How to Engage Employees: A Hierarchy of Needs

Engagement of employees is not just a trendy term for your next company meeting. When employees care and feel connected to the company’s mission, productivity and loyalty grow more than one might imagine.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for increasing employee engagement because every workplace has a unique culture.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychological idea that can help you develop a strategy for getting employees involved that will work for your company.

How does the Hierarchy of Needs work?

The concept of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is relatively straightforward and widely accepted in psychology. He believed that humans have five basic needs that must be met to remain happy and motivated and that each of these needs has a place in a pyramid-shaped hierarchy.

The fundamental needs at the base of this pyramid must be met first, and then the higher-level needs can be addressed.

The needs, according to Maslow, must be addressed in the following order:

  1. Physiological needs
  2. Safety and security needs
  3. Relationships and belonging needs
  4. Status and respect needs
  5. Self-actualisation or personal growth needs

This hierarchy of needs can easily translate to the needs of an employee in terms of engagement.

Engagement Hierarchy

Using Maslow’s pyramid to better understand employee engagement can aid in developing a strategy to keep everyone feeling fulfilled when they come to work.

This section will outline each need and demonstrate how it can be applied in the workplace to illustrate how this is accomplished:-

1. The Need for Survival

It is the pyramid’s foundation upon which everything else must be built. In everyday life, this is the ability to meet physiological needs such as hunger, thirst, and sleep.

It translates more specifically to wages in the workplace. People are most concerned about their ability to earn a living at the bottom of the engagement hierarchy. As much as a job should be about more than money, everyone in today’s world requires money to survive.

2. Needs for Security

Safety is the next step after physiological needs are consistently met. Then finally, it is the ability to accumulate resources, stay healthy, and feel safe in daily life.

Employees will be concerned about job security and their ability to perform well in terms of engagement.

3. Needs for Belonging

When security is no longer an issue, meaningful relationships and connections to others are the next steps toward the fulfilment hierarchy.

Employees at this hierarchy level are happiest when they feel like they are part of a team working toward a common goal.

4. Status and Recognition Needs

Not everyone seeks the limelight, but everyone wants to know that their contributions are appreciated.

This step of the hierarchy is frequently translated in the workplace as recognising employees for their accomplishments. However, these requirements can also be met by soliciting and acting on feedback from individual employees.

5. Self-actualisation

Self-actualisation is at the top of the pyramid. Humans can explore their true potential and achieve personal growth here.

Employees at the top of the pyramid are frequently regarded as leaders by their peers at work. These people enjoy coming to work because they believe they are making a difference, and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Hierarchical Approach

Understanding this hierarchy in the context of the workplace can assist your company in developing more effective engagement strategies.

Managing compensation is one way to ensure that every employee can progress to the higher levels of this pyramid. Ensure that employees must earn a good living. Provide incentives, promotions, and raises to employees to assist them in meeting their two most basic needs.

Creating a culture that appeals to the higher levels of the hierarchy will be heavily influenced by the industry in which your company operates. However, there are some basic ideas you can put in place to help employees progress toward self-actualisation.

A good starting point is to solicit feedback from everyone regularly. It could be anonymous or not, depending on the best option for your company’s culture. Inquiring about team-building events and new projects and recognising the best employee contributions will be eye-opening.

By soliciting and incorporating this feedback into your workplace culture, you will demonstrate to employees that they are valued. In addition, because you will have a better understanding of what appeals to them, you will be able to foster better relationships among employees.

You May Be Surprised By How Simple It Is To Engage Employees!

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to everyday life, but it’s also a great model for how your employees interact at work.

Remember that the most basic needs, such as compensation and job security, must be met first. Employees will seek connections, respect, and a sense of higher purpose once they feel secure in their positions.

It may take trial and error to figure out the best ways to incorporate this approach into your corporate culture, but the effort will be well worth it. When you successfully apply the hierarchy of needs to the workplace, you will notice increased happiness, productivity, and loyalty.

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