Everything You Need to Know About Fulfilling Your Employees’ Psychological Needs

CoachHub · 13 May 2022 · 6 min read

Every employee has different needs and wants that their employers would need to fulfil to keep them satisfied. Employers now need to consider what they can do for their employees both mentally and psychologically.

Employers can benefit from taking care of their workforce’s needs and engaging them, with research from Gallup showing that highly engaged members of staff show a 21% increase in profitability.

Many individuals are also now more than willing to seek employment elsewhere if their psychological needs are not met. A new research study conducted by small and medium-sized businesses resource hub Workest found that of more than 600 US businesses with 50-500 employees, 63.3% of companies say retaining employees is actually harder than hiring them.

Taking care of an individual’s needs is one of the best ways that companies can ensure that employees are satisfied with their role, with a study finding that by working in an environment where their needs are met, employees would be more likely to stay with their company.

Additionally, a research paper done by Frontiers also found that by satisfying the psychological needs of employees, there would be a positive change in the attitude of employees. Supporting staff psychologically would not only result in higher chances of the personnel staying with the company, but also being more productive.

Here are 4 ways that employers can support their employees psychologically:

Guaranteeing a Personal Identity in the Workplace

Employers need to first focus on ensuring that individuals have their own self-identity, and to empower them. Although the end goal of most tasks at work may need to remain the same, what an employer can do is to encourage that an employee finds their own way to achieve that goal, instead of setting the precedent that a task can only be accomplished with one method.

The autonomy that an employee has can be a powerful motivating factor and will also satisfy their psychological need to have their own control over their tasks. TakingPoint Leadership introduces the idea that by practising autonomy, “it demonstrates a level of trust which allows teams to engage in activities on their terms.”

This would bring personnel a sense of enthusiasm and alignment with their individual interests and values. It would also allow the employee to have that sense of freedom that they need, instead of feeling boxed into one specific role.

The role of feedback is also vital in confirming to the individual that they have a personal touch on their work. Employers will need to give feedback to staff in a viable manner, and communication is vital in this aspect. Feedback from employees to their higher-ups also needs to be taken seriously, and leadership development program PsyPotential says that disregarding workplace feedback can be “factors that create anxiety, stress, and possible anger and resentment in the workplace.”

Workplace staff need to feel as though they have that control over their work, and that the feedback that they give to employers is heard and acted on when applicable. Only then will they be able to have that personal identity that they need to be psychologically satisfied.

Building Up a Sense of Belonging

According to consultancy , “the relationships we have within the workplace are critical to a successful and enjoyable work environment”. Whereas some employers may discourage such relationships, fostering and developing that sense of camaraderie is essential for an employee’s psychological well-being.

No employee wants to feel alone in their company, and that feeling of isolation could be one that severely cripples their well-being. B2B Marketing states that “encouraging regular team-building events to build rapport between departments will improve social motivations”, and is one of the key ways to improve communication and relationships across all levels.

Participating in team-building events are not the only ways that employees can develop a sense of belonging in their workplace. The little changes that an employer can make to the environment can also have a huge impact. These changes may range from checking that the language used is inclusive to all personnel, and that the tech resources such as email or software do not alienate any employees that have disabilities.

By taking care of the employees need to feel as if they are part of a team, this can also have a positive effect on the employer themselves. An employee that feels as if they are a valued member of the team is also one that has the potential to be more efficient, and to increase the quality of their work.

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Developing Trust and Connecting Effectively

Relating and connecting to your employee as a leader is also a great way in ensuring that your workforce is in a good condition mentally. Many members of the workplace these days may feel ignored and mismanaged, with the notion that their boss “doesn’t care about them”. A study done showed that almost 1 in 3 employees don’t trust their employers, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. This no doubt has a negative effect on their mental health, when in reality, employers can solve this issue speedily and effectively.

What employees need is to feel as though their boss understands them and Harvard Business Review recommends that employers “take time to facilitate the development of people’s values at work”. Getting to know the members of staff, and not only on the surface level, but identifying their core traits and values, is a method in which employers can connect work to what the employee sees as important. Tying in their personal goals to their work will allow the employee to see that their employer treasures them as not only a member of the team but recognising them as an individual. Being recognised on a human level sets the narrative that they can be understood, and will allow them to want to contribute more while also feeling at ease in the environment.

Introducing tools such as CoachHub Wellbeing™ will also allow employers to showcase that they understand the problems and issues that employees face. CoachHub’s Wellbeing™ approach makes use of coaches to guide and support an employee’s mental well-being throughout their struggles. By making use of tools like this, an employer can come across as relatable to their staff, showing them that they understand and can empathise with them. This will in turn create a stronger bond of trust between employee and employer while reiterating that the employee’s psychological health is important to the company.

Helping Them Realise Their True Potential

To further support their employees, employers can attempt to nurture the goals of their staff, and try to assist them to find a purpose in their work life.

Employees are often left with no true purpose at work, with a study reflecting that only 15% of workers are engaged in the workplace. Empowering individuals is one of the best ways that they can be supported psychologically, and is an essential method in achieving the sense of fulfilment that they need. A Forbes article asserts that “senior leaders and authentic, informal leaders alike can be powerful allies in influencing these behaviours and providing concrete examples of what fulfilment looks like”.

Employers have a critical role, and one of the ways that they can provide staff with a way of realising their true potential is a system of rewards. These rewards would provide recognition to the employee, which would satisfy their need for self-actualization. This system is made useful by relying on the employees’ perceptions of the rewards and by basing the rewards on different qualitative aspects, as per Central College.

Whether it be office perks or free lunches, these rewards are great motivators for personnel to keep producing good work and fulfilling their internalised need for a purpose. Employers can choose from a wide range of incentives for their workplace, it is all about how creative they can get, as an article by Inc. shows. These rewards will go a long way in signalling to members of the workforce that by doing good work, they will be able to reap the benefits. By working towards their own goals, employees will be able to realise their true potential, and thus will be able to be satisfied psychologically.

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