Elizabeth Michelle | CLASS CLOWNS PART 6: No one works well when they’re cold and hungry.
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CLASS CLOWNS PART 6: No one works well when they’re cold and hungry.

Engaging a diverse workforce is a challenge for all business leaders, but engaging teens for the last decade makes adults look easy!

How happy are your employees? Are they warm, fed, watered and entertained? Do they have enough comfort and satisfaction to actually produce good quality work?

In Part 6 of my Class Clowns series, I want to share my tools of anticipating employee needs and wants in your workplace, to help your team feel satisfied and happy every day of the week:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs shows all the things humans need to thrive. Starting with the basic physiological needs (like food, shelter, clothing), to security needs (like financial security, health & safety), then the need of social belonging (friends, family, so on), moving on to a more personal sense of esteem (linked to acceptance and respect). He says all humans strive for self-actualisation – recognising and fulfilling personal potential. Each level has to be met to reach the next one.

So for someone to engage with their potential, basic needs have to be first. Sounds simple, but easily overlooked. At school we make sure children aren’t hungry, too hot, too cold, that uniform is comfortable, that they have breaks to socialise, so on. Their needs are met, so that they can thrive. Is your workplace meeting the needs of your employees?


Is food and drink readily available? Heating? Comfy chairs? Good lighting? Time to chat, personal support? Everyone’s needs are different – are you considerate enough? Lactose free? Specific learning difficulties? Religious requirements? Disabilities?

DISCLAIMER: You’re not a day-care. Personal responsibility and independence is a must! You just need to provide an accessible framework for employees to utilise.

Bottom Line: You need to facilitate basic human needs.

Thank you for following my ‘Class Clowns and Bunking: Engaging the naughtiest teens makes your employees look easy!’ series! I hope you’ve taken away some valuable lessons from my posts, and if you’re looking for a short and sweet way to remember them, just think: Expect, Support, Empathise, Share, Give Meaning and Satisfy.

Good luck.


Elizabeth is a consultant who helps enhance staff potential,

performance and retention.

Elizabeth has a Joint-Honours Degree and Masters from the University of Cambridge in Education and Psychology, is a Qualified Teacher and is currently pursuing her Psychology Doctorate.

Elizabeth works in mental health in a range of settings including; schools, prison and counselling centres, exploring effective means of communication and maximising potential. As an educator and former assistant head of sixth form Elizabeth has had extensive experience working with millennials; improving their engagement in the workplace is an area of particular interest.

Elizabeth is available for tailored and personalised consultation and public speaking. She runs engaging and relevant workshops, is experienced in enhancing millennial engagement, as well as running cultural diagnostics of companies.

You can reach Elizabeth at elizabeth@elizabethmichelle.co.uk.

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