What does good work mean for you? - RSA

What does good work mean for you?

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I’m leading the Review of Modern Employment for UK Government and I am determined that the Review will be bold and offer a comprehensive strategy for a better work future.

I decided early on that tackling exploitation, confusion and perverse incentives in work would only be likely if we all care as much about the quality of employment as about its quantity.

Good work is something the RSA cares about deeply.

We need a good work economy because

  1. Most people in poverty are already in work.

  2. Bad work is bad for people’s health and wellbeing

  3. Bad work is more likely to be low productivity work and thus bad for the economy

  4. Automation will impact the future of work 

  5. Bad work – with no choice or voice for workers – just feels wrong in 2017

But if good work for all is to become a reality, I need to show that there is strong support in civil society and the wider public for this goal.

The RSA wants you to talk about what good work means to you.

We have a few weeks to persuade whoever wins the next election that good work matters.

Post a video on Facebook or Twitter using #GoodWorkIs to tell us what good work means for you

Or comment below to share your conversation about good work

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  • Paid employment must achieve certain minimum thresholds of pay and conditions - but that doesn't make 'good work'. My view is that good work is about value. It is about being valued and of believing that your contribution is 'of real value' to the organisation/customer/client and therefore, society. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't want to do a good job and make a contribution - at whatever level and in whatever job. As someone who leads a charitable company, I know that neither I nor my staff are going to get rich doing what we do so there must be a more intrinsic reward. Creating the right culture in the organisation where collegaues appreciate their wider impact is key. As ever, the people who make or break an organisation are the manaegement who set the culture. The revolution in employment must begin with enlightened management.


    Monsanto  probably has a team of hard earnest sincere workers doing what most of the comments would acknowledge as good work,

    the reward for doing a job well is usually money or materialism but the reward for doing something brilliant and innovative is usually the fact that you have done it

  • We did some work on this last summer


  • The best work days are spent working hard on something I care about with people who share my feelings. Whether I am writing a brilliant report, or making certain that copies are properly made and emails sent to interested parties, I'm happy about my work because it is all part of moving toward the larger goal. The larger goals of my work have all been about relieving suffering for many years.  I previously worked in the for-profit/corporate/retail sector, and it did not feel like good work. It was comfortable and fun and sometimes challenging, but it did not inspire the best of me. It demanded things of me, and they didn't always feel like they were the best things. At the same time, I struggle working in the humanitarian sector to feel that my work is respected, because the pay is often very low. Most days, the "good work and good people" make up for the low pay, but it can be demoralising if I allow myself to focus on it. 

  • For me, it's similar to Maslow's 'hierarchy of human needs.' ie All work should at the very least meet our basic needs (for a safe and comfortable work environment). 'Good' work goes further, and also meets our psychologoical needs (for good relationships, a sense of belonging, feeling trusted, and knowing that we/our work are valued). The best jobs go further still, and meet our need for self-realisation (the chance to use our creativity to further a purpose that we feel has value, and the freedom to work where and when is best for us). The ideal is a role that meets all of these needs. The more this hierarchy of needs is met, the happier and more productive and 'aligned' with our work we become. I think it's why so many remote/distributed teams work so well - by letting employees work remotely, companies are showing by their actions that they trust and value their staff, and they often give a high degree of control to choose where/when to work. Lots of surveys show many people prefer remote working over almost any other 'perk.' Lucy, myworkhive

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