10-Day Job Quality Challenge

Save Friday Morning (Nov. 12 & 19) for Job Quality Coffee & Conversation!

As part of the 10-Day Job Quality Challenge, JVS invites you to join our Job Quality Coffee and Conversation. During this hour-long interactive ZOOM discussion, we’ll be sharing reflections on the week’s assignments and how to put job quality into practice at your company or in your community. Join us Friday, November 12 and 19, from 9am-10am by using the link below.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://jvs-boston.zoom.us/j/86572565825?pwd=ZkVNQXlPcnZRbFQ5ZUZkUXh6VDAzUT09

Meeting ID: 865 7256 5825
Passcode: 850314

Welcome to Day 1 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Today’s theme: Welcome and Orientation

Over the course of the next 10 business days, we invite you to join our first ever Job Quality Challenge – designed to inform and expand your thinking on the topic and inspire you to improve job quality in your company and community.

Activity 1. Let the 10-day Challenge Begin! (8 mins)

JVS’ CEO Jerry Rubin and VP of Employer Engagement, Mandy Townsend, welcome you to Day 1 of the Job Quality 10-day Challenge – an event designed to inform and inspire action, regionally and nationally - and give you a taste of what’s to come! 

Activity 2: Learn about JVS’s Job Quality Benchmarking Index (3 mins)

Take a tour of JVS’s custom Job Quality software tool that provides participating employers with a Benchmark Report (and a Detailed report, should they choose) that will show how their jobs compare against similar roles at competing companies! 

Activity 3: Take the Job Quality Survey and Get a FREE Benchmark Report (25 mins) 

Sample ReportEager to see how your company’s jobs stack up? Take the survey (or have your HR rep take it) for one (or more!) of your entry-level positions. As soon as there are at least 5 completed surveys for the same role, a Benchmark Report will be emailed. All company names and data are kept confidential, just as your company data will be redacted in others’ reports. Usually, such reports cost $500 or more, but this report is FREE. Use the data to see how your roles stack up against the competition or to help you maintain your competitive edge. Start the survey here.

 

Optional Activity 4. Did you miss JVS’s Economic Forum on Job Quality? Watch it here! (1 hour) 

Earlier today, JVS hosted an Economic Forum focusing on Job Quality. The event featured a panel of experts on Job Quality change, followed by a panel of employers who have embraced the concept and implemented change in their company or industry.

 

Welcome to Day 2 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Understanding Today's Unprecedented Labor Market

Employers are struggling to fill their openings and candidates are scarce. What’s the cause? What does Job Quality have to do with it? More importantly, what can you to find candidates in this unusual labor market?

Activity 2: Reflect on the following questions as you read.

  • Pause and ReflectWhat is playing a role in the workers quitting their former jobs?
  • What common factors are affecting low-wage or entry level workers?
  • What aspirations do workers have that have not been addressed in their prior positions?

 

Activity 3:Record your thoughts and reflections on these articles.

Bring your notes to the Coffee & Conversation on Friday, November 12, from 9-10am.

Welcome to Day 3 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Winning WAGES

In most scenarios, the quickest way to determine if a job is valued is by checking the pay rate. And yet on the federal level, poverty thresholds can be deceiving – suggesting that one can actually live on the minimum wage ($12.75/hour in Massachusetts), that does not take into account childcare and healthcare or the size of a family.

In Greater Boston, the cost of living is high, yet most entry-level wages in the region make it difficult to support oneself, let alone a family. So, today’s challenge is to learn more about the low-wage workforce and the challenges they face.

Activity 1: MIT’s Living Wage Calculator (10 mins)

Explore how “families and individuals in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to meet the minimum standards given the local cost of living” by checking out MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a tool designed to raise wage awareness in individuals, communities and employers.

Question: What job areas are most at risk for offering poverty level wages? What does your company pay entry-level workers? Is it enough to live on?

Activity 2: How Well Do You Know Your Low-Wage Workforce (Cincinnati Women's Fund)? (3 mins)

Day 3, Activity 2

Are you familiar with the issues your low-wage workers are facing? This succinct website from the Cincinnati Women’s Fund outlines three important areas where workers may struggle. How could your company support workers who are facing these challenges?

