Today we are going to look at the topic “Safe at Work” from the perspective of your employees. Only when this need is met will they be able to give you their best work, which will in turn, grow your business. Today’s show will be filtered through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The basic idea of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is that as people, and as employees, our needs are constantly changing. As one need is met, we desire other needs.
Your employees are on a journey to self actualization. Each level has its own language:
Notice that they can't reach the highest level without first having their physiological and safety levels met.
What does "safe at work" mean to your employees?
How will 'safe at work" affect your business?
Employees whose lowest level needs have not been met will make job decisions based on compensation, safety, or stability concerns. Also, employees will revert to satisfying their lowest level needs when these needs are no longer met or are threatened (such as during a pandemic or an economic downturn).
As your employees struggle to have their needs met, their focus is on their own needs and not that of your company. The sooner you can meet the “safe at work” need, the sooner your employees can level up and shift their focus back to building your business.
This places an extra obligation on business owners to act humanely when difficult organizational decisions such as staff reductions have to be implemented. The key point is that employees desire to work in an environment where they are accepted in the organization and have some interaction with others.
What can you do as the business owner?
Finally, as you work to apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory to your workplace, keep in mind that Maslow’s Theory is always working in the background. It is not something that shuts off once you meet employees’ needs. Finding ways to apply Maslow to the workplace is your ongoing duty. Resist the trap of fixing it once thinking your job is done. Your employee’s needs change with the times!
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