How the Ladder of Needs Relates to Employee Retention

Episode 10 February 16, 2023 00:22:35
How the Ladder of Needs Relates to Employee Retention
Kassouf Podcast Network
How the Ladder of Needs Relates to Employee Retention

Feb 16 2023 | 00:22:35


Hosted By

Tara Arrington

Show Notes

You may have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in your college psychology class, but did you know that this concept could help retain your team members? Leader of Talent and Career Advancement Jeff McGalliard joins the Kassouf Podcast Network to discuss different needs and how they can directly tie to employee retention and satisfaction. 


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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:05 This is the kaso Podcast Network where your trusted advisors are at your fingertips, are in your earbuds. At Kassouf, we are an accounting and advisory firm with a team of specialists in a variety of industries. Everything from cybersecurity to healthcare consulting, to everything in between. I'm Tara Arrington, and I'm your host. As an ex-journalist, turn marketing professional, I'm the non-expert who will be chatting with our experts, giving you all the tips and tricks you need to help your business succeed. Thanks for joining us on the kaso Podcast Network. I'm Tara Arrington, and today I'm joined by Leader of Talent and Career Advancement, Jeff Mcg Gallard. So welcome back to the podcast, Jeff. Speaker 2 00:00:47 Yeah, thank you for having me. Speaker 1 00:00:48 So today, um, Jeff was actually, we were chatting a little bit about what you're gonna talk about before we're really talking, right. For the audience, um, about the hierarchy of needs and how that relates to employee engagement and, um, retention. So tell me just a little bit about, pretend we didn't have our conversation, we just had <laugh>, what are the hierarchy of needs for someone who doesn't know what they are? Speaker 2 00:01:13 Right. So the hierarchy of needs, or Maslow's hierarchy of needs is typically used for motivating, not just employees, but just motivating people in general. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and I just kind of stumbled upon the relation between that and employee retention. Um, as I happen to be studying the hierarchy of needs for one thing and, and studying retention reports for another, um, the hierarchy of needs is of course, the base level is your physiological needs, your food, water, shelter. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and then, which is followed by your, Speaker 2 00:01:53 What is this, uh, by your security needs. Security is second, which is, and not just physical security, but your psychological mm-hmm. <affirmative> safety mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, third is belonging. And that is your connection to not just the people around you, but what you're doing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> the tasks that you're working on in a, in a work sense, it is connection to your work and your goals, your clients and results. Fourth is esteem or appreciation, and fifth is self-actualization or in employee development terms, career growth. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So the interesting thing about them is that each level has to be completed or not completed, or at least partially satisfied before you can move to the next Speaker 1 00:02:47 Level. Right. Speaker 2 00:02:48 And that is what leads the lack of satisfying one of those levels is what leads to the large portion of em, employee turnover. Speaker 1 00:03:01 Right. So if you're not giving your employees those basic needs where they feel safe, they're never gonna progress in their career basically. Speaker 2 00:03:11 Correct. Can you imagine, um, you know, I like to think at the bottom two levels is just fundamental that you, you need those just to be able to hire people if, Speaker 1 00:03:22 Uh, to Speaker 2 00:03:23 Run a business. Yeah. So I obviously, you know, employees don't expect, uh, an employer to literally provide them with shelter, but they need to, they need at least a livable wage that mm-hmm. <affirmative> allows them to gain shelter food. Speaker 1 00:03:42 Right. Speaker 2 00:03:43 Water for themselves. Um, and, and safety is obviously just as important. Typically, we don't have to think about that in the workplace. However mean I think there are several instances we can think of, workplace violence, whatever mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, safety typically comes into play and, you know, it's a, a manufacturing environment, construction environment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, obviously nobody wants to go to a workplace that is not physically safe, but the part that's typically overlooked a psychological safety mm-hmm. <affirmative> is a sexual harassment. Is it a hostile environment with a boss with a bad attitude, whatever mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, that is becoming a bigger and bigger topic and reason that, that people leave. Cuz if they can't get over that, their connection to their work or feel, they're definitely not gonna feel appreciated. