Stop. Think. Are you engaged at work? Why do you work in HigherEd?

Yesterday, I came across this interesting infographic mashup that maps worker engagement onto the classic pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  (Thanks for sharing Dustin Ramsdell!)  Given that I am job searching myself, while also attempting to build a culture of engagement at my current institution, this infographic really spoke to me.  Much like Tuckman’s theory of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing), reaching the “highest stage” of “performing,” or in this case, “self-actualization” is actually quite rare.  It’s also incredibly rewarding when it is achieved.


Infographic from

This got me thinking:

  • How does a workplace promote self-actualized engagement?
  • How does a workplace build a culture where this is more likely to occur?


  • What does high-level self-actualized engagement feel like to me?
  • What mental work must I do so that I’m open to receiving and achieving high level engagement and satisfaction?
  • How do job candidates evaluate whether a workplace has the potential to offer them this type of experience?  Does it boil down to “fit” or something else?

These aren’t really new questions and my answers to them were not necessarily revelations, but looking at the pyramid helped me to think through them in different ways and helped me reflect on where I am now.  Hopefully it does the same for you.

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