Designing a Human-Centered Workplace

About This Guide

Project and Partner Background

In 2019, the National Fund received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work with small- and medium-sized businesses on implementing the National Fund’s Job Design Framework, which aims to make jobs better. Together with Design Impact (DI) and the Workforce & Organizational Research Center (WORC), we engaged five regional workforce collaboratives and eight employers to identify, develop, and test job quality interventions using an inclusive human-centered design process. We produced this guide based on what we learned during this year-long effort.

This collaboration reinforced what we’ve long believed: including frontline employees in job design is a key driver of success. Participants reported that approaching job design inclusively and collaboratively drove key organizational impacts in areas such as capacity building, leadership skill development, inclusiveness, belonging, and trust. For a deeper look at this process and how it impacted regional sites and employers, download the Project Impact Report.


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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Design Impact

Design Impact

Design Impact is a social innovation nonprofit that designs inclusive and creative approaches to complicated social problems. We combine design, social justice, and leadership practice to address pressing issues, equip communities, and inspire social change.


WORC (Workforce & Organizational Research Center) is a social enterprise that engages with employers through mission-driven partnerships to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-informed strategies that increase the impact of frontline jobs.