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In her good jobs strategy talk, Zeynep Ton breaks down the assumed trade-off between low wages and low prices. Ton’s research demonstrates the large numbers of people who work in the service industry and have ‘bad jobs’—ones with low wages, chaotic schedules and no training. There is a false assumption in place that says if companies offered good jobs, prices would increase or the companies would make less money. Ton developed a strategy for companies to move away from this thinking, which she outlines in her good jobs strategy talk.
The first transformative move is to invest in people. This means designing jobs for employees to succeed, rather than having them be a robot who fills a position. Retailers should choose to offer less products, which reduces costs and also allows employees to familiarize themselves with inventory and offer better customer service. Cross-training opportunities should be available to employees, and management should also operate with slack.