As you may know, Maslow’s theory says that people want security, a feeling of belonging, to be valued, and to have interesting work and challenge. But the question is how do we give people these things in a work environment?
A manager can pick off each one, for example improve security by being fair and having clear rules, and giving plenty of feedback – he or she can improve belonging by having a weekly meeting and a nice coffee area, improve esteem by public recognition and giving ownership of something, and increase challenge by empowerment and letting people set their own goals, etc
But it occurred to me that there are six things that you as a manager can do that improve ALL of the Maslow areas, as follows:
- Thank people – as well as the obvious self esteem it also makes people feel more secure and more part of things, and allows them to get internal satisfaction from achievement because it is confirmed that they have done a good job.
- Training – as well as helping them undertake challenges, training makes them feel more secure because you’re investing in them, and training courses often have a team effect as well.
- Trusting people – clearly makes them feel more valued, but also allows them to rise to challenges, feel part of things and feel safer because they are valued.
- Involvement in as much as possible – obviously gives belonging but also security, importance and challenge
- Communication – again, makes people feel safer, more part of things, and more valued
- Getting to know them – clearly good for security, and feeling valued, but is also part of building a team and will allow you to identify their skills and the thing they would like to do so it leads to interesting work and challenge too.
So these seem like particularly good value – if you’re a manager you’d be mad not to do as much of them as you can
Onwards and upwards!
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Swedes:
this is from my book of Management Vegetables