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Meaningful work lowers the impact of work-related stress on employees’ well-being
Experiencing meaning in life is widely acknowledged to have a positive impact on well-being. Worryingly, work-related stress has been shown to lower the presence of meaning in life experienced by employees, which lowers their well-being. One study dove deeper into the relationship between work-related stress and employees’ sense of meaning in life and found that meaningful work moderates some of the harmful effects of work stress.
The study found that through meaning-making – allowing an individual to make sense of events – meaningful work significantly reduces the impact that work stress has on a person’s experience of meaning in life, and thus their well-being. That means that the well-being of individuals who experience a high meaningfulness at work is less affected by work-related stress, than that of their peers with a lower sense of meaningfulness.
All in all, this study is a promising sign that increasing meaningfulness at work helps employees to cope with stress. However, this does not take away the need for leaders to focus on lowering work stress, and further research is needed to confirm the findings of this study.
Read the research article on the subject here: ‘Meaningful Work as a Moderator of the Relation Between Work Stress and Meaning in Life.’
Horsens Municipality’s department for ‘Handicap, Psychiatry and Socially Vulnerable’ (HPS) was curious to investigate the degree of meaning their employees experience in their work.