Any economy cannot hope to be successful and have a sustained balanced growth without the crucial participation of one half of its population. Yet in India, women account for less than 30 per cent of the total workforce.
According to the International Labor Organization’s Global Employment Trends report, 2013, the participation of women in India’s labor force was a dismal 22 per cent in 2011-12. Out of 131 countries with available data, India ranks 11th from the bottom in female labor force participation.
In India, challenges abound for women, to participate in the economy. At the same time, increasingly several sectors of industry in India are coming to realize the importance of having women on board. Not only do women employees bring more vitality and vibrance to an organization’s work culture, they also bring a much-needed human touch to daily work. A number of industries, particularly media and hospitality among others today, are banking heavily on women.
Juggling between responsibilities at home and work, women employees are also coping with high stress levels. In such a scenario, recognition for their good work and contribution to an organization can make a lot of difference to their will power. Rewards and recognition are a key factor that can keep an employee motivated and raring to go on. International Women’s Day offers a perfect occasion to make women employees feel rewarded and appreciated.
Here are some options you may try this year:
Gift vouchers: Often companies greet their women employees on Women’s Day with flowers and wishes. They can do a little more to make them feel valued. Give them gift vouchers they can redeem to buy their favorite items/experiences (like a spa treatment etc). Juggling between work and home gives her little time to actually go out and shop for her requirements – so giving her an option to shop online and bring in the convenience of delivery at home is something she will really appreciate. This would allow her more time for herself and her family.
Crèche facility for children: For women who are working mothers, there is no worry bigger than that for their children. Did my baby take her milk, did she eat on time, hope she is not hurt. If you as an employer, are serious about keeping your women employees happy, start a crèche facility for their children in your company building. By keeping them closer to their children and giving them the satisfaction that they are being looked after, you can relieve their stress manifold and improve their productivity.
Hospital appointments for health screening: As a country, Indians are yet to convert to the idea of getting themselves checked and screened regularly. Women, more so, are habitual of putting their health as the last priority. Sending them for a day of health check up and screening for heart disease, breast cancer etc is a precious reward employers can offer. This is much like returning the human touch the women themselves bring to the work place and letting them know that ‘we care’.
Send them out: If you are a small company and do not have the budget to do something on a larger scale, just book a table for lunch at a restaurant for all your women employees or give the tickets for an amusement park or film to chill out.
Call a counselor for a chat session: If you desire to do something to help ease out the stress and problems of your women employees, book half a day at the company for a counselor or a psychologist with whom the women can share their problems and have an honest discussion.
Interpersonal engagement with employees goes a long way in keeping them satisfied and secure. Make your women employees feel special this women’s day. They will love it and return it in the form of their loyalty.