 

Activity 3: Meet the Low-Wage Workforce (Brookings Institution)(10 mins)

Low-wage workers comprise a relatively large portion of the workforce. What do these workers have in common? What industries do they work in? How are these workers at risk and seemingly excluded from opportunities to grow?

Welcome to Day 4 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Retaining Your Current Workforce

It can be difficult to think about retaining your current workforce when hiring is such a challenge, but imagine if you created an optimal work environment and your company became a preferred employer. Your reputation in the community and your employees would help you to attract (and retain) a great workforce. 

Activity 1: MIT’s Living Wage Calculator How has the Veterans Health Administration held onto their team? (15-60 mins)

Happy Veteran’s Day! The VHA has been growing its workforce, maintained turnover rates at or below 9.5% (when the industry standard is closer to 20-30%), and improved the VHA climate and culture over the past 2 years. What’s their secret? Read the executive summary (15 mins) or the entire report (60 mins) to find out. 

Read: VHA Workforce and Success Strategic Plan FY 2020-21 

Activity 2: Watch Video: Reflections on Job Quality by JVS Clients (5 mins)

If you missed Monday’s Economic Opportunity Forum, you’re not going to want to miss what JVS's clients had to say about what job quality means to them. As you watch, take notes. What themes are coming up? If you were their employer, what steps might you take to retain these great workers? 

 

Activity 3: Ask Three Colleagues What Job Quality Means to Them (20 Mins)

Arrange to interview three colleagues and ask them, “What does job quality mean to you? What do you look for in a quality job?” Are there themes that resonate with the video you watched above?  

Take notes and bring them to tomorrow’s Coffee & Conversation.  

Welcome to Day 5 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Join us this morning (9am-10am) for Job Quality Coffee & Conversation!

As part of the 10-Day Job Quality Challenge, we invite you to join our interactive Job Quality Coffee and Conversation. During this ZOOM discussion, we’ll be sharing reflections on the week’s assignments and how to put job quality into practice at your company or in your community.

Questions for today’s meeting:

  • What assignment really piqued your interest this week?
  • Did you learn anything new?
  • What did your colleagues say job quality means to them?
  • How did your thoughts on job quality change?
  • What ideas do you have about improving job quality at your company?

Activity: Divide into breakout rooms by industry sector or by size of the group.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://jvs-boston.zoom.us/j/86572565825?pwd=ZkVNQXlPcnZRbFQ5ZUZkUXh6VDAzUT09

Meeting ID: 865 7256 5825
Passcode: 850314

Welcome to Day 6 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Are Your Benefits Benefitting Your Employees? 

Not all benefits work for all employees. Today's assignments will focus on different employee benefits that might better serve low-wage workers.

Activity 1: Listen to The Daily Podcast: Is Your Child Care a Public Responsibility? (30 mins)

Is Child Care a Public Responsibility?During the COVID pandemic, the initial lack of childcare held many working parents back from returning to their jobs. But as schools return to in-person instruction and childcare centers re-open their doors, an industry staffing shortage creates another hurdle. Who should fix the state of childcare?

Activity 2: Read Why Hiring for Child Care is a Huge Struggle (New York Times) (3 mins)

As the nation heals from the pandemic, a childcare crisis looms. Childcare is too expensive for many low-income families and the industry is struggling to hire workers in this unusual market. 

Review your company’s benefits and reflect on the following questions:

  • Are your current benefits supportive of families with pre-school and school-age children?
  • What does childcare cost in your area?
  • What role could government play in addressing these issues?

Activity 3: Research Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) (15 Mins)

Many companies utilize Employee Assistance Programs to support their workforce beyond the usual healthcare benefits. Research a handful of different providers to explore if this is an option that is right for your company. Some examples include:

Activity 4: Research How an Income Advance Program Works (10 mins)

Research How an Income Advance Program WorksFinancial distress can be the cause of employee’s inability to perform on the job. Mitigating that distress will lead to longer term retention. An income advance program can provide employees easy access to small emergency loans when they encounter unexpected difficulties, in a way that builds credit and encourages saving for the long-term.

Welcome to Day 7 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Scheduling Matters!

Scheduling is a critical element of a quality job – but not all jobseekers require the same qualities in a schedule! Some require predictability; others require flexibility. And most workers are seeking a job with benefits – even if it is part-time.

Activity 2: Reflect on the following questions and take notes to share at Friday's Coffee and Conversation.

