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How Wal-Mart is Creating a Meaningful Workplace

by Beth on January 26th, 2011

People want to have meaningful work, to feel like the work they do makes a difference.  But they also want to work in a meaningful workplace.  Meaningful workplaces are those that care about their employees and the broader community.  Employees prefer to work for socially and environmentally responsible companies.  They want their organizations to play a collaborative role in making both the community and the planet better.  More and more companies understand this and are adopting a “triple bottom line” which considers their social, environmental, and economic performance.

Wal-Mart is an excellent example.  It has a five-year campaign to green the supply chain by increasing fuel efficiency, reducing greenhouse gases and energy use, and cutting waste.  And last week it announced it is taking on the healthfulness of Americans’ diets as well.  Wal-Mart plans to reduce the salt, sugar, and saturated fats in its private-label products, and to encourage its suppliers to do the same.  Because Wal-Mart is so big (it sells more groceries than any other company in the country) this decision could have an enormous impact on the affordability of healthy food and the health of Americans.

You might question whether Wal-Mart is taking these steps in order to improve its image and make more money.  Perhaps it is.  But in so doing it is also increasing the engagement of its employees by creating a meaningful workplace.  People who work at Wal-Mart can feel proud that the company they work for is adopting initiatives that have the potential to greatly improve our planet and our society.

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