Offers a path to purpose and meaning at work to engage and support employees at every level.
While recent studies have shown that companies with high levels of employee engagement have 40% less turnover, half the absenteeism rate, and double the net profit compared to companies with low engagement, many firms continue to struggle with engaging their employees, and a mass exodus in under way. Business leaders are unprepared to deliver the type of culture and leadership that infuses the work experience of their employees with purpose and meaning. No surprise that a recent Gallup survey showed that only 15% of employees consider themselves engaged in their work.
In The Search for Meaning at Work Steve Van Valin, an organizational culture consultant and former long-time executive with QVC, provides talent leaders and managers at all levels with a focused awareness and a robust set of actionable tools to meet the talent challenge head-on. Building on the research of Harvard professor Dr. Teresa Amabile and others, Van Valin’s model is based on eleven “Amplifiers of Meaning” that identify and describe the core purpose that gives work meaning. Without purpose, there is no meaning, Van Valin argues, and without meaning there is no true engagement. For many employees and their managers, the purpose that drives an employee’s motivation to work remains hidden; as a result, employees are disengaged, leaving managers and leaders frustrated as they search for answers.
Van Valin’s approach is a confident and creative challenge to leaders to think differently – with greater empathy for the power of purpose and meaning in people’s lives. Each chapter contains personal observations, revealing anecdotes, and a playbook, which provides specific and relevant actions/steps the reader can follow to amplify meaning in ways that inspire high-performance.
1. The book is anchored on providing specific actionable ideas to promote purpose and meaning. It is a practical guide, not just a philosophical work on a lofty subject.
2. No other book fully defines purpose and meaning and brings to light the dynamics between them. Doing so provides a high level of awareness for the reader that leads to the practical application of emotional intelligence when making the “everyday” better choices.
3. The book research, model, and actionable ideas are directly transferable as content for teaching the Amplify concept via classroom, online, and webinar delivery.
Steve Van Valin is currently CEO and founder of Culturology. His firm specializes in culture articulation, employee engagement, and high-performance collaboration. Some of his clients include NASA, The Philadelphia Phillies, SAP, Boeing, Lincoln Financial Group, Shire Pharmaceuticals, General Dynamics Information Technology, and Goodwill Industries. Steve led the culture at the multi-media shopping giant - QVC for fourteen years. He is also a talented keynote speaker known for sparking insights and inspiring action through an upbeat, positive, and creative style. Steve is a Vistage International certified speaker and is scheduled to be an IMS Series speaker in 2021. He lives in Chester Springs, PA outside of Philadelphia with his wife and two children.
Chapter 1 Meaning at Work: The holy Grail of Engagement
How to find the meaningful answer to motivation in the age
Chapter 2 The Amplifiers of Meaning
How to unlock your power to amplify meaning.
Chapter 3 The Self-Satisfaction Amplifier
How to influence with inclusion and respect in the daily grind
of the work.
Chapter 4 The Family Amplifier
How to create high empathy and respect by considering
the whole person.
Chapter 5 The Work Partner Amplifier
How to strengthen vital relationships by investing in
each other’s success.
Chapter 6 The Team Amplifier
How to create a sense of belonging as an integral and valued
Chapter 7 The Manager Amplifier
How to achieve mutual respect through advocacy and inclusion.
Chapter 8 The Department Amplifier
How to align departmental objectives with the strategy of
Chapter 9 The Company Amplifier
How to shape your culture by articulating your Leading
Principles with clarity.
Chapter 10 The Customer Amplifier
How to activate people as difference-makers in the
Chapter 11 The Community Amplifier
How to gain a commitment to grow the health and vitality
of the community.
Chapter 12 The World Society Amplifier
How to harness the motivational power of altruism to improve
the human condition.
Chapter 13 The Spirituality Amplifier
How to live out the highest ideals that govern your life.
Epilogue: The Transcendent Purpose Challenge for Leaders
How to find your most profound purpose by giving it away.
