How To Design A Funner Workplace

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What makes people addicted to slot machines and video games?

  • The intermittent rewards that come from playing them.

Your brain gets a rush of dopamine every time a slot machine tells you you've won, or when a game gives you a sweet prize from doing certain tasks.

  1. HEY I JUST WON COINS FROM SLOTS
  2. I WANT THAT WINNING FEELING AGAIN
  3. I KEEP PLAYING

The Dopamine Rush

On the surface, drugs, video games, and slot machines don't addict people; instead, the rush in more dopamine rushing through people's brains addicts them to those activities.

  • People scour the internet aimlessly looking for that next quick fix, giving them the increased dopamine rush, and driving them to explore the Internet further.

Yet, doing activities that provide them no long-term benefit ultimately destroys their morale; people aren't any happier after browsing the Web aimlessly or playing the slots until they come back to those activities.

You get a sustainably happier and more effective workforce when you combine the dopamine rush with long-term benefits that help company/customers/world.

How to Make Work Fun

If the dopamine rush happens infrequently, we move onto other activities that can give us that rush (e.g. employees browsing the Web instead of working on a customer's project).

DANG THIS BORING LETS DO SOMETHING ELSE

To get a more engaged workforce, design your company around intermittent rewards for doing things that rock the #@$#@ out your company, your customers, and the world; some examples:

  • prizes for getting happy letters from customers/vendors/team-members
  • ribbons for saving $X in costs
  • points for finding ways to cut energy costs
  • badges for helping customers win

The repeated rush in dopamine for every win fuels them to keep doing those beneficial activities.

You start channeling the dopamine rush to good things. 

The world wins.

BAM

Channel dopamine for the good.

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Posted on January 29


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