Basic Human Needs vs Job Satisfaction

Lately, you find yourself constantly stuck in a moment of panic. You kept hearing rumours that your most valued employees were planning to leave, but you were still in denial. “I’m paying them well! There is no other reason for them to leave, right? I shouldn’t believe these rumours!” you reminded yourself. A week after that, you walked into your office and saw a resignation letter from your most charismatic employee on your desk. It was not a rumour after all. Your biggest fear felt like a bad dream which in fact, was reality.
You were unable to retain them in your company. You are one of the best-known companies in the industry. You also offer the best pay and benefits compared to your competitors in the industry, why would anyone be unsatisfied? Unfortunately, you had to learn things the hard way that all the money and benefits you have been spoiling them with throughout the years does not make it a justification for them to stay. But where did you go wrong? Does this mean you are a bad employer?
You see, Carmen, a diligent hairdresser who has been in the industry for many, many years has been tied to the same employment for a long time. However, Carmen witnessed her colleagues come and go to the point where she was unable to keep track of it anymore. There was nothing wrong with her employment scheme. They were able to enjoy good pay and earned good commissions. In monetary terms, Carmen’s employment gave them security as money was the last thing for them to be worried about. There must be something else, right? You guessed it right! The problem lies within their head, the boss of the company.
Just like her colleagues, Carmen too, decided to leave. With her experience in hairdressing and knowledge in operating a business due to her years of being in the industry, Carmen took a leap of faith to start her own salon. The outcome of business was totally out of her expectations! Unlike her previous employment, Carmen was fortunate to see her employees stay. She even managed to expand her business by opening many other outlets, and she took the initiative to promote her senior staff to be branch managers. But what was Carmen’s secret to success? Well, Carmen had a personal business advisor: her husband who is a CFO, plays a very important role in her entrepreneurship journey.
Here’s a theory you should know at the tip of your fingers as a boss, and implement it as much as possible in your business – the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Humans, in order to be satisfied, have various needs to be fulfilled. These needs are not explicitly expressed by them as they are of human nature but the level of needs may vary from one individual to another. Satisfying five major classes of needs is all it takes to make one fully content to finally achieve their absolute goal, a feeling of individualism.
Visualise a five-tier pyramid that classifies each level of human needs. From the lowest to the topmost level, the five basic needs according to Maslow are as follows:
1. Basic/Physiological
It is all about survival. This class represents the essential needs you require on a daily basis for instance, food, drink, shelter, clothing, and rest. A failure to satisfy such basic human needs implies a failure of one to function optimally. Bodily functions are disrupted. You lose energy. You lose focus.
2. Safety
Imagine living in a world where there are no laws to protect you, how would you feel? Fearful or anxious? Exactly. This is why safety needs are crucial. A feeling of security and safety would keep a person’s life in control, and behaviour is largely affected by this class of needs. Financial security in the forms of employment, and personal security in the forms of law protection, are some examples of safety needs.
3. Social
A relationship with another individual is present almost everywhere we go – with family, friends, colleagues, even strangers. Social needs are represented by the sense of belongingness, a feeling of being accepted by social groups. Besides motivating behaviour, researchers also discovered that social connections do affect physical and mental health.
4. Esteem
This class of needs could be broken down into two categories, i.e. (i) self-confidence; and (ii) respect from others. The first category looks more towards personal accomplishments, whereas the second category is obtained from the people around us. Respect by others gives recognition, an indication of appreciation which is the key to uplift one’s confidence.
5. Self-actualisation
The major need that leaves you one step closer to your major goal of individualism. You were a work-in-progress, you made your way up, and now this is your chance to unleash your fullest potential and be what you can be. As Maslow stated, “what a man can be, he must be”.
Before moving onto the preceding upper level, the lower level needs to be fulfilled first.
Now that you have understood the human basic needs, let’s talk about how to retain your employees. To make things simple for you, remember this concept: 5R (Responsibility, Respect, Revenue-sharing, Reward, and Relaxation time).
Trust your employees. Hand them responsibilities so that they could build their learning curve, a golden opportunity for their personal growth. Keep encouraging them! New skills are important to your employees as learning is an ongoing process in their career. Provide support financially and mentally for them to further education or obtain a professional certification. In addition to that, provide them with job promotions when you deem the time is right.
Feelings revolve around people and one simple action could immediately shift a person’s emotions. In a business organisation, respect plays an essential role and this goes both ways. To be respected, you have to learn to respect too. Hence, respect your employees by showing appreciation on a regular basis, or control your tone when communicating with them despite how stressed-out you are. They will remember the way you made them feel, and leaving a negative feeling planted in them is certainly not good news to you.
This is where you should place major emphasis on. Practice transparency of your company’s performance, to ensure that you and your employees see eye-to-eye on the objectives to be achieved. Your employees deserve to know where your business stands financially and this is a form of motivation to them. When they know their efforts bring positive outcomes, your employees would be highly dedicated to perform better. With good performance, you are giving your employees an opportunity to build their career pathway.
Reward them favourably, as this creates job satisfaction. However, you have to see beyond monetary compensations by considering non-monetary rewards too, for example, a company lunch or an achievement party. The little things to celebrate your employees’ achievements may not seem to matter much to you, but it does pose a huge impact on their emotion and motivation. This includes a simple high-five celebration or giving your employee a pat in the back to acknowledge excellent work.
Relaxation time
Rest, relax, and restrict yourself from taking things too hard on yourself and your employees. Allocate time for your employees to go on vacations, or allow them a reasonable amount of time off when they are sick or have a newborn. Fatigue negatively affects performance; therefore if you want the best from your employees, let them recharge every once in a while by having a break.
As an entrepreneur, the inability to retain people is indeed a huge nightmare to you. But let’s admit it, money is not the answer to everything. Most of the time, employees tend to leave because their social needs are not fully fulfilled. They are craving more challenges. They want to explore and learn. If this is the case and you are no longer able to supply them with what they need to grow, then it is the wisest option that you just stop holding on to them any longer. If you want to learn more on how to take your business to next level, my book NEXT LEVEL BOSS – THE SECRETS reveal business secrets so that you can straight up model, simulate and duplicate to Read, Recruit and Lead people, Search, Spend and Multiply money.
So, what was Carmen’s secret to success in retaining her employees? Carmen understood the importance of human needs and she implemented it extensively in her management. Besides providing her employees with good money and commission, She furnished them with a sense of belonging by treating them like family, and acknowledged every single accomplishment by rewarding them for their efforts. She took her CFO’s advice on “How to Share Money” to adopt financial rewards for her employees to grow through job promotions, giving them new challenges. Carmen was a responsible, understanding boss and shares her company’s financial performance with her employees who look up to her. With that, Carmen proved that fulfilling her employees’ needs creates job satisfaction among them, thus retaining them in her business through job promotions in new branches of her hair salon.

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