Add Epic Meaning to Your Organisation

​A step by step guide to bringing meaning to the workplace

Are your employees mentally checking out shortly after clocking in? Mindlessly running the hamster wheel day after day, so that they can collect their pay check at the end of the month?

Some of the classic symptoms are high sick rates, high turnover of staff, drop in performance, and general disinterest. It’s not good for your employees, and it certainly isn’t good for business. But the underlying cause could be much more sinister.

This is a complex challenge to solve and it could take a lot of time.

Having a vast amount of exposure to these environments, I have identified one simple thing that could go a long way to help dealing with these challenges.

And it’s taken from the first core drive of Octalysis, the modern benchmark framework for gamification, namely Epic Meaning and Calling.

​Is there a reason your employees come to work on a daily basis, apart from doing their mundane work tasks in exchange for moola?


If the answer is no, then that could be part of the problem. If yes, then do your employees know what that reason is?

Epic meaning and calling talks about the benefit to the world around you when you do your allotted daily tasks

When you add epic meaning and calling to your workplace, you provide a reason or purpose for coming to work and putting in the grind.

When you do it correctly it could have an immediate impact on the symptoms of disengaged employees.

​Harder for some

If you’re an NPO or charity, then you most likely have a meaning for coming to work and doing the boring tasks you need to, over and over.

But for most businesses that meaning does not exist, at least not in the minds of the employees – the ones entering zombie like status when entering the building, then miraculously recovering upon leaving.

And that’s because it’s a difficult thing to figure out. If you’re an admin clerk, what positive impact could that possibly have on the world around you?

Ah, but there is! We just need to figure it out.

5 Steps to meaning

There are 5 steps to adding epic meaning and calling, and I’ll break those down for you so that you can add meaning to your workplace and have hamster wheels spinning at electricity generating speeds!

  1. What does your business do? Firstly, you need to summarise what your business does. Keep it simple.
  2. Who does your business do this for? Who are your customers?
  3. Why do they need this?
  4. What happens when they get the services you offer?
  5. What is the employee’s job?
  6. Now, what role does the employee play in doing this?

And there you have it, you have successfully added epic meaning and calling to your business! Let’s look at an example of a job and how to add epic meaning and calling:


Let’s say you’re a development company that develops smartphone and web apps, and we’re trying to add epic meaning and calling to a debtor’s clerk.

Now following the framework above, let’s answer those questions:

  1. We develop smart phones and web apps.
  2. For medium sized businesses.
  3. To help their clients engage with them easier, so that they can grow.
  4. Their customers lives are made easier.
  5. You collect funds from our clients.
  6. You ensure that we get the money owed to us so that we can pay our employees, and grow our business, so that we can enrich the lives of our clients and make the lives of their customers easier.

Now isn’t that a whole lot better than “you call people you haven’t paid us and harass them for payment.”

How you apply the formula depends on the size and structure of your organisation.

You need to figure it out according to your business unit, team, roles etc. But you get the point, and the formula will hold true regardless of the size of the business – you just need to filter it down.

​Lead by example

The formula is not enough on it’s own.

Leaders of the business need to live the meaning and calling, and your remuneration and treatment of employees need to be on par.

But adding epic meaning and calling is a great place to start!


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