Friday, 24 June 2016

How do we get employees to reach self-actualisation?

In our last two editions, we unpacked the importance of understanding and applying Maslow’s theory of motivation so that an organisation meets its cultural and strategic objectives (Blog 1). We have also delved into how we use elements of our Workpoints platform to achieve this (Blog 2).
However, in our first post we mentioned that Maslow’s top order need, Self-actualisation, is a need level where tangible rewards will almost always fall short. We also said that although our Workpoints platform can’t address this important need directly, our team of qualified Behavioural Specialists can guide you on how best to do so.

So let’s first expand on how Maslow’s Self-actualisation need is explained. Self-actualisation can be broadly described as the restlessness that can arise unless a person does something that is truly of value to them, i.e. what they are meant to do (Maslow, 1943). Furthermore, this level of need is described as a growth need, which is motivated only after basic needs are met and encompasses aspects such as the following; challenge, opportunity, learning, knowledge, beauty, creativity, becoming more of your potential and everything you are capable of. It is the ability to be and to become what you are potentially (Maslow, 1943).

This survey has been created, in-house, by our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints with the results speaking directly to the theory underlying our programme and how to maximise this for your business. Simply put, the results from our survey point us in the right direction as to which employee needs levels are being met…or not.
So how do we at Workpoints have any impact on this you ask? Well before we set-out to set-up your Workpoints programme according to your specific organisational requirements, it is important that we understand the needs of your employees first. We do this by sending out a short 19 question engagement survey to your employees.

Say for example, we see that all your employee lower order needs are satisfied, we then encourage the activation of activities that speak to higher order and growth (Self-actualisation) needs alike. This could mean including activities that encourage personal training and development, knowledge sharing, taking on more challenging work, etc. We then monitor the data captured by these activities to see if behaviour, specific to the respective need levels, is improving. We also conduct follow up engagement surveys to stay on top of how your employee’s needs might be changing.

That, in a nutshell, is how we address needs levels that might appear to be outside the direct grasp of tangible rewards. For more on our engagement survey, stay in touch for our next blog or contact us at 
Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.

Estée Roodt (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Estée is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our keen researcher, our problem-solver and our number one sports star.

Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit for more info and a free trial!

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(13), 370–396.

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