Employee Engagement and Women in the Workplace
This is the second article in a series of articles spotlighting women for Women's History Month.
Employee engagement is a great way to retain productive and efficient employees for your company. Susan Pyles gave great guidelines for companies to follow when it comes to women in the workplace.
Implement these two guidelines to make your workplace more productive for women
1. Goal Achievement Results
Companies should focus more on goal achievement results and less on hours put in a day. It shouldn’t matter if the employee showed up at 8 a.m.; companies should be more concerned with what the employee produced at the end of the day.
“Instead, companies should find measures of success to show what it will hold women accountable for. This allows women to make those measures happen and to really ask themselves how they can structure their work day differently and use resources differently, versus just going along and hoping for the best,” says Pyles.
2. Contingency and Cross-Training Plans
Also, companies in general should have contingency and cross-training plans in place.
“Plans should be set in place so that women feel like if their kid’s school was canceled for the day that they could work from home because the company provided a remote connection or certain software applications on their home computer or even a laptop,” says Pyles.
Cross training is another great example because if one person can’t come to work, other people can fill in for them in the meantime.
“Companies that didn’t have plans in place were affected when the economy went bad. Companies that did a good job of cross training its employees had to lay off fewer employees, while the companies that had specialized functions had to lay people off and hire new because they weren’t able to shift people around,” says Pyles.
Unique approaches to increasing employee engagement among women today
Empowering and acknowledging are two very important approaches to increasing employee engagement among women.
“When an employer makes sure that women have authority, the decision making power, independence and creativity that are suited for their role and position, it’s a powerful thing,” says Pyles.
A lot of the time, women are left to figure things out on their own without saying anything because the universe just pretends that women don’t have multiple priorities, including a family.
“I think there needs to be more of an open environment. Helping people find permanent solutions - and not temporary ones - would create more of an open dialogue around what women’s ideas are and allow them to be implemented as changes that support you and other women in the organization,” says Pyles.
Pyles also suggests that companies should have support groups or mentor programs internally where they match women with other women to give support.
“Sometimes when you are younger and newer, you don’t know how to do those things and people may just give up even though they could be a potentially great leader,” says Pyles.
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