When you focus more on the human, you can learn how you can tackle any aspect of your business both effectively and efficiently.
As a humanist psychologist, Abraham Maslow believed that human actions need a motive in order to achieve certain needs and desires. We all are guilty of needing some motivation to do things that we don’t necessarily want to do. Maslow created the paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in 1943, which suggested that people needed to fulfill their basic needs before they could move on to more complex needs. This approach focused more on what made people happy and what they would do to achieve that happiness.
There are 5 different levels of Maslow’s theory. The most basic needs will be at the bottom. These needs will need to be met before moving up the motivation hierarchy chart. Maslow believed that the greatest desire to a person, and consequently is on the top of the hierarchy, is to be all that that person can be or self-actualization.
Starting from the bottom of Maslow’s theory, he states that the most basic needs for a human are things like food, water, sleep, comfortable temperature, etc, etc. If we apply this theory to the work environment, the most basic needs would be salary, benefits, well being, and so forth. The things that make an employee look for a job are the most basic needs for the work environment. That’s why it is especially important to offer special employee incentives and benefits, and for the HR department of your company to make sure that the well being and comfort of the employee are not sacrificed.
Once these basic needs have been met, the next level up of Maslow’s Hierarchy is the safety and security of a person. No one wants to feel like they are not safe, physically, mentally, or financially. People like to be free of fear, they also enjoy knowing exactly what they are doing and when they are going to do it. Schedules, routines, and guarantees are important here. In the work environment, it would be the flexibility of maybe schedules or tasks, diversity, and order.
The next step would be to gain friendships and the feeling of belonging. As people progress up the hierarchy their needs increase from basic to more psychological and social needs. Humans need to feel like they are loved and belong. It could be a relationship, or a small group of friends, or even a fan club. People like to feel close to others around them. You can apply this theory in the workplace by creating small workgroups, connecting with your coworkers & having great managers.
Self-esteem will always be a great factor when it comes to the human experience. Maslow realized the importance of self-worth which is a process of learning, growing, and developing as a person in order to reach their ideal self. A person can get their self-esteem boosted by gaining respect from others, having an upgraded status, or even reaching a certain achievement. In the workforce, it could be getting a promotion, getting team recognition, and also doing meaningful work.
The last, and at the top of the pyramid there is self-actualization. When a person reaches self- actualization, they see everything that they are worth. Their confidence is at its peak, they feel like they have achieved every goal they set out for and are self-fulfilled. Self- actualization is actually a growth need. Unlike deficiency needs- Psychological, Security, Social & Esteem, growth needs don’t occur from a lack of something. Growth needs occur from a desire to grow as a person.
Applying this simple HX theory from psychologist, Abraham Maslow may be the best guide for your business as an EX strategy plan. This would be a great outline to use if you are trying to figure out how to increase employee retention, employee experience, and employee loyalty. When you focus more on the human, you can learn how you can tackle any aspect of your business both effectively and efficiently.