Blogs and Stories

Building meaningfulness in your workplace

by | May 23, 2023 | Coaching, Leadership, PERMAH, Purpose, Strengths, Wellbeing

From 2018 to 2022. the Wellbeing Lab partnered with the Australian Human Resources Institute to conduct a series of national workplace wellbeing surveys. There were three key findings from the aggregated data:

  1. That there had been a significant drop in resilience among Australian workers
  2. That there had been a significant decrease in people finding meaning in work and
  3. That, if you invested in an Employee Assistance Program. it was marginally better than doing nothing.

In this blog, we want to explore the second of those and the questions of why meaning is important and how you can boost meaningfulness through the lens of character strengths.

Why is meaning important?

Meaning is the fourth pillar of Professor Martin Seligman’s PERMA model of the essential elements of wellbeing – what we all need to lead a flourishing life. It is about feeling that you have a purpose and that you are part of and contributing to something bigger than yourself. There is plenty of research that shows that having meaning in your life is good for health and happiness and resilience.

Examples of meaningfulness in practice

There are a variety of ways and settings in which we can get meaning in our lives such as:

  • Our families – the meaning of providing for them, looking after them, watching our children grow, shared interests with members of the family
  • Our work – the impact that I have in the application of our skills and strengths to make a contribution for my employer and my workmates and our customers or clients
  • Our community – whether I serve a community cause or I am a member of a sporting tribe or I have  some other group connection that gives me a sense of belonging.

Meaningfulness and character strengths

Six of the VIA Character Strengths especially align with good mindfulness practice, namely appreciation of beauty and excellence, curiosity, social intelligence, perspective, gratitude and spirituality. Below is the VIA Character Institute’s “Meaningfulness Wheel” which sets out lots of things that any of us can do to enhance our meaningfulness practices every day. We think that this is a great tool for reflection and inspiration on ways to build our own good wellbeing practices.

Strengths practice is an integral element of our EngageMentality coaching framework – one of the five lenses through which users can develop and implement their own wellbeing and development plans. If you are interested in exploring more about how strengths and mindfulness practice can be of value, give us a call on 1300 108 488 for our free first consultation.



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1300 108 488