shopify analytics

Navigation

Finding Meaning at Work

Tracy Maylett

Tracy Maylett

January 6, 2015

Does Your Job Have Meaning Beyond the Work Itself?

 

When was the last time you felt that the work you were doing had meaning or was about more than just making money? Have you ever done something that filled you so completely that you could work nonstop for hours without realizing it?

 

If you have, then you know what we mean by “MEANING.” Meaning is how we go from job, to career, to calling. It’s when you know that your work makes a difference that you care about personally. Meaning is why we work beyond the obvious reason of getting a paycheck. It’s also critical because it’s the factor that sustains us during times of difficulty, stress, or challenge. It helps us see past issues and focus on reasons we’re working in the first place. It’s where the heart really kicks in.

 

DecisionWise Employee Engagement MeaningZookeepers are an interesting example.

Researchersstudying zookeepers found that they are uniquely engaged in their work (something any four-year-old could have told you.). The most interesting part of the research centered on why the zookeepers were so engaged in what is by any standard a demanding occupation. The researchers discovered that while much of the work is decidedly unglamorous (cleaning up animal poop) and some is downright dangerous (working with injured or agitated animals), the zookeepers also felt their work had a greater purpose: caring for every aspect of their jobs was engaging, their jobs as a whole engaged them deeply. They not only brought their hearts and spirits to their work, they did something significant with their minds and hands because of their feelings. They created their own engagement.

 

Finding Meaning at Work

So many things create meaning for employees and help them become engaged in their jobs. While nowhere near complete, here is a small list of ways we’ve seen employees find meaning in their jobs and become engaged.

How do you find meaning at work? What other ways can you add to this list?

 

More insight along these lines can be found in our book, MAGIC, Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement.

 

Engagement-MAGIC-Self-Assessment

1J.Stuart Bunderson and Jeffery A. Thompson, “Measuring the Meaning of Meaningful Work: Development and Validation of the Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale” (CMWS), Group & Organization Management 37, (October 1, 2012): 655-85.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest Comments

[…] book, MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement is a five-part approach to making organizations stronger, more profitable, and better places to […]

Posted on 2018-03-22 14:45:39 by 5 Latest Book Reviews on MAGIC - DecisionWise

[…] and I immediately recognized the importance of one of the essential keys to employee engagement, IMPACT. I now see a clearer and more exciting picture than I could sitting on a beach a couple months […]

Posted on 2018-02-19 13:28:52 by Reverse Mentoring and Employee Engagement

[…] We choose to be engaged (or disengaged) based on the environment we are in and where we find the MAGIC—meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection—in that environment. It’s a 50-50 […]

Posted on 2018-02-19 11:30:07 by Where Do You Fit On the Engagement Resistance Curve?

[…] Build your team’s employee engagement level through an interactive ENGAGEMENT MAGIC® Training. […]

Posted on 2018-02-16 13:25:51 by Are Your Employees Engaged? Look in the Mirror.