstuck, engaged, performing and loving what they do.
IT’S EXCITING, IT’S FUN
The last thing you should expect with a Neuromanagement Workshop by LifeXchange is a lecture. “It’s all about the experience. We stand up, we walk around, we do exercises and interact the whole time,” Dr Cobus explains.
“Because you need to be engaged, you need to see all the neuroscience in action to be able to apply it. That’s why we do loads of little exercises to show how to practically engage yourself and your team.”
And the results are visible almost immediately.
“One of the first things we noticed the next day at the office is how everyone’s language changed,” says Marnel. “We were talking more effectively and – importantly – using positive language that speaks to engaging each other and focusing on our potential.”
Here are some key outcomes for the day according to the Feedem team:
HOW TO MOTIVATE EACH OTHER
Knowing how your mind works and getting a glimpse into how others see and experience unlocks huge potential for knowing how to positively engage and motivate each other. Not just your teams, but yourself and your peers too – even your leadership.
“You could see and feel the excitement the next day,” says Marnel. “And even now, a few weeks later, people are energised and we’re able to get to things more effectively.”
SEE YOUR POTENTIAL
Possibly the biggest benefit that Marnel saw in their team from the neuro workshop is everyone realising just how much potential they have.
“You know, in business, we tend to focus in all the wrong places. What if it fails? What if we get it wrong? What will the repercussions be? None of those thoughts is going to help you succeed. We need insights like this, we need to ‘reprogram’ ourselves mentally to focus on our potential instead because that’s what drives success.”
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
Almost immediately after the neuro workshop at Feedem Cape Town, Marnel says the company group saw the benefit. And that’s why they’ve organised more future workshops coming up in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal this year, as well as a host of future programmes.
See the amazing feedback from Gauteng following Feedem Workshop Joburg.
“I’m not going to give away our strategies, but there’s a still of exciting things we can do with these kinds of insights,” says Marnel.
And we at LifeXchange look forward to seeing what amazing things Feedem is still going to achieve in the near future.
Discover it for yourself: Get a glimpse into the power of neuroscience for business through neuromanagement, our range of organisational management solutions and our extremely popular neuromanagement workshops.
Discover all our recent and upcoming big workshops.
Get the full #HowYourMindWorks picture with the super-simple explanation of complex behaviour that took 10 years to create at our post on How Your Brain Works.
Also learn about the most fundamental part of your brain, the neuron and how thoughts affect business behaviour with our look at neural pathways and the root of most of the behavioural problems we see, automatic memory recall.
See the 8 most powerful brain insights this inspiring SA businesswoman believes everyone in business should know: from the sessions of Cape Union Agile Excellence.
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Focus on strengths: See what happens when you flip the script on performance appraisals with our debrief on the recent Goede Hoop Citrus strengths workshop.
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PLUS: Witness the impossible: Watch Dr Cobus ride the bike millions of people said was impossible to ride, the backwards brain bike.