In today’s workplace, the new standard for employee engagement is fulfillment, according to an analysis from PwC. The company described fulfillment as a feeling people have when their work and motivations are aligned and they gain a sense of meaning and purpose as result. PwC cited the development of neuroscience and positive psychology as catalysts for the shift toward fulfillment, and artificial intelligence and automation as the tools for accelerating it.
PwC identified three hallmarks of a fulfilling work experience: 1) relationships, or a sense of belonging and having a connection to others; 2) impact, which is progress toward a goal people believe in; and 3) growth, or a personal challenge people overcome.
The analysis concluded that workers are ultimately responsible for finding their own fulfillment, but that organizations can help them discover it through personal exploration exercises, digital assessment tools and employee programs such as innovation labs, rotational opportunities and reverse mentorship experiences.
Workers in a study by Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute and IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute said they want more meaningful work — and that meaningful work remains the single largest contributor to a positive employee experience.
In a 2016 PwC survey, Putting Purpose to Work, 83% of workers said “finding meaning in day-to-day work” was their top priority. Employees who can’t find meaning and fulfillment in their current position are likely to look elsewhere.
And while PwC’s latest analysis notes that things like digital assessment tools can help, employees’ need for fulfillment requires a human touch. A positive, personalized, meaningful work experience calls for a human approach to their wellbeing. And by making a better employee experience a priority, employers can not only improve engagement and retention, but they also may see significant returns on their assets.