Graham Hurdle's blog: 21 July - Is it time to look at Maslow's hierarchy regarding your vehicle fleet?
21 July 2016
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
I read with interest the comments of Lauren Pamma, Lex Autolease's new head of consultancy, when she said that an increasing number of fleets are asking how vehicles can be used to improve staff satisfaction.
Pamma said: "We have had a lot of customers contact us about using vehicles as a way to incentivise employees, rather than approaching consultancy just as a way to save on costs."
It's an interesting point because she's not saying, 'what' vehicles can be used to improve job satisfaction - but 'how'. If we were to simply look at 'what' cars would motivate people, then, assuming they could afford the tax and fuel, most drivers would probably have the best car they could get!
Yet if we look at the broader issue of how you use company vehicles to improve satisfaction, it may be worth looking at Maslow's hierarchy of needs for some inspiration. Because for many drivers the provision of a company car sits in the 4th area of the Maslow pyramid, namely 'Esteem' - prestige and a feeling of accomplishment. This is a psychological need.
But lets look further down at a human's basic needs, because a much greater priority (before we can even contemplate esteem) is 'Safety'. Protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, and freedom from fear.
So, if we're going to really motivate, inspire and satisfy staff at work, shouldn't we be making safety a real priority? Imagine how a new employee would feel at their induction if their employer sat them down and said, "Your safety is of paramount importance to us. When you drive your company car, we want to make sure you are safe, protected, accident free and if anything does happen, we will be there for you." On hearing this, most people would feel truly valued from day one.
The truth is, Maslow's theory has held true for so long because it continues to reflect human life. Our most basic biological and physiological needs, which sit at the base of his pyramid, are air, food, drink, shelter, sleep. At work, these are fulfilled by the environment we work in and the money we are paid so that we can provide for ourselves and our families.
But with safety coming next, maybe that's where we need to focus our attention when creating a really satisfied, valued and appreciated workforce.