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The Leader’s Toolbox: Basic Human Needs and Conflict in the Workplace

(Author: Jessica Rabbers)

 

Abstract

This paper explores ten published articles that discuss research and expert opinion on leadership needs for conflict resolution. Primary focus is given to conflict resolution tools, and basic human needs education for leaders. Bolton (1979) investigates the importance of communication skills. Burton (1990) examines how conflict can be managed from a human needs theory approach. Cancialosi, C. (2014) educates how effective leadership tools and approaches to conflict resolution help leaders to thrive during change. Cufaude (2005) examines how leaders can develop their leadership style to effectively manage change. Homrig (2001) discusses the importance of transformational leadership during times of conflict. Maslow (1954) supports basic human needs theory through his application of hierarchy of needs. Macgregor-Burns (2012) discusses the importance of leaders being able to motivate the “led”. Myatt (2012) explores workplace conflict and the role of leadership.  Rubenstein (2001) explains how basic human needs affect leaders and followers. Zaleznik (1970) explores how power affects the organizational environment.  This paper also attempts to determine if leaders really need conflict resolution tools and basic human needs education, or if relying on their own experience and methods for resolving conflict are enough to effectively lead through conflict. The summation of the articles presented can help Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding (NCRP) professionals when developing conflict resolution programs for leaders.

Keywords:  basic human needs theory, conflict resolution, leadership, hierarchy of needs

The Problem:

Per Forbes writer, Mike Myatt (2012), “The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall”. Reflecting on this statement, I believe that leaders need training in conflict resolution skills to thrive. To thrive means to “grow or develop successfully” (merriamwebster.com).  It is important for leaders to thrive; per Forbes contributor, Chris Cancialosi, (2014), “While many people are resistant to change, today’s leaders simply do not have that luxury . . . leaders must train themselves and their organizations to thrive in disequilibrium and embrace this constant state of flux”. Thus, leaders who have conflict resolution skills will be better prepared to thrive in today’s society.

From my ten years of experience in leadership development, I have observed that leaders commonly have only one style of conflict resolution skills which lean towards facilitation, and have poor communication skills. Cufaude, (2005) explains facilitative leadership as “. . .using processes and tools to maximize the collective intelligence of individuals in a group to determine the right course of action and to then build a template for acting on the choices they make” (p. 2).  In my opinion, this style limits a leader’s ability to resolve employee conflict because it does not appeal to the employees with needs for resolving conflict. It also focuses too much on listening to what the employees want, rather than developing solutions for what they need to resolve conflict.

Additionally, effective communication skills, are essential for leaders to have. Per Bolton, (1979), “Ineffective communication causes an interpersonal gap that is experienced in all facets of life and in all sectors of society” (p. 4).  Also, per Bolton, “Eighty present of the people who fail at work do so for one reason: they do not relate well to other people” (p. 7). Since there is such a high percentage of people failing at work due to lack of relating to each other, opportunity exists to reverse failure, and succeed.

Proposal:

To do so, Bolton explains “One’s productivity as a supervisor or manager . . . is greatly enhanced by the ability to communicate well” (p. 7). Thus, teaching communication skills to leaders can be one way to succeed. Specifically, teaching conflict resolution skills “. . . enable you to deal with the emotional turbulence that typically accompanies conflict” (Bolton, 1979, p. 12).  Specifically, by providing leaders education on conflict resolution skills from a Basic Human Needs Theory aspect, leaders can broaden their skill set to develop meaningful resolution solutions for their employees, thus increasing the potential to manage conflict and thrive.

Burton, (as cited in Rubenstein, 2001) defines Basic Human Needs theory as “. . . an approach to understanding protracted social conflict”. Since Basic Human Needs Theory seeks to understand social conflict, it provides a model to develop training for conflict resolution skills. Moreover, Burton (1990) explains that “How an event is appraised and interpreted, correctly or incorrectly, has a great deal to do with emotional states and thus whether or not a person feels a sense of need gratification” (p. 22). Therefore, identifying emotional states and evaluating them based on a needs model can help leaders when dealing with conflict.

