Beyond The Perks: How To Boost Employee Engagement With Meaningful Work

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As competition for top talent increases, companies seek ways to attract and retain employees. While perks and benefits are important for employee satisfaction, more are needed to sustain high levels of employee engagement.

Organisations recognise the importance of meaningful work in creating a productive workforce. We will explore the concept of meaningful work and its psychological benefits and discuss effective strategies to boost employee engagement through meaningful experiences.


Defining meaningful work and differentiating it from perks

Before delving deeper into creating meaningful work experiences, we must clearly understand what we mean by “meaningful work.” Meaningful work is more than just a job description or a set of tasks. Work provides employees with a sense of purpose, fulfilment, and connection beyond simply earning a paycheck. It also contributes to personal growth, development, and societal impact.


Meaningful work creates a sense of identity, self-worth, and purpose, which drives employees to work harder, smarter and produce better results. Organisational research has shown that employees who find meaning in their work are more committed, productive, and less likely to leave the organisation.


Moreover, meaningful work involves the entire work experience, including the organisation’s culture, environment, leadership, and values. Employees must feel that their work is valued, their contributions matter, and they have a sense of ownership over their work. This sense of ownership fosters accountability, encouraging employees to be more proactive.


In contrast, perks and rewards are temporary satisfactions that may offer short-term happiness but do not contribute to an employee’s sense of fulfilment or purpose. Perks may include things like free food, gym memberships, and flexible work hours, among others. While these things are important to employees, they provide a different level of engagement and motivation than meaningful work.


To create meaningful work experiences, organisations need to focus on establishing a sense of purpose, providing growth and development opportunities, fostering a positive work culture, and recognising the value of employees. These elements contribute to a sense of fulfilment and purpose that cannot be achieved through perks alone.


The psychological benefits of meaningful work


Engaging employees in meaningful work can yield numerous psychological benefits beyond mere job satisfaction. Some of the benefits that employees experience in finding purpose and meaning in their work are:

A sense of fulfilment

Meaningful work provides individuals with a sense of fulfilment, which boosts morale, productivity, and overall well-being. When employees feel fulfilled by their work, they are more likely to be engaged, proactive, and motivated.

Reduced stress and burnout

Meaningful work helps reduce stress levels and prevents burnout by giving employees a sense of control and reducing the likelihood of monotony. Employees engaged in work that is meaningful to them are less likely to suffer from burnout and fatigue.

Improved work performance

Employees who find meaning in their work are likely to perform better. They are more likely to take up tough challenges, produce higher-quality work, and look for ways to improve their skills.

Increased job satisfaction: Meaningful work leads to increased job satisfaction, essential for employee retention. Satisfied employees are more likely to be retained by their current employer, reducing the cost of turnover.

Enhanced loyalty

Employees engaged in meaningful work are likely to be loyal to their organisation. They feel a deeper sense of connection and will likely remain committed to the company’s mission and values.


Creating meaningful experiences

To promote meaningful work experiences, organisations must ensure employees feel they are adding value to something bigger than themselves. This can be achieved by creating a purpose and value for the organisation and how each individual’s role fits into the broader picture. Below are some strategies that can help create more meaningful work experiences:

Clearly communicate the organisation’s mission and values

Organisations should clearly communicate their mission and values to employees at all levels of the organisation. This will help employees understand the impact of their work on customers, society, or the organisation’s goals.

Provide opportunities for professional development

Providing employees with training and development opportunities can help them gain skills and knowledge that can help progress their career development goals and contribute to the organisation’s success. Employees who feel they are growing professionally are likely to feel engaged in their work.

Encourage cross-functional collaboration

It can help employees understand how their work impacts other departments and how they fit into the organisation’s broader goals. When employees work towards a common goal as a team, they feel a stronger sense of connection to the organisation.

Assign tasks based on employee interests and strengths

Allocating tasks that align with their interests and strengths can help create a sense of ownership and investment in their work. Employees who feel they are working on tasks that are meaningful to them are more likely to be engaged and productive.

Recognise employees for their contributions

Recognising and rewarding employees for their contributions is essential to creating meaningful work experiences. It shows employees their work is valued and appreciated and helps foster a positive work environment.

By creating a sense of purpose and value for the organisation, employees become more invested in their work and feel a stronger connection to the organisation. They are more likely to take ownership, be proactive, and go the extra mile. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity, better work quality, and enhanced employee satisfaction.


