Organizational Culture

Promoting Gender Equality in the Workplace

You might be tempted to believe that women have nearly closed the gender gap in the workplace, courtesy the building press and discussions around diversity and inclusion. However, there is a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done in order to institute gender equality in the truest sense, thereby increasing employee engagement for women employees. Here are some statistics that can emphasize our point-

  • Women earn 19% less than their male counterparts for the same job.
  • Research shows that women are still underrepresented at every level.
  • Men currently hold roughly 60% of manager positions, while women hold only 40%.

So Why is Gender Equality Important in the Workplace?

Now that the need for sustainable efforts towards creating an inclusive, safe, and equal workplace for all is apparent, let us dive into the fundamental reasons why gender equality is beneficial for all the stakeholders in an organization. 

1. A McKinsey study proved that organizations with greater diversity improve profitability by 21%.

2. Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.

3. If women to be able to fully participate in paid work and earn equal pay, that could add USD 28 trillion to the global gross domestic product (GDP). That would be a 26% increase by 2025.

4. A gender-equal workforce leads to diverse ideas and innovation, ultimately leading to better performance and business growth.

What’s more interesting is the fact that women can also benefit from working with other women. According to a study, 1 in 5 women said they were often the only woman in the room at work. This was twice as common for senior-level women and women in technical roles. Such singular women have a significantly worse experience than others, as around 80% of them receive micro-aggressions, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile or negative slights and insults.

Thus, providing your employees with an inclusive and equitable space is imperative for fostering safety, enhancing creativity, and spurring the drive for innovation. A diverse workforce brings a unique set of ideas and perspectives to the table, and an inclusive culture that allows those voices equal opportunity to be heard is great for creating new solutions. The key to this is being both diverse and inclusive.

A workforce where no one feels left out and there is a coherent sense of belonging among peers subsequently fosters greater employee engagement, which in turn can increase financial returns and the market share. Engaged employees tend to feel more energized and connected to their organization, and they are often willing to go the extra mile to maximize productivity. High employee engagement is also linked to higher employee retention, which saves money on recruitment costs.

Tips to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

1. Restrict the use of any gender-binary pronouns in your org-wide communications, such as vacancies, new recruits, or policy announcements.

2. Analyze the ratio of men, women, and non-binary people working in your organization to gauge the diversity.

3. Roll out surveys and polls based on gender equality, discrimination, harassment, or any other concerns through a digital employee engagement platform and encourage people to answer them. This will help in identifying the key problem areas and take appropriate action.

4. Ensure fairness and transparency in rewards and recognition. Use a digital platform for maximum impact!

5. Give equal opportunity to everyone when it comes to L&D, leadership roles, and special tasks.

6. Remember- reverse sexism is just as bad, so foster an organizational culture that is inclusive and prosocial for all employee groups.

Are you a Diversity and Inclusion Champion? Talk to us!

Apart from the mandatory legal policy changes, it is now time for organizations to focus on cultural and value based changes to reduce gender inequality. It is not enough to simply hire more women, although that is a start. Businesses must make an effort to both close the gender gap and make their workplaces truly equitable, since diversity alone does not create inclusive workplaces.

Are you as keen as we are about diversity and inclusion? Connect with us to know how our digital R&R platform can help instill fairness, transparency, and equity within your organization!

Rewards and Recognition

Employee Rewards and Employee Recognition: What’s the Difference?

While offering competitive pay is a crucial part of talent acquisition, recruitment, and retention; a transactional paycheck alone does not suffice. Proactive HR leaders now understand that adequate compensation accompanied by a well-rounded rewards and recognition program with ample employee engagement initiatives is what paves the way to a holistic employee experience.

Although, more often than not, the terms ‘rewards’ and ‘recognition’ are used interchangeably, which can be a conundrum when it comes to designing your own R&R framework. For instance, a common question that may arise is- when is a reward appropriate and when is recognition the way to go? Thus, in order to optimize your strategy, it is imperative to de-couple these two terms and identify their key distinctions. Read on for a deeper insight!

Importance of Employee Recognition

Broadly, employee recognition programs entail a different purpose altogether; they are intended to provide a psychological boost by directing appreciation and praise rather than acknowledging an accomplishment with a physical reward. From a behavioral psychology viewpoint, the human brain craves and thrives on being recognized. It stimulates the hypothalamus (the part of our brain that controls our metabolism and stress levels) and increases dopamine production (the chemical that causes happiness) that leads to enhanced productivity and motivation. Here are a few key differentiators that can reaffirm the essence of employee recognition as a whole, self-serving ensemble in your overall employee engagement strategy-

1. Employee recognition is intangible in nature but amounts to a great value in the recipient’s mind.

2. It is a relational exchange between the employee and the recognizer, due to which it has the ability to influence and nurture workplace relationships.

3. Recognizing an employee does not need to be outcome-driven; behavioral or value-based attributes are also worthy of being appreciated with a simple thank-you note or a personal message.

4. Appraising good work can happen frequently and in the moment, which means the time lag between the deed and its’ acknowledgement is significantly reduced, thus maximizing its’ impact.

5. Employee recognition is inexpensive.

Furthermore, with digital employee recognition platforms that allow instantaneous, on-the-go recognition along with a 360-degree mechanism of manager-to-employee and peer-to-peer recognition, sky is the limit! Read more about the importance and benefits of employee recognition programs.

Importance of Employee Rewards

The benefits of rewards can be easily understood through gamification, or applying gaming principles to non-gaming environments. A primary focus of gaming is rewarding and incentivizing the user, so they experience a sense of accomplishment for engaging in certain actions. A similar environment can be created through a digital R&R platform, where employees receive monetary rewards or other incentives for their work accomplishments.

