Like I mentioned in my most recent post (1), I am a huge advocate for company-sponsored training especially when I have an authentically engaged boss who is helping and wanting me to succeed in my career. And though it is scientifically supported that one’s work performance is most positively correlated to the quality of the relationship between said employee and their direct manager (well summarized in the HBR article by Dr. Emma Seppala below, 2) a job must, first and foremost, be able to support the employee’s basic needs. We, mankind, have spent our entire lives to prepare to enter the workforce for one thing and one thing only: to bring home the bacon.
This can be particularly hard for most manufacturing employees, especially the hourly workers; these hardworking individuals, who spend 8-12+ hours, 5-6 days a week at all times of the day on their feet, lifting, bending, and sweating their way to around $12/hour, can sometimes barely afford their basic needs, (i.e. food, shelter, and clothing). And what about if they have a family, children they’re trying to provide for? Unfortunately, these adorable offspring can be money consumers, especially when it comes to daycare while said employee needs to go to work; a major catch-22.
So, based on what Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests (3), if an employee can not fulfill his/her basic needs at home (safety needs), how is he/she to expect to perform well at work (self-actualization needs)? I do see, internalize, and experience these hardships that many labor employees deal with in the manufacturing world and other industries. Our modern economic system has almost brought back a majority of us to the stone-age where we’re worried how we’re going to get food on the table day-to-day despite being employed full-time. Millenials even jokingly describe how difficult it can be to just get out of bed on your own with a freshly-brewed cup of coffee to get to work on time through the term “adulting,” (Google it if you aren’t familiar with the term).
Despite this comical stance on an otherwise serious “survival” issue, providing a livable salary gives manufacturers several benefits. When an employee has reasonable compensation to provide for all their basic needs and cover life’s unpredictable issues, employees will stay at their jobs longer reducing the turnover rate, give their full focus on the job at hand because they’re not worried about their home-life, recommend the company to their friends outside of work, be less stressed overall, and develop a stronger sense of loyalty knowing the company does truly care about their well-being. Like training, there are few better returns on investments (ROI) for manufacturers. Unlike training, the ROI won’t capture the additional benefits manufacturers can obtain from the employee and their peace of mind obtained from the employee transcending beyond the safety needs level of Maslow’s hierarchy system.
Tweet me what your company does for compensation that you appreciate or is unique compared to the basic compensation package, (salary, insurance, and 401K).
(2) Seppala, E. (2014). The Hard Data on Being a Nice Boss. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-hard-data-on-being-a-nice-boss
(3) Simons, J. A., Irwin, D. B., & Drinnien, B. A. (n.d.). MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from https://web.archive.org/web/20100211014419/http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/maslow.htm
Photo credit: http://www.hr.vcu.edu/compensation-and-rewards/