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Employees Stay for Meaningful Work

Finding meaningful work is one of life’s greatest challenges. Some people spend their whole life trying to identify their purpose, yet never figure it out. Millennials, who will continue to make up a growing percentage of our workforce, are especially driven by their pursuit of personal development and purpose.

Most savvy employers know the importance of providing meaningful work in order to retain great employees, but it can be challenging to figure out what their employees find meaningful when it comes to job fulfillment.

Defining Meaningful Work

Employees define job fulfillment in various ways. Here’s some basic tips they want their employers to know:

1. I want my job to make sense to me.

I’m sure you know why you’re asking me to do it, but I also want to understand. Once it makes sense to me, and I have a clear understanding of how to do it, and the tools I need to do it, I will do a better job and feel more fulfilled.

2. There must be a point to the work I’m asked to do.

I should be able to see how each task I perform builds into an important aspect of our organization’s purpose.

3. I’d like the work I do to contribute to a greater good.

I want to see how my work helps others in a meaningful way, whether it be aiding a co-worker with a problem, helping to keep the environment safe, contributing to the organization’s overall growth, or some other motivator. A great example of this in action is Tom’s Shoes. Their mission is to contribute to the greater good by providing a new pair of shoes for children in need. I want to see what impact I’m making with the work I do.

4. I want to look forward to going to work each day.

A positive, comfortable environment where my co-workers and I are engaged and valued makes me want to come back every day.

5. I want to develop professionally.

I aspire to reach the next goal in life and I can only do that if I have training opportunities. Help me develop professionally by offering corporate training, mentorships, leadership programs and one-on-one meetings.

Engagement and Retention

A growing body of evidence concludes that workers who find their work meaningful are happy and committed, and happy, committed employees do better work, remain interested and will be more likely to stay and move their career forward.