To do this, I propose:

  1. Develop a conflict resolution style questionnaire and interview leaders in my department.
  2. Analyze the leaders’ answers and research appropriate skills to resolve conflict based on the leaders’ styles discovered from analysis.
  3. Develop a leadership guide of conflict resolution skills and solutions from a Basic Human Needs Theory aspect.
    1. Examples include developing skills and strategies utilizing Bolton’s examples of identifying emotional and substantive aspects of conflict.
      1. Per Bolton (1979), “The emotional components include anger, distrust, defensiveness . . . when feelings are strong, it is usually a sound strategy to deal with the emotional aspects of conflict first” (p. 217).
      2. Likewise, leaders need skills in identifying substantive issues. Per Bolton, “The substantive issues involve conflicting needs, disagreements over policies and practices, and differing conceptions of roles and uses of resources” (p. 217).
    2. Garner feedback on the guide from the leaders I interviewed and include their comments in my final study paper to determine whether the guide is meaningful to them.

Goals:

My goal for studying ways leaders can resolve conflict through the application of Basic Human Needs Theory is to produce an educational tool that enables leaders to manage conflict in the workplace effectively. To determine the effectiveness of the guide, users of the guide can measure their success by surveying their employees to determine whether conflict is being managed effectively, as well as surveying themselves; surveys like these will be included in the appendix of the guide.

Literature Review:

            The topic of what makes a leader equipped to lead others through conflict is important for NCRP professionals because change is constant, and thus, conflict is certain to arise. By equipping today’s leaders with the tools and education necessary to effectively lead during conflict, peace can be promoted and achieved in the workplace and beyond. Forbes writer, Myatt, (2012), states “The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall,” In our dynamic modern culture, conflict and the need for resolution influence how leaders lead.

Likewise, Forbes contributor, Cancialosi, (2014) advises “While many people are resistant to change, today’s leaders simply do not have that luxury . . . leaders must train themselves and their organizations to thrive in disequilibrium and embrace this constant state of flux.” Thus, acquiring conflict resolution tools is imperative for the modern leader. In Cufaude, (2005) the need for leaders to have conflict resolution tools is presented.  Per Cufaude, tools are important during times of conflict so that leaders can “. . . determine the right course of action and then build a template for acting on the choices they make” (Cufaude, 2005, p. 2).

So, what are these tools, and how do leaders access them? Per Bolton, (1979) “Ineffective communication causes an interpersonal gap that is experienced in all facets of life and in all sectors of society” (Bolton, 1979, p. 4). Thus, one can posit that effective communication skills are necessary tools for leaders to possess in order to bridge communication gaps and barriers. In addition to communication tools, a leader must develop the ability to determine and appease to their followers’ basic human needs. One way a leader can do this is by learning about Basic Human Needs theory.

Burton, (as cited in Rubenstein, 2001) defines Basic Human Needs theory as “. . . an approach to understanding protracted social conflict”. Since Basic Human Needs theory seeks to understand social conflict, it provides a model to develop conflict resolution education. Moreover, Burton (1990) explains that “How an event is appraised and interpreted, correctly or incorrectly, has a great deal to do with emotional states and thus whether a person feels a sense of need gratification” (Burton, 1990, p. 22). Therefore, identifying emotional states and evaluating them based on a needs model can help leaders when dealing with conflict.

So, what are the emotional states, and how can a leader identify them? Per Bolton (1979), “Emotional components include anger, distrust, defensiveness . . . when feelings are strong, it is usually a sound strategy to deal with the emotional aspects of conflict first” (Bolton, 1979, p. 217). Based on Bolton’s emotional components, one can posit that possessing the skill to identify emotional states is another tool effective leaders need. To identify the emotional states, Bolton advises looking for the “substantive issues”. Per Bolton (1979), “. . . these involve conflicting needs, disagreements over policies and practices, and differing conceptions of roles and uses of resources” (p. 217).