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and they're not gonna want to grow in an environment where they don't feel safe. Speaker 1 00:04:42 Right. That makes sense. And I mean, and not only feeling safe psychologically, but feel it, which this ties into it, but feeling like there is someone, there is an advocate that you can speak to when you have an issue. Cuz I feel like that's such a huge problem. People feel like there's no one for them to talk to. Speaker 2 00:05:00 Correct. And that, and that's usually when they just start looking elsewhere. If they're, that couldn't easily be, I mean, a lot of places have a, have a, um, a committee on on workplace harassment, VI whatever, you know, they have a committee to oversee things like that. Things that they can do proactively. Uh, but every, every employer should have a designated person u usually an HR person that employees can go to with any kind of complaints or concerns. Speaker 1 00:05:29 Right. Yeah, that makes sense. So, um, I know you mentioned one of the issues is, um, you know, employers know they need to do something about retention. They look at, you know, they may look at this hierarchy needs, they may look at things that help, but they don't necessarily always pick what their, what's best for their team. Cuz it's what it's an individual basis on like where people may be stuck on this ladder. Speaker 2 00:05:54 Yes. That is, that is probably the big, that, that is the crux of the issue is there's tons of advice out there, great advice on things you can do tactics as I call it, tactics to improve employee engagement and retention, but they don't necessarily tell you that that same advice doesn't necessarily tell you which tactic to use or why. And so you need to be able to understand your team, one, to know what it is that, what need they have that is not being met so that you can match the, the correct tactic with what they need. And obviously you're gonna want to go as far down that ladder to begin with to get started, uh, make sure they, are you paying your employees fairly? Do they feel safe at work? Is there a connection to their work? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, do they feel appreciated and move on as, as you satisfy one level, you can move to the next or the next tactic. But there, there's so much advice out there and, and I think a lot of employers and they don't know that there's a gap between what or misalignment between what they're doing. They just know they're trying to do something mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, it, but it's not easy to figure out what, what it is you need to do without knowing mm-hmm. <affirmative> what need you need to satisfy. Speaker 1 00:07:17 So like you said, obviously you need to know your team to know what they need. Um, what, what are some good ways to kind of bring this up with their team and try to find out what are their greatest needs Speaker 2 00:07:29 There? There are plenty of tools out there. We, you know, we use, uh, our personality assessment software to mm-hmm. <affirmative> get a fill for a lot of our, or to get a fill for our team's needs. There's tons of software out there. Not, there's no particular one that I, I'm gonna promote, but the easiest way and a freeway to do it is one-on-one meetings with your team. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it doesn't have to be daily, it doesn't have even have to be weekly. I, I would love for everyone to meet with their employees weekly. Sometimes that's not feasible mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I would think every two to three weeks is a must. And that that's not talking about the status of their work, that's talking about how they are truly doing, how are they doing as a person. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how's their stress level, how's their home life? You can ask questions without directly asking where are you at on the hierarchy event. Right. Right. You can, you, you can ask, uh, questions to gauge where they are on the ladder and, and what you need to do next. Speaker 1 00:08:35 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, that makes sense. Um, so I know we've kind of hinted at some different tactics, but just, you know, give me like, let's, let's have an example employee and, um, you know, you're ha you're, you're their manager. You're having, you know, your one-on-one meetings and let's pretend that like they are having that issue with maybe with, with that not feeling appreciated issue mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and you discover that what are some ways as your employer, you're gonna try to work on that. Speaker 2 00:09:08 That to me is, should be the easiest one to solve. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, it is just being thankful for your team, for the work that they do, the effort they're putting in it. Sometimes just a simple thank you, Hey, I appreciate you putting in extra time on that project. I appreciate how well you did X, Y, z, but different sort of like the love languages, if you're familiar with that, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that everybody has a different appreciation language. Uh, and sometimes you can just ask employees, Hey, how do you, how what makes you feel appreciated? Some people like, Hey, I want a bonus. You know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that, that is, there's nothing wrong with that. Some. That's how some people wanna be appreciated. Some people like verbal shoutouts. But, um, yeah, I say that knowing that there are just as many people who do not want the public attention. Speaker 2 00:10:02 Right. I have a, a couple that come to mind that don't want to be publicly recognized. There's, they, they don't like the attention. So in private, write 'em on letter, uh, a card or give 'em a gift card, something that says, thank you for the extra effort you put in. Um, the best thing you can do is advocate for them in their career with mm-hmm. <affirmative> coworkers with clients, customers, whatever. