Your people are your best asset. We have heard the mantra so often that we have taken it for granted. But every successful business owner knows the company is only as good as the people who work there. So, it makes sense that looking after the needs of employees in the workplace is good for business. And just as we have basic needs in our personal lives – think love, shelter, warmth, etc. – there are also needs work should satisfy. Carry on reading to find out more and explore how to ensure those needs are met.
Why Employees’ Workplace Needs Are Important
Before we get stuck into the needs work should satisfy, let’s be clear about why it’s essential.
Whether it’s company culture, productivity, or employee motivation, understanding employees’ needs is vital. The benefits of satisfying the needs of your people include the following:
- Staff are happy and motivated.
- Employee retention and absence or sickness rates are improved.
- The wellbeing of the workforce is safeguarded.
- Productivity is boosted.
- Customer service improves.
- Your employer brand is enhanced.
Meeting employees’ basic financial, physical, mental, and emotional needs means they can focus on their work. It’s a win-win. Staff will feel valued, appreciated, and invested in their work. And you benefit from improved performance and customer service.
Top 11 Staff Needs Work Should Fulfil
So, if you want a highly motivated and productive workforce, here are the basic needs you should address. And let’s be clear. These wants are pretty much universal. People share the same basic needs regardless of the industry, type of organization, or leadership style.
1. Fair Pay For A Fair Day’s Work
Not every employee is motivated by the paycheck. But fair wages certainly help.
Salaries ensure workers can provide for themselves and their families. Wages pay for basic needs – food and drink, housing, and clothing. So, it’s no surprise financial rewards top the list of workers’ wants.
Annual bonuses and salary hikes may not be on the cards for every business. However, it’s vital to ensure your salaries are competitive. Regularly benchmark your pay rates against industry averages. Doing so will give you confidence your salaries are reasonable. And paying fair wages ensures your workers don’t look elsewhere to satisfy this most crucial need.
2. Secure Working Conditions
Safety is a fundamental want inside and outside of work. And there are two aspects to safety.
The first is physical safety. Your people need to know their personal property is safe and secure. And they also want to perform their duties without worrying about physical injury. Equipment, tools, even workstations should comply with safety and health requirements.
Another aspect of safety is psychological. Employees should be able to work without fear of harassment or bullying. Psychological safety is all about building trust and mutual respect between managers and co-workers.
3. Job Security
Employees stressed about losing their jobs find it hard to perform at their best. They need confirmation that their job is safe if they continue to perform.
However, that kind of assurance isn’t always possible in these uncertain times. If the future is looking shaky, it’s best to be upfront with individuals. Otherwise, you may find they jump ship prematurely. Open communication is vital to stop the rumor mill and a demoralized workforce. Staff will appreciate your honesty, so be sure always to have an open door.
4. Health And Wellbeing
When it comes to needs work should fulfill employee wellbeing is up there. Staff want to feel valued as people. Looking after their health and wellbeing clearly demonstrates your commitment. And it makes good business sense too. After all, healthy employees take less time off sick. And they can focus more on the job at hand. Here are some wellness initiatives you could introduce:
- Free health screenings
- Fresh fruit and healthy office snacks
- On-site or virtual yoga and mindfulness sessions
- Workstation ergonomic assessments
- Free or discounted gym membership
5. Social Needs
Call it camaraderie or team spirit. Everyone has a fundamental need to feel like they belong. Strong interpersonal relationships – up, down, and across the organization – are the cornerstone of successful workplaces. Sharing a chat, a joke, and a smile with your colleagues makes for a happier team. And happier teams are more motivated and productive.
You can address employees’ social needs by providing opportunities to connect socially. Since the office was invented, team lunches, after-work drinks, and social outings have been popular. And that’s because they are tried and tested ways to build strong social connections.
However, with hybrid working becoming the norm, companies need to be creative in connecting with remote workers. Social intranet features such as team chat and activity walls help bridge the gap between remote and office workers. Staff can use IM to chat as they would around the office water cooler. Plus, virtual get-togethers with team quizzes or shared coffee breaks are just as effective as in-person events.
6. Employee Growth
Investing in workers’ professional development is another sure-fire way to show how valued they are. No one wants to feel like they are stagnating in a job. Opportunities for growth and developing new knowledge and skills are essential for workers. And can be incredibly motivating.
