I've noticed a trend among those who are unhappy with their jobs: They all long for a sense of meaning in their work. In today's world, the 40-hour work week easily spills over to 60, 70 and even 80 hours of our lives each week, so it makes sense that more and more people want to give their time and energy to something greater than their financial status or the company's bottom line. People want to feel like they are contributing to the greater good and are giving back -- to do this and earn a paycheck, well, that would be a dream job.
The younger generation is moving toward companies that have a sense of social responsibility -- those that implement green practices or have a charitable arm. Many people in their 30s and 40s who are not employed by companies like this are searching for new jobs at organizations they can feel good about; others are taking it a step further by building their own companies with positive social and environmental goals. I left my job at TimeWarner many years ago because I wanted more meaning in my work and life; I went on to start First30Days.
The good news is that every company has the ability to transform itself into a Meaning-Based Business, but it starts from the top with the CEO and management team.