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Motivation Safety

We have been having some safety/vandalism problems outside our building, and we are trying to work on them. Within the company, we have implemented many motivational programs, including regular meetings between the employees and the company officers, but most of these discussions revert back to safety. We would like to keep the discussion on a higher plane and are wondering what can you suggest.

As a member of management, you should look less at managerial wants and more at employee needs. The reason why the discussions keep returning to the safety issue is that people strive to satisfy their most basic needs before they fill their higher level needs.

This means that although such practices as recognition, goal setting, and employee involvement in the decision making process have been found to be positively related to employee motivation, none of these practices will have much impact if the employees are focused on issues related to their safety or security. Once their safety and security related needs have been met, then the so-called higher-level motivations can come into play.

If you want the employees to focus more on your motivational programs, the first step is to do all you can to quickly handle the safety and security issue. At the very least, let the employees know what you are doing about it, and consider giving them opportunities to present their inputs regarding the ways to resolve it. Once the employees feel safe, it is safe to assume that your meetings will have a better chance of meeting your objectives.

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