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Employee satisfaction: what really counts

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Successful companies know what their employees want


So here the question of all questions: If you had a magic wand, what would you change in your company to make your employees happy? Taking the time to reflect on what really counts to improve your employees’ engagement, will lead to positive changes with impact on productivity and well-being.


Salary, corporate culture, communication, management, colleagues, processes/ workflows ? …… The answers are as unique and different as the people and they also change depending on the phase of life and situation they live in.

The terms Generation X or Millennials have long been on everyone’s lips. Countless reports shed light on generational trends, what they do different, how their behavior and preferences affect the workplace.



Abraham Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs provides further food for thought.

(The very popular Gallup employee survey for example is based on it. Annually, Gallup measures and compares the so-called engagement index of workforces around the world).

Maslow differentiates people’s needs into 5 levels that build onto each other. These levels can be projected into any work environment.


Level 1


The base of the Maslow pyramid consists of all basic needs such as food, shelter, air, water, which are necessary for human survival.

The resulting assumption is, that employees must first be satisfied with their basic needs. Simple dimensions such as fair deployment plans, regular breaks, time-outs, the right protective clothing or suitable workspace play an important role.


Level 2


As soon as their physiological needs are met, people strive for a stable environment that enables social and financial security. They value a permanent position, adequate salary or other benefits that guarantee a standing in society.


Level 3


When everything is right at the base of the pyramid, people feel the need for social ties. They start wishing to play a more significant social role within a group, to have a social life, to belong to a community. This “we-feeling” is achieved on the one hand with collegiality, team events, joint projects and goals, on the other hand through a good work-life balance, which allows time for family, friends and hobbies.


Level 4


Towards the top of the pyramid personal needs such as recognition, appreciation or status arise: the importance of these dimensions is weighted very individually and differently from person to person. Some are happy if they get a raise in salary, different tasks or a promotion with new challenges, others thrive when they feel acceptance, receive public praise and encouragement in the group.


Level 5


When all previous needs are met, we climb to the top of the pyramid and strive for self-realization. Once they reach this level, people strive to acquire new skills, develop their own personality and creativity further and, above all, fill their life with meaning. It is therefore highly appreciated when companies offer support in form of further education, trainings, getting exciting projects or new tasks.



What does all this mean for managers? Very simple: it means that taking care of your team/ the workforce improves their intrinsic motivation and performance.


However, that does not mean fulfilling every wish or whim. It is more about recognising basic human needs that are essential for nurturing well-being and therefore good performance.


This means creating an environment where employees enjoy working, are motivated to achieve their goals and are productive.


What about your team?

The answer is best provided by your employees: Ask yourself and your employees what they need to do their best at work every day.


What else can you do? Above all, listen and take action.

Because a positive work culture thrives when employees trust their managers, are proud of their work and enjoy working with colleagues.



In our free guide we take you through more points. (Just register for our newsletter to download your copy).

We are happy if you have found some impulses that give you the opportunity to initiate positive changes. If you would like to deal more intensively with yourself and your team, we would be happy to support you with the Budo Coaching method.

The essence of our work lies in strengthening your personal development through the teachings of martial arts.  Be open and find new leadership perspectives and approaches for a team event or in one of our coaching programs. Our services

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