Employment and Jobs

Job Quality Narrative Playbook

October 27, 2023  • A—B Partners & Economic Opportunities Program

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This playbook, developed by A—B Partners as part of the Institute’s Shared Success project, offers findings and recommendations on how best to communicate the importance of job quality to owners of small- and medium-sized businesses. For instance, quality jobs can help to:

  1. Validate business owners as leaders. Investing in job quality offers a way to build status in the community.
  2. Offer support and control for their work. Offering quality jobs is a way to take control and build internal leverage to manage tensions that they face.
  3. Build a competitive advantage. Offering quality jobs is an attainable practice that opens doors for good talent to stay and make the business more competitive.
  4. Leave an impact. Quality jobs can improve employees’ lives so they can thrive and give back to the community while bolstering the business’s reputation.
  5. Across these strategies, the playbook describes the visual content and best practices to elevate these messages, along with “dos” and “don’ts” that small businesses and their intermediaries can use to ensure their outreach is effective.

Here is the Job Quality Narrative Research — Community Engagement Memo. It lays out the contours of this research, including context, opportunity, approach, findings, and recommendations.

About Shared Success

From stagnant wages to low access to benefits, poor job quality affects millions of workers in the US and disproportionately impacts BIPOC workers — millions of whom are employed at small- and medium-sized businesses. To improve job quality for these workers, while simultaneously helping owners strengthen their businesses, the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program launched the Shared Success project. With major support form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this initiative will foster new norms and narratives among small businesses, financial intermediaries that support them, and institutions positioned to drive structural changes for a more just and equitable economy. The ten community development financial institutions selected for this project will offer advisory services to improve dimensions of job quality for small business clients. Learn more.

About EOP

The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on publications, blog posts, events, and other announcements.