Meaningful work has been continuously recognized as a key employee engagement driver. The fourth report in Deloitte’s Talent 2020 series surveyed 560 employees across virtually every major industry and global region. One of the top three engagement drivers that they identified: meaningful work. But how do leaders help employees find meaning in their work?
Research from MIT tells us a few things about how employees find meaning in their work. When employees were asked about meaningful moments at work, very few made any mention of effective leadership. But poor leadership was associated with undermining meaningfulness.
Unlike with satisfaction and engagement, which can be managed with company policies and initiatives, meaningfulness is much more individual and personal. The main way that employees find meaning is to reflect on their work.
Researchers were able to discover that meaningfulness goes beyond the workplace and is more about finding a connection to humanity, through work. Organizations can encourage this by creating a culture of ethics, morals and corporate social responsibility that brings an employee’s personal values and work life together.
A survey from Accenture, asking 2016 college graduates what is important to them when working at an organization found that 92 percent of them stated social responsibility. Recent graduates want to work for an organization that creates a positive change in the world and adds meaning to their lives.
One of the researchers in the MIT study, Adrian Madden, Ph.D., states that “Organizations that succeed in this are more likely to attract, retain, and motivate the employees they need,...
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