Once a leader identifies the emotional states, they must have a strategy to address them. Macgregor-Burns defines approaches to addressing basic human needs as “. . . appealing to the values of the follower” (as cited in Homrig, 2001). Further, Macgregor-Burns informs that “…for leaders to have the greatest impact on the “led,” they must motivate followers to action by appealing to shared values and by satisfying the higher order needs of the led, such as their aspirations and expectations”. So, how does a leader know what is important and worth doing for the “led”?  Per Homrig, (2001) “To be effective now and in the future . . . people cannot be treated like sheep, blindly herded from place to place”. Moreover, Homrig states, “Their expertise, experience and intuition need to be encouraged, not stifled, if challenging situations are to be negotiated successfully” (Homrig, 2001).

How can a leader encourage, or motivate their followers? Per Homrig, “The core values serve as a starting point so all understand what behaviors and conduct are acceptable and should be emulated” (Homrig, 2001). Contrastingly, Harvard Business Review writer, Zaleznik (1970) focuses on what leaders can do to appeal to basic human needs. He not only acknowledges the importance of identifying the needs, but also suggests actions for addressing the needs. Per Zaleznik, “A sense of disbelief occurs when managers purport to make decisions in rationalistic terms while most observers and participants know that personalities and politics play a significant if not an overriding role”. Thus, an action a leader must take when making decisions is to include the whole in the process of resolution.

Supportively, Zaleznik advises that “. . . frank recognition of the importance of personality factors and a sensitive use of the strengths and limitations of people in decisions on power distributions can improve the quality of organizational life”. Thus, another skill a leader needs is the ability to distribute power among the whole, as well as include them in decision making. Accordingly, Zaleznik’s view supports Homig’s because it reinforces how motivation can have a positive or negative effect on the “led”. The focus is fostering a sense of commitment to the whole so that the “led” will be more likely to engage in conflict resolution strategy rather than perpetuation. Macgregor-Burns also reinforces the importance of motivation by highlighting the importance of basic human needs fulfillment.

Per Macgregor-Burns, “…leadership is nothing if not linked to collective purpose; that the effectiveness of leaders must be judged not by their press clippings, but by actual social change measured by intent and by the satisfaction of human needs and expectations. . .” (Macgregor-Burns, 2012, Contents). What needs do individuals have at work? Per Macgregor-Burns:

Motivators are likely to be as varied as human needs can be- not only for security, higher income, and better working conditions but for affection, recognition, deference, esteem, and for both autonomy toward and dependence on the executive leader, for both conformity and individuality- traits that can exist in the same person (Macgregor-Burns, 2012, Contents).

In review of Macgregor-Burn’s “needs at work” list, one can posit that the work environment is just as important to an individual as their home environment. Since basic human needs have been widely theorized, and Basic Human Needs theory is just one facet of the vast information available, it is important for leaders to have a comprehensive understanding of human needs.

In Maslow, (1954) the theory of basic human needs is supported from the development of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow theorized that individuals are motivated through the successional satisfaction of five basic human needs: Self-actualization, Self-esteem, Belonging, Safety, and Physiological. Of significant importance is the fact that Maslow does not acknowledge “young people” to “need” self-actualization in his hierarchy. Per Maslow “By the criteria I used, self-actualization does not occur in young people” (Maslow, 1954, p. xx). This is important to consider in terms of modern leadership because employees may be cast into age-biased groups, and what one person deems a young person may be negated by another’s view.

Further, Maslow (1954) supports his hierarchy by stating:

Growth toward self-actualization and full-humanness is made possible by a complex hierarchy of “good preconditions. These physical, chemical, biological, interpersonal, and cultural conditions matter for the individual to the extent that they do or do not supply him with the basic human necessities and “rights” which permit him to become strong enough, and person enough, to take over his own fate. (xxv)

Clearly, Maslow’s reliance on the hierarchy of basic human needs is imperative to his perception of what makes humans able to thrive in any environment.

Maslow further posits that “Once other (and higher) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism, and when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still higher) needs emerge, and so on” (Maslow, 1954, p. 38).  Applied to leaders, a basic understanding of how needs affect people as well as themselves, will better equip the leader to effectively lead during times of conflict. Moreover, that through understanding the needs, the leader will be able to also successfully motivate the “led” to engage in conflict resolution and promote peace.

