These days, hired hands are literally robots.
Nothing, that is, except stock trading and CEO bonuses.
Workers should be treated as stock holders, being paid from the price of their product or service according the amount they contributed, in an objective amount like how many parts you put in or how much time, like any investor. For the sake of argument, if you contributed 1% to the process of creating and getting the product to the market (within your company) and it sells for $200 per unit wholesale, then you should be paid $2 per unit that you were involved with.
I'd say that would be a pretty good incentive to make and sell more units more efficiently without reducing the workforce (including all levels of management) or raising prices. A decent slice of the pie keeps everyone from going hungry, so they can afford to buy what they make. Also, the larger the workforce, the more products you can pump out so it encourages hiring and keeps workers working hard happily. Slacking and corruption is then seen to be hurting everyone.
This doesn't make the arrangement a collective or cooperative; it makes it a fair return on investment.
It seems like that might be a way to grow an economy without it being on someone's back.