Executive Director, Good Jobs Institute
MIT Professor Zeynep Ton’s groundbreaking book The Good Jobs Strategy demonstrated how companies can boost competitiveness through a combination of workforce investments and operational practices that benefit workers, customers, and the business. Based on this work, Ton founded the Good Jobs Institute (GJI) in 2017 to educate and advise companies and share tools and lessons that advance the creation of more good jobs.
As the founding executive director of GJI, Sarah Kalloch leads the organization’s job quality work, advising companies and investors on the Good Jobs Strategy and sharing tools and lessons that advance the creation of more good jobs.
Kalloch and the GJI team work with company leaders to diagnose challenges related to operations and human resources and to design a plan for organization-wide change. Businesses that adopt the Good Jobs Strategy not only invest in workers, but also make operational choices that improve employee productivity, motivation and contribution.
“We help businesses assess their operations to see where they can simplify work, create stronger standards, empower employees to solve customer problems and improve the business every day,” says Kalloch. “We also help to bridge gaps in communication and coordination between headquarters and the front line that can waste worker knowledge and time.”
Kalloch and her team are building momentum for more industry leaders to invest in good jobs. These business partnerships serve as “proof points” that investing in employees’ jobs can improve business performance. GJI is developing a replicable model that will support companies worldwide to improve their job quality, operations, and customer service. GJI is also sharing learning and best practices broadly through tools, publications, and case studies.
Transforming Businesses through Online Tools
To expand the reach of the Good Jobs Strategy, GJI created two online tools for businesses. The Good Jobs Scorecard helps executives and investors measure business value across three dimensions: employees, customers, and operational performance. Results can help leaders build the case for job quality and track changes across the three areas over time. The Good Jobs Diagnostic survey helps businesses identify areas of the Good Jobs Strategy they are currently practicing and where there are opportunities for improvement. Staff across the organization, from executives to frontline workers, complete the survey individually and then discuss results together.
GJI’s first company partnership resulted in about 40,000 improved frontline jobs with higher wages and increased benefits. The company has also begun to simplify operations, increase leadership opportunities at the store level, and focus on internal promotions.
GJI’s goal is to achieve impact at scale; by 2027, 10 years after its launch, GJI aims to help improve 10 million jobs through direct partnerships with businesses and by supporting the growing good jobs ecosystem of companies, investors, foundations, universities, policymakers and more that are collaborating to create quality jobs.
Kalloch, whose background is in sustainable operations, emphasizes the moral case for job quality alongside the business case. “There is a strong financial case for good jobs: they can help drive company productivity, reduce costs, differentiate you from competitors and make companies more adaptable in a rapidly changing world,” says Kalloch. “But workers deserve dignity, and business leaders who provide quality jobs can help set up their company and their community for long-term success in really profound ways.”
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