Brain condition may mediate the association between training and work engagement

Keisuke Kokubun, Yousuke Ogata, Yasuharu Koike, Yoshinori Yamakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Over the past two decades, the number of studies on work engagement has increased rapidly. Work engagement refers to a positive, affective-motivational state of high energy combined with high levels of dedication and a strong focus on work, leading to various work-related outcomes, including higher work performance. Several studies have indicated that training or coaching may increase work engagement, but other studies have shown contradicting results. These inconsistencies may be due to the indirectness between training/coaching and work engagement. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between training and brain structure as well as between brain structure and work engagement in cognitively normal participants. Brain structure was assessed using neuroimaging-derived measures, including the gray-matter brain healthcare quotient (GM-BHQ) and the fractional-anisotropy brain healthcare quotient (FA-BHQ), which are approved as the international standard (H.861.1) by ITU-T. Work engagement was assessed using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. To validate and enrich the analysis, we employed another two representative questionnaires, which are known to be close to but different from work engagement: The Social interaction Anxiety Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey to gauge the levels of human relation ineffectiveness and burnout. The latter scale is subdivided into three variables including “Exhaustion,” “Cynicism,” and “Professional Efficacy.” The results of the present study indicate that training is associated with an increase of FA-BHQ scores, and that an increase of the FA-BHQ scores is associated with an increase in Work Engagement and a decrease in Cynicism. On the other hand, the training with coaching was associated with a decrease in Interaction Anxiety. However, no correlation was observed for training with Work Engagement or the subscales of Burnout. Likewise, no correlation was observed for FA-BHQ with Exhaustion, Professional Efficacy, and Interaction Anxiety. The results of the current research provide the possibility to use brain information to evaluate training effectiveness from the viewpoint of neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6848
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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