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Is boredom killing your employees?

June 28, 2018

By Susan Chance, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Jobs that are repetitive are necessary, but can become boring, and even unhealthy for your employees. It may be a basic data entry position where a person sits and keys in information all day, every day. It could be a line job, where the person must repeat the same motions over and over again. Perhaps it’s an administrative job, where the employee formats documents all day. Whatever those tasks may be, it’s up to the employer to keep the employees engaged, and it is to the employer’s benefit to help keep their people healthy.

Bored employees may not stay in a position long, and turnover is very costly. So, what can you do help keep you employees motivated? There are many ways to accomplish this.

Cross train employees. This not only gives your employee something new in their day, it provides backup on various positions for unexpected absences, short or long-term leaves, or employee transitions. Cross trained employees can also assist in training new employees. You may also consider moving an employee who is cross trained into the other position if they are no longer interested in their current position.

If tasks for a position are always done in the same order, consider giving your employees more control over the order in which they complete their tasks. As long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on quality or productivity, this can be a good way to increase their interest in the job.

Does boredom affect health? Yes, quite a bit. It is said that sitting is the new smoking, and 86% of American workers sit all day at work. Sitting so much raises the risk of many health issues such as musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.  Even if you work out on a regular basis, sitting too much the rest of the time still leaves you at risk for health issues.

Empowering employees to make decisions regarding their work will not only help keep them engaged, it can literally save their life. A study conducted over 23 years concluded that people were 43% more likely to die if they didn’t have to make many decisions compared to those in jobs with a lot of opportunities to make decisions. People with “low demands and low control” over their work were found to be 35% more likely to die.

Happy and healthy employees are good for business, so make sure your employees know how their work contributes to the success of the company, and that they are appreciated. Ask them for input on improving tasks and projects.

In addition to getting their brain’s moving, make sure encourage employees to get their bodies moving. Instead of having employees feel they are chained to their desks, encourage them to get up and move around occasionally. Taking a quick short walk to the water fountain or standing up and stretching for a minute several times a day will help. Consider walking meetings – a newer trend. This can be a great way to get some movement into your day.
As you can see, there are many ways to be mindful of your employees and their work environment, so they don’t “die of boredom.”

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