A5: Brain Science in the Workplace: Implementing Trauma-Informed Management and Supervision

Area of Focus: Workforce Resilience and Leadership

From board members to managers to direct service staff, the experiences individuals have aren’t left at the workplace door (or now the Zoom waiting room). Brain science informs us that life experiences hardwire into the brain. Some experiences are psychologically and physically threatening and create a toxic stress response. Further, the person and the job are not separate. An individual’s personal life impacts their work performance. Further, an individual’s stress response and personal well-being show up in meetings or when addressing performance concerns whether they are conscious of it or not.

Trauma-informed management necessary for creating equitable practices in the workplace that recognize each employee is a unique individual with different perspectives that inform their decision making, performance, and perception of their work. Managers and supervisors have a duty to address self-care and be equipped with skills to address vicarious trauma and well-being in the workplace. Done well, trauma-informed supervision creates a culture of resilience.

In this session, we will take a deep dive into the basics of trauma and how trauma-informed principles can be adapted into supervisory principles to create relational safety and growth in the workplace.

Learning Objectives

  • How toxic stress impacts brain architecture and functioning
  • Principles of trauma-informed care
  • How to apply trauma-informed care to supervisory and managerial practices to address vicarious trauma


Kiera McGillivray
Chief Program Officer of School Based Initiatives
Children & Families First

Shannon Fisch
Compliance & Accreditation Manager
Children & Families First

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