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Employee Recognition

How To Build a More Inclusive Workplace for Women and Minorities

Building a workplace culture of appreciation is no longer just a buzzword. It isn’t something companies do to satisfy their HR departments either. Creating a culture of appreciation at work—of women and other minority groups—is now critical to a company’s success

This International Women’s Day, we’ll explore what building a culture of appreciation means, why you should create such a culture at your workplace, and 5 unique ways to create a culture of appreciation to show the women and minorities in your workplace that they are valued. 

What is a culture of appreciation?

Simply put, in a culture of appreciation, employees feel valued, respected, and recognized for their contributions to the company. It’s also a culture where employees feel they are able to express their gratitude and appreciation for their peers, where recognition and rewards are given to employees for working hard and achieving great results.

A workplace culture of appreciation could look like:

  • Getting regular feedback, recognition, and rewards from managers and colleagues
  • Celebrating employee milestones and achievements in and outside of work
  • Encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate each other’s work and contributions
  • Offering employee rewards and incentives for exceptional performance
  • Providing opportunities for professional development and career growth

Building a genuine workplace culture of appreciation is often easier said than done. This is especially critical when showing women and other minorities that you appreciate them. It requires commitment from leadership to prioritize workplace culture. It also requires upper management to listen to employee feedback and make the necessary changes to improve workplace culture

Why you should build a workplace culture of appreciation this International Women’s Day

Improve well-being and morale of women employees

culture of appreciation

Workhuman and Gallup found that in companies with a culture of appreciation and ongoing rewards and recognition programs, employees felt 5 times more connected to their work. These employees are also less likely to feel dissatisfied with their work.

McKinsey and Company’s Women in the Workplace report found that more women leaders are leaving their companies. This means that for every woman at the director level who gets promoted to the next level, two women directors are choosing to leave the company. 

When we connect these statistics together, it becomes apparent that women are leaving their companies because they don’t feel connected and satisfied with their work.

With improved employee well-being and morale, these employees are more likely to stay at a company. 

Women leaders are overworked and undervalued

According to a Monster survey, 96% of workers are on the job hunt in 2023. Employers today can no longer assume employee loyalty without earning it—employees today simply want more. 

Compared to men at the same level, women leaders work more to support employee well-being and foster DEI efforts, all of which significantly improve employee retention and satisfaction. However, this work often goes unrecognized. 

culture of appreciation

Attract top women talent 

In 2022, Gallup asked 13,085 U.S. employees what was most important to them when accepting a new job offer. The top answers were pay and wellbeing-related issues. And pay doesn’t always mean salary—compensation includes tangible and non-tangible rewards, like employee recognition programs.

McKinsey and Company’s report also found that women simply want a work culture that features flexibility, commitment to employee well-being and DEI, and more. 

By building a culture of appreciation for women employees, you are more likely to attract top talent. 

Creative ways to create a culture of appreciation at work

Now that we understand the benefits of building a culture of appreciation at the workplace, let’s look at some excellent ways to create a great workplace culture.

Personalized, thoughtful, and meaningful rewards

Employee rewards programs are a fantastic way to increase employee motivation, engagement, productivity, and retention. This is especially true since 36% of employees cite “lack of recognition” as the top reason for leaving their jobs, and 82% of employees believe that recognition is an important contributor to their happiness at work.

But take it a step further to create personalized, thoughtful, and meaningful rewards for each employee. Any potential benefits from a regular employee rewards program can be amplified with that added personal touch. 

This is because the reward will be much more meaningful to each employee, especially when they get to choose how and when to use their reward

Celebrate personal and professional milestones

culture of appreciation

Of course, work anniversaries and promotions should always be celebrated. But when you consider women employees’ personal lives as well, you make them feel even more special and valued. For example, if you have an employee who is furthering their education so they can perform even better at work, you should celebrate them when they complete their course or certification. 

Or, if you have an employee who is working towards completing their first marathon, celebrate the fact that they just completed their first marathon when they do. 

Personal milestones are often as important, or even more important than professional milestones. Women and minorities often have different sets of personal and professional milestones they value. Find out what they are and celebrate them!

Get employee feedback to make changes in company policies

This might be a tricky one to implement well, but when well-executed, will make all the difference in employee satisfaction. Consider pulse surveys and anonymous feedback platforms to help you maintain the emotional and mental well-being of your employees. 

Make sure you get a good response rate from women and minorities because their voices need to be heard. 

When employees see that their employer has put in the time and care to listen to their feedback and take action on that feedback, they are more likely to feel valued, heard, and respected. As a result, this can help your bottom line in the long term, especially with improved employee retention.

Establish an official employee reward and recognition program

We’re so passionate about employee reward and recognition programs that we’ve written an entire article about it. But to summarize, employee reward and recognition programs can involve anything from gifting employees with financial rewards to increasing paid vacation time to boost their mental and emotional well-being. 

Be sure to consider the experiences of women and minorities in these rewards—don’t assume everyone would love a game of golf just because you do. You can do a quick poll to see what your team is interested in doing. 

Some other creative rewards include offsite entertainment like team barbecue cookouts and cooking classes and even tuition reimbursement for employees who value professional growth. 

When you show that you value your women employees, your efforts will pay off

culture of appreciation

While employees today demand more from employers in terms of work culture, reward and recognition, and flexibility, we’ve provided some great ways you can show the women in your workplace that they are valued. 

By providing personal and thoughtful rewards, celebrating personal and professional milestones, getting employee feedback and making changes in company policies (especially those that affect women and minorities), establishing an employee reward and recognition that takes into account the experiences of women and minorities, you’re well on your way to showing the women in your company you truly care.

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