In the forthcoming book Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Culture That Matters, entrepreneur Piyush Patel suggests paying close attention to the top of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs — in which self-actualization, esteem, and love/belonging are ranked first through third — to create a company culture that provides a sense of belonging, affirmation, and meaning.
Belonging “We’re hardwired to belong to groups. We want to belong to a tribe, something greater than ourselves,” Patel writes. “One of the greatest ways to build a sense of belonging is through shared experiences and the memories those create. So, facilitate this for your tribe by providing those opportunities for your employees.” A few recommendations? Create a lunchtime tradition like “Thai Thursday,” or provide team jerseys for employees.
Affirmation “We want to be individually recognized and appreciated in a way that means something to us,” Patel writes. “While any kind of affirmation is great, [Digital-Tutors, a company founded by Patel] started seeing exponential results when we focused on making sure that every person received the kind of appreciation that super-charged them.” Depending on the employee, this could mean giving a verbal “thank-you,” offering a congratulatory handshake, or meeting him or her for lunch.
Meaning “Millennials don’t just want a job and a paycheck,” Patel writes. “Millennials want to change the world and have their work mean something.” By sharing stories and testimonials of how a company improved someone’s life — even in a small way — employees will feel as though their contributions are making a difference in the world.