Limitations of These Articles:

The authors of the articles mostly rely on expert opinion and older theories for motivation and fulfilling basic human needs. Modern literature is needed in effort to compare and contrast the historical literature from which many leadership considerations are based in. This is not to say the literature presented does not apply to modern times; in fact, there are several recent articles cited. However, the foundation of these articles is rooted in historical theory and considerations for leading through conflict, as well as motivating individuals based on their basic human needs.

Methods for study:

  1. Survey leaders to gather data.
  2. Interview leaders post survey to discuss responses.
  3. Analyze interview responses and facilitate action plan for training.
  4. Develop action plan to create a leadership guide of conflict resolution skills and solutions from a Basic Human Needs Theory aspect.
    1. Identify emotional aspects of conflict. Per Bolton (1979), “The emotional components include anger, distrust, defensiveness . . . when feelings are strong, it is usually a sound strategy to deal with the emotional aspects of conflict first” (p. 217).
    2. Identify substantive issues of conflict. Per Bolton, “The substantive issues involve conflicting needs, disagreements over policies and practices, and differing conceptions of roles and uses of resources” (p. 217).
  5. Garner feedback on the guide from the leaders to determine value of proposed guide.

Discussion:

The collection of articles presented in the literature review all support the ability to motivate others as a primary skill for leaders. Arguably is whether basic human needs trump motivation, and whether leaders just assume that basic human needs are met when attempting to motivate others. Further, what responsibility does the leader have in ensuring that the basic human needs of the “led” are met? Also, since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is widely used in literature and used to support basic human needs theory, should consideration be given to the fact that Maslow’s hierarchy is over sixty years old and may not be applicable to modern needs?

During this study, a major limitation was the availability and access to leaders. Due to organization rules and time constraints, only two leaders were available for participation.  While their input supports value in developing leadership tools based in human needs to resolve and manage conflict, further data would need to be collected to make this study substantive. Nonetheless, the Basic Needs and Professional Needs surveys were valuable to the leaders surveyed because such tools were not previously given to them. Additionally, the surveys and interview reframed their approach to conflict, and created awareness of the effects of basic human needs in the workplace.

Moreover, the action planning component of the guide, was a helpful exercise for the leaders. However, feedback received included concern for time constraints due to process of survey, interview, planning, and follow up. For this guide to be truly effective, an investment of the leaders’ time is necessary. Therefore, another consideration for this study is to develop it into a training program, or series of classes, which the leaders would schedule into their work days. Considering their feedback, this guide may be better received by the organization as a training proposal.

Conclusion:

This study reinforces that basic human needs affect the work place, and that conflict resolution skills are crucial for leaders to have. It also supported my theory that basic human needs affect conflict. The literature reviewed in this study provided support for developing basic human needs assessments and conflict resolution skills for leaders. The continuity of information from decade to decade is evidence of a social construct of what skills are more important for a leader to possess, as well as how they apply those skills. The overarching consideration for leading through conflict is addressing the basic human needs of the “led” and motivating them. Therefore, future topics for research should also include modern views of what basic human needs are, barriers to fulfilling needs in the workplace, outcomes of leadership strategies to motivate the “led”, and most importantly- an evaluation of whether conflict was reduced or resolved after applying these strategies.

Appendix A: Leader Survey

  1. How do you manage conflict in the workplace?
  2. How do you know when conflict is affecting your employees?
  3. How do you address your employees’ emotional aspects of conflict?
  4. How do you address your employees’ concerns for conflict?
  5. How do you define your leadership style?
  6. What is your communication style?
  7. Is there current conflict in your workplace? If yes, how are you addressing it? If no, how are you maintaining a conflict-free environment?
  8. How do you engage your employees?
  9. How do you encourage your employees?
  10. What kind of team building activities do you offer for your employees?
  11. Do you think your employees have unmet basic human needs? If yes, what are they? If no, support your answer.
  12. Do you think you can support basic human needs being met in the workplace? If yes, please explain how. If no, please explain why not.
  13. Prior to taking this survey, had you considered the impact of basic human needs on conflict in the work place?

