Research shows that your best employees will be the ones that are most eager to solve problems and continue learning. Losing these employees can directly impact your bottom line. Many companies offer big bonuses and crazy perks to retain their top talent, but even with these lucrative benefits there might be something that is pushing people out the door and it has to do with their brain.
Right in the middle of our brains is an area known as the "novelty center" or for those who passed AP Anatomy, the ventral tegmentum (VTA). According to research, the VTA responds to novel stimuli. Pretty much anything new, different, or surprising triggers the all-addicting euphoric dopamine to rush through our system. This is why we love new things and having unique experiences.
Science suggests that the novelty center of our brains is there to keep humans evolving, craving new solutions. It is natural human instinct to want to learn and expand our minds. This stimulation is needed to maintain our brain's plasticity and flexibility, therefore triggering the birth of new brain cells. When we learn a new skill, have a new experience, or solve a problem, the novelty center lights up giving our brains the satisfactions it craves.
Your Brain on Boredom
In contrast, boredom has been reported to have an adverse effect on our mindset and, ultimately, our mood. This isn't surprising to most. Just think about having to sit at a desk doing the same monotonous mind numbing work. When we don't get to use our brains to solve problems, learn new things, and have new experiences, our brain is not stimulated and our mood will likely be negatively altered.
Studies have shown that people will quit higher paid jobs for jobs that pay less but are more satisfying. People, especially millennials, would rather take less money in order to encounter new experiences and feel fulfilled learning new things that interest them rather than just clocking in for a paycheck.
Can Technology Alleviate Us From the Boring?
With advancements in technology, specifically AI, this need not be the case. Studies spearheaded by Accenture have proven that AI might not be an all encompassing blanket solution for businesses, but it can spur a big impact if implemented correctly. The studies reveal that AI is superior to a human at performing routine, often boring, tasks. Technology is able to automate these tasks that humans don't want to do. The very projects that are causing your best employees to feel unrewarded for the hours in the office.
Doing an audit of the routine tasks that your team is performing and leveraging AI as a workaround will not only ensure your employees are happy, but it will also free up their time to focus on the skills and capabilities that machines aren't good at, like building genuine relationships, learning new skills, and solving complex problems that may require more context in the situation.
Think about how adopting AI can impact a salesperson. AI can alleviate hours spent manually inputting data and researching prospects. AI can also help structure imperative data pertaining to a prospect or industry so that they can sell a solution and provide value to a prospect, as opposed to blindly trying to pitch without personalization. In turn salespeople are liberated to focus on building more of a human connection with their future clients and can spend more time investing in relationship building.
By Eliminating Routine Work, AI Let's Us Be More Human
Eliminated boredom and freeing up time for your team to experience "novelty" has been shown to keep those who are intellectually curious happy. AI can be incredibly effective in growing a successful business and keeping your team happy. The trick is to remember that adoption requires adaptation. Shifting your team's time from tasks that can be automated to those that can better help you reach your goals and initiatives will propel growth.