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The New Hierarchy of Needs at Work Interview with Timothy Tiryaki, Author of the book “Leading With Culture”

Today, we have Timothy Tiryaki with us to discuss his new book “Leading With Culture.” Timothy, your book presents a new hierarchy of needs at work. Could you tell us more about this?

Timothy Tiryaki: Certainly. As Maslow Research Center, we conducted research in partnership with St. Mary University’s Organizational Psychology Department to understand how have employee needs changed after covid. I wanted to understand what Maslow’s hierarchy of needs would look like from the employees’ perspective in today’s workplace. The research identified twenty-six needs across three components: basic, psychological, and growth needs. This new hierarchy helps us understand how the needs of employees are evolving in the modern workplace, especially in the post-Covid-19 era.

What are these basic needs, and how have they changed?

Timothy Tiryaki: Basic needs now include aspects like job security, onboarding, tools and technology, compensation and benefits, and more. We found that these needs have significantly increased, with employees having higher expectations from their employers. Interestingly, inclusion and wellbeing have evolved from being psychological needs to basic needs, highlighting a shift in what employees prioritize. 

How about psychological needs? What did you find there?

Timothy Tiryaki: Psychological needs are centered around the employee’s relationship with their colleagues, focusing on camaraderie, organizational belonging, and positive interactions. The interesting development in this topic is that employees no longer expect corporate recognition and appreciation programs. Over the last few decades there has been a big focus on building recognition programs. Our research shows that employees don’t care about those programs anymore, they simply want to work for organizations that take care of their basic needs, work for a team that is non-toxic and work for a leader that genuinely shows daily appreciation, instead of corporate recognition programs.  

And what about growth needs?

Timothy Tiryaki: Growth needs, related to the employee’s relationship with their leader, have emerged as crucial for realizing organizational potential. There are several other research that point to the saying “people join organizations but leave their managers”, our research once more confirms that. Our strongest finding here was the shift away from the organization’s purpose and mission to the leader’s purpose and values role modeling. Employees are looking for leaders who are authentic and who walk the talk.

Can you share some of the top findings from your research?

Timothy Tiryaki: Absolutely. A key finding is that job security and a good onboarding process are now the most basic human needs at work. Also, appreciation and recognition are not as significant as we previously thought. Instead, what matters most is working for leaders who are effective coaches and mentors. Additionally, we found that employees prioritize working in teams that welcome newcomers and show friendliness, and they highly value the cohesiveness among leaders.

How do these findings impact leadership and management within organizations?

Timothy Tiryaki: Our research suggests that coaching and mentorship are crucial skills for leaders. Leaders need to develop both of these skills and know when and how to combine them. Also, the cohesiveness among leaders is critical. Just like children can sense when parents aren’t getting along, employees can tell when leaders are not cohesive.

What’s the key takeaway from this new hierarchy of needs at work?

Timothy Tiryaki: The key takeaway is that understanding human needs create the foundation for a great employee experience. Leaders and organizations must understand and adapt to these evolving needs to build a positive and productive workplace culture.

Thank you, Timothy, for sharing these groundbreaking insights. Your book seems to offer a vital perspective on understanding and addressing the modern workforce’s needs.

Timothy Tiryaki: Thank you. I believe it’s crucial for leaders to stay attuned to these evolving needs. “Leading With Culture” is my attempt to provide a roadmap for leaders to navigate these changes effectively.

About “Leading With Culture”

Leading With Culture is a groundbreaking book that delves into the transformative power of culture-focused leadership in the modern workplace. Drawing inspiration from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, reimagined for the 21st-century post-pandemic landscape, this book presents original research that unravels the changing employee needs and the critical role of culture in meeting those needs.

Leading with Culture is available at Amazon.com USA and Canada in Paperback and Kindle formats.  

About Timothy Tiryaki

Timothy is a global expert at the intersection of organizational culture, leadership, and coaching, and a sought-after executive advisor. 

As the Founder of Maslow Research Center, he pioneers a human-centered leadership philosophy. With previous work experience from Procter & Gamble, Intel, and Great Place to Work Inc., Timothy’s research-driven unique frameworks decode current leadership challenges and bring actionable insights.

Timothy has led culture transformation projects for Fortune 500 companies, culture merger projects, trained & coached leaders from large organizations including the Army Special Operations and the Marine Corps.

Maslow Research Center: www.maslowresearch.com

Timothy Tiryaki: www.timtiryaki.com 

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