The Role of Meaningful Work in Employees’ Work-Related and General Well-being

Jessica van Wingerden, Joost van der Stoep


This study examines the impact of meaningful work on employees’ work-related well-being (measured as high levels of work engagement and low levels of burnout) and subsequently on employees’ general well-being (that is happiness). Based on the literature on meaningful work and the job demands-resources theory, we hypothesize that meaningful work has a positive relationship with an employee’s general well-being and that this relation is mediated by both increased levels of work engagement and decreased levels of burnout. In order to test the hypothesized relations, we conducted a bootstrapping analysis using a sample of 1 892 employees working in various organizations and occupations in The Netherlands. The results of the analysis provide support for the hypothesized relations, indicating an important role for meaningful work in the on-going pursuit of well-being at home and at work. The main theoretical, practical, and methodological implications of this study are discussed. 

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