Human emotion is the best leadership tool in the Care Industry

by Liza Moroz

According to McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory, people are driven by a set of simple, yet very powerful emotions. Acknowledging this may help you to run a more successful home and lead an increasingly more productive nursing team.

The theory is based on the 1940s Abraham Maslow Theory of needs that identifies three motivators that he believes we all have: a need for achievement, a need for affiliation, and a need for power. McClelland claims that these motivations are learned, and the dominant for each individual largely depends on their culture and personal experiences.

  • Affiliation is important for those who like to be part of a group, to feel safe and appreciated. They do not seek to lead, but are happy to follow the group, prefer to cooperate than to compete and don’t usually take risks. These people are the backbone of the care industry.
  • Achievement is a lead motivator for people who are not afraid of challenges and going into new territories. They are happy to take calculated risks and share their results by teaching others.  Such people get easily bored with repetitive routines; they need regular feedback from their leaders, but don’t mind working alone. Use these people to improve your service and grow. 
  • Power as a motivator is connected to the desire to control and influence others. Such people enjoy competing and winning and find it important to gain status and recognition. They are the future leaders of the care industry, and every organisation needs to identify and nurture them.

Being a leader is identifying people’s diversity and using it for the common benefit by giving them adequate assessments and ensuring they stay engaged and motivated. Giving the achievement seekers new challenging projects, allows people with affiliation motivation to integrate within the team and form a strong operational base. It also provides balanced feedback and shows appraisal by emphasizing their good work. To those, who are searching for power, it allows them to lead projects where they can, and to use their competitive nature to gain appreciation. Lastly, it keeps them motivated by showing them a clear career perspective and achievable professional goals.

However, the Human Motivation Theory does not stop with leadership and stretches further to customer motivation. Why do we buy very expensive coffee at Costa, Nero, or Starbucks? Is it the coffee we get, or something that supports our emotional needs? Why do people choose one product over another – is it really a logical decision or mostly emotional? A lot of marketing gurus argue that it is the latter.  So, what are the customers looking for when they make a choice? The marketing theory believes they are Status, Reassurance, Convenience, Pleasure and Personal Empowerment.

To be continued…

Read more about the Three Need Theory here:

Read more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs here:

Liza Moroz is taking care of QAQF Marketing and is notorious for asking difficult questions like ‘why’. She likes connecting with people, solving problems and finding new opportunities. You can connect with Liza via