Employers across the country are using different aspects of job design to not only meet their internal pain points but also improve the lives of their workers.
Promising Practices from Employers
GAP Stable Scheduling Study:
The Gap ran a pilot at 28 stores in San Francisco and Chicago. This report is the first randomized controlled experiment of a multi-component intervention designed to shift schedules in hourly retail jobs toward greater stability. The Stable Scheduling Study found that increasing the stability of work schedules is possible and even profitable in today’s competitive retail environment. Key findings include increases in consistency, predictability and worker input. Adequacy of work hours did not increase for most associates; experienced associates may have benefited more from the shift to stability than inexperienced employees. Stable scheduling significantly increased median sales and labor productivity, and return on investment was high. Fluctuating customer demand is not the primary source of instability; managers consistently implemented advanced notice and elimination of on-calls in both control and treatment stores. Store managers’ responses to the Intervention were generally positive, with a strong recommendation that other business practices be changed at the same time as scheduling practices.
Chipotle (National) Partnership with Guild Education:
Chipotle has partnered with Guild Education since 2018 to provide its employees the opportunity to earn an advanced degree such as an online bachelor’s degree in 18 months. Classes fit into workers’ schedules and are designed to help them grow in their careers. The program is part of Chipotle’s educational assistance program, which provides up to $5,250 a year in tuition assistance and a Guild Education personal success coach who helps students enroll in classes and apply for financial aid.
Cupcakin' Bake Shop (CA) Good Jobs Initiative:
Cupcakin' Bake Shop is a Northern-California-based business with multiple locations. The company is committed to maintaining job quality as it grows. The owner offers her workers a living wage, career-building opportunities, wealth-building opportunities and a fair and engaging workplace. Cupcakin’ partnered with Pacific Community Ventures and their Good Jobs, Good Business program to implement job quality practices, including tracking and measuring changes over time, as well as to receive access to capital to scale operations efficiently and prepare the business for the future while supporting quality jobs.
Triversity Construction (OH) Workforce Measurement Efforts:
Triversity is a Cincinnati, Ohio, based construction company that has established a mandate to “build a better way.” It accomplishes this mandate by measuring equity and job quality in both its recruiting and its advancement process through the working metrics tool, which allows tracking and analysis of data such as job growth, retention, earnings and benefits by race and gender.
TriHealth (Ohio) Job Quality Measurement and KPIs:
TriHealth, a $2,000,000,000 hospital system in Ohio, was experiencing continued pressure on reimbursements, requiring it to drive down cost, which was impacting its suppliers’ workers. To combat this, TriHealth began collecting job quality and equity data as part of their procurements. The company used the bidders’ scores and results as part of its selection process, adding to its evaluation of long-term supplier reliability and worker equity. Going forward Tri-Health is asking suppliers to continue to use the working metrics tool as a key performance indicator in its quarterly business reviews.
Hilton Hotels (National) Hospitality Apprenticeship:
Since 2017, the Hilton Apprenticeship Academy has taught hospitality through hands-on exposure to a range of industry disciplines. Hilton apprentices complete a six-week rotation through all hotel departments, including security, food and beverage, engineering, accounting, human resources and front office. Once they complete the rotation, apprentices choose a specific department to focus on for an additional 16 weeks. Upon the conclusion of those 16 weeks, apprentices complete a final project that includes a presentation to Hilton’s executive committee.
Aurora Health Care (WI) Employee Homeownership Assistance Program:
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit integrated health care provider based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that helps employees with housing close to the hospital. A 2008 evaluation showed participating employees performed better, stayed with the company longer and had lower turnover.
Landed (National) Essential Worker Down Payment Assistance:
Since 2015, Landed has partnered with employers of essential professionals in the healthcare, education, and public administration to provide down payment assistance through a shared equity program. Landed invests up to $120,000 toward home down payments and shares in future gain or loss in the employee’s home value.
North Coast Small Business Development Center (CA) Small Business Transitions to Employee Ownership:
North Coast Small Business Development Center in Humboldt County, California, surveyed its small business clients about succession plans and used federal and state small business development center funding to provide education and advising on employee ownership as a succession and exit strategy to local business owners.
Firebrand Bakery (CA) Employee Ownership Trust:
Firebrand Bakery in Oakland, California, is a bakery owned by and for its employees through an employee ownership trust. Firebrand has 11 purposes baked into its corporate charter such as obligations to hire people who are formerly homeless or incarcerated, year-end profit sharing with all employees, creating a diverse and equitable supply chain and operating the company for long-term success rather than short-term profit.
Indiana Stamp and Sign Works (IN) Childcare Subsidy Program:
This family-owned manufacturing company pays 33% of childcare costs for employees’ babies up to 12 months as a retention benefit for new parents. The only requirement is that parents choose a center that is rated as a level 3 or higher in Paths to QUALITY, the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system for childcare.
Patagonia (CA) Onsite Child Care Program:
Since 1983, this private company has provided onsite childcare for working caregivers and has published a book to make the case that on-site childcare for working families is at the heart of responsible business today.
Boulder County (CO) Infant Care Program:
The Boulder County Health and Human Services Department recognized that the lack of access and high cost of early child and infant care was contributing to turnover and creating significant stress for parents of new babies who continued to work. In 2016, they created a Babies at Work policy to allow employees to bring their infant children to work with them, reducing attrition and use of sick leave and increasing employee satisfaction.
Quest Diagnostics (National) Good Jobs Initiative:
Quest Diagnostics had high turnover and operational issues, leading to frustrated employees and customers. In 2015, under new leadership, the company launched a Good Jobs Transformation to improve the performance and lives of the workers through creating greater meaning and purpose at work.
ICA Group (National) Employee-Owned Child Care Businesses:
This national nonprofit works with childcare workers and owners to increase the number of employee-owned childcare businesses and cooperatives, such as the Rose Garden in Buffalo, New York. Workforce and economic development agencies can partner with groups like ICA to create more resiliency, equity and wealth building opportunities in the childcare industry, helping childcare businesses grow and expand to create more spots for working families.