What we want for Christmas in 2020: Back to Basics

Dear Santa,

We are writing to you wholeheartedly on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses, with a request that you will understand since you are leading a team of qualified personnel in a niche field. Our wishes for 2021 are simple, but at the same time complex, so you will have to be creative. We want to meet the basic needs of workers.

As you may know, basic needs are universal, so these wishes will benefit everyone. The American Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, sums it up for us in his Pyramid of Needs[1], which also applies to the ideology of work. Our wish is simply to get back to basics because the lack of satisfaction of long-term needs is an obstacle on the productivity of companies and their success.

Physiological needs

Employment meets these needs with income that makes it possible to afford food and shelter. In 2020, 8.9 million people in Canada applied for government financial assistance[1]. Our wish is that companies have the financial means to rehire laid-off staff and have financial security. Nothing less!

Safety needs

Employers take their responsibility seriously by taking all possible measures to prevent the transmission of the virus in the workplace. Our wish is that everyone can find a healthy work climate free of anxiety.

Belongingness needs

Virtual working has its advantages, but it can also disadvantage team cohesion, communication and even socialization at work. Our wish is that companies can take advantage of the best practices of teleworking that will allow their employees to regain this feeling of belonging.

Esteem Needs

There is a need to mobilize the team in these difficult times. One way to do this is to recognize the success and achievements of each individual contributor through a recognition program and an appreciation of the contribution program. Our wish is that each employee can benefit from this type of program and be recognized for their worth.


When the previous basic needs are met, the chances of fulfillment and being happy are increased tenfold. Achievement can take many forms in a company: the development of new skills, new responsibilities, the achievement of objectives, etc. Our wish is that each company be able to offer the conditions for success necessary for the development of its employees.

Our wish list seems long, but we know that you are checking it twice. These needs must be met to ensure the sustainability of businesses everywhere. Thank you for helping us to find the basic balance we need so that we can energetically resume the accomplishment of our goals in the New Year!

Par Caroline Thomson, CHRP

[1] Abraham Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review, no 50, 1943, p. 370-396. [2] Service Canada, Chiffres concernant la Prestation canadienne d’urgence, (page consulté le 30 novembre 2020), [En ligne], https://www.canada.ca/fr/services/prestations/ae/reclamations-rapport.html.