Security: A Basic Need

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Security: A Basic Need

In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed that motivation is the result of a person’s attempt at fulfilling five basic needs: physiological, security, social, esteem, and self-actualization. According to his theory, these needs create internal pressures that can influence behavior.

Many of you may be familiar with the pyramid model that often accompanies this theory, with the absolute basic human need being Physiological. These needs are required for human survival; air, food, water, shelter, clothing, and sleep. These are the needs that must be met first before we can focus on any other need.

What many companies fail to note, is that just one step above these base needs is Security; security of body, employment, resources, mortality, family, and property. When these needs are met, we have a sense of well-being. But we know these needs are not being taken seriously because some two million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year. Threats, intimidation, and harassment affect six million every year. That’s 1 in 4 workers. And keep in mind that workplace violence is still the most underreported type of violence.

The annual cost of workplace violence to American businesses exceeds $36 billion. This includes the monetary cost of lost productivity, loss of life, counseling, legal fees, court awards, and management time spent with the crises.

When employees do not feel safe, they fail to engage. They may take an above-average number of sick days, spend work time applying for other jobs, or worse, they will quit without quitting. None of these scenarios lend themselves to a productive work environment.  Time is money and when your employees spend their time doing things other than work, it will cost you.

So why aren’t more companies doing something about it? It is a question more businesses should be asking themselves. Not only is it required by OSHA, but they have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment. An investment in your employees’ security, is an investment in the most important resource you have…………your people.


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