Cultivating a collaborative environment


Collaboration is a key aspect of fostering meaningful work experiences. It involves working together towards a common goal and leveraging each other’s strengths to succeed. When employees collaborate, they feel a sense of belonging, shared accomplishment, and are more invested in their work. Here are some ways organisations can cultivate a collaborative environment:

Promote open communication

Open communication is critical for effective collaboration as it facilitates sharing of ideas and feedback. Organisations should encourage open communication at all levels of the company by promoting transparency, active listening, and constructive feedback.

Create cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teams bring together employees from different departments and areas of expertise to work on a shared project or goal. This promotes collaboration, encourages knowledge-sharing, and helps break down silos within the organisation.

Provide platforms for idea-sharing

Providing platforms for idea-sharing, such as brainstorming sessions, workshops, or online forums, can help employees share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. This fosters creativity and innovation and encourages out-of-the-box thinking.

Recognise and reward collaboration

Organisations should recognise and reward employees demonstrating collaborative behaviour. This conveys that the company values teamwork and motivates employees to work together towards common goals.

Encourage diversity and inclusivity

Diversity and inclusion are essential for collaboration as they bring together people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. This fosters an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and appreciated, which fosters collaboration and innovation.


By cultivating a collaborative environment, employees become more motivated, engaged, and invested in the success of the team and the organisation. Collaboration facilitates knowledge-sharing, encourages creativity and innovation, reduces conflicts, and enhances productivity. It encourages a positive work culture that values teamwork and fosters employees to work together towards common goals.


Empowering through autonomy


Empowering employees to take ownership is critical to creating meaningful work experiences. Providing autonomy and independence allows individuals to make decisions, exercise their creativity, and take responsibility for the outcomes. This leads to a sense of control, fulfilment, and accomplishment.

Here are some ways organisations can empower their employees through autonomy:

Encourage decision-making

Encouraging employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work gives them a sense of control over their tasks. Leaders should provide guidance and allow employees to make choices and express their ideas.

Provide resources and support

Empowered employees need resources and support to succeed. Organisations should provide employees with the necessary tools, resources and training to do their jobs.

Set clear expectations

It is essential to set clear expectations for employees regarding their roles, responsibilities, and goals. This ensures employees understand their expectations of them and allows them to accomplish those goals in their own way.

Foster creativity and innovation

Empowering employees to be creative and innovative can lead to new ideas, processes, and solutions. Organisations should encourage employees to take risks, try new things, and think outside the box.

Provide feedback and recognition

Employees who feel empowered need feedback and recognition to stay motivated and engaged. Regular feedback on performance, recognition for accomplishments, and career growth opportunities help employees feel valued and appreciated.


Employees feel valued and respected when they have a sense of control and are trusted to make decisions. This empowerment fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, leading to increased engagement and productivity. Empowered employees are more likely to take ownership of their work, be proactive, and go above and beyond expectations. They are also more likely to feel fulfilled.


Analysing areas of disengagement and prioritising improvement


To enhance employee engagement, organisations need to identify and address areas where employees may feel disengaged. Regular feedback and employee surveys can help pinpoint these areas and guide improvement efforts. Here are some steps that organisations could take to analyse areas of disengagement and prioritise improvement:

Conduct employee surveys

Employee surveys can provide valuable insights into areas where employees may feel disengaged. Surveys can cover various topics, such as job satisfaction, workload, communication, and career growth opportunities.

Analyse data

Once the survey results are in, it’s essential to analyse the data to identify patterns or trends. This can help pinpoint specific areas of concern, such as a lack of training and development opportunities, poor communication, or issues related to work-life balance.

Prioritise improvement efforts

With the data analysed, it’s time to prioritise improvement efforts based on the areas of concern identified. This might involve providing additional training and development opportunities, reevaluating job roles, addressing concerns related to workload or work-life balance, or improving communication channels.

Take action

Once areas of concern have been identified and improvement efforts prioritised, it’s time to take action. This might involve providing additional resources, implementing new policies or procedures, or promoting greater flexibility in the workplace.

Monitor progress

Monitoring progress regularly is important to ensure the implemented strategies have the desired impact. This might involve conducting follow-up surveys, tracking productivity and performance changes, or soliciting employee feedback.


By addressing employee disengagement proactively, organisations can create an environment that nurtures meaningful work experiences. Employees who are engaged would be more likely to be productive, motivated, and invested in their work. Turnover is also likely to reduce saving costs for the organisation.


Establishing a clear purpose and recognising value


To create meaningful work experiences, employees must clearly understand their purpose within the organisation. This involves understanding the organisation’s vision, values, and goals and how their work adds value to the broader objectives. Leaders should communicate this information regularly to ensure employees can connect their work to the bigger picture.