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> advocate for them for balance, workload, for their own progress. Uh, that connection, knowing that they're their supervisor, boss, whatever you wanna call 'em, is going to bat for them, goes a long way. Speaker 1 00:10:43 Yeah. And I, I'm glad you pointed out that, I mean, we've, this whole kind of conversation is all about how not everyone's the same. Yes. And that's, that's part of what makes life cool, right? Yes. Um, but talk, like, thinking about, there's a lot of different ways, like you can show appreciation and finding out, like, you know, some people would rather have an extra PTO day Absolutely. Over a bonus and just finding out what makes sense for them and, and knowing your team is really what it all goes back Speaker 2 00:11:10 To. And you can do that with one-on-one meetings, <laugh>, Speaker 1 00:11:13 Right? That's right. That's right. That's why they're important. Yes. Um, so I guess, you know, as we think about, you know, we're trying to move these employees up this ladder to their self-actualization, um, you know, and one of the things that I, I think we've talked about this before is people get worried like, oh, well if I do this, are they gonna leave? But you're pointing out if you don't do it, they're gonna leave. Speaker 2 00:11:39 Right? Absolutely. I mean, the, the job market right now, yes, there are layoffs happening left and right. It's unfortunate, but I, I hate to tell employers as the, that it's not turning around employer employees, candidates have gained control of, of the job market, and I don't foresee that changing anytime soon. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> layoffs are happening, but that was due to a lot of employers are over hiring, but just as simple as that. But with the rise of remote work, the, the job market has opened up so much that a candidate in Alabama is no longer just a candidate in Alabama. Right. They're a candidate in all the us, maybe even other countries depending on their policies mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and you can, you know, yes, we're people are returning to the office, but there's still, as long as the, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. So, so to speak of it now that remote work is a thing and a lot of companies are offering it as a standard procedure. The the borders are kind of all completely open now and, and the options that candidates have are so wide that they have the option to, if they're not, if their needs aren't being met, they can leave much e much more easily and quickly mm-hmm. <affirmative> knowing that they'll be scooped up by another company Speaker 1 00:13:09 That time. Right, right. So with thinking about, um, remote work, uh, how, um, and, and I know, you know, you talked about, um, before we started actually talking, uh, that work-life balance is now like one, like it's the number one concern. So how, um, how do you think remote work ties into that and how that has, do you think that's part of the reason that has, has become number one? Speaker 2 00:13:38 It Yes. Uh, yes. It ha it is definitely a reason if not the reason. Uh, but maybe not why you think, okay. So, um, remote work, it, it hybrid work is here to stay. Work-life balance is now in most recent reports has replaced salary and benefits as the number one thing the candidates are looking for in a new job. Salary and benefits are still number two, don't worry, <laugh> <laugh>, they're not going anywhere. But work-life balance is there now because people, especially as Gen Z enters the workforce, they are very, millennials are too, but Gen Z even more so focused in demanding work-life balance. So that's one, one reason why mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it has risen, but with the pandemic employees, candidates realize that they reassess what was important to them. Right. Working long hours, extra hours, unnecessary conditions for advancement. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> isn't necessarily required to inva advance anymore, and so therefore they recessed their needs and said, you know what, I'm not gonna do it. I don't have to, so I'm not going to mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and a lot of that came from the options that they now have, but two remote work, hybrid work, uh, it really tore down that barrier between work and life mm-hmm. <affirmative> and caused a lot of people to struggle with work-life balance for a while to the point that they, that it became more important and now it's a, a requirement and Speaker 2 00:15:28 Remote work is a tool to allow people to achieve work-life balance. For the con the convenience of it helps support work-life balance. You need to go to the doctor, you need to pick the kids up from daycare, whatever that, that life need is that does allow you the flexibility to achieve that. But it's not a strategy. It's no guarantee that somebody's gonna have work-life balance just because they're working remotely. Speaker 1 00:16:00 Right. Because it all, like, it's all individual like we keep talking about. Right. Yes. That makes sense. Um, what have I not asked you about relating to these, the hierarchy needs and with retention and engagement? Speaker 2 00:16:14 Um, the, I guess we kind of touched on a little bit. I was gonna say that when looking at the top things that employers or, or that employees are looking for mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when the report came out, the top four to five things, a actually all of them can be placed, you can neatly categorize them in the hierarchy means mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I mean, it's glaring like very obvious with the top five. I mean, you got work-life balance, salary and benefits, appreciation, respect. