Applying HCD to Job Design

In 2019, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (National Fund) received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work with small- to medium-sized businesses to activate the National Fund’s Job Design Framework and make jobs better. The National Fund invited Design Impact (DI) and the Workforce & Organizational Research Center (WORC) to engage five regional workforce collaboratives and eight employers to identify, develop, and test job quality interventions.

This report evaluates the impact of applying a human-centered design (HCD) process to job design with small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The evaluation report consists of four sections:

The first section looks at the HCD process overview. The second section explores the process evaluation methodology. The third section details mindset shifts among participants, featuring significant ways participants’ mindsets and behaviors changed as a result of experiences in the HCD process. Finally, the fourth section identifies recommendations for deepening and sustaining the HCD process when applied within SMBs. Throughout, we’ve also included employer spotlights that highlight stories of change.

It is our hope that this report inspires others in the workforce development field to apply creative and inclusive change processes to job design with employers — centering worker voice as we make jobs better, together.