THE PATH TO SELF-ACTUALIZATIONJun 06, 2022
Transforming the Great Resignation to Great Engagement
Doing the things we love.
Being passionate about our jobs.
Finding purpose in the life we create for ourselves.
These are no longer just dreams, advice or things you read in self-development books. These are becoming mottos by which many of us have decided to live our lives.
In fact, the Great Resignation has shown that people now prioritize their well-being and want to pursue careers that truly fulfill them. They no longer accept the nine to five grind, the unfulfilling job that pays the bills or an average corporate culture that doesn't prioritize their development and growth.
If you've noticed a sharp increase in resignations over the last couple of years within your organization, it might be because you aren't promoting and developing a self-actualization corporate culture which, in turn, leads to a lack of engagement and excitement.
Fortunately, it's not all doom and gloom! There are ways to turn the Great Resignation and talent hemorrhage that might be happening in your company into the Great Engagement.
In this blog, I'll define exactly what self-actualization is before highlighting a few effective ways to encourage it within your team.
What Is Self-Actualization?
Self-actualization is defined as "the complete realization of your potential and the full development of your abilities and appreciation for life".
This concept represents the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs (represented by a pyramid). Once you reach this level, you'll achieve a state of joy where you feel like your life is meaningful, and you're fulfilling your potential.
According to Maslow, self-actualization can generally be achieved when all your other core needs are met which are physiological needs, safety needs, love & belonging and esteem.
The final stage in this hierarchy is self-actualization and it is the ability to become the best version of yourself or, as Maslow states in his famous theory of human motivation, "become everything that one is capable of becoming". For instance, painters must paint, and singers must sing. They must be true to their own nature and fulfill this need to reach their full potential and live a fulfilling life.
Reaching self-actualization is the ultimate goal of personal development. That's because when we are self-actualized, we tend to feel more comfortable with who we are. We're also able to stay grounded and put things into perspective. We become independent thinkers able to connect with others in deeper ways as we develop compassion.
The Characteristics of Self-Actualization
As a leader, you want your team to exceed expectations, think big, be dedicated and committed, and be creative and inspirational. In short, you want your team members to do their absolute best. But what does it take exactly for your employees to give their absolute best?
You guessed it; be self-actualized.
While everyone is different, here are some of the main characteristics that can be found in self-actualized employees:
Strong Self-Awareness: they understand their skills, abilities and what they're capable of handling.
Embracing the unknown: self-actualized people aren't afraid of the unknown. Instead, they see challenges and new situations as opportunities to learn and grow. Their growth mindset fuels their personal development and helps them achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams.
Focusing on problem-solving: rather than getting bogged down in negative emotions, feelings and thoughts, seeing problems as obstacles, and lingering on the past or worrying about the future, self-actualized employees can see the big picture and leverage failures and limitations to fuel their future progression.
Being open-minded: self-actualized employees tend to be open-minded and spontaneous people who, while respecting social rules, don't feel confined by social norms. They’re happy to explore new horizons and learn about others regardless of their background or personal story.
Strong interpersonal relationships: they tend to develop strong and deep relationships and focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to social interactions. They believe in others' potential and are always there to support their personal development goals.
Being grateful for simple things in life: when someone is self-actualized, they have the ability to enjoy what they have and embrace all things. They appreciate the smallest things in life, such as flowers in their garden, the trees on their street and even the oxygen they breathe.
Celebrating imperfections: self-actualized employees know that perfection doesn't exist. In fact, they know that imperfection is what makes the journey exciting! They don't focus on their weaknesses and instead celebrate their whole being and seek to balance the good and the bad.
Imagine if all of your team members were driven by these characteristics! Wouldn't you be excited to come to work every day and even look forward to Monday mornings?
Encouraging self-actualization is one of the most efficient ways to help them thrive and feel accomplished both professionally and personally, increase engagement and retain your talent. Yes, as a business owner or team leader, you should help your employees reach self-actualization so that they can achieve excellence, financial success while supporting the company fulfil their mission.
How To Enable Self-Actualization in the Workplace?
Organizations that cultivate a culture of self-actualization drive higher employee satisfaction. Here are a few ways that you can promote and support self-actualization in your organization:
Get Your Employees into the Zone
For athletes being ‘in the zone’ means being in a state of supreme focus which enables them to perform at their peak potential. Imagine what you and your team can achieve if you can all find yourself in the zone.
Challenging your team to develop new ideas, new ways of doing things or to work on new projects can help get them into their zone. It allows them to live outside of their comfort zone but not beyond their skill level. For your team members to feel self-actualized, they should feel challenged at work but not overwhelmed or overloaded.
Nobody can do their best work, if they are not in a good place when it comes to their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. As a leader it is important to create a work environment and culture that focuses on personal excellence. Leverage the power of personal excellence challenges to encourage employees to push their boundaries and help them adopt healthy habits to fuel their performance and drive their personal development and growth.
Enable Personal Brand Awareness
Are your employees aware of what makes them unique? Do they know who they are? Do they know their strengths? Do they know how they make a difference?
If you want to help your employee reach self-actualization, you need to support their journey into discovering their authentic, true self. This means that you should encourage them and provide them with the opportunity to look inward, understand who they are, and what they have to offer so that they craft their personal brand.
Only then will they be able to harness their uniqueness, their strengths, and their passion and make a bigger impact.
Show them How Their Values Align to The Company's
It can be difficult to feel like you're realizing your full potential when you're unsure whether your work and contribution to the company are valuable. Showing employees how important their work is and how their contribution fits into the grand scheme of things will allow them to understand how they help the company reach its goals and fulfill its mission.
And this will make them feel like their job and life, in general, are more meaningful.
Allow Them To Work On Projects They're Passionate About
Did you know that Google encourages its employees to allocate 20% of their working time on creative projects they're passionate about and think could benefit the company down the road? This is one of the main reasons Google attracts and retains talent.
While you might see this as a costly investment, it's a fantastic way to encourage employees to tap into their creative side and work on something they're genuinely passionate about, fulfilling their potential and dreams. And this, in turn, can significantly boost engagement, productivity and satisfaction in the workplace, reducing burnout risks and lowering your turnover rate.
Need Help to Enable Self-Actualizing in Your Workplace?
At MLA, our carefully crafted corporate programs are designed to do just that; help your team members reach their full potential and fulfil their needs while embracing the experience and having fun along the way.
So, don't hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help your team and drive engagement in your company!