Introducing the Quality Jobs Index
For billions of people around the globe, the daily grind of work remains a grueling and unrewarding experience, barely providing enough to get by. The repercussions of this pervasive issue extend far beyond the individual level, impacting the overall well-being of societies and economies worldwide.
Poor quality jobs are killing millions
Each year, 2.7 million workers die from unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. These individuals, driven by necessity, put their lives at risk simply to earn a living. According to research from the UN Global Compact, one in five workers don’t earn enough to lift themselves out of poverty. Polling by Gallup reveals that 80% of workers do not feel engaged in their jobs. Trapped in mundane tasks, workers lack motivation and feel disconnected from the purpose and impact of their work. Work, which should serve as a means of progress and personal growth, has become a source of despair for far too many people.
The high cost of disengagement vs. the benefits of engagement
The consequences of disengagement and poor jobs are not limited to individual employees; businesses face both financial and human capital challenges too. Disengaged workers cost companies a staggering $7.8 trillion in 2022, 11% of the world’s GDP. The revolving door of disengaged employees places a significant burden on organizations, resulting in a 59% higher turnover rate. These figures represent lost opportunities, reduced productivity, and less growth that cripples organizational growth and potential.
Businesses with engaged workers see benefits across the organization. Engaged workers lead to a 23% increase in profit than those with disengaged employees; providing purpose and fulfillment leads directly to increased productivity. A motivated workforce leads to an 18% increase in productivity. Quality jobs aren’t just better for the world, they’re better for business.
Primark’s Sudokkho training program in Bangladesh serves as a compelling example of the transformative power of quality jobs. Through targeted investments in workforce development, Primark has improved the lives of workers in their supply chain. The program’s impact is evident in the enhanced skills, career advancements, and higher incomes reported by participants. The Net Promoter Score for the program – a common gauge of loyalty and satisfaction – of 81, is notably higher than the 60 Decibels South Asia benchmark of 43. Moreover, a third of the workers report that their quality of life has ‘very much improved’ because of the Sudokkho training, placing the training in the top 40% of the 60 Decibels South Asia benchmark. Outside of work, the training positively influenced workers’ social status, leading to improved perceptions from their families and communities. This Primark initiative exemplifies the positive link between engaged employees and long-term business success.
Time for a change: the Quality Jobs Index
The status quo of unrewarding jobs is unsustainable, and both employees and employers stand to benefit from a shift toward quality jobs. Now is the time to capitalize on the growing interest in impact and sustainability to transform the way we understand quality jobs.
The 60dB Quality Jobs Index aims to enable organizations and investors at the forefront of sustainability and social impact to understand the quality and impact of jobs they are providing. By offering a holistic, multi-dimensional tool to understand employees’ lived experience, the index measures performance across five themes along with an independent benchmark to evaluate the comparative performance of employers worldwide.
The Quality Jobs Index will measure impact across these five dimensions
- Pay & Productivity: Measuring changes in employees’ income because of their current employment is vital to job quality. But it’s also important to understand if employees feel their income is fair.
- Personal Wellbeing: There is more to a quality job than how much you earn doing it. Quality jobs must also account for the well-being of employees. Understand how the jobs, training, and support you provide impact your employees’ well-being.
- Skills & Development: Professional development and advancement opportunities impact employee motivation, engagement, and productivity.
- Motivation & Sense of Accomplishment: Motivation at work is not only important for employees, but also for employers. A motivated workforce benefits the business by increasing retention, productivity and profits.
- Job Security, Rights & Representation: Having a workplace that offers a safe working environment, free from discrimination, and enables employees to exercise their rights at work is critical to a quality job.
This effort will parallel our work in the microfinance industry. In 2022, the 60dB Microfinance Index surveyed nearly 18,000 microfinance clients across 41 countries, reflecting the lived experience of 25 million of the world’s 140 million microfinance customers. The data revealed that the majority of clients considered their lives to have improved thanks to access to microfinance, and highlighted gaps in consumer protection practices. This Quality Jobs Index would offer a similarly benchmarked performance analysis of jobs across the world.
We’re looking for early adopters:
Are you interested in learning more about what surveying your workforce looks like? Become an anchor partner in our inaugural Index to be at the forefront of improving the lives of the global workforce for decades to come. While we’re looking to survey factory workers, jobholders in the gig/platform economy & employees of small and growing businesses, every worker is eligible to take part in our survey! Reach out to our Quality Jobs team for more information by filling out this contact form – we’d love to chat!