In college, I took an introduction to psychology course and learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The levels of the hierarchy were: Physiological (food, shelter, water), Safety (security), Belongingness and Love (intimate relationships and friends), Esteem (prestige and feeling of accomplishment), and Self-Actualization (achieving one’s full potential).

Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. At that time, I did not pay much attention to the first tiers of the hierarchy. I was living in a sorority, had a warm bed, and three meals a day at specified times. If I missed a meal, I could always order a pizza. I was taken care of and life was good. The top two tiers of the hierarchy were my focus. I was getting out of college and hoped to find a job that paid me my age, while achieving a level of success. For many years my focus, was to climb the corporate ladder, achieve success, be of service to others, and have fun!

The bottom rungs of the hierarchy of needs were not in my day-to-day awareness, until this year!

December is the time of year to review goals and accomplishments to prepare for the last sprint towards achievement of those. I set lofty goals at the end of last year and expected to hit the ground running at the beginning of 2020 to achieve them. Then… SCREECH, put on the brakes!

Earlier this year we hunkered down, and people scrambled for the basics. There was a run on toilet paper and water and stores rationed purchases to ensure there was enough for everyone. When the store ran out of the basics, people became desperate. They would ask the expected delivery time for the next order so they could be present to purchase. This was a live test of the principles learned in Psych 101 classes. One may assume this run for basics was anomalous, but again there was the threat of a lockdown and the basics became primary once again. Over a virtual Thanksgiving dinner, common conversation included where to find toilet paper, sanitizer, and water as shelves again were bare.

We were all trying to ensure the bottom two levels in the hierarchy of needs were satisfied. Postpone self-actualization and give me toilet paper! Shift, change, pivot, and learn to live life differently, as this year has included an unexpected plot twist.

What does this have to do with you and your business?

Being safe, sane, fed, healthy, and employed are tremendous accomplishments to be noted and honored. Gratitude for others, their contribution, and yourself may seem basic, but this year are so important.
• Be in awe of the healthcare workers and first responders that are committed to healing and still standing after 12 hours shifts.
• Be in awe of the food banks and missions that are feeding so many people in need.
• Be in awe of the mothers and fathers who are juggling school, work, and life who are committed to a great future for their children.
• Be in awe of the people who work in the stores and risk their health every day to ensure we can purchase our necessities.
• Be in awe of the businesses and people who have committed to help one another survive.
• Be in awe of the people asking for and receiving help.

This year when you review your employee’s performance and achievement of goals, consider what they have accomplished personally, as well as professionally. This time has not been for the faint of heart, all have struggled in their own way. Take this time to get to know your employees. Talk about their challenges, wins, and key learning.

As an employer, you impact all levels of the hierarchy of needs, and the first two are significant. You impact lives every day in more ways than you may have considered. You provide security and a stable ground for your employees to stand upon. When you assess the achievement of your goals this year, place this at the top of your list, and know that you make a difference!

“Getting back to the basics is the best way to find calm in the chaos.” Anonymous

I am thankful that we are acquainted and honored to continue to serve you. Feel free to reach out for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to help you achieve your goals and recognize your accomplishments.