Foundational Elements

Where To Start

Foundational elements are the best place to start when considering how to impact job quality. Explore the following options to see how you might begin (or continue) your job quality journey.

The tenets address:

  • What job quality means to an organization's strategy
  • How job quality supports equity
  • How job quality can be measured
  • How job quality can be operationalized and should be in place internally before an agency tackles changes to specific programs or partnerships

Without these foundational elements, organizations will struggle to create buy-in, measure progress and have long term, sustainable success for their JQ efforts. For example, don’t underestimate the impact that internal efforts to address job quality can have on external programming, partnerships and employer collaborations. 

Making changes internally demonstrates organizational commitment, experience doing the work and an understanding of the effort required, which goes a long way in meeting employer and worker needs. The internal work also allows the organization to identify and invest in the resources necessary to tackle more complex interventions.


  • Establishes a framework for thinking about job quality​
  • Articulates why change matters and how the organization will achieve it
  • Defines job quality principles and what they mean for a local area​


  • Acknowledges historical inequities and grounds the work​
  • Centers the individuals the organization seeks to serve​
  • Surfaces gaps in who is served and tackles disparate impacts​

Data and Measurement

  • Aligns data systems
  • Creates collection and measurement approaches​
  • Develops evaluation approaches to build the evidence base​

Leading by Example

  • Tackles internal processes and procedures (HR, procurement)​
  • Ensures that necessary resources are available
  • Demonstrates commitment and leadership

Opportunities for Change

Explore actions you can take to gain a holistic, inclusive view of what makes a good job taking into consideration not only basic needs or economic drivers, but also impacts on workers beyond compensation, benefits and safety.