The Good Jobs Strategy

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Zeynep Ton is a Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

She studies the retail sector and the way that some firms have invested in paying more and doing more for their workers. She studied firms like QuikTrip, Trader Joes, Mercadona in Spain – she found that firms that treat their workers better achieve better results.

Quik Trips profit is double the retail average – all of her firms are more profitable and show consistent growth. And this is work that needs doing in 2012 The Independent reported that only 1 in 7 British supermarket workers earned a living wage.

We’ll talk about how they make their jobs happier but the key parts are they make some key decisions upfront (1) offer less (2) standardise and empower their teams (3) they train their workers to do all of the jobs and (4) they operate with slack – with spare capacity.

When I studied Zeynep’s work – and even more so when I chatted to her I thought there’s something in this that every single company can use.