Levers for Change

Levers for Change

Job quality can be approached from a number of perspectives and levers are the mechanism to drive change.

If you aren’t sure where to start, focus on the lever that your organization has direct control or strong influence over. Don’t be afraid to start small and then build over time. Starting internally, with your own policies, practices and people, is a great way to test out your change before applying it more broadly. Once you are happy with the result, consider applying that lever to your programs, partners or your broader community or begin work on a new lever. There is no wrong answer but taking small, targeted steps is the best way to build lasting change.

Explore the different levers below to learn more:

Influence the quality of jobs and equitable access by examining how funds are used and for what purposes. Agencies can use procurement practices to directly fund projects related to job quality or equity, to prioritize diversity and high-quality jobs in the organizations they fund and through the procurement process itself as a means of advancing job quality.

Interested in learning how other organizations have used the Procurement lever? See Leading Examples.

Provide employees, partners and customers of your agency with voice and representation. Empowerment practices recognize historical and systemic inequities and intentionally equip individuals to participate at the decision-making table in real and meaningful ways.

Interested in learning how other organizations have used the Empowerment lever? See Leading Examples.

Policy helps to set the tone for the agency and also defines the processes, structures and requirements that influence job quality and equity outcomes. Agencies can directly influence what is mandated, incentivized or prohibited through regulations. Further, this lever can be a powerful signal to the community of the value of job quality and equity, encouraging change within other organizations.

Interested in learning how other organizations have used the Policy lever? See Leading Examples.

Help agencies "walk the talk" on job quality and equity. Human resources can set the standard for how employees are treated, not only at the time of hire, but also throughout the employment life cycle. Internal human resource practices are a good place to begin the journey of improving job quality and equity; a sound foundation in human resources is essential for advanced work down the road.

Interested in learning how other organizations have used the HR Practices lever? See Leading Examples.

Monitoring and enforcement ensures that workers are protected through existing laws, employers are educated and empowered to address ongoing changes and accountability for legal protections. This includes equipping employers as well as monitoring job quality protections and contract requirements related to procurement policies, incentive programs, wage subsidy programs and other policies that go beyond federal, state and local labor law.

Interested in learning how other organizations have used the Monitoring and Enforcement lever? See Leading Examples.

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.