Puritas explores a modern organisational concept with traditional management roots
American psychologist Albert Maslow might have remained just a gifted, but largely unknown academic but for a 1943 journal article explaining his theory on human motivation.
Its fundamental thrust was (loosely) that to succeed in life, people must work upwards through a series of motivational levels to eventually reach their highest goal. A natty pyramid diagramme containing the levels helped clarify his thoughts and cement the concept.
Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ … heard of it?
Sure you have. It’s one of the first concepts rolled out in any management course or examined within most ‘how to be a better leader’ workshops.
Why? Because after more than 80 years, Maslow’s still makes sense.
The world in which we work may have fundamentally changed since the 1940s, but people are still people. Good managers still need to understand what makes their employees tick.
One important – yet controversial – point Maslow made was that while money is a motivator, it ranks fairly low within his hierarchy. Real job satisfaction and any corresponding higher performance comes from other factors.
One being increasingly recognised as important is our sense of wellbeing.
Wellbeing – it’s a well-used and very topical term in present times. Organisations and employees have latched-on, promising this, claiming that. Covid and associated work-from-home arrangements have helped raise the wellbeing star ever higher.
So, is wellbeing the mystical, silver bullet solution to everything wrong in the world? Or is it time to separate the hype from the substance?
Nice to have?
Trevor Cole, MD at Jersey-based finance software developer Puritas, has a considered view.
‘Wellbeing is one of those terms that has become mainstream within the business community, being used in a variety of contexts and covering a range of initiatives,’ he ventures. ‘What concerns me, however, is that the concept may not be widely understood, especially among busy small business owners or managers who may consider wellbeing as “nice to have” rather than essential, and feel they have little time to find out more.
‘Yet the reality is that most probably already have a good understanding of wellbeing and its benefits to organisations and employees. They use the concept, minus the name and without needing to explore the theory. It’s a bit like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – most small business owners or managers have come across it at some point, but don’t need to reach for the book when working out how to motivate their employees.’
Find ways to find out more
For anyone wanting to find out more about the concept of wellbeing, there are easier ways than reading one or more of the many books written on the subject.
In Mr Cole’s case, a free online Chamber of Commerce workshop provided several excellent insights.
‘As a small, close-knit team with an emphasis on regular communication and work-life balance, I was confident that Puritas was already covering many of the wellbeing bases before attending the workshop,’ he expands. ‘But it was two-hours very well spent, featuring subject matter experts to explain latest thinking and industry representatives on applying wellbeing initiatives in their workplaces.
‘Pleasingly, I found that while some of the terminology used may have been new, the principles covered were very familiar to me, and aligned with approaches in place at our organisation. Among much valuable learning, one simple but fundamental point strongly resonated: when you run an organisation, treat employees how you would like to be treated yourself.
‘Traditional management thinking really, but with wellbeing in mind, it could just be the right key for opening the door to future business success.’
For further information on Puritas, its products and capabilities email Trevor Cole email@example.com or call on +44 1534 874 100.