A brief guide on employee appreciation for your blue-collar workforce

19 January, 2022

A brief guide on employee appreciation for your blue-collar workforce

Recognition, engagement, and appreciation has gleaned expansive prevalence amid the white-collar workforce, however, the extensive contribution of the blue-collar workforce in building a holistic organization has been gravely overlooked. Needless to say, blue-collar workers are the ground level warriors delegated with the Herculean task of manual labor which is the backbone of any industry. A Deloitte report asserted that three in five organizations (60%) are increasing the share of gig workers/blue-collar workers. Furthermore, an article in the CSR Mandate highlighted the importance of upskilling this facet of employees in order to upscale the Indian economy; there are over 450 million blue-collar workers in India and this number is expected to rise by 10-12%.

A structured employee engagement and recognition program coupled with an efficient skill-mapping process is quintessential in the growth and development of blue-collar workers, as well as that of the organization. Here are a few best practices that can be adopted to devise an employee engagement and R&R framework best suited to these blue warriors.

A blue-friendly recognition experience

The principal challenge that needs to be overcome when it comes to recognizing your ground workforce is the lack of digitalization. Depending on the type of blue-collar job– manufacturing, construction, maintenance, or other– your employees are less likely to be privy to computers, laptops, mobile phones, and other internet-based gadgets. Furthermore, these employees may struggle with connections due to language sensitivity resulting in communication barriers. Hence, it is vital to adopt a recognition software that enables a non-digital and language-friendly recognition experience.

A key initiative that can be taken up in order to drive inclusion, appreciation, and hands-on recognition within your blue-collar workforce is the installation of computer kiosks in common areas that exhibit a built-in recognition portal, along with tools that allow kiosk connect. Worth mentioning, your R&R platform should be compatible with multiple native languages and easy translation in order to ensure high adoption of the software. Push notifications about redemption and recognitions via SMS or messaging can also be beneficial to facilitate instantaneous recognition from coworkers, managers or subordinates.

A strong learning & development program

The ground workforce is distraught by a massive skill-gap, hence, bridging this difference can go a long way in motivating these employees. Establish an incentivized L&D program that includes key skills that your blue-collar workforce requires to climb the ladder and upgrade themselves on the professional front. A virtual R&R platform can enable point-based incentivization of L&D along with performance-based tracking via analytics and reports. Proffering the opportunity to learn, educate, and grow is the best reward a blue-collar employee can receive, and is the most valued gesture an organization can make.

To paraphrase Thomas Edison, ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’

Rewards and recognition- The missing piece in the puzzle!

The most impressionable demonstration of appreciation for the blue-collar workforce is monetary and non-monetary rewards that add-on to their compensation and help maintain a work-life balance. It is paramount for today’s HR industry to eradicate the bias and stereotype that has revolved around these workers in the former years, and give them credit where it’s due. An employee R&R software can curate a customized rewards catalog with automated reward disbursement and fulfilment end-to-end, as well as disburse financial rewards and incentives calculated through a point-based system, thus, facilitating an appreciative, motivating, and healthy work environment. Apt examples of tangible rewards that would be practical and useful are home appliances, furniture, personalized gear, sturdy footwear, bank cards, and gift cards or shopping vouchers.

Bleed Blue, indeed!

As a growth-oriented organization, there is nothing more important than recognizing the individuals who allow it to succeed. Blue-collar workers are the primary strata of an organization’s human capital, and if they are not valued or appreciated, the core organizational foundation would be in jeopardy. Case in point; in a world where skilled labor is harder to come by, and most blue-collar jobs require extensive on-site training which can be financially and physically burdening for the company; the smart move would be to adopt appropriate R&R efforts to sustain and retain the blue-collar workforce rather than acquire and build a new facet of employees from scratch. Blue-collar jobs are governed by four crucial factors- discipline, safety, productivity, and up-skilling, all of which can be fostered only through a focus on employee wellness and timely, boundless recognition, whether tangible or intangible.

Blue lives matter! Connect with us to design a rewards and recognition framework tailored to the needs of your integral blue-collar workforce.

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