Washington, DC, July 26, 2021 — After more than a year of coverage of COVID-related layoffs, business closures, and pressures on essential workers, a new campaign from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions recognizes employers whose good jobs practices have protected, supported, and developed frontline workers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Frontline Forward series, launched today, highlights businesses that have made the workplace safer and provided compassion, support, and flexibility to families during a time of uncertainty. They have offered advancement opportunities that improve retention and make workers more resilient to future shocks. Most importantly, they have created inclusive workplace cultures where every team member is valued and can contribute meaningfully to the business and its success.
“Lots of employers, especially smaller ones, think they have to choose between supporting their workers and running a successful business. These businesses prove that it’s not an either-or proposition,” said Tom Strong, director of employer activation at the National Fund. “In many ways, these businesses have improved their operations by doing right by their workers.”
Frontline Forward employers represent a range of industries and sizes, from a small local restaurant chain to a family-run advanced manufacturing firm to a global construction company.
The practices and policies highlighted in the profiles all contribute to building a quality workplace. These include traditional good jobs strategies such as cross-training, benefits, and mentoring, as well as supportive elements like hardship allowances, financial wellness programs, and transportation assistance. The companies themselves benefit from these investments with improved retention, reduced burnout, and higher levels of individual or team performance.
Frontline Forward employers also adopt strategies that lead to meaningful worker engagement. All the profiles were developed through interviews with company leaders and frontline workers, who said that self-management, open communication, and other avenues that increase worker voice were particularly welcome during the fluid conditions of the pandemic and made workers feel safe and respected.
“The pandemic exposed the fact that our economy is built on too many poor quality jobs,” said Amanda Cage, president and CEO of the National Fund. “We want to shine a light on employers who are committed to designing high quality jobs, not just in good times, but even in a crisis. Good jobs support individuals and their families and create competitive advantage for businesses — both of which lead to strong, thriving communities.”
About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions invests in a dynamic national network of 30+ communities taking a demand-driven, evidence-based approach to workforce development. At the local level, the National Fund’s partner organizations contribute resources, test ideas, collect data, and improve public policies and business practices that help all workers succeed and employers have the talent they need to compete. Learn more at www.NationalFund.org.