In light of the “Great Resignation” and a market where prospective job candidates have plenty of options to choose from, focus on is how to make work more meaningful for people.

One of the myths about meaningful work is that it would be nice to have, but isn’t a necessity. Research shows, however, that there is a direct correlation between meaningful work and well-being in other areas of life. In fact, people are more than twice as likely to experience well-being in their overall lives if their work is purposeful.

The good news is that “meaningful” is subjective. It’s also not limited to careers that directly help people like healthcare. It’s more about work that feels important to an employee and aligns with their strengths.

Here are six ways you can help make work more meaningful to your employees.


Make it About More than Themselves

People tend to see other’s needs as higher than their own. If their jobs can be connected to the benefit of others than themselves, they are more likely to see work as meaningful. This doesn’t mean you have to make an accountant feel like they’re saving the world. But rather help employees, especially ones struggling with finding meaning. Help them see their role in the bigger picture of what your company is building. Let them know that others are counting on them.


Make it Creative

People tend to experience work as meaningful when they feel they’re contributing on a deeper level than just completing tasks. Find ways to include your employees to share their ideas for the company. When they are facing a problem, invite them to participate in solving that problem. People who help build something are more invested in maintaining it.


Make it about Culture

More and more candidates are seeking work at companies that have clear values and a positive culture. For many companies, culture is being retrofitted to a business that existed before culture was a priority. Be sure to check in with employees and make sure they understand their role from a cultural standpoint.


Make it More Challenging

You don’t have to look any further than your local sports channel to see that people love a challenge. When something is too easy or the result is a given, people are less likely to try and less likely to find meaning in it. You can find ways to ratchet up the challenge level through incentives, prizes or just raising the target objectives.


Make Short-Term Goals

Biran Moran, author of The 12-Week Year says that the tradition of annual goal-setting as an effective means of creating progress has been debunked for eight out of ten people. Instead, he recommends creating shorter cycles of goal-setting. The cycle should be long enough to allow for meaningful progress, but short enough that your employees don’t become discouraged, bored or complacent.


Make it More Human

AI is quickly taking hold in many industries. One of the benefits is its ability to take over rote, meaningless tasks. The “drudgery” that people dislike can often be done by AI and robots to free up employees to work at a more strategic level where they are more likely to find meaning and purpose.

Any job can be made to feel meaningful to an employee using one or more of these ideas. If an employee continually feels their job is meaningless, then perhaps they are in the wrong position. You can build trust with your workforce by helping move talent around to where it’s best positioned to payoff. And don’t forget to keep checking in regularly especially as your company grows.

For an audit of your existing employee well-being programme or for your other HR needs, please contact OLAM Group for a free consultation call. We’re happy to help small to mid-sized companies with their ever-changing HR needs.