A Human Approach for a Better Life to Your Blue-Collar Workforce
Despite talks of rapid automation and advanced robotics, blue-collar workers remain a key driving force for some of the most critical industries in the economy. They not only serve as the backbone of our labour-intensive sectors, but also help build the nation’s economy. As the Indian economy gets back to normalcy, various sectors will continue facing a shortage of skilled workers. With only a section of migrant workers coming back after the reverse migration in 2020, factories in tier-1 and tier-II cities are facing a 20% shortage of skilled workers.
Blue Collar Workers Lack Basic Resources
It is now crucial for companies to rethink their engagement strategies for blue-collar workers. Inability to find the right jobs and the lack of healthcare facilities are high on their minds. With no employment, workers faced intense financial hardships last year. Healthcare inflation was at a whopping 7.76% in April and is unlikely to ease while the pandemic remains a threat in the coming months. By providing workers financial help, insurance cover and access to adequate healthcare, companies can attract and retain the right talent.
Like all other employees, blue-collar workers too desire to be valued for their hard work. Organizations need to step up to make their operations more transparent and attuned to their family needs and expenses.
Several factors have contributed to the low engagement levels experienced by blue-collar workers for years. These include wage disparity, harsh and hazardous working conditions, labour-intensive work with no focus on career growth, and financial constraints. Coming from low-income backgrounds, they are always stressed about making ends meet, often leading to bad lifestyle habits and ailments.
Drive Visibility and Engagement with Tech Adoption
Technology can be leveraged to automate blue-collar management and provide them timely and accurate wages and essential services. Here are some ways companies can make their operations more people centric.
Zero-Balance Salary Accounts
The first step towards ensuring financial inclusion for workers is opening an easy-to-operate, zero-balance salary account. . With the right technology platform, KYC can be completed as soon as a worker is hired, giving them access to easy online banking facilities, ATM cards, and more.
On-Time Salary Payment
Salary calculations, disbursement and account reconciliation are extremely time consuming for companies with a large and distributed workforce. Often this results in delayed salary payments, leading to financial hardships for workers.
A robust, yet flexible attendance tracking system can streamline processes across locations, while taking into account state laws and company policies. Technology can make it easier to manage shifts and record overtime. With this in place, the payroll process becomes much smoother, ensuring on-time disbursement of wages to blue-collar workers. Salaries can be disbursed on schedule to workers’ bank accounts, with salary slips and UTR confirmations on their devices.
Adequate and Cost-Effective Healthcare
Migrant workers are often deprived of proper healthcare due to financial constraints, lack of knowledge and language issues.
Telemedicine can be an effective solution, providing workers 24/7 access to doctors across India in their native language. Apart from medical advice, discounted medicines and lab tests can also be made available to workers and their families. With a tech-driven solution, providing such services on scale can be extremely cost efficient for companies.
With easy availability of covid-19 RT-PCR testing, workers can quickly join the workforce and companies can enhance safety on the premises.
Insurance Needs for Workers
Life and health insurance is an essential part of the white-collar employee benefits package. This should be no different for blue-collar workers. Comprehensive term insurance cover with benefits like accidental total/partial disability benefits can secure the financial future of their families.
Adequate and cashless health insurance can help them meet expenses during medical emergencies.
Standing Line of Credit and Personal Loans
Workers often face difficulties in getting loans. Banks are sceptical to offer them credit due to low wages and lack of credit history. Many workers secure funds from local lenders for marriage, education, and hospitalization costs, falling prey to unfavourable lending terms.
A sound tech-driven platform can provide salary advances and unsecured loans at competitive interest rates. They can repay loans via low- or zero-interest EMIs that can be deducted from their payroll.
It is time corporate leaders recognise their obligation towards rewarding blue-collar workers through innovative gestures and policies. This will boost their morale, efficiency, and productivity.