Where to Start

There is a common process that is helpful to follow when beginning your job quality journey.

1. Determine what you control

Review the specifics of your job quality project or initiative and determine if they are within your control. If you have developed a job quality strategy, this can be a useful input. If your desired project includes elements that are outside your control, consider refining your scope to focus on an area where you have direct control or very strong influence. For example, internal changes to policies, practices and culture can be a great place to start as you generally have more access to the necessary data and resources needed for change. If you need more information on starting internally, check out this guide to leading by example.

2. Select your lever

There are five main levers that agencies can use to implement job quality - procurement, policy, HR practices, empowerment, education and enforcement. Selecting a lever that is within your scope of control will help you not only narrow your focus but enable you to advance the work more quickly. Don’t be afraid to start small and then build over time.

3. Document your goals

Use your goals to build out your logic model and capture your planned inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes. Successfully pulling your selected lever(s) will require dedicated resources such as leadership buy-in, staff capacity and funding. If you already have a logic model and are looking to begin measuring the outputs and outcomes you identified, you can get more information in our Data and Measurement page on creating a data collection strategy.

4. Use your goals to advance equity

Equity should be the bedrock of any job quality initiative. Consider whether the goals, activities and measures in your logic model will advance equity in your community; adjust where needed. This might require adjusting your program design approach to include representatives from the community, setting aside budget to compensate individuals for their insights, creating feedback loops or further disaggregating data to understand population specific impacts.


Want to get started? Begin by determining what you control.