Research from Guidant Global has suggested that meaning in work increases motivation, drives productivity and enhances employee engagement. However, contrary to popular belief, pay is not the principal driver behind meaningful work.
In the talent management specialist’s new whitepaper, ‘The human connection: Why meaning is so important to work’, the company report how employees who say they have ‘very meaningful’ work spend an additional hour a week working – equivalent to a 2.5 per cent increase in productivity. They also take, on average, two fewer days paid leave each year – boosting productivity by a further one per cent.
This comes at a time when Harvard Business Review’s report reveals that across all age and salary groups, people are willing to pay a significant amount to find meaning – with 23 per cent of US workers stating they would forego their entire future lifetime earnings in order to have a job that was always meaningful.
For businesses to attract and retain talent, and improve productivity, meaning can no longer be a minor consideration – it needs to be a business imperative. Younger generations are far more driven by being part of something ‘bigger than themselves’ and ultimately working in roles that provide meaning to their lives.
Guidant Global explains that this can be achieved by emphasising to employees why their role is important to the business; connecting individual jobs to a bigger purpose; and understanding the impact a person’s remit has for customers.
“At Guidant Global, our business strategy is ‘People Lead Growth’ and the success of our business depends upon and revolves around the welfare and motivation of our people,” says Charlotte Woodward, people service director at Guidant Global. “We know from the Taylor Report – a review of working practices in the modern economy – that pay alone does not motivate people – underscoring the importance of ‘good work for all.”
With productivity in the UK below average for the rest of the G7 advanced economies Woodward believes employers have a real opportunity to drive improvement by providing their workforce with a sense of inclusion, purpose, fulfilment and meaning.