We’ve all heard the phrase “love is all you need.” But is it really that simple? In order to thrive in both business and in life, we argue that it takes more than just love. We also need to feel safe, heard, supported, respected, and valued. We turn to Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs to reflect on how leaders tap into the needs of others to ensure they’re thoughtfully and effectively propelling their team straight to success. Below, we’ve broken down Maslow’s Hierarchy to show you how it directly applies to the business world.
Meet Their Physiological Needs
When leading a team, consider how to accommodate everyone’s physiological needs. This might mean having water, coffee, or even light snacks available during team meetings, presentations, or when hosting networking events. Restrooms should always be easily accessible. Ensure your meeting space is comfortable and friendly. Then, give team members an opportunity to be heard! By treating everyone with respect and supporting them when they take risks, you’ve set up the baseline for a successful work environment.
Provide for Their Physical Safety
In the workplace, this second tier refers to feeling safe in your work environment and financially secure, as well as equipped with the tools to do the best job possible. As a leader, assure your team that there are growth opportunities within your business if they work hard and commit to achieving their goals. Strive to create a space that is positive and contains the necessary tools they need. What resources does your company offer to assist them in their success? This might include clear and efficient communication methods, applications designed to help them track client data, or sources they can turn to for inspiration. Ensure that everyone on your team has access to and an understanding of the different software, marketing materials, and technology at their fingertips.
Establish Social Connection
Next, focus on creating an amazing community. How can you foster a sense of belonging so that team members know that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves? This might mean hosting “get to know you” days at the park, where team members bring their families, or putting on virtual coffee chats, so that people realize that they have things in common beyond the work they do.
Lift Their Self-Esteem
People want to be a part of a group where they feel recognized and valued. Fortunately, both are attainable without spending a ton of resources on fancy gifts. A handwritten thank you card or giving them a shout out in front of others goes a long way. Even just communicating more regularly with your team members, by giving them feedback on their performance or encouraging them to pursue growth opportunities will make them feel great! When you thank them for their hard work and dedication, be descriptive!
Achieve Maslow’s Self-Actualization
The Oxford Dictionary defines the term self-actualization as “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potential.” It goes on to point out that achieving self-actualization is a need all humans experience. Leaders achieve the top tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy by uplifting others to think big and tap into their own creativity. If they have innovative ideas for making new connections or thanking current clients, they should be encouraged to go for it.
Great leaders serve, motivate, and inspire others to action. By viewing your team’s needs through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy, we hope you’re feeling even more equipped to make a positive impact on others!
Being a great leader also requires the ability to empathize with others. Learn strategies for increasing your empathy, here.