  • What scheduling challenges occur in your workplace? How do they impact your workers at every level of your organization and in every stage of life?
  • While these articles discuss the retail sector in detail, how could the practices impact other industries?

Activity 3: Read The Cost of Turnover (Cincinnati Women's Fund) (3 mins)

The cost of hiring and losing an employee is more expensive than you might think. Read this breakdown of the costs, calculate what turnover costs your company, and consider how becoming a quality employer might minimize turnover costs considerably.

Welcome to Day 8 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Support and Career Ladders in the Workplace

At the Forum on November 8, we heard from JVS clients reflecting on what job quality means to them. Feeling valued and supported in the workplace is very important to workers - in addition to being given the ability and opportunity to grow within a company. Today, we take a closer look at both elements of a quality job.

Activity 1: Watch Michael C. Bush's Ted Talk: What Makes Employees Happy At Work (4 mins)

When workers are happy, productivity soars. So, what’s the secret to employees’ happiness?

Activity 2: Read Guide to Employee Financial Wellness (National Fund for Workforce Solutions) (10 mins)

Financial wellness may not be outwardly visible. How do you support those who are having difficulties making ends meet? Learn what signs to look for and a myriad of strategies to address the financial wellness of your entire workforce.

Activity 3: Review and reflect upon the sample career ladder template below used by ASTRA, a construction company in Atlanta.

Does your company make the steps to skill acquisition and promotion as clear as this company does? How could creating a similar career ladder document motivate workers and help them reach their career goals?

Activity 4: Reflect on the following questions. Take notes and bring them to the Friday Coffee & Conversation

  • What strategies presented in the videos, readings, and graphics could you see used in your workplace?
  • Which strategies are easy to implement? Which would be more challenging?
  • What could these strategies mean for the engagement, retention, promotion, and job satisfaction of your colleagues/employees?

Welcome to Day 9 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Equity in the Workplace

To ensure that everyone has equal access and opportunity, companies must adopt policies and practices that that account for the structural and institutional barriers to opportunity that have operated in American society for generations.

Activity 1: Read and reflect on 10 Essential Questions (Associated Black Charities) (30 mins)

This resource speaks to employers, policy makers, workforce development agencies, and philanthropic organizations and provides each with 10 essential questions to guide strategies for ensuring an increase in access to opportunities for disenfranchised individuals, and especially people of color. Review the document best suited for your role and reflect upon the material and questions posed. Bring your thoughts to tomorrow’s Coffee & Conversation.

Activity 2: Read and reflect on Race and the Work of the Future: Advancing Workforce Equity in the United States (30 mins)

Workforce equity is the key to building an equitable economy. Together, we can dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity for people of color, scale training models and invest in strategies to ensure that working people can be uplifted by technological advancements and insist on job quality for all workers.

Activity 3: Watch The Good Jobs Strategy: Zeynap Ton at TedX Cambridge (10 mins)

Zeynap Ton, Business Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, makes the business case for offering good jobs to employees. Investing in and training employees pays off.

Activity 4: (Optional) To Build Back Better, Job Quality is the Key (Aspen Institute) (40 mins)

The U.S. has too few quality jobs - and this is contributing to a multitude of issues including low productivity, poor health, fractured politics, and a lack of access to economic opportunity. And these ills have disproportionate impacts on women and workers of color - significantly impacting earnings and wealth gaps across demographic groups. Improving job quality is key to addressing these issues.

Welcome to Day 10 of JVS’ Job Quality Challenge!

Join us this morning (9am-10am) for Job Quality Coffee & Conversation!

Where do we go from here?

On this final day of our 10-Day Job Quality Challenge, we invite you to join our Job Quality Coffee and Conversation. During this Interactive ZOOM discussion, we'll be sharing reflections on the past two week's assignments and discuss and share ideas on how to put job quality into practice at your company or in your community.
Questions for today’s meeting include:

  • What assignment(s) really piqued your interest this week?
  • Did you learn anything new?
  • Have your thoughts on job quality changed? How?
  • What steps are you considering to improve job quality at your company or in your community?

Join Zoom Meeting
https://jvs-boston.zoom.us/j/86572565825?pwd=ZkVNQXlPcnZRbFQ5ZUZkUXh6VDAzUT09

Meeting ID: 865 7256 5825
Passcode: 850314

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