For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Meaningful Work, Employee Engagement, and Other Key Employee Outcomes: Implications for Human Resource Development"

by Fairlie, Paul (2011)


The Problem: Meaningful work is underrepresented in current models and measures of work characteristics. Ironically, past research suggests that meaningful work may have substantive impacts on employee outcomes. The current study addresses this problem by demonstrating the value of meaningful work in human resource development (HRD) practices involving employee engagement.The Solution: A web-based survey of employed North Americans (n = 574) was conducted. Meaningful work characteristics were compared to other work characteristics as correlates and predictors of employee engagement, burnout, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover cognitions. Meaningful work characteristics had the strongest relative correlations with multiple employee outcomes. They also predicted substantive variance in employee engagement while controlling for other work characteristics in regression analyses.The Stakeholders: Since meaningful work contains themes of human development (e.g., self-actualization, social impact), this variable represents an opportunity for human resource development (HRD) practitioners to increase levels of employee engagement as a strategic leverage point within organizations.

Key Passage



Meaningful Work, Meaning Of Work, Well-Being, Psychology, Happiness, Human Resource Management, Empirical Study, Work Engagement, Job Satisfaction, Burnout, Cognition


Meaningful Work

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