Nine out of ten people will choose to earn less money if the work is meaningful. Management and HR keep trying to improve facilities to retain talent. Of course, that’s needed. But a fundamental factor to keep an employee engaged gets ignored often. The factor is meaningful work, the work tied to a purpose or an ability to create an impact.
A survey by Better up analysing the behaviour of over 2,285 professionals across 26 industries shows astonishing results:
- Employees who find their work meaningful will sacrifice 23 per cent of future earnings.
- Employees who find their work significant stay at their job 7.4 months longer.
- When managers find the jobs highly meaningful, turnover rates reduce to 1.5 per cent.
- Employees having meaningful work willingly put in an extra hour of work per week.
- Employees having meaningful work take two fewer days of paid leave per year.
- Raising one employee’s experience with meaningful work generates an extra $9,078 in revenue per year.
Therefore, the above data establishes that only perks are insufficient to attract or keep talent. Post-pandemic, people are hunting for meaning at work more than ever. So it’s high time leadership thinks about it.
Eight Tips to Nudge Employees To Find Meaning at Work
So, here we are with eight tips to help employees find meaning at work.
1. Offer frequent and actionable feedback
When employees feel more recognised for their work, they are more likely to find it meaningful. A survey result by Globoforce shown below reinforces this fact:
- 93 % of workers who were recognised in the last six months said their work had meaning and purpose.
- 72 % of workers who were not recognised recently said their work had no meaning and purpose.
2. Connect work with a greater cause
The mission and vision of the company should not be limited to the CEO or top management alone. The employees should also understand the goal and where the company is headed to.
It is easy to get lost in the crowd, but when employees understand the bigger picture, their involvement in work increases. Therefore, make it a point to run your company vision and mission frequently by your employees through organic ways.
3. Ask for feedback (and act on it)
Pulse surveys and one-to-one interactions are good ways to get insights from employees. The world is changing, and the workforce is changing too. Any decisions now must be data-backed. These surveys will provide the data of what change employees are looking for. It could be a base for any further policy changes.
4. Make sure employees understand the ecosystem
Employees sometimes look at their work only and do not understand the ecosystem. For example, a web developer is designing a login web page for an online banking portal.
If the developer looks at only his task, he is just designing a page. But if business analysts explain, this page will be a base for online banking. Also, how much time online banking saves people. Then his work suddenly becomes way more meaningful.
No work is meaningless. Every work has a meaning. It only needs to be communicated.
5. Create a sense of community
Community-led growth is a go-to marketing strategy where the brand tries to create a community instead of getting followers on social media. A community that feels happy to be associated with each other and the brand.
The same strategy helps to keep employees happy as well. Employees associated with brands like Google and Facebook feel happy to be associated with the brand. Having frequent team activities creates a sense of community at work too.
6. Keep a tab on burnout
Meaningful work is such a powerful motivator that it can drive people to work beyond reasonable capacity, says Sylvia Melena, author of Supportive Accountability: How to Inspire People and Improve Performance.
But how meaningful the work is, burnout will take away all the joy and push employees into the wrong zone. A good work-life balance, therefore, will always help the employee find the brighter side of their work.
Also read: Managing Employee Burnout in Current Times
7. Provide growth opportunities
Employees feel more connected to work if the company also looks at both company’s growth and their growth. Have quarterly or half-year discussions with employees about performance and next steps for their careers.
Also, be transparent with them about the opportunities available. This will make them ambitious about their job.
8. Encourage learning and upskilling
There are different ways an employer can help in their staff learning journey:
- Making learning a journey as part of the appraisal process and creating learning goals every year.
- Providing free subscription to an online learning portal.
- Starting a company internal e-learning portal for employees.
- Sponsoring higher education.
Helping employees move forward in their learning journey is another critical factor in providing meaningful work.
Though finding meaning at work is a personal journey, an employer can always help them on this journey. Assisting employees to understand the business purpose of their work and recognising their efforts is the first step in this direction.
At All Things Talent, our editorial team keeps posting valuable resources and research-backed insights on HR Challenges, Talent Management, Recruitment Trends, Talent Retention, Hiring Processes, HR Industry Trends, and more.