This week’s events in Houston and its surrounding areas, have provided some stark reminders on the importance of meeting basic human needs.

One lady after being rescued, was asked by a News Reporter about the condition of her home. She quickly responded, “my main focus right now, is to be safe and dry and find shelter for my family, I’ll worry about everything else later”. Her comment was poignant and reinforces Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Our first two psychological needs are basic in nature; physiological and safety. Our basic human needs must be met before we are able to focus on anything else.

How does this relate to employee engagement and job performance? Employees need the basics met before they are able to focus on performance goals the organization has set for them.

Below are the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how they relate to employee engagement and job performance.

Self-Actualization = In the work environment self-actualization is evidenced by an employee’s ability to maximize their potential. Employees need to feel challenged and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Esteem = Employees want to feel as if what they are doing matters and is contributing to the organization. If employees feel good about themselves they’ll be more engaged and productive.

Love / Belongingness = Employee need to feel “connected” to the organization as well as to fellow employees, that they are experiencing a sense of camaraderie.

Safety = Employees must feel they, their family, their property are safe. This can also relate to big things such as job security or little things such as ergonomic furniture.

Physiological Needs = Employees need a comfortable work environment, access to food, water, restrooms and a clear understanding of their pay structure.

eTIP: Want your employees engaged? Don’t Overlook the Needs of Your Employees