Voice and Representation

Voice and Representation

Valuing and acting upon employee input and engagement through surveys, stay interviews, employee resource groups and meaningful task forces or improvement teams. This may also include open-book management, broad employee ownership (e.g., through employee stock ownership plans [ESOPs]), participatory management (co-operative), opportunities for workers to participate in collective action and productive relationships with organized labor.

How others put this principle into practice

  • In 2021, Harris County established an Essential Workers Board to advise the county on programs and policies that support essential workers. All members must be “low-income essential workers,” with at least one worker representative from the airport or transportation, construction, domestic work or home care, education or child care, grocery, convenience or drug store, health care or public health, janitorial, food services, hospitality or leisure services, and retail industries. In addition to advising the county on its overall approach to protecting essential workers’ rights and providing a public forum, the board is also tasked with providing feedback on the county’s purchasing and contracting policies; workforce development programs; tax abatement and incentive policies; community benefits agreements; distribution of federal COVID-19 relief and recovery funds; disaster preparedness and recovery programs; OSHA trainings; independent monitoring of local, state, and federal public health and labor laws and inclusive economic development planning.

  • Tucson, Arizona, used American Rescue Plan state and local fiscal recovery funds (SLFRF) to complete a data study on the small business retention risk in Tucson, raise awareness of employee ownership with business owners and provide technical assistance for businesses to assess the feasibility of employee ownership and begin the process of an employee ownership transition.

  • Minneapolis offers a free co-op feasibility training for potential and new cooperatives and existing businesses interested in converting into a cooperative. The program also provides one-on-one technical assistance (consulting).

Ways you can get started

Partnering with unions

This job quality intervention outlines how to use unions as critical partners in advancing shared job quality and equity goals.

Employee ownership

This job quality initiative outlines how workforce and economic development agencies can leverage employee ownership to raise wages and increase assets for companies and organizations, as well as decrease job turnover.

See How It's Measured