For many years, business leaders and owners have been scratching their heads trying to find a means of motivating employees. Employee engagement is a hard task to master. It takes a special kind of business owner to do this without any help. If you are in the process of struggling to motivate and inspire your team, then employee engagement can be the perfect pathway to go down to solve this. One of the best ways to look at this, though, is through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When applied to the field of employee engagement, it can be hugely beneficial. As a psychologist of much repute but also controversy, Abraham Maslow created a very interesting philosophy that, when put into the workplace, holds some pretty valid ideas.

The hierarchy

Typically, the hierarchy of our needs is:

  • To have enough money/means to settle our debts and to feel independent financially – the act of survival, in essence.
  • People also want to feel secure, that they are wanted and that they have a purpose both at home and in the workplace – they want security.
  • When a job cannot pay a staff member what they need or it cannot offer the security they need long-term, then it becomes harder to find that motivation as it lacks the ability to meet two primary needs.
  • Next, a staff member always wants to feel like they belong within that particular workplace – that they are part of the team, that they are wanted. They want to feel trusted and useful.
  • Lastly, people want to feel important, valued and their contribution is actually making a difference. They want to be part of the cog that turns the wheel, genuinely contributing.

Being able to feel financially secure, like you are part of the team and that you are genuinely useful to the workplace is so important. It’s a major part of how a staff member can go from providing an acceptable level of input to showcasing a unique level of growth within themselves. When someone has all of their hierarchical needs in the workplace being met, they can give 100% and feel far more open, honest and secure in their position. The first two, though, are the most important. Without security and the ability to survive, the chances of finding the motivation to feel like they belong, are important to the business and actively contribute is hugely diminished.

Conclusion

Now, you can change how you work and how you feel through making this call. Employee engagement for a business owner is all about trying to make each employee feel like they have, at the very least, the first two motivating factors in the workplace. A sense of importance and belonging should never be ignored or seen as just another part of the job – it’s vital. If you feel like your workplace has a negative and glum feel to it, look into your employee engagement. Does each individual feel as if they have their hierarchical needs met? If not, why not?

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