How to Use Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" For Staff Burnout

3min read

The healthcare industry tends to have stressful jobs. For this reason, the employees in medical billing companies tend to suffer burnout. A condition of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. This can prove to be a problematic situation for the organization. In case the patients are not in sound health and mind, the parents cannot be treated effectively. This would result in adverse effects on both the company revenue and reputation. Therefore, it is an essential problem for the hospital to work through.

There are various techniques present that can be applied by medical billing companies to treat these issues. Amongst these approaches is animal therapy and renewal rooms. However, a company does not necessarily have to apply such techniques. They can consider easier ways that revolve around the basic needs of their employees.

Most of us are well aware of Maslow's "Hierarchy of needs". Certain studies have labeled its use as a way to fight burnout. Abraham Maslow divided the needs of workers into several levels. Represented with the help of a pyramid, there is a certain sequence to be followed. The needs at the bottom level should be fulfilled before the company considers the higher levels. This method can be applied to physician or nurse burnout through the use of its five levels.

Physiological Needs

This considers the mental and physical health of the employees. If the physicians and staff suffer from depression, their job stress will amplify it. A patient in pain or dying can trigger further emotional turmoil, pushing them towards burnout. Considering the hectic schedule in medical billing companies, it is not a surprise that the staff does not have enough time. They are unable to have a healthy and balanced diet. Such issues can further deteriorate their condition. Therefore, it is important to offer them with on-site resources. These can help the staff to have easy access to their various needs. Including freshwater, healthy food and a comfortable place for rest and relaxation.

Security Needs

It is vital for the staff to feel secure in an environment where they are working. The absence of such security can cause further stress to the employees. Along with such security, employees also expect job security. This is because an employee would be more relaxed while working if they are sure that their job is safe. In order to cater to such needs, the medical billing company must ensure that employees are properly trained. This training is in regard to de-escalating violent situations that may occur with patients. Moreover, it will also enable them to move and support patients safely without causing any injury to themselves. The company can also focus on hiring additional security and staff members that ensure a safe environment. This would help them to feel more relaxed and thus, perform their job with higher efficiency.

Social Needs

Respect is necessary for employees to perform effectively. This is applicable to physicians and nurses as well since they wish to feel respected for their daily struggles. They wish to have this respect from both higher-ups and patients as well as from their colleagues. A common occurrence is nurses feeling disrespected by doctors or female doctors receiving poor treatment. To tackle these needs, the organization must take steps that create a more respectful environment. They should also address any technological issues that are taking place as soon as possible. To achieve such an environment, a company can introduce policies that ban any kind of bullying from taking place. It will also be helpful if the consequences of such issues are discussed. That'll instill the importance of respect within the company and keep any social issues from occurring.


Physicians and nurses may feel unappreciated for the work they undertake. This typically leads to frustration, sadness, and demotivation. They would not be able to enjoy their achievements through joy and celebration. Employees also tend to feel unappreciated when their salary is less than the work they have to carry out. Without any proper acknowledgment of their efforts, the staff would be unwilling to perform their best. They might focus on simply achieving the bare minimum out of disinterest. Appreciation also brings into account socialization. Interactions with peers can positively affect the moods of employees. A salary raise is not the only way to appreciate someone for their hard work. It can also be achieved through public appreciation. In order to improve the peer connection, the company can create spaces in the hospital. The staff can easily relax here and interact with each other.


The fulfillment of all previous needs can result in a combined goal for the staff. This objective can revolve around the patients which is advantageous for the company. In order to keep its performance high, the company can encourage more interactive time. With more face-to-face time, the day-to-day practice will improve resulting in a better revenue cycle. A more supportive environment can also lead to skill expansion and eventually better treatment for patients.

By addressing these important needs, a medical billing company can minimize the possibility of burnout. Their staff will be less likely to suffer any mental, emotional and physical turmoil with such implementation.

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Going Makeupless To The Office May Be Costing You More Than Just Money

Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.

Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.

Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.

As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.

Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.

So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.

Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.

For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."