Originally posted: May 11, 2020
Last updated: September 1, 2021
The Job Quality Tools Library offers actionable tools, resources, and guidance for leaders to improve jobs in their communities. Below is a list of tools for policy.
↓ Tools and Resources Below the Box ↓
- Job Quality Tools Library Homepage
- Index of Tools by Field
Tools for Policy (Alphabetical by Source)
What’s It For: To make the business case for improving retention, employers can use this simple calculator to get a ballpark estimate of hard costs of turnover. Partners can complete this exercise with businesses to show the value of their services or talent management practices that reduce turnover. Unlike many other turnover calculators, this tool includes both direct costs, such as the cost of hiring or orientation, and indirect costs, such as lower employee morale or poorer customer service.
What’s It For: This statement emerged from the collaborative work of the 2017-2018 Aspen Job Quality Fellows, innovators from diverse sectors who are working to expand quality jobs. It includes a list of key job quality attributes and a stated commitment to advance job quality. The statement offers a useful example for practitioners across fields seeking to define the elements of a quality job and publicly commit to job quality efforts.
What’s It For: This set of equity tools is designed to help organizations and individuals operationalize equity. Included is an equitable hiring tool, equitable workforce plans, and equity analysis tools. Tools focused on policy and budgeting provide a framework for users to consider whose voices are at the table when designing policies and regulations, who is likely to be impacted, and if the policy outcomes would lead to a more or less equitable environment. While designed for local government, these tools have broad relevance for a wide audience, including employers, policymakers, workforce development professionals, and others interested in centering equity in their policy and programmatic work.
What’s It For: This simple, user-friendly calculator serves as a tool to measure the income needed by a family to maintain an adequate standard of living in a specific community. It can calculate costs based on all counties and metro areas in the US and for 10 family types (one or two adults with zero to four children). Family budgets are calculated using seven components: housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, taxes, and “other necessities.”
What’s It For: This assessment tool analyzes the job quality of frontline workers through measures including retention, increase in average earnings, benefits access and quality, and diversity and inclusion. Using automated scoring and reporting, it benchmarks companies to industry peers and identifies and tracks potential human capital improvements. Unlike other assessment tools featured here, the benchmarks rely on publicly reported data rather than self-reporting by companies. This tool has value for a range of employers, including anchor institutions that can use it in their procurement processes.
What’s It For: MIT’s Good Jobs Institute created this framework to help employers seeking to improve worker experience, retention, and productivity to assess their performance across nine “essential elements” of a quality job. These include meeting an employee’s basic needs, such as through fair wages and a flexible schedule, and meeting “higher needs” such as personal growth, belonging, and recognition. While designed for employers, the framework has relevance for all practitioners seeking to define and assess job quality in an organization.
What’s It For: HCAP Partners – a fund providing debt and equity growth capital to lower-middle market companies – has developed this operational impact approach to assess job quality standards and improvements in portfolio companies through a quantitative measurement system. HCAP has identified five key attributes of job quality that fall within the categories of economic opportunity and health and wellness. HCAP engages with businesses to collect data, develop a baseline assessment, and build a strategic roadmap to implement and improve workplace initiatives for creating and maintaining high quality jobs. While this bespoke measurement system is designed to meet HCAP’s needs, other investors, lenders, and practitioners who work with businesses to improve job quality may find HCAP’s job quality definition and measurement framework useful in developing their own tools.
What’s It For: The Management Center created this library of tools related to equity and inclusion aimed at addressing internal practices and management approaches of organizations. Included are worksheets, resources, and case studies that are have application for organizations seeking to further equitable opportunities and outcomes.
What’s It For: This calculator is a tool for estimating the living wage by U.S. metro area, county, state, region, or at the national level. The living wage is defined as the wage needed to cover basic family expenses including housing, food, childcare, transportation, health, and other necessities, plus relevant taxes. The calculator estimates the living wage needed to support families of 12 different compositions (one to two adults with up to three children). Practitioners across fields can use this tool to benchmark compensation in local communities or firms against a wage rate that allows residents to meet minimum standards of living. Because the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a nonpartisan research institution, practitioners report that this tool has credibility with a range of audiences including businesses.
What’s It For: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) developed this guide to answer frequently asked questions for individuals regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Resources cover topics including how to manage anxiety, how to access medication while in quarantine, and how to manage concerns about loved ones who are incarcerated. Additionally, NAMI offers guidance on how to access public healthcare benefits, financial assistance, and other supports. Employers and a range of organizations that provide support to workers might find this guide useful to share with the individuals they work with.
What’s It For: This resource includes research summaries related to potential effects of employee ownership on firms and workers. Research includes studies conducted by NCEO as well as academic research from a variety of sources. Areas explored include firm performance, employment stability and survival, and employee financial well-being. This resource may be particularly useful for employers exploring employee ownership business models as well as advocates and employee support organizations working with either business owners or workers interested in employee ownership.
