How to Maintain Company Culture According to Maslow

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How to Maintain Company Culture According to Maslow

Creating a positive culture in the workplace is essential for fostering an environment of cooperation, collaboration, and respect that can lead to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success. It’s become a huge factor when people are looking for jobs and why they are leaving their old ones behind. In fact, according to Indeed & Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report for 2023, in order for businesses to survive and thrive beyond the typical ebb and flow of a traditional business cycle, they must put focus on creating a positive company culture. Employees will still have the upper-hand when it comes to hiring in 2023 meaning companies must do everything they can to set themselves apart and make them more appealing to potential hires.  

What is the culture at your company? As a leader, are you cultivating a place of positivity and growth? Or are weeds taking over? What does rebuilding company culture look like? And what does it take to maintain company culture?

In the modern workplace, it is shocking to refer back to an old school idea, but that’s exactly where we’re  going with this blog. We’re dusting off a theory developed by renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow. Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs that can be readily applied to company culture. Let’s dig in. 

1. Physiological Needs

According to Maslow’s first hierarchy of needs, basic physiological necessities such as food and water are the most essential elements for human health and well-being. This applies to the workplace as well; employers must provide a safe and secure work environment with resources available to their employees so that they can focus on their assigned tasks. This includes things like a comfortable workspace, proper equipment, and adequate breaks for employees to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. When these needs are met, employees feel more valued, respected, and appreciated, which leads to higher morale and productivity. 

2. Safety Needs

Safety needs focus on providing a physical and psychological sense of security. In the workplace, this could mean an emphasis on creating a safe and secure environment for employees. This could include providing proper safety equipment and training and an effective system to address any issues that arise. Employers should work tirelessly to prevent harassment or discrimination. By creating a secure workplace, employers can support the well-being of their employees and create an environment where people can perform to their utmost potential. When these needs are met, employees feel more secure in their organizational roles, leading to increased motivation and productivity. 

3. Love and Belongingness Needs

Maslow’s third level, Love and Belongingness Needs, speaks eloquently to the need to to feel a sense of connection with other people. In the workplace, this can be achieved by creating an environment of inclusion and acceptance where people can form relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Implementing policies concerning diversity and equality, as well as providing team-building activities that allow employees to connect positively, is a big part of this. By creating an atmosphere where people have a sense of belonging, employers can develop a culture of engagement and collaboration that will benefit everyone in the long run.

4. Esteem Needs

This fourth level  focuses on feeling respected and valued by self and others. In the workplace, employers can promote this sense of esteem in several ways. For example, providing regular, honest feedback on performance and recognizing successes through awards or promotions can help boost morale and increase employee satisfaction. Additionally, implementing a positive working environment that encourages collaboration and open dialogue can help people feel appreciated for their contributions. By creating an atmosphere where employees feel their efforts are recognized, employers can promote a healthy level of self-esteem within the workplace.

5. Self-Actualization Needs

Maslow’s fifth level, Self-Actualization, is the need to reach one’s full potential and achieve personal growth. This is an essential element of how to maintain company culture in the workplace. This can be achieved by providing employees with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge through training and professional development and presenting them with more challenging tasks. According to the 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, employees believe that pursuing professional development is the most effective way to cultivate a positive and supportive company culture.

Encouraging creativity in decision-making and problem-solving can also help individuals use their unique strengths to make meaningful contributions to the company’s success. It’s all about creating an environment where employees feel empowered to take ownership of their work and strive for excellence in their day-to-day tasks. When these needs are met, employees become more engaged in their roles and develop a more profound sense of purpose, leading to increased motivation and productivity within the organization.

Success in the workplace is not limited to just the work environment and culture. Employers should also encourage their staff to pursue their interests outside of work as this can bring a fresh perspective and act as an outlet for creative expression. By supporting their employees in reaching their fullest potential, both inside and outside the office, employers can create an enjoyable work environment where people feel inspired and motivated to succeed.

In a Nutshell

Workplace culture has several levels of importance for employees’ success that spiral out from basic human needs. Ultimately it is important for employers to know how to maintain company culture by valuing employees according to Maslow’s theory. This is true because when all levels of human need are met, it encourages each employee to become more fulfilled in their roles at work, leading to better quality performance across the board. When managers understand how Maslow’s hierarchy applies in a workplace setting, they can create diverse strategies that motivate their staff in different ways, which will benefit both their organization as well as their workers’ overall well-being.

About the Author


Marcia is the founder and CEO of TalentFront. She leverages her executive background in talent recruitment, leadership development, performance management, sales, and marketing to provide insightful recruitment solutions to a diverse range of clients. Her experience on both sides of the hiring equation helps her fully understand the struggle in finding and retaining top talent – and the reward in finding that just-right person.