While white-collar workforces are working from home, blue-collar workers risk their lives every day going into work. Whether they work in factories or are front-line healthcare workers, companies need to go the extra mile to keep the blue-collar population engaged and motivated to come to work especially during the pandemic.
The fact is, there are many white-collar employees that are working from home, however there are just as many if not more blue-collar workers that brave the current pandemic environment every day going in to do their jobs. Think manufacturing, retail, and most importantly healthcare - their mindset is completely different from the white-collar population since they are risking much more to not only keep their jobs but also to do it. The heavy burden put on these masses could possibly leave them not wanting to go to work every day and also not as engaged as they were pre-pandemic. They are more disengaged because they are more in danger of contracting the virus. Other reasons may include the fact that everyone is at home and they don’t get to spend as much time at home. The engagement of the manufacturing industry’s blue-collar workers is just as important as the white-collar employees.
Companies must recognize the risk and dedication it takes for their blue-collar employees to come to work every day. They must mirror this in their efforts to get their employees engaged and have them be happy to work to their optimal potential. Take into consideration all the effort put in by the employees and go the extra mile to keep them engaged. Here are some ideas:
- Put Recognition Into High Gear
- Focus On Skill Development
- Show Them Their Potential
At this point in time, every worker needs to be thanked for doing everything that they are doing. It can’t be said enough, recognize, recognize, recognize. Push recognitions and rewards into high gear. Make a list of all the possible recognitions that can be given to someone and add an element of gamification to it for fun. Try to set an average difficulty level so it is easy for everyone to compete and win. List out all kinds of rewards that your employees would like, from money to free meals or speakers or even a new pair of swanky Nikes - the sky is the limit. This gives employees more incentive to compete, engage, and win more.
One productive aspect of this pandemic has been that so many have invested their time in enhancing their skill set. Just because they don’t have that extra time doesn’t mean that they don’t get the same chances and opportunities. Develop special skill enhancing sessions and training that they will benefit from. Offer special training based on each individual’s skill set and help them train to be better for themselves. People invest more in themselves when they see others want to invest in them too.
A great way to show your employees you genuinely care is by working with them on growing their careers. It is a well-known fact that most companies would rather promote internally than look to the outside to fill higher positions. Why not have the same focus when it comes to the blue-collar employees too? Investing in your employees will lead to them investing in their employer. Work with each employee one on one and create an outline of their preferred skillset, their strengths, and drawbacks. Work out a plan to help them develop their skill set (through company provided training and self-improvement) and work their way up the ladder. Employees will focus and engage more when they experience positive reinforcement. This works to the benefit of the company too because the best way to learn is on the job and companies will save money and lots of time by helping existing employees as opposed to hiring and training new employees.
Now more than ever, organizations need to show their employees that they are valued and looked after. Taking the necessary steps today to create an engagement strategy that puts your employees first will help you reap rewards not only during this pandemic but post-pandemic too.