018: What Your Team Needs to Thrive, Part 4: Appreciation
Release Date: 04/16/2019
Listen in to this week’s episode for leadership tips to improve your company culture and make employees happy. First, address your team’s safety, security, and social needs.
Leaders, you can prevent high employee turnover by first ensuring that your employees’ needs are being met. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comes into play here and ranked in order, these needs are: survival, safety, belonging, importance, and self-actualization.
Starting at the basic level of survival, we’re talking about the physiological needs of food, warmth, and shelter. After those are met, then we can address safety—also known here as job security, resources, and good health.
If your team members struggle with security or shelter, they won’t have the bandwidth to appreciate the connection, even if you’ve created a work culture that offers a sense of belonging.
In reality, true team engagement doesn’t begin until we can address level three in the hierarchy of needs: belonging. Belonging (the need for community) is identified by Gallup as one of the 12 factors of employee engagement. This is the need for friendship, family, or a sense of connection. How can you keep employees happy at this level? Employees in the belonging stage desire respect, recognition, and the ability to express strength and freedom.
Extending a sense of belonging is the foundation of employee and team engagement. If you really want to awaken engagement as a leader, don’t just offer your team a sense of place. Offer them a voice.
Next is the need for self-actualization, a motivation to fulfill an inner potential. Team members at the self-actualization stage have the possibility for growth, and they crave the opportunity to express creativity and innovative ideas.
In this leadership podcast episode, I talk through three ways that you can meet employee needs and wants to grow a highly engaged organization:
- Start conversations. Ask your employees if their basic needs of survival and safety are being met. Albeit awkward at times, these conversations will offer your team a sense of belonging and could potentially help them find additional resources to address these needs.
- Encourage open communication. People only feel valued to the degree that they feel heard. When your team is voicing their opinions, listen for their strengths and recognize them for their contributions.
- Voice your appreciation. The height of team engagement will occur when each team member feels appreciated, recognized, and able to express their full potential. Your employees will add value to your team if they feel valued.
As always, feel welcome to drop me a line on social or email me if you would like to talk through your organizational and leadership challenges!