Call for Research Participants (Grocery Workers)

Are you a grocery store cashier, store clerk or shelf stocker in Ontario? Take part in a research study exploring your experiences and opinions about work.
October 26, 2020
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Research Project: Exploring Job Pathways for Grocery Workers

Are you a grocery store cashier, store clerk or shelf stocker in Ontario? Take part in a research study exploring your experiences and opinions about work.

What we’re doing

We’re the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, an independent and non-partisan policy institute housed at Ryerson University. We’re studying jobs that are changing or at risk of disruption. We’re also looking at better ways to connect people with opportunities, or employers with workers—in jobs that are in higher demand. 

We’re inviting you to participate in our Job Pathways research project. We want to hear about your perspectives and needs related to your job. We want to learn more about the support that you need to successfully navigate rapidly changing work or move between jobs. 

This project will gather both statistical data and information from workers and employers with first-hand experience. We want to help government policymakers, employers, and labour groups design targeted programs that better respond to the real-life interests and needs of both workers and employers. Your contribution to this project can help generate lessons that can be applied across Canada and beyond. 

We are looking for participants who:
  • Have worked as a cashier, store clerk or shelf stocker in food retail (for example: a grocery or convenience store) in the past five years in Ontario
  • Are over 18 years old
  • Can communicate in English (writing, speaking) 
  • Have access to a phone, smart phone, or computer with access to the internet (data or wifi) and are willing to: 
    • Check email (it’s how we reach you)
    • Complete a survey or take part in online or phone interviews
What will you do? 

STEP 1: Tell us a little about yourself! We’ll ask for your contact information and some basic personal data, so that we can invite you to join future stages of the research project. (Your data will be secure and accessed only by our university-based research team—it will never be shared or sold.)

Register your interest by completing the short form at the bottom of this page.

STEP 2: Wait for your interview invitation. (You can say yes or no!) Depending on what you share about yourself and what you’re interested in, we’ll be inviting you to take part in one the following activities: 

Cultural probes 
Activity: Complete 10 short activities you can do in your spare time. You will be answering short questions in writing through text message or by drawing or taking photos, followed by one 60-minute interview. You’ll also be asked to use your smartphone to communicate with a member of our research team.
Recruiting: Up to 8 people, who are currently working as cashiers or shelf stockers
Time commitment: 15 hours over 2 weeks
Incentive: $400 honorarium via cheque

Online focus groups
Activity: Participate in an online discussion with us and 4–5 other workers. Share your work experience with us, including what’s important to you when considering job transitions.
Recruiting: Up to 50 people
Time commitment: 1–1.5 hours
Incentive: $25 gift card 

One-on-one conversations
Activity: Have a one-on-one conversation with the research team about your work
Recruiting: Up to 10 people
Time commitment: 45–60 minutes
Incentive: $25 gift card 

To keep everyone safe and socially distanced, nothing is in person—we’ll meet you over phone, WhatsApp or video calls. More information on how, when, and what we’ll be asking will all be included in your email invitation. All activities are voluntary and confidential.

STEP 3: Wait for your survey invitation for a chance to win a gift card. In a few months, we’ll be inviting everyone who registers interest to complete a survey where you can share your opinions on work. You’ll be able to fill out this simple online survey in only a few minutes on your phone, tablet or computer. You will be entered into a draw to win one of three $500 gift cards. 

Have any questions?

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the research team at jobpathways@ryerson.ca.

This research study has been reviewed and approved by the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board REB 2020-317 and supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers union and JPMorgan Chase & Co. It is an Employment Ontario project, funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. The views expressed in this project belong to the Brookfield Institute and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.

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October 26, 2020
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