Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Empowerment & Representation

Three co-workers holding hands above their heads feeling empowered.
Credit: Mladen Zivkovic/Shutterstock

Printable PDF

Ensure that workers have a meaningful voice, without fear of retaliation. Enable workers to contribute
to decisions about their work, how it is performed, and organizational direction.

Strategies and Actions

Communicate with—and listen to—your workers systemically and frequently.

  • Develop regular, repeatable processes for communicating, conversing, actively listening, and providing feedback on worker inputs.
  • Communicate important messages more than once and in more than one way.
  • Senior leaders should provide data on organizational performance and operations regularly and predictably.

Give your workforce a meaningful voice through formal structures that protect workers.

  • Establish and promote clear worker complaint and investigation policies and procedures that include robust protection from retaliation.
  • Create systems that receive and implement worker input on process improvements and innovation. Inform workers how their input was used.

Ensure that workers can organize and/or be represented by spokespeople with access to senior

  • Support workers’ rights to organizing and collective bargaining.
  • Inform employees of their rights to form a union. Remain neutral during organizing activity.
  • Ensure that barriers to workers’ organizing or collective bargaining are removed.
  • Encourage and support employee resources groups.

Assess workforce satisfaction and engagement.

  • Regularly assess workforce satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and engagement. Solicit feedback directly from the workforce.
  • Examine key drivers of workforce engagement by group (e.g., based on race/gender/age) and segment (e.g., frontline, technical, administrative staff).
  • Openly track and use indicators of workforce satisfaction and engagement in decision making.

Job Quality Baldrige Style

See how Baldrige Award recipients demonstrate many of the strategies and actions recommended in the Job Quality Toolkit.


  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 31, 2023, Updated April 1, 2023