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  • Writer's picturePGAA Tax

Holiday season is here, take care of your tax team

The holiday season is a special time of year, filled with joy, festivities, and busy season are all things to look forward to. However, it can also bring unique challenges regarding employee management. As we navigate this season, let's explore how Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs can be applied to employee management during the holidays, ensuring your team's well-being and motivation remain a top priority.

1. Physiological Needs

At the base of Maslow's pyramid are physiological needs, which include basic requirements such as food, shelter, and a safe work environment. As an employer, while it's not your responsibility to ensure your employees have a balanced breakfast, you are providing compensation so they can have these fundamental needs met. If things in this department are not going well for your staff, they might be in survival mode. Survival mode at work can look like watching the clock, being there for the money, leaving work ASAP, not satisfied with work, and generally disengaged. These folks need support, or else they can de-motivate your team and further become isolated from the social well-being of the whole department. Be sure you've got your bases covered:

- Provide competitive compensation and benefits.

- Create a safe and comfortable work environment.

- Offer nutritious snacks or meals if possible.

- Encourage regular breaks to promote physical well-being.

2. Safety Needs

Once employees' physiological needs are met, they can seek a deeper sense of security and safety in their jobs. Signs this need isn't met include an overall sense of absence, many sick days, a strained or distant connection to bosses, direct reports, or team, and a gut feeling that they don't like their job. They might often feel confused about expectations and responsibilities and uncomfortable seeking support.

To address these needs:

- Establish clear workplace guidelines and procedures.

- Reinforce their job security and transparent employment terms.

- Implement an effective communication system for reporting concerns.

- Provide training to prevent workplace mishaps.

3. Social Belonging

Humans are inherently social beings, and the need for social connection is essential for employee motivation and well-being. In fact, Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a de-bunked system. Let me explain: while it is a great system to look at needs and how they relate to success and motivation, it doesn't work in an orderly pyramid shape like Maslow showed. You don't need 100% of the previous needs met in order to get to the top of the pyramid. Social belonging is now far better researched, and the findings show that Maslow probably should have put it as the base because of how important it is in supporting overall well-being in humans. Don't overlook this part, especially in the darker months and often emotional holiday season. Remind your team how they are part of something bigger, how proud you are of their achievements and effort, and how they will be supported in the realm of promotions and re-skilling/up-skilling.

In the workplace, fostering a sense of belonging can lead to a more engaged and satisfied workforce:

- Create opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.

- Promote a culture of inclusivity and diversity.

- Organize team-building activities and social events.

- Create opportunities for employees to provide and receive feedback.

4. Esteem Needs

Employees have a desire for recognition, respect, and achievement. Addressing these esteem needs can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and motivation. Plus, you will have an engaged employee, one who feels they are vital to the group and the company. They know they are important. To ensure this:

- Recognize and appreciate employees' achievements and contributions.

- Provide opportunities for skill development and advancement.

- Encourage employees to set and achieve meaningful goals.

- Foster a culture of mutual respect and acknowledgment.

5. Self-Actualization

At the pinnacle of Maslow's Hierarchy is self-actualization or self-transcendence, which involves realizing one's full potential and achieving personal growth. While not all employees may reach this level, facilitating their journey toward self-actualization can be highly rewarding. This is why the best bosses WANT their direct reports to move on to bigger and better things eventually, and other companies recognize them for it through other job offers. While you, as a boss, want to retain your best staff, it might mean that you did your job so well that they take other jobs outside your company. To help someone at the top of their game:

- Offer opportunities for creativity, innovation, and autonomy.

- Support opportunities for them to mentor others and lead trainings.

- Encourage employees to pursue their passions and interests within and outside of the workplace.

Remember that not all employees will progress through these stages in the same way or at the same pace. Therefore, it's essential to be flexible and adapt your management approach to the individual needs and aspirations of your team members. When you invest in your employees' well-being and personal growth, you'll likely see increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention, ultimately leading to the success of your organization. Happy Holiday Season from PGAA Tax!


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