What business results are possible when you redesign jobs?

About this IRC® + IRC4HR® Project

Within and across industries, the most successful companies are the ones that focus on the things that their workers care about and that typically define a “good job;’” things like better pay, investments in training and development, increased autonomy, more control over scheduling and work processes, and trust. In short, how companies manage their people is “the single most important factor accounting for variation in performance” (Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford).

But not all business leaders see it that way. And, until recently, most people in the investment community didn’t see it that way either. Which, perhaps, explains why business leaders haven’t been rewarded for adopting quality jobs practices, especially when it appeared to be cheaper to do something else.

Ellen Frank-Miller’s research, and that of others, shows why they are mistaken. Time and time again the data show that better jobs lead to better business outcomes and above market investment returns. The science is solid. The correlations are real. So, how do we convince employers and investors that investing in workers and job quality is a worthy pursuit?

In this project – Job Quality is a Pathway to Alpha – IRC4HR has provided funding for Ellen and her organization, Workforce & Organizational Research Center (WORC), to develop a package of educational materials to raise awareness among the investor community of the evidence base regarding the power of improving jobs to generate above-market returns (alpha) and to execute a campaign to inform this audience. While the target of the education campaign is the investor community, we believe that the evidence, materials, and presentations will benefit the broader employment community of business owners and leaders, as well.

Here are the materials that Ellen and her team created:

Ellen has spent her 30-year career collaborating with investors, employers, national advocates, and community-based organizations to help make frontline jobs better and more accessible to all. An organizational scholar by training, Dr. Frank-Miller has 15 years of experience in HR consulting and excels at creating evidence-based programs and policies. Prior to launching the Workforce & Organizational Research Center (WORC), she founded and led the Workforce Financial Stability Initiative at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her PhD at the University of Chicago.

Consultation Paper

Want to Achieve Alpha? Make Jobs Better

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