Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We all learned this in school, most in PSYC 101, and it wasn't until recently that it was brought back to my mind through a conversation I had about trust.
I recently met with the VP of HR of a global retail fashion organization and we chatted about how do we engage employees today. We talked in particular about ideas of trust and how we can get the most potential out of them, while also serving their individual and personal growth needs. And the VP mentioned it all boils down to a simple need that everyone has in this world. A clear and straightforward concept that has been with us for eternity but has altered and morphed in it's appearance over time.
The need for people to feel safe.
People need to feel safe before they can trust you. And before they can trust you, you won't get their buy-in, commitment, creativity, their heart and soul. People need to feel secure in their position, their jobs, their career before they can commit to you and the organization. People need to feel safe with their families, personal growth outside of work and financial safety in order to give their all to you.
It was such a simple yet powerful concept that brought me back to this chart we all learned in PSYC 101 and thought we'd never talk about again. But think about this:
So when you're thinking about how to develop your people in your organizations today, before you answer that, ask yourself this, does that person feel safe and trusted? If they don't feel safe, you might not be getting their full potential. Start by making them feel safe, and then you will see where that potential really flourishes.