Jobcase for Change

By collaborating – as workers, employers, governments, and nonprofits – we can better prepare people and businesses for the workforce of the future. Stronger together.

Jobcase advocates for business practices that put people first. Like a modern version of a union, we elevate the voices and needs of America’s workers, and actively promote worker-centered employers. We encourage companies to adopt the policies below to strengthen their workers, and in turn, their businesses.

Worker-centered Thinking To Help People and Businesses

Make Shareholder Buybacks STAKEHOLDER Buybacks

For several reasons, companies often pay to re-absorb shares of their own stock. This is a great way to apportion their good fortune, but usually benefits only investors and shareholders. We’d like to suggest an alternative to that typical process. Re-invest in everyone who contributes to company success and reward workers for their contributions as well. Offer an employee windfall of 20 cents for every dollar you give to shareholders. Doing this will:

Show your employees you value them.
This type of windfall could be life-changing money for the average American. It sends a strong message that management cares about those who create share value, not just those who hold it. And it can improve employee morale and loyalty as well.

Attract talent as a company that practices worker-centered thinking.
Simply put, people love to work for employers that do right by their employees. Recruiting becomes easier, which can also mean spending less to find the right candidates.

Create a Pathway to a Living Wage

It’s not always feasible for some employers to pay a living wage for every type of job. But ALL employers should provide a pathway to reach a living wage. How does a pathway differ from paying? By offering a combination of tangible, worker-centered options, companies can help their employees get to where they need to be. The following business actions make a living wage achievable:

Assess and identify “living wage” jobs.
Employers should be direct about which jobs deliver take-home wages that meet local cost of living standards, and try to offer as many of these jobs as possible. Offering living wage jobs increases the likelihood that employees will be able to support themselves with less outside distractions. This helps workers and companies.

Embed opportunity pathways for “non-living wage” positions.
Roles that are not designated as living wage jobs should have a set of choices, like – clear promotion paths, and predictable, worker-friendly scheduling. This ensures employees will have the flexibility to pursue a living wage – through additional means like second jobs or education – without fear of retribution.

Widen and Diversify the Talent Pool

Many businesses want to improve their workforce and become more inclusive, but overlook an important solution – applicant diversity. This doesn’t just pertain to race, ethnicity, or gender. Certain applicants go unnoticed due to education or background, and their participation in the workforce is good for everyone. These ideas will address this issue and create more access:

Deflate degree requirements for certain jobs.
84% of people in G20 countries have never worn a cap and gown. And yet, many companies seek applicants with formal degrees – often for jobs that shouldn’t require them. Deflating degree standards can help businesses widen their applicant pool, and support the people navigating the changing nature of work.    

Help workers move beyond their past.
The formerly incarcerated often serve a lifetime sentence absent from the workplace – because no one will hire them. Meanwhile, the military has found that people with a background often perform better and get promoted sooner. Banning the box can help businesses find motivated candidates, and reduce recidivism by helping them become productive members of society.

Encourage Freedom of Movement for Workers

Changes in the modern economy demand that we give people more flexibility to advance. With many working multiple jobs or trying to build more promising careers, employers can have a big impact on how well they succeed. Here are three suggestions on how to help:

Eliminate non-compete agreements.
Non-competes are an unnecessary barrier for the average worker, and companies can still protect their interests with confidentiality and non-solicit clauses. Removing them allows people to navigate a constantly-changing job market more easily.

Make employee records and data portable.
These days, most people will work for numerous employers over the course of their lifetime, and will need the means to demonstrate their abilities in order to change jobs. Like medical records, letting employees access and share their reviews helps each individual drive the process themselves.

Invest in employee training and education.
Access to resources helps people from varying backgrounds develop to their fullest potential. That’s good for them and for your business.

When it Comes to Technology, Think “People-first”

This is a time of exponential growth for the development of new technology, and this requires an approach with forethought – especially as it pertains to work and people. It can be very easy to slip into a focus on innovation itself with little regard to how it affects the average worker. Simply put, technology should be built to help people. The following recommendations will help companies create “people-first” solutions:

Utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to replace tasks – not jobs.
This is where creativity in development can really distinguish great companies from good companies. By using AI and ML to replace dangerous or repetitive tasks, this frees up people to take on more interesting and varied problems that require human thinking. Both the efficiency and added brainpower can be big benefits.

Help workers transition to alternatives when their tasks have been automated.
In instances where technology replaces the functions of a person, businesses should share responsibility for that employee’s future. This can be as simple as training workers to do something else instead of downsizing, or putting them on a path to find success elsewhere.

Have other ideas for worker-centered policies? Or know of companies that do these things well? Please tell us! Send a note to advocacy@jobcase.com.