As an increasing number of women make up today’s workforce, understanding the needs of this segment of the population is key to overall employee engagement. Women can be envisioned as the forerunners in the shift towards a purpose-driven economy, as they showcase dual commitment to both family and work which accelerates their pursuit of a meaningful purpose in their jobs. The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) has asserted that having more women in the workplace makes an organization a better place to work, for people of all genders. Thus, the organizations that value diversity and strive to unleash the power of the female workforce are the ones that can efficiently crack the code to employee engagement.
Why Focus on Engaging Women Employees?
Recent surveys have indicated that the number of disengaged women professionals is growing in leaps and bounds. As gender inequality continues to prevail in the workplace, the false perception of women being either competent or likable, but not both, discourages them and negatively impacts engagement levels. Women are paid less for the same performance, are less likely to speak up compared to men, and still remain underrepresented in top positions.
In order to strike an adequate gender balance in the workplace, organizations need to make conscious efforts and investments in the right direction. Here are 4 strategies that can bring about change and significantly engage, motivate, and retain your women employees.
Recognize and Reward with Perks that Women Actually Want
Successful engagement requires going beyond traditional recognition programs to redefine and rethink appreciation from an individualistic perspective rather than adopting a blanket approach. Leverage a digital rewards and recognition platform to design a customized R&R framework that caters to the likes of your female workforce; as per research, women prioritize better health insurance, paid leaves, vacation time, and work-from-home option as the top benefits apart from compensation. Housing a diverse rewards catalog is a great way to ensure the freedom of choice and also empower women in the process.
Women cite appreciation from their superiors as the top criterion they look for in a job. A great way to make appreciation equal and fair is to initiate performance-based recognition that nullifies the effect of hours spent on the desk and prioritizes the quality and quantity of work done, irrespective of location.
Encourage Peer Bonding
A Gallup study about women in the workplace found that female employees who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%). The same study also found that two-thirds of women claimed the social aspect of a job as a “major reason” why they work. It is sufficing to say that women desire meaningful connections with their peers, which inherently drives them to excel and produce better results as a result of cognitive happiness.
Support a culture in which friendships and connections with colleagues can thrive by adopting a digital employee engagement platform. Features such as 360-degree recognition that facilitates peer-to-peer recognition, team events, social wall for user posts, and virtual contests are extremely beneficial in accelerating peer bonding and inculcating team-based skills.
Support Work-Life Balance
Research has shown that one of the reasons for the engagement gap in the workplace is the expectation of employees to spend long hours at their desks. This can be a detrimental factor for women, especially working mothers as they have to balance their professional calling, economic independence and familial commitments at the same time.
Provide autonomy to employees on how they manage their time and give them the flexibility to work remotely. However, research has found that women are actually less likely to get this much-needed flexibility than men are. Thus, stand out as a great organization for women by offering equitable, accessible, and contingent flexibility. Read more on how equality and fairness can be ensured in a flexible, hybrid work culture.
Implement a Robust DI&E Program
Studies have shown that only 12% of CEO and board-level positions are held by women all over the world. This striking anomaly is reason enough to consciously work towards emphasizing the role of women in organizational growth. Designing and implementing a foolproof DI&E program is imperative to make women feel acknowledged, respected, and equally appreciated for their contributions.
An employee engagement software can be instrumental in revolutionizing DI&E within your firm as it is a convenient, hassle-free way to maintain a free-flow of communication via social wall posts and org-wide announcements and keep a pulse on employee sentiment via surveys and polls. Also, closed groups and discussion forums can be organized through the platform, giving employees a confidential avenue to provide their feedback, offer female employees a safe and confidential way to voice their opinion, and make a difference to their own engagement.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
We at Gratifi help companies understand and scrutinize their unique engagement issues before strategizing an effective, personalized plan of action that caters specifically to their needs. Connect with us for an expert consultation on holistic engagement and explore our customizable rewards and recognition platform that can help your talent thrive and engage!