Here are some ways organisations can establish a clear purpose and recognise the value of employees:

Communicate the organisation’s vision, values, and goals

Leaders should clearly communicate the organisation’s vision, values, and goals to employees. This helps employees understand how their work contributes to the broader objectives and creates a sense of purpose.

Provide opportunities for career growth and development

Organisations should provide employees with career growth and development opportunities. This gives employees direction and reinforces the idea that they are valued in the team.

Acknowledge and recognise employee contributions

Regularly acknowledging and recognising employees’ contributions and achievements reinforces their sense of value. It also encourages them to strive for meaningful work experiences and motivates them to contribute to the organisation’s success.

Foster a culture of feedback

Encouraging feedback from both leaders and peers is essential for creating a culture of continuous improvement. This allows employees to learn from their experience, receive constructive feedback, and feel more invested in their work.

Be transparent and authentic

Being transparent and authentic about the organisation’s successes and challenges helps employees feel more connected to their work. This transparency creates trust and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.


By establishing a clear purpose and recognising the value of employees, organisations can create a positive work culture that fosters meaningful work experiences. Employees who feel valued and appreciated would be engaged, productive, and committed to the organisation’s long-term success.


In summary


While perks and benefits have their place, organisations must recognise the power of meaningful work in boosting employee engagement. By creating an environment that cultivates collaboration, empowers autonomy, and ensures clear purpose, organisations can tap into the intrinsic motivations of their employees. By prioritising meaningful work experiences, organisations not only foster greater employee engagement but also reap the rewards of increased productivity, innovation, and overall success.


Author Bio

Ilam Padmanabhan


Ilam Padmanabhan is a seasoned Tech/Financial services expert with experience in building large global teams in various leadership roles. He frequently authors articles on his personal website, where he explores the latest industry trends, cutting-edge technologies, and best practices for thriving in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.


The post Beyond The Perks: How To Boost Employee Engagement With Meaningful Work appeared first on The 6Q Blog.

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DynIBaR: Space-time view synthesis from videos of dynamic scenes

Posted by Zhengqi Li and Noah Snavely, Research Scientists, Google Research

A mobile phone’s camera is a powerful tool for capturing everyday moments. However, capturing a dynamic scene using a single camera is fundamentally limited. For instance, if we wanted to adjust the camera motion or timing of a recorded video (e.g., to freeze time while sweeping the camera around to highlight a dramatic moment), we would typically need an expensive Hollywood setup with a synchronized camera rig. Would it be possible to achieve similar effects solely from a video captured using a mobile phone’s camera, without a Hollywood budget?

In “DynIBaR: Neural Dynamic Image-Based Rendering”, a best paper honorable mention at CVPR 2023, we describe a new method that generates photorealistic free-viewpoint renderings from a single video of a complex, dynamic scene. Neural Dynamic Image-Based Rendering (DynIBaR) can be used to generate a range of video effects, such as “bullet time” effects (where time is paused and the camera is moved at a normal speed around a scene), video stabilization, depth of field, and slow motion, from a single video taken with a phone’s camera. We demonstrate that DynIBaR significantly advances video rendering of complex moving scenes, opening the door to new kinds of video editing applications. We have also released the code on the DynIBaR project page, so you can try it out yourself.

Given an in-the-wild video of a complex, dynamic scene, DynIBaR can freeze time while allowing the camera to continue to move freely through the scene.


The last few years have seen tremendous progress in computer vision techniques that use neural radiance fields (NeRFs) to reconstruct and render static (non-moving) 3D scenes. However, most of the videos people capture with their mobile devices depict moving objects, such as people, pets, and cars. These moving scenes lead to a much more challenging 4D (3D + time) scene reconstruction problem that cannot be solved using standard view synthesis methods.

Standard view synthesis methods output blurry, inaccurate renderings when applied to videos of dynamic scenes.

Other recent methods tackle view synthesis for dynamic scenes using space-time neural radiance fields (i.e., Dynamic NeRFs), but such approaches still exhibit inherent limitations that prevent their application to casually captured, in-the-wild videos. In particular, they struggle to render high-quality novel views from videos featuring long time duration, uncontrolled camera paths and complex object motion.

The key pitfall is that they store a complicated, moving scene in a single data structure. In particular, they encode scenes in the weights of a multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network. MLPs can approximate any function — in this case, a function that maps a 4D space-time point (x, y, z, t) to an RGB color and density that we can use in rendering images of a scene. However, the capacity of this MLP (defined by the number of parameters in its neural network) must increase according to the video length and scene complexity, and thus, training such models on in-the-wild videos can be computationally intractable. As a result, we get blurry, inaccurate renderings like those produced by DVS and NSFF (shown below). DynIBaR avoids creating such large scene models by adopting a different rendering paradigm.

