Building from the bottom up: what business can do to strengthen the bottom line by investing in front-line workers – Joseph Fuller

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2022, Paper: “A significant number of American workers – 44 per cent – are employed in low-wage jobs at the front line of industries. Despite undertaking some of the most tedious, dirtiest, and most dangerous jobs, low-wage workers are – and have long been – the most likely to be overlooked by employers and by society. Business leaders express growing anxiety about their ability to fill the low-level positions that are at the foundation of their operating models, yet relatively few actually respond to that threat. Managements do little to understand or address the reasons why low-wage jobs are hard to fill and low-wage workers hard to retain. Most employers show little engagement in workers’ lives, provide minimal support for skill building, give infrequent or unclear feedback, and offer almost no guidance on career pathways. In doing so, employers have ignored the high price their organizations pay: unfilled positions that reduce output and increase overtime, direct and indirect costs caused by constant churn, and the ‘soft’ costs of eroding morale.”

Non-HKS Harvard Faculty Author Website – Joseph Fuller