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Understanding Basic Human Needs Will Take Your Team to New Heights

Psychologist Abraham Maslow highlighted the importance of meeting the basic needs of human beings in order to foster growth and development. These needs include physiological needs such as air, food, water, and sleep, as well as security, safety, love, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Meeting these needs is essential for a productive and fulfilled workforce.

Unfortunately, most business leaders don't receive formal training on how to understand the psychological dynamics of their team members. That's why it's key for leaders to educate themselves on the fundamentals of human behavior so they can effectively lead their teams.

How well are you meeting your employee’s basic needs according to Maslow?

Physiological Needs: These include basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and rest. Provide employees with adequate breaks, a clean and safe work environment, and access to drinking water and healthy food options.

Safety Needs: These include the need for security, stability, and protection from harm both physically and psychologically. Provide employees with proper equipment and training to do their jobs, and a supportive work environment that encourages them to speak up about any mental health concerns.

Belonging Needs: These include the need for social interaction, support, and a sense of community. Promote team building activities, providing opportunities for collaboration and social interaction, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Take exceptional care to include remote and hybrid employees in all team collaborations and activities.

Esteem Needs: Provide employees with regular feedback both positive and constructive, recognizing their achievements and contributions, and providing opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

Self-actualization Needs: These include the need for personal growth, fulfillment, and achieving one's potential. Provide employees challenging and meaningful work, encouraging creativity and innovation, and providing opportunities for learning and development.

As the rally cry of “treat me as a human being” continues to get louder, it is essential that people leaders receive training in this critical area to better understand and motivate their teams. With the right knowledge and understanding business leaders can create successful and engaged teams that will take their businesses to new heights, even to the top of the pyramids.

Dr. Merrylue Martin is President and CEO of the Job Joy Group and best-selling author of the Big Quit Survival Guide. To learn more, visit and connect with Merrylue on LinkedIn.


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