Maslow’s Hierarchy of Employee & Business Needs

This past week’s Hurricane Sandy ravaged not only the personal lives of people all along the East Coast of the US but affected businesses substantially as well.  The storm and all of the stories playing out in its aftermath reminded me greatly about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

I was fortunate enough not to have any real loss considering how others had been hit and because of the supportive nature of the Company where I work my day job I was able to focus first and foremost on my family and making sure everything was OK for them. This enabled me to be back to work even quicker.  When I finally got power back though I started seeing stories about how certain startups or businesses were going through great lengths to keep their people and their business working and other articles or news stories showed how people weren’t able to focus on anything else or show up to work because they still did not have their basic needs met.

While thinking of how this might correlate with Maslow’s work it also got me thinking about office perks and all of the things that companies do to make it easier on their employees.  When Google is offering free lunch it’s fulfilling one of the basic human needs and ensuring that those needs are fully taken care of, to the best extent possible, so that their employees have an even better chance of moving up the hierarchy to becoming self-actualized.  Yes, a bad lunch can ruin the rest of your day, and your work too.  In regards to the storm, and anytime for that matter, the most important thing companies affected can do is make sure that they’re helping their employees take care of all of those lower level needs and services so that the employee might be able to focus on something higher up the hierarchy like creating valuable work.

So how can you help someone fulfill and exceed his/her lower level needs and is getting the level of work that comes from someone in a self-actualized state the valuable type of work that’s you want them to produce?  On a personal note, how can you make sure those lower level needs are easily satisfied so you can create even higher level art?

Matt Kane

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