Read about the psychological underpinnings of winning tangible rewards in our blog on the ‘human drive to acquire’. Below are some defining features of employee rewards-

1. Rewards are tangible in nature and usually come in the form of physical products, merchandize, digital gift cards, or cash payouts.

2. Rewards are usually used to reinforce desirable outcomes, such as when someone hits a specific revenue goal or designated sales target.

3. An employee rewards program involves a prudent use of resources, but also generates significant RoI in the form of enhanced productivity and performance.

4. Offering self-selection of rewards empowers employees with the freedom of choice, thus escalating its’ value.

It is important to remember that having a robust employee rewards program helps in attracting top talent, while free-flowing recognition can prove to be instrumental in fostering retention and loyalty. Digitizing your employee rewards framework can help in establishing a salient link between the two, in the form of reward points that can be offered along with a digital recognition. Read more about designing the perfect employee rewards catalog.

Design a Tasteful Mix of Recognition and Rewards to Reap the Best Results!

Although most elements in a rewards and recognition program are similar, it is useful to keep the above distinctions in mind and know when to use which, especially when organizations wish to provide a cutting-edge employee experience while keeping costs low.

Now that the key differential aspects of Rewards & Recognition have been defined, the next stage in your strategy could be as simple as scheduling a demo of our digital R&R platform. Get in touch with us today!

Employee Engagement

Engaging Generation Z and Generation Alpha: What HR Needs to Know

Much research has been conducted on the attitudes, behaviors and preferences of Millennials at the workplace, which currently represent the largest part of the global workforce. However, organizations looking to prepare for future trends in employee engagement and long-term cultural success can benefit from learning about the forthcoming generations as well, which are already influencing our socio-economic landscape. They are Generation Z and Generation Alpha; below is how they are generally defined:

1. Those born between the year 1997 to 2010 are termed Generation Z

2. Those born between the year 2010 to 2024 are termed Generation Alpha

Studies show that by 2025, Gen Z will comprise 27% of the workforce, whereas Gen Alpha will enter workplaces post 2020. But are generational differences really so distinct or is this a case of ‘much ado about nothing’? While basic human needs like appreciation, recognition and career advancement remain the same, there are significant behavioral differences between different generations.

As an example- Baby Boomers (born between 1946 to 1964) were known to prefer economic security and thereby monetary benefits, whereas Millennials (born between 1981 to 1996) showed an affinity for intangible benefits and non-monetary recognition. This blog explores the newest joiners in the workforce- Gen Z who is already redefining workplace norms and Gen Alpha, which has the answers to technologies and processes companies need to start integrating now.

Engaging Generation Z

Gen Z, like their millennial predecessors, has been raised in a societal culture that lauds and appreciates their efforts through instant gratification. This can be in the form of participation certificates, reward points earned through retail transactions, exposure to virtual games and so on. Recognition practices at work need to be synchronous with this external phenomenon.

However, Gen Z being digital natives, that is, having been exposed to technology from a young age, is much more tech-savvy and comfortable with e-learning, digital apps and virtual communication. As a result, they expect their workplace software to reflect the customized nature of their digital interactions as a consumer. Being adept multi-taskers and practical- natured (they have experienced the 1999 dot-com bubble burst and the 2008 recession during their formative years) they know what they want and expect their team’s encouragement in pursuing goals at a faster pace than millennials.

That is not to say that they are self-centered- a Deloitte study revealed that 47% of Gen Z wishes to make a positive impact on their community and value human connection- they just have a different approach to building those connections. They are also passionate about causes like mental health and DE&I, which means they expect their employer to uphold those values.

Engaging Generation Alpha

If Gen Z is well-versed with technology, Gen Alpha is used to voice-activated search, machine learning and IoT tools at home- and they are still in school or pre-school! Considered the most materially endowed, racially diverse and educationally advanced generation till date, they are expected to be strong future assets of corporations worldwide. Given that their parents have already adjusted to a hybrid way of work, these Alphas will only further the trend of integrating life and work. Further fueling their disruptive nature will be their keen interest in skill-based learning and innovation, making them better suited to gig work or temporary job roles.

Accordingly, engaging Gen Alpha will require organizations to ramp up their digital engagement tools and overall employee engagement framework. An increased interest in personalization, humanized messaging, and social shopping should be accommodated within their rewards and recognition platform. We can also expect machine learning, natural language processing, virtual reality and smarter hardware devices to allow for improved employee connect, immersive learning experiences and workforce data in the coming years.

Actionable R&R Tactics

So, how can the above information assist companies in upgrading their employee experience today? Below are some actionable steps that can be implemented starting today:

1. Introducing digital recognition tools with a consumer grade UX

2. Introducing self-selection in rewards through a digital benefits marketplace

3. Facilitating mental health support through professional counselling services, mental health seminars and classes

4. Encouraging collaboration through mobile-friendly tools like chat and company social walls

5. Promoting professional growth through spot recognition, real-time feedback and incentivized e-learning

6. Including AI chatbots in digital employee experience apps

The demand for transparency, frequent communication and employee recognition will only rise with the forthcoming generations. Both Gen Z and Gen Alpha live in a hyper-connected world, with access to instant social validation and peer reviews through a few clicks. Making them feel valued and included means setting up an ecosystem where they will win- a workplace extension of their virtual communities is therefore a must.

Technology offers a bridge between these newer and older generations, so to speak and helps everyone reap the benefits of the latest advancements in doing better work. R&R digital transformation is, in fact, the only way forward to building adaptable, innovative workplaces of the future. Get in touch with our digital R&R experts to know Gratifi can help your company in this endeavor!