Purpose and Meaning

Purpose and Meaning

The extent jobseekers and workers feel work tasks are significant, interesting, and challenging. This also includes how well a job, career path, specific employer or industry aligns with an individual’s strengths, interests and values.

How others put this principle into practice

  • Quest Diagnostics had high turnover and operational issues, leading to frustrated employees and customers. In 2015, under new leadership, the company launched a Good Jobs Transformation to improve the performance and lives of the workers through creating greater meaning and purpose at work.

  • Firebrand Bakery in Oakland, California, is a bakery owned by and for its employees through an employee ownership trust. Firebrand has 11 purposes baked into its corporate charter such as obligations to hire people who are formerly homeless or incarcerated, year-end profit sharing with all employees, creating a diverse and equitable supply chain and operating the company for long-term success rather than short-term profit.

  • The San Diego Workforce Partnership’s American Job Center staff use a series of videos to help jobseekers develop their Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-required individualized employment plans that align with their ikigai, which helps job seekers explore their own strengths, interests and values; their job quality preferences; and how they can align those assets to job openings and skill shortages prioritized by employers.

Ways you can get started

Giving work purpose

This job quality intervention outlines how workforce and economic agencies can use multiple approaches to help foster ikigai, or purpose and meaning in the workplace.

See How It's Measured