 

 

Appendix B:

MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/our-hierarchy-needs

 

Appendix C: Survey Responses

Leader 1

  1. How do you manage conflict in the workplace?

I have quarterly team meetings to discuss issues.

  1. How do you know when conflict is affecting your employees?

I can guess from their productivity.

  1. How do you address your employees’ emotional aspects of conflict?

I try to be attentive and listen when they speak.

  1. How do you address your employees’ concerns for conflict?

During meetings, we take turns speaking.

  1. How do you define your leadership style?

Open door, open book

  1. What is your communication style?

Direct and to the point.

  1. Is there current conflict in your workplace? If yes, how are you addressing it? If no, how are you maintaining a conflict-free environment?

Yes, I think some conflict is normal.

  1. How do you engage your employees?

By offering incentives.

  1. How do you encourage your employees?

By sending eCard through organization’s recognition program.

  1. What kind of team building activities do you offer for your employees?

We don’t have time for extra activities.

  1. Do you think your employees have unmet basic human needs? If yes, what are they? If no, support your answer.

They probably all do.

  1. Do you think you can support basic human needs being met in the workplace? If yes, please explain how. If no, please explain why not.

Yes, if I had more money I could probably support some.

  1. Prior to taking this survey, had you considered the impact of basic human needs on conflict in the work place?

Not really.

Leader 2

  1. How do you manage conflict in the workplace?

Quarterly team meetings

  1. How do you know when conflict is affecting your employees?

Emotions are high and the office is tense.

  1. How do you address your employees’ emotional aspects of conflict?

I refer them to Employee Assistance

  1. How do you address your employees’ concerns for conflict?

I listen to their concern, and then I follow up.

  1. How do you define your leadership style?

Transformative

  1. What is your communication style?

Most communications are from email.

  1. Is there current conflict in your workplace? If yes, how are you addressing it? If no, how are you maintaining a conflict-free environment?

Yes. It is more an office dynamic

  1. How do you engage your employees?

Including them in project planning

  1. How do you encourage your employees?

Direct feedback

  1. What kind of team building activities do you offer for your employees?

Sometimes we can pair up on projects and work together

  1. Do you think your employees have unmet basic human needs? If yes, what are they? If no, support your answer.

Maybe?

  1. Do you think you can support basic human needs being met in the workplace? If yes, please explain how. If no, please explain why not.

Not sure how.

  1. Prior to taking this survey, had you considered the impact of basic human needs on conflict in the work place?

I had thought about how personal life issues can affect work.

 

Appendix D: Summary of Interview with Leaders

  1. How do you manage conflict in the workplace?

Both leaders discussed the importance of quarterly team meetings.

  1. How do you know when conflict is affecting your employees?

Emotional states, environment, and productivity are affected.

  1. How do you address your employees’ emotional aspects of conflict?

Communication style and referral to employee resources are utilized.

  1. How do you address your employees’ concerns for conflict?

Communication and follow up.

  1. How do you define your leadership style?

Inviting and transformative

  1. What is your communication style?

Direct and through email

  1. Is there current conflict in your workplace? If yes, how are you addressing it? If no, how are you maintaining a conflict-free environment?

Conflict is normal, or conflict is part of the work environment dynamic.

  1. How do you engage your employees?

By offering incentives and including in projects from the beginning

  1. How do you encourage your employees?

Using organizational recognition program and direct communication

  1. What kind of team building activities do you offer for your employees?

Time constraints prevent activities. Opportunities for team work when available.

  1. Do you think your employees have unmet basic human needs? If yes, what are they? If no, support your answer.

Both leaders expressed that all employees most likely do, as do they. They elaborated that they could identify with professional needs such as recognition and compensation.

  1. Do you think you can support basic human needs being met in the workplace? If yes, please explain how. If no, please explain why not.

Both leaders expressed an interest in helping, but weren’t sure how.

  1. Prior to taking this survey, had you considered the impact of basic human needs on conflict in the work place?

Both leaders expressed that they while they understand personal life can affect work life, there is an expectation that personal issues are left at home.

