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  • Fostering an environment where people can work with purpose by innovating for more sustainable outcomes can help inspire and retain employees. “There is an ugliness in being paid for work one does not like,” Anaïs Nin penned in 1941 in her diary. We may have to admit that the global workplace may indeed be in an ugly place.

    Gallup suggests that globally only 13% of employees are engaged in their work and its State of the American Workplace survey shows that 70% of workers are not engaged. In fact, 15.7% are actively disengaged and doing more harm than good at their companies.

    The majority of people are compelled to work not by passion but by practicality – by the necessity for food, shelter and security. But even today, when such practicalities are often within reach, employment tends to lack the trifecta of autonomy, mastery and purpose that psychologists and David Pink (author of Drive) believe marks meaningful work. This seems to especially be true among millennials, with only 28.9% engagement vs. their traditionalist (born 1922-1945) peers at 42.2%.

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  • I write this on the plane back to London from a wonderful (if logistically bumpy – thank you State Department and friends for getting me home!) trip to the States, where we kicked off our Signed, Sealed… Delivered? research by running sessions at Sustainable Brands 2011 in Monterey, California (hosted by KoAnn Skyrzniarz and team at Sustainable Life Media), Starbucks (hosted by Ben Packard and Colleen Chapman of the Starbucks global responsibility team) and Method (hosted by director of sustainability Drummond Lawson – see my colleague Mark Lee’s blog for a recap).

    With the wonderfully diverse set of B2B and B2C (food & beverage, retail, paper, household & personal care, biotech, industrial materials and carpet) and functional perspectives represented (from procurement to brand & marketing), our goal was to explore the following questions…

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