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Greater Washington Partnership Blueprint Report

PILLAR 02
Workforce Family-Sustaining and Inclusive Employment Opportunities

Across the Capital Region, unemployment rates for the Black population exceed the white population by 138-142%; Hispanic unemployment rates exceed the white population by 34-10%11

White residents are nearly 1.5 times more likely to be employed in a high-quality job than Black residents11

Among all US-Based companies with 100 or more employees, Black employees hold just 3% of executive or senior-level roles64

Across the Capital Region, there are significant racial and economic disparities in career opportunities, with Black and Hispanic workers underrepresented in quality jobs.I This limits workers’ ability to provide for their families, stifles their economic mobility, and may lead to talent retention issues, hindering the region’s economic growth and restricting the diversity of talent within regional employers.

Disparities in job quality lead to divergent income levels: the average annual median income gap between white and Black households in the Capital Region is $43,000, and the gap between white and Latinx households is $34,000.3 Differences in income compound economic disparities across the board, as individuals with lower incomes are less able to build wealth for themselves and their loved ones and afford necessities such as housing, healthcare, and transportation.

COVID-19 has exacerbated employment inequities as it has accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid work for high-quality jobs.J The Capital Region has the second-largest pool of remote-capable workers; however, remote and hybrid work opportunities are distributed inequitably across demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g., ethnicity, gender, educational achievement, income level).60 Due to the strong correlation between remote work and educational achievement, in addition to the overrepresentation of Black and Hispanic workers in frontline jobs, only 41% of Black workers and 28% of Latinx workers are in remote-capable jobs, compared with 56% of white workers.60

Employers can help close regional racial and economic disparities in career opportunities by embracing inclusive hiring practices, promoting equitable retention and advancement, and investing in employee well-being. These commitments benefit workers and their families through increased income and economic stability, catalyze economic growth across the region, and provide tangible benefits to business, such as access to a wider and more diverse talent pool, improved employee retention and workplace culture, and enhanced profitability.

The following section details how employers can support inclusive growth within workforce development and the potential impact of making such investments.

13% of Black and Hispanic residents live in poverty, compared to only 5% of white residents3

Solutions
Workforce
Family-Sustaining and Inclusive Employment Opportunities
  • Embrace inclusive hiring
    Solution 1 Embrace inclusive hiring Hire and support underrepresented talent and expand access to high-quality jobs for underrepresented job seekers

    To invest in talent pipelines and increase access to high-quality jobs for underrepresented job seekers, employers must adopt and advance inclusive hiring practices. Employers can partner with workforce development and education providers across four key strategies to support inclusive hiring.

    These recommendations are interrelated and together, will connect job seekers facing discrimination to family-sustaining careers and provide regional employers with a sustainable and diverse talent pool.

    In addition to paying living wages, fundamental components of high- quality jobs include retirement savings, career pathways, paid leave, and healthcare

    Recommendations

    Recommendation 1 Skills-Based Hiring Support skills-based hiring efforts by broadening HR and talent practices

    Shifting to skills-based hiring is foundational to businesses embracing inclusive hiring efforts. This shift encompasses employers updating human resources (HR) and talent practices to reconsider degree requirements and leveraging candidate skills for hiring and promotion decisions. The need for this change is illustrated by the fact that only 27% of bachelor’s degree holders work in jobs directly related to their college major.61 There are also clear racial disparities in bachelor’s degree attainment in the Capital Region, causing Black and Hispanic applicants to be screened out of many high-quality career opportunities.3

    In addition to disparities in degree attainment, research shows education can be an insufficient proxy for understanding a candidate’s skills,62 leading to skills mismatches, lower employee productivity, and talent shortages.63

    There is momentum for shifting to skills-based hiring, but room for improvement remains: in 2018, 23% of HR leaders reported a formal effort was underway to de-emphasize degrees and prioritize skills, and 39% were actively exploring and considering shifting to skills-based hiring.64

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Underrepresented job seekers have increased access to high-quality jobs and career pathways Employees and job seekers have transparency into the skills needed to attain roles and advance in their careers

    • Private
      Sector:
      Employee retention rates increase, as employees without a traditional four-year degree stay at companies 34% longer than those with such a degree65 Employers accelerate hiring and save on recruiting, training, and onboarding costs,66 and have access to a larger talent pool.

