“Meaning At Work” is the first book to lay out a strategy that enables everyone in an organization to participate in creating a work environment that provides meaning and purpose. As author Danny Gutknecht, explains “Learning to recognize what you find meaningful in the work you do requires skills and competencies that many people haven’t developed.”
So what is meaning? It is the way we interpret our experiences and engage with our existence. Many things can be called meaningful but we all have a set of beliefs or practices that tap our emotions and engage our focus. That kind of personal, core meaning is visceral. It is so deeply ingrained that it can alter our immune systems.
People spend 57% of their time at work and if they don’t have meaning in their work they are more stressed, anxious, gain weight and get sick more frequently. Those who have found deep meaning in their work may even be considered a workaholic but they are healthier than those who go running out the door at the end of the day.
Meaning at work leads to a 50% drop in Alzheimer’s disease and a 30% decrease in heart disease. Meaning is a basic human need and addictions to drugs, alcohol and even TV are more prevalent in people that don’t have meaning according to several studies. Lack of meaning can also lead to an early death.
Research shows that organizations with engaged employees outperform those with unmotivated employees by more than 300 percent. The book helps readers to understand what meaning is, how it works and what can be done to engage it. The book encourages CEOs to facilitate this by creating an environment where together employees and managers can explore the relationship between their meaning model and that of the organization.
Co-founder of Pathways, an advisory firm that helps organizations tap their potential through its people strategies, Gutknecht writes that today’s employees are in search of an authentic connection. “Organizational meaning is the key to unlocking both individual and collective potential,” he notes.
A national speaker, Gutknecht works with individuals and businesses all over the world. He is media savvy, knowledgeable and available for interviews.