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Quality of Employment


what is quality of employment?

Employers understand that they have to offer quality jobs to their employees if they want talented people to work for them, rather than for a competitor (Mercer, 2007). The quality of employment is important to employers and their employees.

Organizations that want to become and remain employers-of-choice ask themselves: What will motivate employees (or prospective employees) to come to work for our organization, work hard for our organization when they are here, and want to stay working for our organization (rather than going to work for a competitor)?

As indicated by the figure above, the Center on Aging & Work’s Quality of Employment Framework focuses on eight specific dimensions that are consistent with components of the employer-of-choice concept.

The interpretation of each of these dimensions of quality employment varies, of course, from workplace to workplace. Recognizing this variability, we provide some general descriptions and core elements of each aspect of the quality of employment in the second column of the table below.

Dimensions of Quality of Employment Framework Description Example
Fair, Attractive
and Competitive
Compensation &
Employees’ basic needs are secured, and fair and equitable distribution of compensation and benefits among employees is promoted.
  • Compensation offered to employees provides at least “liveable wage”.
  • Compensation policies are transparent.
  • Compensation practices reflect employees’ merits.
for Development, Learning & Advancement
Job skill development and advancement are promoted for employees of as many industrial sectors, employment statuses, and life/career stages as possible.
  • Employer offers opportunities for employees to fully engage in challenging work.
  • Employer offers employees opportunities for promotion and advancement.
  • Employer offers employees opportunities for cross training.
  • As possible, employer offers employees opportunities to meet their career objectives.
Health & Safety Protections
Protection of employees’ safety and health at their worksites is mandated, and their physical and mental well-being is promoted. In the case of job-related injury or illness, compensation or other forms of social protection are offered.
  • Employer makes provisions for sick time.
  • As needed, employer provides access to health care to supplement public supports for health care.
  • Employer places limitations on excessive work demands and work hours.
  • Employees can access health, wellness and resilience programs.
Autonomy & Control
Availability and utilization of flexible work options are promoted for employees of various life stages through increasing their control over work hours, locations, and other work conditions.
  • Employees have access to policies for number of work hours, scheduling of work options, place of work, short and long term leaves (including entries and exits in and out of jobs), career flexibility, flexibility with regard to employment contract, and benefits.
Opportunities for
Meaningful Work
Opportunities for meaningful and fulfilling work are available.
  • Employer encourages employees to seek meaning and passion related to work.
  • Employees have opportunities to work on jobs that use their competencies.
  • Employer offers employees opportunities for making contributions at the workplace and in the community, such as with civic engagement and volunteering.
Promotion of
Relationships at
the Workplace
Employer-employee frictions are mitigated, and constructive workplace relations are facilitated.
  • Managers/supervisors and employees can participate in training about factors that affect workplace relationships, such as diversity, work/life, and multi-generational interactions.
  • Employer addresses the importance of constructive relationships in performance appraisals.
Culture of Respect,
Inclusion & Equity
Diversity in the workforce and inclusion of less-advantaged populations are promoted, and equity in work conditions is pursued.
  • Employer adopts effective and respectful communication practices.
  • Employer adopts business metrics that measure the value-added by diversity and inclusion.
Provisions for
Security & Predictabilities
Stable provision of employment opportunities for job seekers is promoted, clear communication of terms of employment is facilitated, and protecting the job security of the employed is a policy objective.
  • Employer clearly communicates the benefits and risks associated with the terms of employment.
  • Employer makes decisions that affect employment security, such as downsizing, in a transparent and socially responsible manner.
  • Employees can gain experience which enhances their employability.