 

Appendix E:   Leadership Analysis

  1. Opportunity to learn on the job conflict resolution skills so that issues are addressed promptly and not every quarter.
  2. Both leaders have good reasoning for identifying conflict. Opportunity for acting upon their reasoning.
  3. Opportunity to learn conflict resolution communication skills. Good use of available resources.
  4. Good process identified; follow up is important. Contingency planning skills may be needed.
  5. Leadership style can be reinforced through reflection and action planning activities.
  6. Email communication skills could be beneficial.
  7. While conflict regularly occurs, understanding how to manage it can improve relationships and outcomes. Conflict resolution training would be beneficial.
  8. Engaging employees with incentives is one way, but more attention should be given. Including employees in project planning is beneficial; involving the employee from start to finish would be better.
  9. Both leaders had good methods for recognition.
  10. Time constraints are normal in organizations. Leaders may be able to schedule team building activities into their agendas during meetings.
  11. Further education on needs and how they impact organizations would be beneficial.
  12. Further information on how leaders can address basic human needs, professional needs, and manage conflict would be beneficial.
  13. Opportunity to expand knowledge regarding personal and professional needs exists.

Appendix F:Leadership Action Planning

Both leaders acknowledged that they would benefit from conflict resolution training, as well as education on basic human needs, and professional needs. No action plan created at this time. See appendix G for example of action planning by using the tools provided.

 

Appendix G: Tools for Leaders to Engage with Employees

Basic Needs Assessment: Employee

This survey is anonymous. Please circle yes or no for your answer.

  1. Do you have access to daily meals? Yes No
  2. Do you have access to appropriate clothing? Yes No
  3. Do you have access to healthcare? Yes No
  4. Do you have a stable home environment? Yes No
  5. Do you feel safe at home? Yes No
  6. Do you have reliable transportation to and from work? Yes No
  7. Do you have childcare needs that are not being met? Yes No
  8. Do you have eldercare needs that are not being met? Yes No
  9. Do you feel your job is secure? Yes No
  10. Do you have a support system? Yes No

 

Basic Needs Assessment Analysis for Leader

Indicate number of yes and no responses to each question.

  1. Do you have access to daily meals? Yes= No=
  2. Do you have access to appropriate clothing? Yes=  No=
  3. Do you have access to healthcare? Yes= No =
  4. Do you have a stable home environment? Yes= No=
  5. Do you feel safe at home? Yes= No=
  6. Do you have reliable transportation to and from work? Yes=     No=
  7. Do you have childcare needs that are not being met? Yes=            No=
  8. Do you have eldercare needs that are not being met? Yes=            No=
  9. Do you feel your job is secure? Yes= No=
  10. Do you have a support system? Yes= No=

Basic Needs Assessment Action Plan for Leader

Review data from analysis for each question; indicate percentage where indicated. Develop an action plan. As a leader, how can you guide your employees towards getting their need(s) met?

  1. What percent of your employees have access to daily meals?
    • How can you help employees that do not have access?
  2. What percent of your employees have access to appropriate clothing?
    • How can you help employees that do not have access?
  3. What percent of your employees have access to healthcare?
    • How can you help employees that do not have access?
  4. What percent of your employees have a stable home environment?
    • How can you help employees that do not have a stable home environment?
  5. What percent of your employees feel safe at home?
    • How can you help employees that do not feel safe at home?
  6. What percent of your employees have reliable transportation to and from work?
    • How can you help employees that do not have reliable transportation?
  7. What percent of your employees have unmet childcare needs?
    • How can you help employees that need childcare assistance?
  8. What percent of your employees have unmet eldercare needs?
    • How can you help employees that need eldercare assistance?
  9. What percent of your employees feel their job is not secure?
    • Are their jobs secure? How can you help if not?
  10. What percent of your employees have a support system?
    • How can you help employees that do not have a support system?

Basic Needs Assessment Reflection for Leader

Examples provided to further develop your reflection.

  1. What percent of your employees have access to daily meals?

I can provide informational handouts on local sources for assistance.

  1. What percent of your employees have access to appropriate clothing?

I can provide informational handouts on local sources for assistance.

  1. What percent of your employees have access to healthcare?

I can advocate for employee benefits during meetings.

