Making Work More Meaningful Through Process Improvement

Hilary Corna
3 min readApr 11

Once your people find meaning in their work, everything else will follow. According to research, employees who find their work meaningful perform 33% better, are 75% more committed to their company, and are 45% less likely to find a job elsewhere.

What makes work meaningful?

While the idea of meaningfulness may vary from one person to another, generally, work is meaningful when people feel that their efforts are purposeful and worthwhile. Aside from having a good salary, people also want a fulfilling job that makes them feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

How process improvement makes work more meaningful

A 2021 McKinsey study reveals a considerable gap between executives and frontline managers and workers when asked if they are living their purpose in their day-to-day work. Eighty-five percent of executives and upper management said they are living their purpose at work, but only 15% of frontline managers and employees said the same.

This “purpose hierarchy gap” is not surprising since most organizations only involve management-level employees in creating purposeful projects. Decisions and ideas that get implemented usually come from the higher-ups. Thus, creating a process-based culture can address this problem.

Process improvement provides an engine for everyone in the company to share ideas and turn them into actions.

Your employees on the frontline are the ones going through your day-to-day operations, making them excellent sources of valuable information on how to improve the work processes. Providing opportunities for your people to contribute to the organization’s overall progress makes them feel valued, increases morale, and helps them find meaning in their jobs.

According to author and Wharton Professor Adam Grant, work can be made more meaningful by simply helping employees see the significant connection between their daily tasks and the overall outcome and mission of the company. This connection is what people are yearning for: Employees want to see that what they do impacts the entire company.

Hilary Corna

CEO | Founder of The Human Way | Bestselling Author | New book #UNprofessional out 9/21 | Host of the UNprofessional podcast | As seen in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