    Efforts in Progress

    Implementation Considerations

    • Employers should view this change as an organizational transformation effort, rather than simply an HR adjustment, to enable a successful implementation

    • The first step in this shift is for employers to revisit job descriptions to de-emphasize degree requirements where possible and focus on the skills needed for each role

    • Skills-based hiring and advancement may look different across organizations as there is no single approach to implementation

    • As Capital Region employers shift to skills-based hiring and advancement, they can share best practices with each other and develop industry norms to promote transferrable skills

    • While employers should reconsider relying solely on formal education to screen candidates, there may be specialized roles that do require an advanced degree

    Recommendation 2 Standardized Credentialing Form industry coalitions that standardize portable and stackable K credentials to generate demand for skills- based roles; include credentials in job postings and as part of hiring decisions

    One of the most critical actions employers can take to access a more diverse talent pool is shifting to skills-based hiring and advancement, leveraging industry-recognized credentials when possible. Credentials empower workers to gain and communicate validated skills and employers to make skills-based decisions with confidence. Examples of credentials include licenses, industry certifications, and badges. Credentials are most valuable when they are standardized, interoperable, stackable, and transparent to allow for portability across companies and industries.

    The need for this shift is evident on both sides of the interview table: 77% of employers agree that it is hard to know what skills candidates possess without a skill assessment, and more than 50% of professionals felt their skills were overlooked in hiring decisions.67 The benefits of credentials are clear: roughly 85% of employers agree verifying candidate skills would save time and make the hiring process more equitable, and 58% agree this would help pinpoint quality candidates faster.67

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Job seekers and employees leverage credentials as evidence of their skills to increase access to high-quality job and advancement opportunities Job seekers save on education costs, as the cost of credentialing is lower than that of attaining a university degree68

    • Private
      Sector:
      Standardized credentials validate candidates who meet industry benchmarks for specific roles, streamlining talent management decisions77streamlining talent management decisions69

    Efforts in Progress

    • Partnership Bright Spot: The Capital CoLAB Digital
      Tech Credential is a unique, standardized credential for in-demand digital literacy skills. University partners embed employer-validated KSAs into course pathways (including Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Machine Learning) and award a digital badge upon completion of the curriculum

    • Regional Bright Spot: Credential
      Engine
      strives to bring credential transparency through technology, creating the first-ever centralized Credential Registry to help stakeholders collect, search, and compare credentials in a standardized manner

    • National Bright Spot: Velocity
      Network’s
      mission is to reinvent how career records are shared by providing an open-source verifiable credential exchange platform

    Implementation Considerations

    • No single employer is expected to create credentials from scratch; companies can work together through groups such as industry associations

    • Intermediaries can help scale this work; businesses can partner with nonprofits and third parties to verify and standardize industry- recognized credentials

    • Employers should involve HR leaders to promote the necessary technology decisions needed to leverage credentials

    Recommendation 3 Expanded Recruiting Sources Expand recruiting sources beyond traditionally targeted universities via multiple pathways including community colleges, training providers, apprenticeships, Minority Serving InstitutionsL

    Embracing new talent sources beyond traditionally targeted universities can help employers fill critical roles while also supporting broader DEI commitments. Relying on traditional recruiting practices can be valuable in certain circumstances, but may unintentionally reinforce the idea of an artificially small talent pool and limit workforce diversity.70 The talent pool of diverse skilled candidates is also underutilized—21% of computer science graduates in the US are Black or Latinx, but they make up only 10% of the US tech workforce.71

    HBCUs provide 24%
    of Black STEM graduates, 40%
    of Black engineers, and 50% of Black lawyers72

    Prioritizing new recruiting sources can help employers build greater connections with strong, diverse candidates to meet current and future talent needs; it also helps employers build stronger connections with job candidates from non-traditional academic and professional backgrounds.