What’s It For: This framework can help employers and their partners define job quality and design high-quality job opportunities in collaboration with workers, based on a menu of components of a quality job. The tool is built around three pillars that can help to attract and retain talent: foundational elements of a quality job such as wages and benefits, support elements such as training, and opportunity elements such as recognition.
What’s It For: This discussion paper is designed to help Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) define and measure job quality. It defines a quality job as one that contains most (if not all) of five elements: a living wage, basic benefits, career-building opportunities, wealth-building opportunities, and a fair and engaging workplace. The paper offers impact measurement practices to assess and report on job quality to help CDFIs encourage and support their business borrowers to enhance the quality of jobs they offer. While this resource is written for lenders, it has applications for all practitioners seeking to define and measure job quality within a firm.
What’s It For: This issue brief by PHI analyzes the impacts of recent policy changes in New York state impacting home care aides and defines what a quality job looks like for a caregiver. The elements of a quality job in this occupation are organized in three categories: compensation, opportunity, and supports. While designed for care workers, the framework has relevance across industries and application for all practitioners seeking to define and assess job quality in an organization.
What’s It For: This website includes resources to support pregnant and breastfeeding workers. Resources are designed to educate employees about their workplace rights, for employers to adopt family-friendly policies and ensure compliance with state and federal laws, and for policymakers and advocates to support pregnant and breastfeeding employees. Tools include a model policy that reflects current legal requirements, a webinar for employee training, and a chart of workplace accommodations for common pregnancy-related conditions. In addition to workers, employers, and policymakers, workforce development professionals who support workers may also find this resource guide useful.
What’s It For: This impact analysis tool by Race Matters can be used to assess the impact of policies, programs, and practices on racial equity. The tool provides a set of five guiding questions to determine if existing and proposed policies and programs are likely to address specific racial disparities in the United States.
What’s It For: This tool supports leaders to use data to assess the extent to which observed disparities are due to policies, practices, and processes that have a racial dimension. This six-step tool can be used by decision-makers in any organization to analyze outcomes and disparities.
What’s It For: The San Diego Workforce Partnership developed this list of seven actionable steps workforce development practitioners can take to assess and improve job quality. Strategies relate to spending, employer engagement, partnerships, building worker power, and measuring success. The Workforce Partnership also provides a job quality framework and list of job quality indicators. Although designed for workforce practitioners, this tool can also be informative for others interested in strategies to improve job quality, including policymakers and economic development professionals.
What’s It For: The Racial Equity Toolkit provides a process and set of questions designed to analyze how policies, initiatives, programs, and budget issues benefit or burden communities of color. The toolkit can be used to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies and solicit input from community members and staff. Although the toolkit includes some information specific to the City of Seattle, it can be adapted by a range of stakeholders within and beyond local governments interested in centering racial equity in job quality strategies.
What’s It For: This tool provides information about ALICE households, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. These are households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level but not enough to afford their most basic needs, including housing, food, transportation, and health care. The tool provides a national overview and state- and county-level information about the percentage of ALICE households. Users can explore data by household factors including age, family composition, and race/ethnicity. United for ALICE has also published research focused on financial hardship in Black households. This tool has relevance for policymakers and employers focused on policies and practices related to wages. Organizations who support workers or employers may also find this tool useful.
What’s It For: This calculator can help a provider or individual assess how a family’s change in income could affect public benefits from safety net programs (also known as the “benefits cliff”). This tool allows users to test scenarios at different earning levels and show results for all U.S. states. Businesses and their partners might use this tool as they consider the appropriate wage and benefits mix to enhance job quality and ensure economic stability for all workers.
What’s It For: This tool is designed to help policymakers and practitioners understand the extent of the pandemic’s effects on communities and inform race-conscious policies for an equitable recovery. The tracker uses the federal Household Pulse Survey to connect policymakers and practitioners to various data (e.g., on employment income loss, food insufficiency, mental health) that can be disaggregated by geography and race/ethnicity. Policymakers as well as practitioners in economic development, workforce development, and worker advocacy may find this tool useful to design strategies for an equitable recovery.
What’s It For: This toolkit by the Department of Labor provides steps and resources to start and register an apprenticeship program. When delivered appropriately and connected to advancement opportunities, apprenticeships can strengthen job quality by increasing worker stability and mobility. This toolkit could be particularly useful for a business or labor organization, a workforce intermediary, a community-based organization, or an education institution developing an apprenticeship program.
What’s It For: This toolkit is a collection of nearly 60 workplace policies that can help support, stabilize, and retain employees in low-wage work. The toolkit also contains sections on gender-based violence workers may be experiencing in their home lives and second-chance employment for formerly incarcerated individuals After a quick registration for a free account, the Employer Toolkit search feature can help you identify specific policy recommendations, many of which include sample HR policy language that companies can draw from. One section provides guidance for developing supportive paid leave policies, which may be useful for both employers and the practitioners who work with them.