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Employee Engagement ‘Rule’ 7: Don’t kill the meaning

Sep 09, 2015

People need to be a part of something bigger than just a job and a paycheque. Meaning drives higher performance. 

What are the New Rules of Engagement?

The New Rules of Engagement℠ are, put simply, a diagnostic tool. They act as levers to help managers with improving the commitment and performance of their employees and give managers the ability to look at employee engagement in a different way, conducive to the conditions of today’s dynamic workforce.

In the first segment of this series, we talked about how to build a foundation to drive commitment and performance among employees.  See our last post of the next segment, driving commitment and performance here.

What comes next in strengthening employee commitment and performance?


7. Don't kill the meaning

Alright, Canadian employers…don’t kill the meaning. The rule we’ve been waiting for. Ranked the as the most important, # 1, rule of the 12 in driving both commitment and performance among Canadian employees. If any of the rules are to be taken seriously, this is the one.

People need to be a part of something bigger than just a job and a paycheque. Meaning drives higher performance.

To put it plainly, most people need meaning in their work. Work is not just a ‘job’; it is a person’s career; a part of who they are. 

How can a company not ‘kill the meaning’ for employees?

In order for employees to feel their work has meaning, they need to be able to say:

  • I value my organization’s mission
  • I see how my work connects to larger organizational goals
  • I love my job

Where does Canada fit in?

Data from a recent (2014) survey BI WORLDWIDE conducted shows that in Canada, ‘don’t kill the meaning’ is ordered the most important of the 12 rules in both driving commitment and performance among employees.

Considering this rule is number one in the eyes of Canadians, where employees stand in terms of the factors that make work meaningful is crucial to understand as an employer. Why? Because understanding where we are at, gives us the opportunity to improve as employers in the areas that matter most to employees (both current and future).

So, how are we measuring up?

The majority of Canadian respondents said they value their organization’s mission and agree that they can see how their work connects to larger organizational goals. Right on, let’s keep this going.

Just over half of respondents agreed to the statement: I love my job. This isn’t bad, but, it could be better. What could your company be doing to help employees love their job?


The New Rules of Engagement are the subject of a book called Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People.                              

To learn more about how we can help your company with employee engagement or the New Rules of Engagement survey, we welcome you to get in touch at:

If you are new to BI WORLDWIDE Canada’s perspective on employee engagement, check out our first post of this series here.