Appendix: The Internalized Questions That Express a Search
for Meaning at Work
About the Author
Drawing on his extensive experience as an organizational culture consultant and his executive leadership at QVC, Van Valin builds on the research of Harvard professor Teresa M. Amabile and many others to create a new paradigm that emphasizes engagement and support at all levels of an organization’s culture. The goal is to generate a work atmosphere in which purpose and meaning are important measures of organizational success…. Throughout the book’s 13 short chapters, Van Valin provides readers with ideas, personal insights, anecdotes, visuals, short case studies, and examples of best practices for practical, hands-on guidance. His creative and thoughtful work spans topics from recruitment and retention to the implementation of organizational leadership and the creation of a work environment that promotes both career and life fulfillment goals.Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
Van Valin asserts that job performance is driven purely by employee engagement, defined as “a conscious and subconscious choice to apply our energy, talent, and care to any effort, large or small.” The central theory of the book is that workplace leaders can cultivate engagement by creating an atmosphere in which employees feel a sense of meaning or purpose in the work they do. Having established this theory, the author examines each of the 11 amplifiers as avenues to the ultimate goal of employee engagement through meaning and purpose (such as self-satisfaction, manager, company, and world society).... recommended for large business collections with a focus on management and leadership.
Referring to a Gallup survey, this book claims that the vast majority of employees are not engaged with their work. That’s problematic as the book logically argues that employee engagement leads to greater productivity. Van Valin, the CEO and founder of the Culturology consulting firm, believes that an important reason numerous attempts to increase employee engagement fail is that they do not recognize the importance of workers finding meaning in their work by having a purpose, which can create a meaningful relationship with their professional roles and a desire to achieve something. The author identifies 11 amplifiers of meaning—that important someone or something that workers contribute value to—that range from oneself, to the company, to the local community, to God. Each amplifier has a chapter devoted to it, and there are “Search-For-Meaning Questions.” For example, questions in the chapter about the family amplifier are “Does my work allow me to pursue and fulfill my family priorities, and do I feel I’m a good provider for my family?" Ideal for those concerned about employee engagement.
Profound! Brilliantly written and researched, The Search for Meaning at Work captures the true root of employee engagement - a topic more relevant than ever.
Why do people rush to the bowling alley but dread going to work? Because bowling provides meaning and purpose, while most workplaces do not. The Search For Meaning At Work is a master class on how to create deep meaning and purpose in the workplace, which ultimately leads to higher performance.
People in today’s organizations are working harder than ever, with some losing track of what’s meaningful about their work. In The Search for Meaning at Work, Stephen Van Valin details eleven amplifying dimensions of meaning that don’t stop at organizational structure. Managers can now work with their people to identify factors that matter greatly to them and help them once again derive true meaning from their work—factors such as self-satisfaction, family, team, customer, community, world society, spirituality, and more. If you are the leader of a team, read this book, apply its teachings, and watch your people flourish!
Ideas are the currency of your future. Steve Van Valin helps you see ideas that others don’t see and turns those ideas into your reality.
A thoughtful, practical book about what it takes to make work a source of meaning rather than misery.
A must read for anyone who is looking for clarity of purpose and meaning at work. With Van Valin's storytelling, the book is impossible to put down and the plethora of examples and visuals bring meaning into focus. For the first time, instead of thinking about meaning at work, I felt meaning and it's impact on the working world. You will too
What can be more vital than leading on purpose? This book should be mandatory reading for any new supervisor ready to go from managing to leading. What a great way to create a foundation of success anchored on purpose that will last your entire career and life.
Steve Van Valin does a masterful job in connecting the dots of meaningful purpose in a practical way. If you are a leader looking to squeeze as much out of life and leadership, this book is a must read!
Experiencing meaningful work is a fundamental human desire and leaders play a crucial role in facilitating it. In The Search for Meaning at Work, Steve VanValin gives leaders an immediately actionable playbook for how to amplify meaning from any position — which I believe is the most important skill of any modern leader.
Steve Van Valin’s new book, The Search for Meaning at Work, is a powerful and timely book for both individuals and leaders – one that provides a practical road map to capture long term meaning and engagement in the workplace. Van Valin makes a compelling case that purpose, empathy, and one’s supervisor are essential components of a meaningful career. Weaving in effective and easy to understand visuals, prompt questions, case studies, and best practices, The Search for Meaning at Work is a must read for anyone looking to use purpose and personal engagement foundation pillars of a successful career and life.
Companies struggle to keep their employees engaged, leading to higher turnover rates. Business leaders aren't prepared to deliver a work experience that gives employees meaning and purpose at their organizations. Van Valin, an organizational culture consultant and former QVC executive, provides a set of tools to solve those talent problems. He argues that without meaning, there is no engagement, which is why the author's model is based on 11 "amplifiers of meaning," which identify and describe the core purpose that gives work meaning. Van Valin offers specific steps leaders can take to help employees find their purpose within an organization.
8/11/12, Choice: This title was featured in a roundup of forthcoming titles in business.
"The Search for Meaning at Work" has been selected as Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 1/15/2023.