Photo by Charlize Birdsinger

You might be on this site wondering what we stand for and how we differ from other awesome business groups out there (Ontario Living Wage Network, B Corp, and others), or asking yourself “does my company count as a decent work employer?”

We’re a network of business owners with a simple vision – success comes with investing in our staff. It means we don’t lobby the government for a lower minimum wage, weaker employee rights, and lower taxes at every turn.

Instead we believe that fairness for employees is good for business. We want everyone in our communities to be able to afford to spend money on products and services, keeping our local economies strong.

If you are a business owner, and you take care to create good jobs for your staff (not just any job, but a dependable job that pays the bills), you should get in touch and think about joining our community! It’s free, and we promote each other’s businesses.

If you:

– Pay $15/hour or more

– Look out for your team’s health (offer paid sick days)

– Schedule stable, predictable shifts

You could be what we call a “decent work champion.”

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is an advocate for decent work in the non-profit sector. They have been challenging organizations to look at internal policies and embrace new ideas around employee wellness.

We are focused on private sector businesses, but there is much to learn from their approach.

They created a decent work checklist for organizations. Categories include wages, benefits, contract security, scheduling, conflict resolution, and opportunities for advancement.

It’s a good guideline to see if you’re “basic,” “better,” or “best” per category, and gets you thinking about how to balance priorities.

The ONN has also developed 101 Decent Work Ideas, an extensive list of ideas, big and small, to inspire you about investing in employee well-being and making a great work culture – a culture that will ultimately pay off for you.

It’s not always easy to ask questions about how to improve or admit that we could have done things better when we started our businesses. Bravo to those organizations stepping up to make workplaces better for everyone – you are leading by example.

Gilleen Pearce, owner, Walk My Dog Toronto, and spokesperson, Better Way Alliance

The Better Way Alliance is a network of Ontario business owners who consider employee well-being a smart investment, for our long-term profitability and the health of Canada’s economy.