Workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other “can’t close” retail businesses are working overtime and risking their own health to keep the rest of us in food, medicine, and toilet paper. The companies they work for need to take care of them in order to keep both them and us safe. It isn’t easy to balance well-stocked shelves with the safety of employees and customers, and there isn’t much time to learn. So there will definitely be mistakes along the way. But based on our research and work, we think the operational practices and values of the retailers we call “good jobs companies” can provide guidance to others. This is no coincidence. The various things good jobs companies do differently from other companies are all designed to make their frontline employees so valuable and productive that their contributions more than repay the greater wages, benefits, and training they receive. The resulting dedication and adaptiveness are exactly what companies need to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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