Role of HR in Meeting the Needs of Employees

Instructor: Nick Chandler
This lesson discusses considerations an HR department must make in creating programs that meet the needs of its employees, such as diversity programs, remuneration packages and telecommuting. Read on to learn more.

The Dream Job

What would be your dream job? Jim wants a high-earning job that would allow him to take his family to a tropical island for a week every year. Tom has always wanted a company car. Jan just wants a chance to become a manager one day. We all have different needs in our jobs, and it is these needs that help us choose the job that is right for us and contribute to how satisfied we feel in our jobs.

Needs can be sorted into a number of categories: basic physiological needs, such as having enough income and a comfortable working environment; a need to feel safe; a need to belong to a group; a need for our egos to be satisfied; and finally a need to feel like our jobs fulfill us.

The Ranking of Needs

Now, imagine you didn't get enough money, didn't feel safe or didn't feel part of the group, what would happen? You would probably feel worried or nervous. Maybe if this were to happen for some time in your job, you would look for another one. On the other hand, if you felt good about your job, you might be willing to wait some time before expecting to get promoted. This is why psychologist Abraham Maslow put all these needs in order. He said that we have to have basic needs, such as pay, security, and a sense of belonging, satisfied first before worrying about needs such as future prospects in the job. This is referred to as Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Hierarchy of Needs and HR Tasks

Getting What You Need

Nick is the HR manager at Furniture Corp., which makes flat-pack furniture. He has the job of making sure that all staff are happy, which means that he needs to make sure that each need is satisfied for the entire staff. Let's look at them by category.

The Basic Things We Need

Nick aims to ensure that all employees receive a fair and competitive salary suitable for the job completed. Nick also makes sure employees have safe working conditions. Some people cannot afford either the time or the money to travel to their workplace, and it is Nick's job to make sure that his staff have the things they need to be able to travel from a long distance away or work from home, which is called telecommuting.

Safety / Security

From receiving the raw materials, to making the furniture and shipping it out, Nick ensures staff are kept safe and are working within health and safety laws. Nick offers employees job security with long-term contracts and additional benefits, such as a health plan, pension plan, and insurance. Together, all these benefits as well as pay are called the remuneration package.

Spending Time With People

Generally speaking, we all enjoy spending time with other people. Social needs may take the form of friendships and work groups. Nick organizes social days, team-building training, and other social events to make sure all employees get plenty of chances to get to know each other.

There may be great differences between staff in terms of age, race, culture or gender. People from different countries or generations may have difficulties understanding each other, and yet time and again research has shown that when diverse cultural groups come together, there is a much higher potential for creativity and innovation because each group has its own perspectives and interpretations.

Nick has a number of tools he can use to help manage diversity. For example, in the case of cultural diversity, Nick can reward behaviors that support cultural diversity, encourage work in multi-cultural teams, and train staff on how different cultures communicate.

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