Finding meaning at work

The impact of a personal development intervention

Fletcher L, Robinson D | HR Network Paper 137 | Institute for Employment Studies | Sep 2017

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'Meaning at work' is a concept which has gained a great deal of attention throughout the business world in recent times. This HR Network paper considers the concept and details the findings from a research study on meaningful work.

The study aimed to discover the impact of personal development interventions that are focused on meaningfulness, and whether these interventions can help to facilitate positive psychological experiences and behaviour in the workplace.

On a range of measures, the study guaged the impact of meaningfulness interventions on teams in two organisations, in comparison with both control groups and teams that took part in stress management interventions. The paper highlights the impact of meaningfulness interventions across these measures, be they job management, personal initiaitve, psychological safety, or meaningfulness in and at work. Meaningfulness in work focuses on employee wellbeing, whilst meaningfulnes at work involves the feeling that one's work is deemed valuable.

The paper begins with an introduction to the concept of 'meaningful work', before detailing the structure of the study and outlining the findings across the various measures. The paper then summarises feedback from the study's participants and concludes by offering valuable recommendations for HR specialists and those in charge of performance management processes.

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