  1. What percent of your employees have a stable home environment?

I can provide informational handouts on local sources for assistance.

  1. What percent of your employees feel safe at home?

I can provide informational handouts on local sources for assistance.

  1. What percent of your employees have reliable transportation to and from work?

I can refer employees to the organization’s ride share program.

  1. What percent of your employees have unmet childcare needs?

I can refer employees to the organization’s childcare benefit.

  1. What percent of your employees have unmet eldercare needs?

I can refer employees to the organization’s eldercare benefit

  1. What percent of your employees feel their job is not secure?

I can be transparent with them and keep them informed as I receive information.

  1. What percent of your employees have a support system?

I can keep my door open so that employees know they can talk to me anytime.

 

Professional Needs Assessment: Employee

This survey is anonymous. Please circle agree or disagree for your answer.

  1. My leader has good communication skills: Agree Disagree
  2. I feel heard in team settings: Agree Disagree
  3. My work is valued: Agree Disagree
  4. I am valued: Agree Disagree
  5. My leader respect me: Agree Disagree
  6. My work environment is productive: Agree Disagree
  7. My work environment is toxic: Agree Disagree
  8. I have the appropriate tools to complete my job: Agree Disagree
  9. I feel that I can discuss important issues with my leader: Agree Disagree
  10. My leader is good at conflict resolution: Agree Disagree

Professional Needs Assessment Analysis for Leader

Indicate number of agree and disagree responses to each question.

  1. My leader has good communication skills: Agree=      Disagree=
  2. I feel heard in team settings: Agree=       Disagree=
  3. My work is valued: Agree=             Disagree =
  4. I am valued: Agree=        Disagree=
  5. My leader respect me: Agree= Disagree=
  6. My work environment is productive: Agree= Disagree=
  7. My work environment is toxic: Agree= Disagree=
  8. I have the appropriate tools to complete my job: Agree=     Disagree=
  9. I feel that I can discuss important issues with my leader: Agree=   Disagree=
  10. My leader is good at conflict resolution: Agree= Disagree=

Professional Needs Assessment Action Plan for Leader

Review data from analysis for each question; indicate percentage where indicated. Reflect on the percentage. Develop an action plan based on the data presented.

  1. Percent of my employees who say I have good communication skills:
    • How can I improve?
  2. Percent of my employees who feel they are heard in team settings:
    • How can I foster a team environment where everyone feels heard?
  3. Percent of my employees feel their work is valued:
    • How can I reinforce that their work is valued?
  4. Percent of my employees that feel valued:
    • Is this percentage lower than anticipated?
  5. Percent of my employees that feel I respect them:
    • How can I improve?
  6. Percent of my employees that feel their work environment is productive:
    • How can I make it a better place to work?
  7. Percent of my employees that feel their work environment is toxic:
    • What can I do today to improve the environment (even if it is not toxic)?
  8. Percent of my employees that have the appropriate tools for their job:
    • How can I ensure that the tools are provided?
  9. Percent of my employees that feel they can discuss important issues with me:
    • How can I encourage them to talk to me? How can I earn their trust?
  10. Percent of my employees that feel I am good at conflict resolution:
    • How can I improve?

Professional Needs Assessment Reflection for Leader

Continue reflection on what the data tells you about your workforce. Are there any percentages that surprised you? Are your employees satisfied with your performance as their leader? How can you improve your leadership style and skills? If your employees are satisfied, how can you continue to grow as a leader? What are three leadership values that you have and actively demonstrate to your employees?

 

Credits:

I thank my family for their support throughout this project. I would not have been able to focus on my project without their support to get me through the challenging personal events that I have had to endure during this project. I also thank my professor, Margaret Manning, for her guidance and support throughout the development and execution of the project. I thank the leaders at my work for taking time out of their schedules to participate in my study. Lastly, I thank my daughter for constantly inspiring me to do my best work, and to be the best mom I can be for her. It is my hope I can inspire my daughter to pursue higher education, and do her best in school and any endeavor she undertakes in life.

 

References

Bolton, R. (1979). People skills. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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