As leaders looks for new ways to improve workplace well-being while reducing stress and burnout, a relatively new concept has emerged: job crafting, a strategy that gives employees the chance to design their roles for a more meaningful experience of work.

Scientists have found that monotonous work can negatively impact mental health, cause us major stress, and lead to burnout. The chronically bored are at higher risk for drug addiction, alcoholism, and compulsive gambling. In her paper, “Neuroscience Reveals That Boredom Hurts,” Dr. Judy Willis, a neurologist and former classroom teacher, claims that when we’re bored, our judgment, goal-directed planning, risk assessment, focus, and control over our emotions all suffer. And a Korn Ferry poll of nearly 5,000 professionals claims that the top reason people look for a new job is boredom.

So, what if we could make small tweaks to how we perform those actions, or change the way we perceive these tasks, so they stop feeling monotonous and instead feel novel and purposeful? This is the magic of job crafting. It transforms parts of our work that once felt meaningless into something that feels valued.

In 2001, Jane Dutton, professor emerita of business administration and psychology at University of Michigan, and Amy Wrzesniewski, professor of management at Yale, conceptualized the idea of job crafting. They define it as a means of describing the ways in which employees utilize opportunities to customize their jobs by actively changing their tasks and interactions with others at work. The main idea is that we can stay in the same role, getting more meaning out of our jobs simply by changing what we do and the purpose behind it. Imagine you are a secretary at a public school. You can either think of your job as someone who writes late slips and calls parents when their children are absent, or, you can see yourself as an essential liaison between families, student, and school staff. You create the right environment for students to thrive by ensuring their safety, and managing communication for them so they are supported at home.

Job crafting gives you the space to go beyond the job description and shape a meaning for the work you do. Managers shouldn’t expect that repetitive tasks will no longer get accomplished — but these types of tasks don’t define the role.

Read the full article at Havard Business Review.