Maslow’s hierarchy of needs claims that all humans require the fulfillment of certain basic needs before they advance to self-actualization, or the pursuit of creative gratification. This information is helpful to small business owners looking to motivate clients and staff to greater achievement.
In a recent Forbes.com article, author Christine Comaford shares “The 3 Things All Humans Crave—And How to Motivate Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.” She uses Maslow’s hierarchy to narrow the list of our basic cravings to three things, and then explains how those manifest themselves in the workplace:
- Safety. Employees should be encouraged to take risks and grow. You must provide a safe environment that enables your staff to do that. And clients especially crave safety, especially when it comes to the management of their finances. If they can trust you to effectively manage their financial data, ensuring fiscal safety, you will secure customer loyalty.
- Belonging. How many times have you talked to someone about the importance of working with people you enjoy? Nothing can make a job more satisfying than feeling like you belong. Creating a comfortable work environment with employees that enjoy being together is a great accomplishment. The same can be said for your clients. Do they feel welcome in your workplace? And have you been able to develop a friendly relationship through which they look forward to interacting with you?
- Mattering. This corresponds with Maslow’s esteem echelon which includes confidence, achievement, and respect. As Comaford explains, “Mattering means each of us contributes individually in a unique way… We’re appreciated and publicly acknowledged.” Are you providing your employees with the opportunity to share responsibility for important tasks, and are their jobs challenging and fulfilling? Regarding your clients, “mattering” is accomplished in providing solid customer service which demonstrates just how much their accounts and more importantly, their businesses, matter to you.
When individuals feel the combination of these three elements, trust is secured, something that is extremely valuable whether it comes from a client or an employee. Just knowing this can help you determine how to foster these crucial relationships.
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Comaford, Christine. “The 3 Things All Humans Crave—And How to Motivate Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.” 13 March 2013 Forbes.com