What employees want most this holiday—meaningful work

by | Dec 13, 2018 | Public Relations

Take note, bosses: Skip the gifts of fruitcake and frozen ham, and put away the ugly holiday sweaters. This holiday season, what American office workers really want is more meaningful work. In a recent survey conducted by workplace experience firm ServiceNow, almost twice as many workers would ask their boss for more meaningful work than ask for a raise (61 percent vs. 34 percent).

Workers say they spend 40 percent of their time on mundane, routine tasks that do not have a direct impact on core job goals—which translates into a big lump of coal for company productivity, and frustrating experiences for employees.

Respondents delivered a resounding “Bah, Humbug” opinion on mundane office work:

  • 45 percent would rather clean their bathroom than figure out HR benefits;
  • 37 percent would rather be stuck in traffic than troubleshoot a broken printer by themselves;
  • 36 percent would rather stand in line at the DMV than troubleshoot an IT issue;
  • 30 percent would rather take a call from a telemarketer than set up a new company computer.

The survey results point to the importance of creating great employee experiences

This is especially true for the everyday, routine work tasks that when done manually or inefficiently keep employees from doing more meaningful, value-added work. This mundane work is impacting employee morale: Almost half of respondents say they feel like they’re wasting time. One-third claim to feel stressed, frustrated and like they’re not living up to their capabilities.

“Employees today want to know that they are realizing their full potential at work, and companies need employees to be their best. Creating digital workflows that make routine work easier, simpler and faster frees up people to focus on the more challenging, essential and fulfilling aspects of their jobs,” said Pat Wadors, chief talent officer at ServiceNow, in a news release. “That’s how value is created. Great experiences unlock productivity, for people and companies.”

What employees want most this holiday—meaningful work

The ‘Quest for Meaningful Work Survey’ was conducted Nov. 2-Nov. 7, 2018, via a 15-minute online questionnaire. A total of 2,001 people responded to the survey, all 18+-year-old American office workers at companies with 500+ employees. ‘Meaningful work’ is defined in the survey as “work that feels impactful or important to you, and where you feel you’re contributing to a larger goal such as your own career goals, your company’s goals, or society.” ‘Menial’ and ‘mundane’ are used interchangeably and are defined as “tasks that are less interesting, less important and require less brain power.”

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter