Synopses & Reviews
Almost one in four American working adults has a job that pays less than a living wage. Convenandshy;tional wisdom says thatand#8217;s how the world has to work. Bad jobs with low wages, minimal benefits, little training, and chaotic schedules are the only way companies can keep costs down and prices low. If companies were to offer better jobs, cusandshy;tomers would have to pay more or companies would have to make less.
But in The Good Jobs Strategy, Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, makes the compelling case that even in low-cost settings, leaving employees behindand#8212;with bad jobsand#8212;is a choice, not a necessity. Drawing on more than a decade of research, Ton shows how operational excellence enables companies to ofandshy;fer the lowest prices to customers while ensuring good jobs for their employees and superior results for their investors.
Ton describes the elements of the good jobs strategy in a variety of successful companies around the world, including Southwest Airlines, UPS, Toyota, Zappos, and In-N-Out Burger. She focuses on four model retailersand#8212;Costco, Mercaandshy;dona, Trader Joeand#8217;s, and QuikTripand#8212;to demonstrate the good jobs strategy at work and reveals four choices that have transformed these compaandshy;niesand#8217; high investment in workers into lower costs, higher profits, and greater customer satandshy;isfaction.
Full of surprising, counterintuitive insights, the book answers questions such as: How can offering fewer products increase customer satandshy;isfaction? Why would having more employees than you need reduce costs and boost profits? How can companies simultaneously standardize work and empower employees?
The Good Jobs Strategy outlines an invaluable blueprint for any organization that wants to purandshy;sue a sustainable competitive strategy in which everyoneand#8212;employees, customers, and investorsand#8212;wins.
and#8220;In this brilliantly conceived and written book, Zeynep Ton shows that companies that view their workforce as an asset to be maximized rather than a cost to be minimized, have both happier workers and better business results. This book is a 'must read' for anyone that wants to think creatively about how they manage their workforce.and#8221; and#8212;Marshall Fisher, professor at The Wharton School and co-author of The New Science of Retailing
and#8220;Using years of research and analysis, Zeynep Ton has proven what great leaders know instinctivelyand#8212;an engaged, well-paidand#160; workforce that is treated with dignity and respect creates outsized returns for investors. She demonstrates that the race to the bottom in retail employment doesnand#8217;t have to be the only game being played. In fact, The Good Jobs Strategy shows that smart business leaders can create great shareholder value while creating good jobs.and#8221; and#8212;Josand#233; Alvarez, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and former president and CEO of Stop and Shop
and#8220;Stop the presses. Tear out the front page. Employers can increase profits by paying their employees more and treating them better. Raising wages and improving working conditions is not just a matter of public policy. The private sector itself can make a huge difference.and#160; Everyone who cares about good jobsand#8212;and especially every CEOand#8212;needs to read this highly informative and thoroughly readable book.and#8221; and#8212;Peter Edelman, professor of law at Georgetown Law Center and author of So Rich, So Poor: Why Itand#8217;s So Hard to End Poverty in America
and#8220;In The Good Jobs Strategy, Zeynep Ton offers insights into how successful companies utilize operational excellence to thrive, and she reminds us that the spirit and culture of an organizationand#8212;that sparkle in the eyeand#8212;comes only from fully engaged employees.and#8221; and#8212;Michael Eskew, former CEO of UPS
A research-backed clarion call to CEOs and managers, making the controversial case that good, well-paying jobs are not only good for workers and for societyand#8212;theyand#8217;re good for business, too.
For decades, jobs with good pay and decent benefits in service, manufacturing, and retail have gone overseas, eviscerating Americas middle class and setting off a chain reaction of problems for the country as a whole. Up until now, defenders of the new system have argued that American corporations, to stay competitive internationally, must cut wages and benefits and essentially squeeze as much value as possible out of each worker. But this is backward: workers arent a cost. They are a companys greatest asset. Ton argues that good jobs and happy, well-compensated employees are in fact a key element of a virtuous cycle for companies that results in low prices and increased profitability. The authors work focuses on retailing, where bad jobs would seem to be most embedded in the fabric of the business; but she also reveals how her insights and conclusions can be applied successfully in most service businesses.
About the Author
ZEYNEPandnbsp;TONandnbsp;has been a professor at MITand#8217;s Sloan School of Managementandnbsp;since 2011. Previously she was on the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where she was given an award forandnbsp;excellence in teaching in 2010.
Table of Contents
1.and#160;An Unnecessary Sacrificeand#8194;1
2.and#160;Great Operations Need Great Peopleand#8194;18
3.and#160;The Penalties of Going Cheap on Retail Laborand#8194;37
4.and#160;Model Retailers: Who Knew It Could Be This Good?and#8194;55
6.and#160;Standardize and Empowerand#8194;99
8.and#160;Operate with Slackand#8194;153
9.and#160;Seizing Strategic Opportunitiesand#8194;173
10.and#160;Values and Constraintsand#8194;191
and#160;and#160;and#160;About the Authorand#8194;228