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Job seekers with non-traditional backgrounds (e.g., associate’s degree or other credential) have increased access to high-quality jobs

    • Private
      Sector:
      Research shows companies that are more likely to hire employees with associate’s degrees are better positioned to meet current and future talent needs73 Talent ecosystems and platforms can raise labor participation, make hiring processes more efficient, and increase job satisfaction74

    Efforts in Progress

    • Regional Bright Spots: Stellarworx is a technology platform created by Opportunity@Work connecting employers with workers who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) for entry-level technology roles. Employers are connected to candidates through skills-based matching, and skills are verified by trusted training providers EARN
      Maryland
      is a state-funded, industry-led workforce development grant program that forms partnerships between education and training providers and employers to train and hire talent for in-demand jobs

    Implementation Considerations

    • Third-party organizations can provide best practices in updating recruitment strategies

    • Talent ecosystems can accelerate connections to top talent that employers have not previously engaged with

    • Employer commitments should span the full HR pathway from recruiting at new locations to making job offers and changing company culture to recognize credentials

    Recommendation 4 Local Hiring Commit to inclusive hiring from local talent pools, including underserved populations, for both full-time and contracted work

    The Capital Region’s economic growth does not benefit all community members, as private sector opportunities often attract new talent from outside the region; for example, in 2019, newcomers filled an estimated one in five new jobs in D.C.75 Many Capital Region residents, including Black and Hispanic individuals without a college degree, are not selected for local job opportunities; despite historically low unemployment rates nationwide, the unemployment rate is higher than 6% across D.C., Baltimore, and Richmond and there are significant racial disparities in unemployment levels.3

    While attracting talent from outside the region is one strategy to meet talent needs, it bypasses an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the local education and workforce ecosystem and can contribute to high recruitment and attrition costs. Relocation assistance packages can cost employers an average of $20,000 – $80,000 per employee,76 and relocating talent comes with risk and potentially higher turnover costs as employee retention rates often drop after relocation.77

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Historically underserved populations and low-income residents have greater access to high-quality jobs78 Local hiring requirements create concrete mechanisms to ensure the investment of public funds in economic development directs resources to low-income neighborhoods78

    • Private
      Sector:
      Hiring local talent helps employers save on recruitment and turnover costs, strengthen employee retention, and build trust in their communities79 80 Investing in local talent pipelines also enables employers to develop long-term relationships with education and training providers and expand the region’s skilled talent pool

    Efforts in Progress

    • Regional Bright Spots: BLocal is a public commitment by Baltimore-area businesses to leverage their collective influence to strengthen the city and create opportunities for Baltimoreans. This includes setting specific, measurable goals in local hiring and reporting annually on progress

    • Hire Local DC is a coalition of employers working to ensure D.C. residents obtain “good” jobs on a career pathway with family- sustaining wages and conditions for stability and growth. Hire Local DC helps employers hire D.C. residents and facilitates collaboration between employers, providers, and government to strengthen the local talent pipeline

    Implementation Considerations

    • Joint commitments from employers can help scale and accelerate local hiring efforts, as well as provide resources to help employers hire local talent

    • Capital Region employers who want to hire local talent should consider joining existing regional coalitions such as those mentioned in Efforts in Progress

  • Promote equitable retention & advancement
    Solution 2 Promote equitable retention & advancement Invest in an equitable and inclusive workplace, retain underrepresented employees, and create advancement pathways

    Employers can foster inclusive cultures and invest in talent retention opportunities that will expand access to career pathways for underrepresented workers and help employers retain a strong and diverse talent pool across organizational levels, enhancing their competitive advantage in the market.

