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5 tips to motivate your employees and develop their talents

heirarchy of needs
Alexandre Diard
heirarchy of needs

Employee motivation or the lack thereof is not a new problem. Many people have looked into the issue and different solutions have been proposed to improve it. Employers need to make the talent management of employees a priority in order to improve their employee experience. Implementing talent management need not be difficult and will, in the long run, ensure happy and content employees.


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Hierarchy of needs

In the 1940s Abraham Maslow elaborated the theory of the hierarchy of needs: that the consumer and more generally human beings have needs and if their needs are not met they are likely to become anxious and tense. The most basic level of needs must be met before the individual focuses motivation on the secondary or higher-level needs. He identified 5 categories of needs and considers that the consumer goes to the higher level of needs as soon as the immediate lower level is satisfied. Maslow’s theory can help managers to nurture talent management in their teams.

Survival instinct

Is motivating employees just a question of remuneration? Numerous studies show that remuneration is still the main motivation of employees and this, in fact, corresponds with the first step of the hierarchy of needs, since we need our salary to pay for our housing, food, and clothing. For example, an advantageous salary policy calls on our most primitive survival instincts and this can be a highly differentiating and attractive factor for a company that wants to attract the best talent either externally or from among its own employees.

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Security and comfort

The second step is dedicated to security and comfort. For example, a pleasant work environment and job stability fulfill this need and helps to motivate employees while offering a feeling of support. But don’t forget that these are basic needs and do not take into account cases of stress management and bullying.


On the third level of the hierarchy, there is the need to belong. In other words, the feeling of belonging to a community and the need for communication and interaction with this community. It is a question of being part of a global project, a corporate culture that we understand and that conforms to our own values. It is also here that leadership takes its meaning: being able to perceive clearly defined expectations with objectives to be achieved and quantifiable feedback.

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In the world of work, it seems that these first three levels of needs are more or less satisfied most of the time. It is by climbing on the fourth step that it gets tough: the need for recognition and esteem. In a recent Workforce article titled "The 10 ironies of motivation," motivational guru Bob Nelson explains, "More than anything else, employees want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high regard". He adds that the vast majority of employees want to be treated as responsible adults. When you think about it, having a manager who has earned our respect and esteem can be a powerful driver of performance, especially when we know that our merit will be recognized and rewarded. It also means being given responsibilities, being able to impact decisions, and setting precise and quantifiable goals.


At the top of the pyramid is the ultimate personal achievement: self-actualization. It can be understood as "to be considered as an expert in what one takes the most pleasure in doing". There are notions of accomplishment, personal development, and expertise ... In managerial language that would mean: training, career plan, autonomy ... in short, mastering one’s own evolution. A true talent management policy does not necessarily cost more but actively and sustainably contributes to the retention of employees because they are more motivated and more accomplished. Talent management of employees is the key to your company's success.

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