D4 Published development or research report or study
Merkityksellisestä työstä hyvinvointia organisaatioille : MEANWELL-hankkeen loppuraportti (2024)

Rantanen, J., Markkula, S., Konsti, S., Kiuru, N., Mauno, S., & Feldt, T. (2024). Merkityksellisestä työstä hyvinvointia organisaatioille : MEANWELL-hankkeen loppuraportti. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU Reports, 41. https://doi.org/10.17011/jyureports/2024/41

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRantanen, Johanna; Markkula, Sanna; Konsti, Sanna; Kiuru, Noona; Mauno, Saija; Feldt, Taru


Journal or seriesJYU Reports


Publication year2024

Number in series41

Number of pages in the book1 verkkoaineisto (97 sivua)

PublisherJyväskylän yliopisto

Place of PublicationJyväskylä

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish


Persistent website addresshttp://urn.fi/URN:ISBN 978-952-86-0143-2

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel


MEANWELL project was implemented by the Department of Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä and funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (project number 210129). The project developed operating models to support meaningful work and well-being for organizations and work life and career counseling professionals with their clients. The operating models were also applied to trade unions and educational programs. The operating models were based on 1) a model of sustainable careers, 2) an integrative multilevel framework of factors fostering meaningful work, 3) a four-dimensional conceptualization of meaningful work, and 4) a vocational meaning and fulfillment fit perspective. The operating models were primarily aimed at supporting meaningful work and work well-being and, secondarily, supporting the functioning of organizations.
A central part of the operating models was the Vocational Meaning and Fulfillment Survey (VMFS) method, which provides the respondent a profile of how well the expectations they have for work, in general, are met in their current job in seven dimensions: 1) basic needs, 2) career success, 3) self-enhancement, 4) agency, 5) self-realization, 6) team enhancement, and 7) transcendence. The VMFS method can be used at both individual and organizational levels. When the work meaningfulness of an employee or the entire personnel needs improvement, examining the dimensions on which the development actions should be focused is possible.
The most extensive of the operating models was the set of organizational development activities implemented over a period of 7 to 9 months. This model included two development days for the entire personnel and, in between these, a supervisor coaching series (3 x 2 h), a team coaching series (6 x 1.5 h) for the supervisors and employees, and a development discussion between the supervisor-employee pairs. An extensive work well-being survey, which included the VMFS, formed the basis for all development activities. The organizations involved were: 1) school district (n = 144), 2) municipal services (n = 95), 3) university faculty (n = 135), 4) retail network (n = 75), and 5) temporary work agency (n = 66). Research data was collected through surveys, as well as focus group and individual interviews.
The operating model in the context of work life and career counseling included VMFS method training for professionals (4 h), after which the method was used by professionals (n = 240) as part of their client work with individuals or groups. Clients (n = 1022) responded to the work well-being survey before counseling with their professional and received their personal VMF profile to form the basis for the counseling discussion. A total of 46 professionals and 183 clients responded to either a feedback survey or participated in an individual interview about VMFS user experiences in client meetings. The operating model for trade unions and educational programs included a lecture, workshop, or webinar on themes of meaningful work and work well-being (1-4 h). As a preliminary task for these, the participants (n = 3136) responded to the work well-being survey containing the VMFS method and received their personal profiles.
The quantitative and qualitative results show that the VMFS method is psychometrically valid, comprehensive, practical, and useful. It works well if one wants to identify dimensions of meaningful work that should be considered when supporting the sustainable careers of individuals, whether this happens in a development discussion between a supervisor and an employee or in a discussion between a professional and a client in the field of work life and career counseling. In particular, the vocational meaning-fulfillment fit in the dimensions of self-enhancement, agency, and self-realization may be more important than other dimensions of the VMFS for the sustainable careers of individuals. Organizational VMF profiles, on the other hand, provide central information for the co-development of meaningful work. At the organizational level, the participants highlighted VMFS recognition and team enhancement dimensions.
Based on the qualitative results, the participants felt that they had received a variety of tools and means for developing both their work and their work community. The project provided a space to discuss, share experiences, and define areas for co-development efforts. Continuity of development actions between and after the guided coaching sessions was also considered essential. However, from the point of view of the project's impact, it cannot be claimed that good insights, ideas, and goals transferred to everyday practices to promote meaningful work and well-being for every participant. The transfer happened to a certain extent and was more typical at the individual level than at the organizational level. Benefiting from the operating models at the organizational level was hindered, for example, because a sufficient number of members from different staff levels were not involved in the development work, or sufficient investment or support for the development work was missing.
In conclusion, the new tools produced in the MEANWELL project to support meaningful work were well received in the Finnish work life. Organizational development of meaningful work proved to be a very demanding task, providing much information for further developing the MEANWELL operating model. The results highlight that providing easy, quick solutions to organizations is not likely. Employees, supervisors, and management need a well-resourced and supported process to implement changes to day-to-day work.

Keywordswell-being at workorganisations (systems)workdevelopment (active)meaningfulnesswork communitiesoperations modelsleadership (activity)occupational psychologyquantitative researchqualitative research

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2024

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 21:06