How to keep your employees from getting bored on the job.

The human brain is surprisingly malleable. It readily adapts to maximize efficiency by strengthening the neuroconnections it needs and sloughing the ones it doesn’t. The adage “practice makes perfect” is based on this fact; the more we repeat a task, the more adept our brains become at executing it without error. While this is great for helping us improve our skills, it can have a negative side-effect: boredom.

You’ve probably experienced this a number of times, whether you were learning to drive or getting trained on a new piece of software. At first everything is confusing and requires a considerable level of concentration to understand, but over time it becomes second nature and you stop thinking about it. What’s happening is your brain is taking a break by going on auto-pilot. It’s conserving energy for the more complex activities you have yet to master — at the expense of your interest level.

That’s why repetitive tasks are notorious for failing to stimulate employees for long, and part of why repetitive jobs often have higher turnover. Luckily, there are ways you can fend off boredom in your organization and keep your staff engaged.

  1. Encourage employees to brainstorm improvements. Giving them this challenge will spark creativity by getting them to focus on why they do their jobs and how they can work smarter.
  2. Try a rotation program where employees can spend a few weeks or months learning about different roles and departments. Seeing how everything fits together can be very beneficial for employees to understand not only their individual objectives, but also the goals of the organization as a whole.
  3. Create opportunities for different departments to mingle, even if it’s just over lunch or on their way to the bathroom. An increasing number of forward-thinking organizations are beginning to incorporate this into their physical design by building workspaces that prioritize collaboration and discussion across all divisions.
  4. Switch up the work environment. If possible, paint the walls, introduce artwork, or move some furniture around. These slight changes will spur a sense of newness and make the workspace more intriguing.
  5. Allow employees to learn more about their profession and industry. Trade shows, online courses, webinars, and industry publications are all great resources your employees can use to gain a deeper appreciation for what they do.
  6. Reward excellence to inspire employees to do their best work. Acknowledgement in the form of anything from a thank-you to a cash bonus can be very effective at prompting employees to focus on their work and stay motivated.

We’re experts when it comes to employee engagement

At LifeSpeak, we understand that many factors can contribute to your employees’ work performance. If they’re struggling with financial concerns, health troubles, or relationship issues, it can be hard for them to pay attention while at work. That’s why we’ve developed a digital library of over 1,500 expert-led trainings on topics ranging from mental health and resilience to parenting and caregiving. Our content is available to employees 24/7 in a variety of accessible formats so they can access the help they need when they need it. For more information, click below to book a demo.


Also published on Medium.