Employee growth is more than career advancement. It also involves giving workers the freedom to make their own decisions. It means trusting staff to get on with the job and giving them the autonomy to do so.
There are some ways that you can encourage employee growth:
- Formal training and development courses to learn new skills and technologies
- Investment in tools and systems to enable staff to get on with their work
- Mentoring or job shadowing opportunities
- Lunch and learn events
- Industry webinars, conferences, and seminars
Make sure you regularly talk to your people about their career goals and aspirations. And look for every opportunity to satisfy this fundamental need.
Recognition is another one of the basic needs work should fulfill. Your people want to know their efforts are appreciated and make a difference. Recognition builds workers’ confidence. And it keeps staff motivated and keen to give their best.
Appreciation and recognition can take many forms. A thank you email from the boss or a pat on the back during a team meeting make a huge difference. Just as important is recognition from co-workers. Post-it notes on colleagues’ desks or shoutouts on team chat are great ways to show appreciation. And don’t forget tried and tested employee of the month programs.
Whatever option you select, be sure to develop a culture of appreciation in your organization. Not only will you satisfy a basic need, but you will also increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
8. Constructive Feedback
Encouraging employees with positive feedback and positive criticism is vital. Your people need confirmation when they are doing good work. And they need help and guidance to ensure they continue to grow.
Regular one-to-ones are the perfect platform for offering constructive criticism. Even better, give workers the chance to share their feedback and insights during the sessions.
Employees want to know their work has a purpose. It’s not all about the daily grind and increasing company profits. A sense of purpose and understanding of the impact of their jobs are needs work should satisfy.
One way to do this is by aligning employees’ goals with the company’s mission. Make it clear how the worker’s contribution impacts your customers. And get your staff members involved in goal setting. Research shows a collaborative approach ensures workers take ownership.
And why not set up a volunteering program? Whether it’s helping the local food bank or community clean-up, doing good in the community builds morale and a sense of purpose. Plus, it raises your company profile and ensures you are a good corporate citizen.
10. Work-Life Balance
Our lives are hectic both inside and outside work. Many staff members will have caring responsibilities for elderly parents or young children. Added to that are the challenges the pandemic has thrown at us. It’s no wonder that stress and burnout have skyrocketed.
Nowadays, one of the priority needs work has to meet is flexibility. Employees want to be able to juggle their jobs with personal commitments. And for employers, that means greater flexibility in supporting that all-important work-life balance.
Flexible hours and remote working are obvious ways employers can do their bit. Just as important is encouraging staff to take lunch breaks and their full quota of vacation leave.
Our final need is perhaps the most important. Courtesy, respect, and kindness are a must-have shared by all employees. Workers who feel respected are more likely to show respect to others.
You can demonstrate respect for your team by asking for and listening to their ideas and insights. Take time to get to know them as individuals. Find out about their families, hobbies, and interests outside work. Treat all employees the same. And try to avoid having favorites among the team or showing preferential treatment.
On an organizational level, you can demonstrate respect by giving employees a voice. Blogs, staff forums, and employee surveys are perfect platforms for sharing ideas in the workplace. And reinforce the respect message with policies and procedures that safeguard employees from bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
Employees’ Needs Work Must Satisfy: Main Takeaways
Whether at work or during our studies, most of us have come across Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. First published in the 1940s, Maslow identified the following five needs. He argued these needs motivate human behavior. And they are still relevant today.
- Psychological (food, clothing, shelter)
- Safety (personal security, employment)
- Love and belonging (friendship, family, sense of connection)
- Esteem (respect, recognition)
- Self-actualization (achieving your full potential).
These basic needs also apply to the workplace. The eleven needs work must fulfill we have discussed can easily be slotted into Maslow’s hierarchy.
And for employers, addressing these basic needs leads to improved organizational performance. Investing in the overall happiness of the workforce increases satisfaction, motivation, and employee engagement. Failing to do so could see you grappling with a disengaged, unhappy, and ultimately poor-performing workforce. Let that happen, and the likely consequences are higher turnover rates, low productivity, and a downturn in company profits.
Employees’ needs work should satisfy may be complex. However, break it down into these bite-sized chunks and taking action is a whole lot easier.
About MyHub Intranet Solutions
MyHub provides cloud-based intranet solutions to businesses worldwide. Our easy-to-set-up and manage intranet software supports effective communication, collaboration, and engagement. Designed by experts with non-experts in mind, our intranets are packed with all the tools your organization needs.