People

‘The Good Jobs Strategy’

November 29, 2015

Amanda Pitts
John Kilbourne
Recently I was introduced to Zeynep Ton’s The Good Jobs Strategy. In her book, Ms. Ton puts forward that companies that empower their employees by placing them at the center of their success, paying them a fair and living wage, and offering training and better schedules, will benefit by having more­productive employees, better customer service, fewer errors, higher quality, and overall better performance. In her online lectures as well as her book, she makes a convincing argument that companies that make an effort to do the aforementioned better position themselves for success.

As I read her words and listened to her insightful lectures, I could not help but think of the many colleges and universities in the United States that do not pay part-time and adjunct faculty members a fair or living wage. They offer limited training and no path to empowerment. What is more, they constrain the voices of those faculty members by not allowing them to have any say in university governance.

By investing in their part-time and adjunct faculty members in the ways that Ms. Ton suggests, colleges and universities can promote a more engaged and committed faculty, thus facilitating improved customer/student service.

John Kilbourne is a professor of movement science at Grand Valley State University, in Michigan.