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Employees will produce more, work harder and stay with companies longer, as well as forgo higher pay for meaningful work, according to a new study by mobile coaching pioneer BetterUp. The Meaning and Purpose at Work report found that employees, on average, believe work is half as meaningful as it could be. Ninety percent of respondents said they would forgo 23 percent of their earnings – an average of $21,000 a year – for more meaningful work. Employees with meaningful work stay on the job 7.4 months longer than other employees, put in an extra hour a week and take two fewer paid leave days a year. Globoforce’s WorkHuman Analytics and Research Institute and IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute defined meaningful work as the intersection between employees’ understanding of the value of the work they perform and their employer’s mission. Their study found that employees who see value in what they do report being more satisfied on the job than those who do not. Meaningful work, along with empowerment, frequently emerge as employees’ most desirable work experience. Many factors go into making employees’ work experience positive. Allowing workers more autonomy and ensuring that they have the knowledge, tools and training to perform their best work go a long way in making work meaningful. Alexi Robichaux, co-founder and CEO of BetterUp, says, “To attract and retain top talent, and achieve optimal productivity, companies must build greater meaning into the workplace. […] Fostering meaningful work is emerging as a cornerstone of a more creative and conscious business world.”

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