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Meaningfulness and Engagement in Your Workforce

Meaningfulness and Engagement in Your Workforce

As part of the “Cycles of Success: Employee Engagement, Career Development & Talent Management” series (visit, we conducted several interviews with Nicole Trapasso, Divisional Director of HR and Organizational Development at CPP, Inc. Over the next few months you’ll see blog posts from these interviews and more on topics related to talent management and the phases of the talent management life cycle. If you’d like to read more about career development from the personal or employee side, you can find the first blog post in the series here:

The majority of professionals seek meaning throughout the various stages of  their careers. At CPP, we focus on helping our employees find meaningfulness in their work while identifying and harnessing the specific talents and differences that make each employee unique. Earlier in their career, employees may be looking for initial mentorship and the ability to work on varied and challenging projects. For employees that actively engage in their own development, this continues but takes on different aspects as they grow and gain new skills and competencies or their roles gain more complexity as they progress in their career. Some individuals have goals that expand beyond their current job role in the organization and want to grow professionally. At CPP, we are fortunate to have access and use our own assessments to help our employees increase their self-awareness and grow skills. Not all organizations have this key competitive advantage. The clearer employees become about their developmental needs and growth goals, and how they can get those needs met (both inside the workplace and out), the better both the individuals and their employers can continue to keep them challenged, growing and engaged which is a key way to keep your talent committed to your organization. Ideally, the organization can help meet their employees ‘needs while concurrently meeting its own business goals and talent objectives.

CPP is in a unique position: our mission and vision—based on the goal of helping people grow on a global basis—are clearly aligned with the nature of our products and services. For many employees and potential employees, this is is aligned with their personal and professional goals of finding meaning for themselves through their work and giving back to others in a very powerful way. At other organizations, the connection to meaningful work in employee’s day-to-day job might not be as obvious. However, there are a few things you can do as a manager or trainer—in any organization—to help employees discover meaning in the workplace.

If you’re working in HR in an organization that does not provide employees with such a clear line of sight into the meaningfulness of the work they do, I have some recommendations for you to consider. Identify some current employees who you feel are truly engaged and find out what drew them to the company initially and then what has kept them there. You most likely will find some information that validates your assumptions as well as new information that could be very helpful Considering this question through the lens of MBTI  and the variety of preferences and interests that employees bring to the organization, this feedback can be valuable for HR throughout the various phases of the talent management life cycle. Something as simple as an online survey (with some type of incentive to participate) or focus groups can provide valuable insight into increasing employee engagement and retention. By fostering these types of discussions with a cross-section of your employees, you can help them reaffirm why they joined the company in the first place.

Once you have collected some trend data, you can share it with other employees and managers by opening up the forum for discussion in the organization. This type of information on what current employees find meaningful in their work at your company is also extremely powerful for recruitment purposes so you can clearly identify what may draw potential talent to your organization and how you can help retain them.

Based on your own experience, how do you characterize the relationship between the level of meaningfulness in your employees’ work and their engagement? Personally, what do you find meaningful in your work? How can you help your employees and organization increase the meaningfulness in your work environment?

Read the previous blog: What is the Talent Management Life Cycle?

Learn more about talent management and career development at

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