DynIBaR (bottom row) significantly improves rendering quality compared to prior dynamic view synthesis methods (top row) for videos of complex dynamic scenes. Prior methods produce blurry renderings because they need to store the entire moving scene in an MLP data structure.

Image-based rendering (IBR)

A key insight behind DynIBaR is that we don’t actually need to store all of the scene contents in a video in a giant MLP. Instead, we directly use pixel data from nearby input video frames to render new views. DynIBaR builds on an image-based rendering (IBR) method called IBRNet that was designed for view synthesis for static scenes. IBR methods recognize that a new target view of a scene should be very similar to nearby source images, and therefore synthesize the target by dynamically selecting and warping pixels from the nearby source frames, rather than reconstructing the whole scene in advance. IBRNet, in particular, learns to blend nearby images together to recreate new views of a scene within a volumetric rendering framework.

DynIBaR: Extending IBR to complex, dynamic videos

To extend IBR to dynamic scenes, we need to take scene motion into account during rendering. Therefore, as part of reconstructing an input video, we solve for the motion of every 3D point, where we represent scene motion using a motion trajectory field encoded by an MLP. Unlike prior dynamic NeRF methods that store the entire scene appearance and geometry in an MLP, we only store motion, a signal that is more smooth and sparse, and use the input video frames to determine everything else needed to render new views.

We optimize DynIBaR for a given video by taking each input video frame, rendering rays to form a 2D image using volume rendering (as in NeRF), and comparing that rendered image to the input frame. That is, our optimized representation should be able to perfectly reconstruct the input video.

We illustrate how DynIBaR renders images of dynamic scenes. For simplicity, we show a 2D world, as seen from above. (a) A set of input source views (triangular camera frusta) observe a cube moving through the scene (animated square). Each camera is labeled with its timestamp (t-2, t-1, etc). (b) To render a view from camera at time t, DynIBaR shoots a virtual ray through each pixel (blue line), and computes colors and opacities for sample points along that ray. To compute those properties, DyniBaR projects those samples into other views via multi-view geometry, but first, we must compensate for the estimated motion of each point (dashed red line). (c) Using this estimated motion, DynIBaR moves each point in 3D to the relevant time before projecting it into the corresponding source camera, to sample colors for use in rendering. DynIBaR optimizes the motion of each scene point as part of learning how to synthesize new views of the scene.

However, reconstructing and deriving new views for a complex, moving scene is a highly ill-posed problem, since there are many solutions that can explain the input video — for instance, it might create disconnected 3D representations for each time step. Therefore, optimizing DynIBaR to reconstruct the input video alone is insufficient. To obtain high-quality results, we also introduce several other techniques, including a method called cross-time rendering. Cross-time rendering refers to the use of the state of our 4D representation at one time instant to render images from a different time instant, which encourages the 4D representation to be coherent over time. To further improve rendering fidelity, we automatically factorize the scene into two components, a static one and a dynamic one, modeled by time-invariant and time-varying scene representations respectively.

Creating video effects

DynIBaR enables various video effects. We show several examples below.

Video stabilization

We use a shaky, handheld input video to compare DynIBaR’s video stabilization performance to existing 2D video stabilization and dynamic NeRF methods, including FuSta, DIFRINT, HyperNeRF, and NSFF. We demonstrate that DynIBaR produces smoother outputs with higher rendering fidelity and fewer artifacts (e.g., flickering or blurry results). In particular, FuSta yields residual camera shake, DIFRINT produces flicker around object boundaries, and HyperNeRF and NSFF produce blurry results.

Simultaneous view synthesis and slow motion

DynIBaR can perform view synthesis in both space and time simultaneously, producing smooth 3D cinematic effects. Below, we demonstrate that DynIBaR can take video inputs and produce smooth 5X slow-motion videos rendered using novel camera paths.

Video bokeh

DynIBaR can also generate high-quality video bokeh by synthesizing videos with dynamically changing depth of field. Given an all-in-focus input video, DynIBar can generate high-quality output videos with varying out-of-focus regions that call attention to moving (e.g., the running person and dog) and static content (e.g., trees and buildings) in the scene.


DynIBaR is a leap forward in our ability to render complex moving scenes from new camera paths. While it currently involves per-video optimization, we envision faster versions that can be deployed on in-the-wild videos to enable new kinds of effects for consumer video editing using mobile devices.


DynIBaR is the result of a collaboration between researchers at Google Research and Cornell University. The key contributors to the work presented in this post include Zhengqi Li, Qianqian Wang, Forrester Cole, Richard Tucker, and Noah Snavely.

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