    This can be accomplished through investments in strategies including:

    • Aspiring to a workforce that reflects the diversity of talent in the region and track DEI metrics on representation, advancement, and pay equity

    • Including DEI goals as a performance metric for manager-to-executive-level employees

    • Amplifying diverse voices and collaborating to share best practices on empowering the voices of underrepresented employees to promote an inclusive culture

    Recommendations

    Recommendation 1 Talent Composition Aspire to a workforce that reflects the diversity of talent in the region and track DEI metrics on representation, advancement, and pay equity

    Despite strong support for workplace diversity, racial and ethnic disparities persist across industries and organizational levels. Black employees are overrepresented in frontline jobs (18%) and underrepresented at management levels, making up 7% of managers, and just 4-5% of senior managers, vice presidents, and senior vice presidents.81 Black and Hispanic workers are also underrepresented in the Capital Region’s tech talent pool.37 Only 17% of the region’s tech workers are Black or African American and only 5% are Hispanic or Latino, despite making up 25% and 9% of the total workforce, respectively.37

    Employers can signal their DEI and talent composition commitments by sharing goals publicly. DEI reporting aligns to stakeholder expectations: 73% of Americans believe it is important for large companies to publicly share progress on diversity programs

    by reporting workforce demographic statistics82 and investor pressure continues to increase for companies to publicly disclose demographic breakdowns of their workforce by race and gender.83 Many employers already report DEI metrics: as of September 2021, 55% of the 1000 largest public companies in the U.S.N disclosed racial and ethnic data.84

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Employees report greater job satisfaction and commitment when organizations have strong DEI cultures85

    • Private
      Sector:
      DEI reporting can help employers attract diverse talent86 and develop a competitive advantage. In 2019, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36% in profitability87 More diverse workforces provide a wider spectrum of ideas, backgrounds, and skills and help employers authentically connect to clients and customers88

    Efforts in Progress

    • Regional Bright Spot: Members of Baltimore
      Tracks
      , a coalition of Baltimore tech-related companies, commit to conducting an annual DEI Audit & Demographic survey to provide a quantitative analysis on demographic composition within their organizations

    • National Bright Spots: McKinsey & Company’s 10
      Actions
      Toward

      Racial
      Equity
      include a commitment to double their Black leadership and hiring of Black colleagues Nasdaq’s Board
      Diversity Rule
      requires companies listed on the exchange to publicly disclose board-level diversity statistics, and have at least two diverse directors

    Implementation Considerations

    • Employers should assess talent composition to confirm diversity is present throughout organizational levels, including senior executive and leadership positions

    • In instances where regional data is not available, employers with a large national footprint can set their workforce diversity goals to reflect the diversity of the US population

    • When initially designing DEI reporting, third-party organizations can help employers set baseline key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide resources and best practices to meet DEI goals

    Recommendation 2 Performance Evaluation Include DEI goals as a performance metric for manager- to executive-level employees

    True cultural change should have support from senior leaders within organizations; one way to accomplish this is to incentivize organizational leaders by tying performance evaluations to DEI goals. Some companies tie financial incentives to performance evaluations–aligning DEI goals to traditional financial and business goals may incentivize executives to prioritize DEI. Additionally, including DEI metrics in performance evaluations may also meet increasing pressure from institutional investors, employees, and customers for companies to establish financial incentives for improving DEI.89

    This approach may also strengthen an organization’s credibility; companies who speak publicly on social issues without corresponding action risk damaging their reputation with workers and communities.90 There is increasing momentum for this change, but more progress is needed: as of Spring 2021, 15-20% of S&P 500 companies included DEI metrics in their executive incentive plans; of these companies, only 5-10% have an objective, quantifiable DEI metric.91

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Increased transparency builds trust with employees and communities Job seekers can make more informed decisions in their employment search

    • Private
      Sector:
      Employers align with best practices for DEI commitments: among the top 10% of the 2019 Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index Companies, 100% hold managers and leaders accountable for DEI results, and 64% tie DEI results to executive compensation92

      Companies with robust DEI programs have higher degrees of employee engagement, productivity, and innovation that contribute to increased revenue93

      Incentives communicate to stakeholders that a business is taking DEI commitments seriously and ensuring they are a top strategic priority

    Efforts in Progress

    • National Bright Spots: Starbucks
      incorporates measurements focused on building inclusive and diverse teams into their executive compensation programs.

