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How Understanding Human Nature Helps In Employee Retention

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For decades the corporate work structure has seemed like a daunting design that instills a sense of hopelessness in people worldwide. The corporate work environment may certainly benefit some more than others, and that should come as no surprise.

Autocratic leadership, long chains of command, and poor communication can lead to a depressive work environment and significantly impede their motivation levels. The more motivated an employee is, the more capable they are of benefiting the company. When a job demotivates a worker, they will reduce the quality/ quantity of work, take more days off, and may end up quitting.

A high turnover rate is disastrous for any company. It reflects poorly on the management and could affect potential investments from flowing into the business. But can you blame the workers for feeling this way? Working long hours, barely adequate pay, and no sight of growth in the future can demotivate just about anyone.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy, the people who work in these dead-end job are likely to leave and go to a place which might be paying them less, as long as they feel important in the structure.

Here are a few tips related to how learning about human nature can help in employee retention.

A fair trade-off

Human nature is such that every person wants to be part of a fair give and take relationship.

Substandard pay, poor working conditions, and workplace bullying aren’t going to keep workers turnover low. You are likely to lose your workforce if you are employing any of the conditions mentioned above. You need to learn more about your workers and treat them the way they prefer.

The other option is that they collectively leave or unionize and create significant issues for the company. Providing a comfortable, fair, and no discriminatory work environment could go a long way towards ensuring that you reduce employee turnover and add to the workforce’s overall productivity.

A workspace free of discrimination, appropriate compensation for the work they do, and a neat and clean working environment can make a huge difference.

Understanding humanistic needs in your workforce

We all learned about Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs of a human being in school. If not, here is a refresher course. Maslow suggests that there are five basic needs to keep a person happy in their job.

  • Physiological and basic needs – food, shelter, and clothing
  • Security needs – They need to be sure that they are in a safe and comfortable environment. Moreover, security is also related to the fact that nobody will fire them with a moment’s notice. Job security is a significant motivator for some people. Fundamental human nature suggests that we need to feel secure
  • Social needs – They need to feel that they play a significant role in the company. They feel like they are a part of a team. Moreover, they must have friends and colleagues with whom they get along with. Therefore, ensure nondiscrimination in the workplace
  • Esteem – Give credit where credit is due. Acknowledge the workers for when they do a good job. The employee of the month, top seller, and financial bonuses will do the trick. It is an essential human trait to want recognition when you have done your work well
  • Self-actualization – Encourage them to reach their full potential in life. You can instill this with an empathetic management style

Practice empathy

One of the most critical factors related to learning about human nature is to see a human being holistically. You need to understand that people have their ups and downs. Physically and psychologically, people have good and bad days.

Practicing empathetic management can go a long way in making your workforce feel comfortable in their working environment.

If the employee feels that the boss has their back, they are likely to work harder to uphold that relationship and feel motivated to work harder for the company.

Leadership style

Human beings do not respond well to orders shoveled their way. Autocratic leadership is going to lead to demotivation and a high turnover rate.

A democratic leadership where you act as a friend to the employee may give them more power than they need. It will make them complacent, and they might think that they can get away with half-hearted work.

Human nature dictates that you need a balance of autocracy and democracy. It will benefit the employee and the company if you have a leader who can implement both. It will show the employees that the boss is no pushover. However, they will listen to them whenever they have issues that they want to discuss.


There we see some of the best ways to keep in mind human nature when retaining employees. We must acknowledge that there is no one size fits all strategy, and it varies from business to business. However, these are some of the tried and tested ways to maintain humanistic management and ensure that motivation stays high and turnover stays low.