Employee engagement is key to a high-performing organisation—that much is clear. But how can you ensure that your employees are engaged?
Motivational theories provide some clues. Let’s examine the two most well-known ones.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, illustrated by Maslow’s pyramid, classifies all human needs in order of importance. When applied to employee needs, this framework gives interesting insights and pointers.
At the base of the pyramid lie physiological needs (e.g. food, water, clothes and shelter), immediately followed by safety needs. In terms of employee happiness, these needs refer to salary, benefits and job security.
The next layer features love and belonging, which are essential to human happiness. In the professional context, this refers to relationships with management and peers as well as the overall company culture.
After the first three needs comes esteem, i.e. being recognized for one’s efforts, receiving input and getting career advancement opportunities.
Finally comes self-actualization and self-transcendence. This highest category refers to needs such as personal skill development, work challenges and work meaning.
Even though some job satisfaction factors fit neatly into one of these categories, most are multidimensional; thus, they can fit into several. For example, career advancement opportunities are linked to being recognized for one’s input (esteem) and to being paid more (physiological). In the same way, work/life balance contributes to one’s family and social life outside the office (love) and to one’s personal development (self-actualization). Therefore, it is not always easy to determine which factor is more important to overall employee satisfaction. Herzberg’s theory addresses this issue to some extent.
On the contrary, motivation factors deal with the job itself and impact motivation; these factors include challenging, meaningful work; recognition of one’s input and responsibility
You will find here Frequently Asked Questions about employee engagement with all the answers in one place.
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