      McDonald’s
      incorporates quantitative DEI metrics into annual evaluations for its CEO and Executive Vice Presidents. These metrics include increasing the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. at the Senior Director level and above and meeting or exceeding a specified McDonald’s Inclusion Index score across all global employees

    Implementation Considerations

    • Incentives should not be limited to top exand increased prodecutives—a significant portion of hands-on DEI work is accomplished by middle managers and historically underserved groups94

    • DEI is broad, and specific goals and focus areas may vary across industries and organizations

    • Businesses should implement governance structures to better tie incentives to intended results, and avoid undue focus on diversity over equity and inclusion issues.

    • In addition to annual incentives, businesses should consider implementing longer-term incentive programs to support multi-year efforts required for successful DEI strategies95

    Recommendation 3 Best Practices On Empowering Diverse Voices Amplify diverse voices and collaborate to share best practices on empowering the voices of underrepresented employees to promote an inclusive culture

    Empowering diverse voices throughout an organization and across industries is critical to developing inclusive cultures and
    high-quality jobs. Diversity in voice goes beyond representation, as it elevates the voices of individual workers (including frontline workers) and leverages their ideas and experiences in transforming corporate culture. This unlocks innovation, drives market growth, and enhances financial performance.96

    Employers can support employee-led coalitions or employee resource groups (ERGs) to help engage diverse voices, as well as join equity coalitions to amplify voices across organizations and sectors.

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Employees feel valued and gain increased job satisfaction and greater influence in their work97

    • Private
      Sector:
      Employers experience reduced turnover rates, increased performance on goals, and increased productivity98

      Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work99

    Efforts in Progress

    • National Bright Spots: Great
      Place to Work
      certifies employers as having an inclusive culture using a Trust Index, a research-backed employee experience survey

    • Diversity
      Best Practices
      releases an annual Inclusion Index that analyzes organizations in three key areas: best practices in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of people from underrepresented groups; inclusive corporate culture; and demographic diversity

    Implementation Considerations

    • Leadership should demonstrate their commitment to and appreciation of employees’ inputs, perspectives, and concerns and ensure that building an inclusive corporate culture does not fall to employees of color alone

    • As appropriate, employers should commit to taking action to respond to employee feedback and be transparent on timelines and action steps

    • Employers can begin this process by asking individual employees what they want from their workplaces, and what a positive workplace looks like to them. In addition to leveraging ERGs, surveys, focus groups, and interviews can be good tools to empower diverse voices; best-in-class examples often utilize a diagnostic survey or session to set a baseline, and measure progress against that baseline over time

    • Employers can share challenges and lessons learned in empowering diverse voices to amplify best practices and aggregate diverse voices across organizations

  • Invest in employee well-being
    Solution 3 Invest in employee well-being Invest in policies and benefits (e.g., wages, paid leave, family-friendly policies) to enhance employee well-being and job quality

    Capital Region employers should invest in employee well-being and the quality of all jobs to provide more equitable opportunities for workers and their families and boost regional economic development. These investments can help expand access to family-sustaining careers and help position the Capital Region as a leading inclusive economy. By investing in these areas, employers can also increase employee retention, boost morale, and reduce absenteeism.

