Creating and growing more good jobs is essential to our community. The San Diego Workforce Partnership believes that a quality job is a position that contributes to the stability of household by providing:
- Reliable/predictable earnings which are above self-sufficiency for family size thus covering basic living expenses as well as providing opportunities to begin to build wealth/assets
- Working conditions that are safe, free from discrimination and harassment, and welcoming of workers’ concerns and ideas for improvement
- Opportunities to learn, growth and advance either within the organization or the field
- A set of support systems, benefits and options that aligns with the needs of a worker’s life circumstances and career goals
As we worked to develop our definition of job quality, we received a SlingShot Grant through the California Workforce Development Board to fund a series of job quality experiments. Four local health care companies were selected to design and conduct 5-month job quality experiments.
Here’s how it went:
Experiment: Will sign-on bonuses alleviate difficulty hiring? Will paid continuing education hours encourage retention?
Results: A significant increase in jobs accepted versus jobs offered after they implemented the option for sign-on bonuses. Plus a significant uptick in retention due to the increased availability for training.
Experiment: Can a program, “Empowering Caregivers to be Leaders,” empower, motivate, and teach caregivers leadership skills and give an opportunity to take ownership of the value of their position?
Results: Additional training exercises, team scenarios and clerical hands on training—specifically in leadership—gave caregivers the confidence to lead a team of their own. The program enhanced caregiver communication and employees felt that they were maximizing their full potential by learning new skills and receiving hands-on training.
Elevation Health Partners
Experiment: Will offering employees a wellness stipend increase employee engagement and job satisfaction?
Results: There was a 24% increase from staff in satisfaction around work-life balance. However, the wellness stipend did not show any correlation with increased perceived job quality. They found that engaging employees or checking in every few months is a good way to understand where employees stand on job satisfaction and wellness.
Experiment: Can intern programs close the gap on personnel vacancies, our #1 employee dissatisfier?
Results: Implementing an internship program significantly increased job quality by filling positions that could not previously be filled. It provided an opportunity for high school and college students to gain hands-on experience and training and alleviate some of the workload for full-time employees.
The experiments represent a key opportunity to collect real data from real companies to get a better understanding of what job quality means. As well as how certain programs may (or may not) create better job quality for San Diegans.
In order to collect quantifiable data, surveys were developed and administered to employees prior to and at the conclusion of the 5-month experiment. This data was collected and analyzed by our research team at the Workforce Partnership.