WorkLab Workforce Blog

Keeping you informed of the latest trends in engagement, retention, and workforce support

Why McDonald's is Paying for their Employees to go to College

Posted on April 9, 2019

In 2015, Seattle-based coffee house Starbucks made waves in the restaurant industry when they announced that they would be partnering with Arizona State University to fully fund tuition for their workers to pursue college degrees. What possible business sense could it make for a coffee company to pay for their associates to get an education that will ultimately encourage them to quit for a better job?

Topics: employee engagement, workforce equality, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, education & training

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Topics: employee engagement, workforce equality, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, education & training

Are workers ready for skills training? The problem with seeking growth before stability.

Posted on March 26, 2019

Employers need a strong pool of available labor with the skills and knowledge to sustain and grow their business, adding more jobs to the economy. No arguments there. Foundations and community organizations want to see lower-wage workers get the qualifications they need for the kind of jobs that can support a middle-class family. Again, wholeheartedly agree.

To me, the question is, are we doing the hard work to meet these learners where they are so that we can achieve that vision of a strategically trained workforce? The people who are in most need of career training are often least able to take advantage of it.

Topics: sustainable workforce model, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, financial stability, education & training, impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, career training, economic opportunity

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Topics: sustainable workforce model, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, financial stability, education & training, impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, career training, economic opportunity

Thinking through Thought Diversity

Posted on March 12, 2019

What is the ultimate goal of diversity and inclusion work? Headlines are full of stories about underrepresentation and limited opportunity of women and minorities in the workplace. The #MeToo movement shed light on the ubiquity of the challenges working women face in every industry from tech to hospitality to manufacturing. The Black Lives Matter movement is bringing visibility to a breadth of issues for black men and women in America. Often the end goal is described as creating a more equitable society, where opportunity exists for all. But for employers, diversity goals need to be more concrete. As this field of practice has matured, they’ve started to see data around what works and what doesn’t.

Topics: workforce equality, workforce support, diversity & inclusion, good jobs, employee retention, economic opportunity

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Topics: workforce equality, workforce support, diversity & inclusion, good jobs, employee retention, economic opportunity

Can the Right Employee Benefits Build Diversity?

Posted on February 26, 2019

We know that diversity brings both tangible benefits to the business, and also provides a positive impact for individuals, families, and the community. Among the ways that organizations typically pursue D&I is through the recruiting process, as well as in culture initiatives. Benefits are a key element of both of those processes and can have an impact on how the brand is perceived in the marketplace, as well as how employees relate to the organization.

Topics: barriers to employment, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, diversity & inclusion, good jobs, employee retention, economic opportunity

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Topics: barriers to employment, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, diversity & inclusion, good jobs, employee retention, economic opportunity

Ignoring Inequality is Leaving Money on the Table

Posted on February 12, 2019

Addressing systemic inequality is usually framed as a philanthropic endeavour. The idea is simple: those with significant resources generously give money for the sole benefit of the disadvantaged. But in reality, the economics tell a very different story. A 2018 report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum looked at the potential effect to the entire U.S. economy of eliminating racial disparities in health, incarceration, education, and employment.

Topics: barriers to employment, employee engagement, community development, diversity & inclusion, workforce development, good jobs, employee retention, career training, economic opportunity

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Topics: barriers to employment, employee engagement, community development, diversity & inclusion, workforce development, good jobs, employee retention, career training, economic opportunity

Stemming the Rising Tide of Workplace Stress

Posted on January 22, 2019

Work is hard, that’s why they pay you to do it.

Most of us have heard this idea, or some variation of it, throughout our working lives. But what happens when work is more than just hard?

Topics: employee engagement, good jobs, employee retention

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Topics: employee engagement, good jobs, employee retention

Rethinking the Company Loyalty Concept

Posted on January 8, 2019

Loyalty. We hear the word often, particularly in the context of brand loyalty. Airlines have mileage programs for frequent fliers, stores have member discounts for frequent buyers. Companies are trying hard to attract and maintain loyal customers.

Topics: labor pipeline, absenteeism, impact investing, workforce development, employee retention, career training

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Topics: labor pipeline, absenteeism, impact investing, workforce development, employee retention, career training

Leveling Up on the Line: Frontline Leaders Face Unique Challenges

Posted on December 13, 2018

Not just a job: a career!

That was the heading on the flyer in the employee break room at the restaurant chain where Emilia was hired a year ago. She has worked the drive-through window and rotated through all the food preparation stations. Today, though, she’s taking on a new role and it’s both exciting and a little nerve wracking. Emilia’s new name tag says “supervisor.”

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How Not to Make the Holidays the Season of Stress for Your Employees

Posted on December 6, 2018

It’s the holidays again! That time of year when we eat, drink, and make merry with friends and family, with home cooked meals and exchanges of gifts. At least, that's the image in our heads—but for low wage workers, this time of the year is not just parties and presents. It can be a stressful time.

Topics: workforce support

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Topics: workforce support

Playing for Keeps: Strategies that Benefit Business and Workers

Posted on November 15, 2018

When the competition for talent is fierce and monopolizes headlines in business publications, it sends a signal to employers to think through current workplace policies and practices to ensure they are competitive—that they are attracting the talent that best aligns with their workforce needs.

Topics: employers, employee engagement, employee retention

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Topics: employers, employee engagement, employee retention