    Employers can invest in well-being and job quality through three key areas:

    • Working toward paying family-sustaining wages to employees that incorporate local costs of living

    • Considering paid leave to support employee social and emotional well-being

    • Sharing best practices for policies supporting employee well-being, like schedule predictability, hybrid work, mental health services, and childcare benefits

    Recommendations

    Recommendation 1 Family Sustaining Wages Work towards paying family-sustaining wages to employees that incorporate local costs of living

    Thirteen million American workers, 79% of which are adults over the age of 20, earn minimum wage.100 Among these workers, over half are women, and roughly 40% are African-American or Hispanic. Minimum-wage earnings put a worker supporting a family of four well below the poverty line, causing households to struggle to pay bills, secure housing, and support a family.101 Paying family-sustaining wages is integral to job quality and can help offset other financial challenges that may impede worker success; with family-sustaining wages, employees are better able to afford costs such as childcare, healthcare, housing, and transportation needs.

    Employers can use living wage information to inform compensation, including wages for part-time staff and contractors. This supports employees and furthers employer DEI commitments: 89% of Black Americans and 84% of Americans overall identified a commitment to pay all employees a living wage as the top-ranked action for promoting racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.102

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Employees can more adequately provide for themselves and their families103

    • Private
      Sector:
      Employers offset higher labor costs through improved worker morale, improved worker health, and lower turnover rates—all of which lead to higher productivity104

      Higher wages increase purchasing power and consumer demand; increased consumer demand in turn fuels economic growth and benefits small businesses103

    Efforts in Progress

    • Regional Bright Spot: Good
      Business Works
      is a coalition of Baltimore business leaders, workforce experts, and nonprofit organizations focused on expanding family-sustaining careers and strengthening businesses. This coalition allows employers to collaborate with other industry leaders and receive recognition for meeting foundational standards such as paying family-sustaining wages

    • National Bright Spot: The Worker
      Financial Wellness Initiative
      is dedicated to making employees’ financial security and health a C-Suite and investor priority. Companies joining this initiative pledge to assess their workforce’s financial vulnerability and identify opportunities to improve their resilience over the long term

    Implementation Considerations

    • Family-sustaining wages vary by region, as they are impacted by the local cost of living and local/state regulations; employers should consider geographic location when making wage adjustments

    • Resources such as the Good

      Jobs

      Institute and

      MIT’s

      Living

      Wage
      Calculator
      can help employers identify family-sustaining wages for employees by region

    • Progress toward paying employees family-sustaining wages can help advance goals across all Inclusive Growth pillars as workers and their families are empowered to access educational opportunities, housing, healthcare, and transportation, as well as generate wealth

    Recommendation 2 Paid Leave Consider paid leave to support employee social and emotional well-being

    Access to paid family and medical leave is uneven: 92% of workers in the bottom wage quartile (earning less than $14 an hour on average) did not have access to paid family leave in 2020,105 and 40% of U.S. workers have no paid sick leave.106 Unpaid leave is not affordable for many workers, especially those living paycheck to paycheck.106 There are also racial disparities in access to leave across the U.S.; even before the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly 11% of Black employees and 10% of Hispanic employees reported that they needed family or medical leave from work in the past year but could not take it (reasons include not being able to afford unpaid leave or lack of awareness on the availability of leave), compared to 6% of white workers.107

    Providing paid family and medical leave shows employers’ commitment to employees and promotes higher labor force participation, increased employee retention, and an improved bottom line.

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Providing paid leave policies can help women stay in the workforce: when Accenture doubled its paid maternity leave from 8 to 16 weeks, the rate of new mothers leaving the workforce fell by roughly 40%108

      Employees with access to paid leave are better able to care for themselves and their loved ones while maintaining economic stability

    • Private
      Sector:
      More than 80% of companies that offer paid family leave report a positive impact on employee morale, and more than 70% report increased employee productivity109

      Workplaces with parental leave policies are 60% more likely to report above-average financial performance than companies without such policies; this increases to 93% for workplaces that include paternity leave policies110

    Efforts in Progress

    • Regional
      Bright Spot:
      Local D.C. organizations signed a Coalition Letter in support of D.C.’s Paid
      Leave Act
      , which passed in 2020, providing residents paid family and medical leave

    • National
      Bright Spots:
      In 2022, Google
      expanded its paid leave policies to 18 weeks for all new parents, 24 weeks for parents who give birth, and 8 weeks to care for a loved one.

