Why Your Work Matters – Workshop Tip #238

Share this article

Application: Test and observe two approaches when you start a learning session. For the first approach, provide a problem to a group and let them discuss it and offer solutions. For the second approach, ask the group to select one problem from their work and let them discuss and find solutions to it.

You will discover that the second approach will generate more enthusiasm and will provide more useful and more meaningful results from conversations.

Workers and learners value their work. So, it is best to start with their work issues.

In the Workflow Learning Framework, learning is only a consequence, not the goal. To cultivate this mindset among the workers in the workplace, it is vital that every worker knows how to find meaning in his/her work. What’s the point of work? What are you working towards?

“To find meaning in your work: Change the way you think about it.”

John Coleman, co-author of Passion & Purpose: Stories of the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders

While work matters, it needs to have an anchor or a reason for being at work. Purpose is not something easily found, but something that we continuously pursue and create.

To learn in situations, the learning process becomes a consequence of doing what is important to life rather than as an end result.  Coleman suggests ways to reframe one’s thinking of work by:

1. Connecting work to a service that provides a valuable contribution for the greater good
2. Crafting your work and making your work a craft by pursuing excellence in service
3. Investing in positive relationships
4. Remembering why you work

Indeed, one makes work meaningful by being on purpose. Is excellent performance feasible without a life purpose in one’s work?  What would enable one to dig deeper into oneself the “why” of one’s work?

Create meaningful learning experiences and overcome the challenges in the workflow. Join the Instructional and Experience Design for Workflow Learning online workshop.


John Coleman (2017), “How to Find Meaning in Your Work: Change the Way You Think About It”

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”