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> falls into the esteem mm-hmm. <affirmative> or appreciation category, I mean mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, it's just, it, I guess another thing we didn't touch on is, uh, yeah. We did that. Yeah. The ping pong tables and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, corn hole, whatever. It's not a, it's not a strategy, it's a tactic which can be used, Speaker 3 00:17:18 But mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:17:21 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:17:23 We probably should advocate that everybody ha, regardless of the size of the employer and industry needs to have a strategy. Speaker 1 00:17:31 Right. Like, it's not, like, I'm sure some places probably think, oh, we've only got 20 Speaker 2 00:17:36 Employees. Yeah. We don't need that. Speaker 1 00:17:37 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:17:38 I've had, I can, I'll just hire more people. I don't Well, that's gonna get harder. Speaker 1 00:17:44 Right. Yeah. And wasting a lot of time having to retrain people over and over. Right. If you don't retain people Speaker 2 00:17:51 Well, and I'll let, let 'em in a little secret that the more, the more you Yes, you, it's gonna get harder to hire people, but the more these needs that you meet, the easier it's gonna be to hire new people if you do happen to lose someone. Right. You know, you're, you're kind of boosting your employer brand by meeting all these needs and becoming a a, an employer of choice. Yeah. And oh, well, XYZ company is a great place to work because I feel, I feel safe, respected, connected to my work. I I see how, why my work is important. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, my boss respects me. I have the opportunity to grow. Why would I ever go anywhere else? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:18:33 And, um, and there's so many more tools now to know what an employer is like, um, oh God. Than there used to be. I mean, there's always been some, you know, um, but I feel like it's just grown even more where you can really kind of figure out like, oh, is this a place I wanna go to or even be associated with? Speaker 2 00:18:55 Yes. Uh, yeah. It, it has never been easier to learn a little bit about a prospective employer between their job site reviews and fishbowl or just open, open season on, um, every employer. I mean, that, that makes it that, that much more important kind, kinda to your point earlier it was like, oh, well, depending on the employer and their size, they might think that it's not important. They don't need to have a retention strategy because oh, well we're, we're not big enough. Or we, we don't have a retention issue now that you might in the future. Right. Um, or we don't have any problem hiring yet. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you can't bank on that lasting forever. And the better you are, if you ever want to grow, you're gonna have to hire. And the best way to hire is to have a good reputation for being able mm-hmm. <affirmative> to keep your people. Speaker 1 00:19:51 Yeah. So, you know, thinking about an employer who wants to work on, you know, their retention and engagement strategies, obviously I know we've talked about there's a lot of tools out there, but, um, you know what, and I know you mentioned making committee to is a great way to kind of create some type of strategy, but, um, what, like where would you start if you were a company that really has none of that and you need to start doing something, Speaker 2 00:20:21 Find a good consultant that can help you with it. Yes. Um, start there, start with someone that can help you evaluate what your team's needs are and be prepared. There might be more than one because mm-hmm. <affirmative> people are different. So one team within a team might be different than another mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but you need to figure out what their needs are where, find out where they are on the hierarchy ladder mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then find somebody to help you figure out where you are on the hierarchy ladder and go from there with your strategy, then start implementing mm-hmm. <affirmative> your steps to move from each, each rung of the ladder to the next. Speaker 1 00:21:00 Yeah. And you, I, I know you work with, um, I mean obviously you do our recruiting for Kaso mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I know you work with some of our clients too in helping them with this kind of stuff, right? Speaker 2 00:21:10 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, absolutely. Employee engagement, retention, onboarding. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's all intertwined and it all goes into retaining people. That's right. Uh, and uh, protecting your investment in in your people. Speaker 1 00:21:22 Yeah. That's right. Anything else that I didn't ask you about? Speaker 2 00:21:28 I don't think so. Speaker 1 00:21:29 Okay. Well thank you so much, Jeff for joining us and for helping us learn where we are on the ladder of the hierarchy of needs. Right. Yeah. So thank you. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:21:39 And who knows, I might think of more as I, I'm gonna write it up an article and I'm gonna do a, a full presentation on it next week at mgma. So, Speaker 1 00:21:48 Which mg Speaker 2 00:21:49 M a, the Shelby Speaker 1 00:21:51 Shelby County. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, okay. God, there's a lot of MGMA meetings right Speaker 2 00:21:56 Now. God, there's so, there are so many chapters Speaker 1 00:21:58 Because I think Janet and Zach are going to s Schuls next week and I think Julie's in Huntsville today. It's just a lot. So thank you for tuning in to the kassouf podcast Network. Resources for today's episode are linked in the episode notes. Thank you to our producer Russ Dorsey and for Kassouf for powering this podcast. Be sure to stay up to date on new episodes and more information about today's episode by following at Kaco. Until next time, thanks for tuning in.

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