      Bank
      of America’s
      leave policies include 26 weeks of parental leave (16 weeks of which are fully paid), as well as personal, medical, military, and bereavement leave.

      More than 350 businesses and 160 executives have signed a Letter
      to Congress
      urging Congress to create a national paid family and medical leave program

    Implementation Considerations

    • While parents and caretakers are often affected the most by paid leave policies, for the greatest impact, this benefit can be made available to all employees and cover a variety of familial relationships (e.g., elderly parental care, adoption, non-spousal relationships)

    • In addition to implementing internal policies, employers should champion a cultural shift in the perception and impact of taking leave on advancement and promotion opportunities; corporate culture is a key factor in whether employees feel confident taking leave, as many U.S. employees fear being treated badly, seen as replaceable, or losing out on future opportunities if they use all of their paid leave111

    Recommendation 3 Best Practices for Family Friendly Policies Share best practices for policies supporting employee well-being, like schedule predictability, hybrid work, mental health services, and childcare benefits

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees have experienced unprecedented shifts in work-life balance and work expectations: 89% of workers indicated their workplace well-being worsened and 56% said job demands had increased.112 17% of workers left their jobs in 2020, with the top two reasons being personal well-being or mental health (24%) and work-life balance (24%).113 These trends highlight the ongoing need for employers to support employees in their lives outside of the workplace, including in their roles as parents and caretakers.

    In the retail and food-service industries, two-thirds of employees receive their schedules
    less
    than two weeks in advance
    . Seventy percent of U.S. workers with high scheduling variability report psychological
    distress
    , compared with 40% of workers with more predictable schedules114

    9
    out of 10 employees
    want flexibility in where and when they work, with 54% likely
    to quit if not offered flexibility (with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to quit due to inflexibility
    115

    Sharing best practices on policies such as schedule predictability and flexibility, hybrid or remote work, childcare benefits, and well-being and mental health benefits enables employers to support employee well-being and work-life balance while attracting and retaining strong talent.

    Expected Impacts

    • Community: Employees experience improved work-life balance and job satisfaction, thus improving overall mental and physical health.

      Providing schedule predictability allows employees to plan around their work hours (e.g., arranging childcare) and more accurately budget as income is more predictable.

    • Private
      Sector:
      Employee well-being programs are shown to lower absenteeism rates for 78% of employers, saving an average of $3.27 to $6 on resulting costs for every dollar spent116

      Schedule predictability and flexibility provides access to a wider talent pool, increases employee productivity, and reduces turnover117

    Efforts in Progress

    • National Bright Spots: Wellbeing
      in the Workplace
      is a collaborative public and private sector effort, with more than 50 organizations signing a Pledge to Prioritize Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in the Workplace

      The Healthiest

      100
      honors the “best of the best” in corporate health and wellness across all organization sizes, industries, and regions

    Implementation Considerations

    • Sharing best practices on employee-friendly policies helps employers fill knowledge gaps, generate new ideas, and benefit from understanding others’ challenges and lessons learned

    • Third party evaluators can provide subject matter expertise, objectivity, recognition, and accountability to track organizational progress toward implementing employee-friendly policies

    • Employers should listen to the needs of their employees in developing and sharing best practices: 54% of managers say leadership is out of touch with employee expectations113

Case Study: ONETEN

OneTen is a coalition of leading executives that have come together to close the opportunity gap for Black talent in America. OneTen’s mission is to hire, promote, and advance one million Black individuals who do not have a four-year degree into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years. The organization takes a skills-first approach, focusing on competencies to ignite