Employees who find their job meaningful increase the likelihood of better performance reviews by suggesting ways of improvement for their companies, new research from Trinity Business School has revealed. According to the study, undertaken by Amanda Shantz, associate professor and MBA director at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, finding your work meaningful increases the likelihood of receiving a better performance review because it improves your ‘promotive voice behaviour’. Promotive voice behaviour refers to when employees offer suggestions around how their organisation can improve the way it functions.
Together with her colleagues Nils Fürstenberg and Kerstin Alfes of ESCP Berlin, Shantz found that the relationship between job meaningfulness and promotive voice behaviour was strongest when employees had a high-quality relationship with their boss.
In undertaking the study, Shantz and her colleagues used data from 249 employees at UK-based construction and consultancy firm. The employees’ roles varied, and included positions in facilities management, logistics, building, property development, and administrative roles. Each employee taking part in the study was asked to fill out a questionnaire, which was later analysed against performance reviews from their supervisor.
The study makes significant contributions to discussions around the relationship between meaningfulness of work and job performance, providing much-needed evidence of the existence of this positive relationship. It also highlights the role of the employee-supervisor working relationship as a mediator in this.
“Cultivating an environment in which employees find purpose in their work goes beyond a ‘feel good factor’,’ says Shantz. “Employees who find their work meaningful are more likely to offer constructive and innovative ideas, thereby increasing their work performance and ultimately contributing to organisational effectiveness.”