Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (I)
What is the Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs? What is the relation of a working environment and employee motivation with the Maslow's hierarchy of needs?
Posted: Aug 2009
The Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs explains the motivation factors. The employee motivation is very important factor necessary for performance and goals achievement. Simply, employee that is not motivated will not bring the optimal output. Regardless of education, experience, training and compensation, without motivation the performance will not be at proper level. Low motivation can increase employee turnover. There are many ways to influence employee motivation. Still, the motivators are working in different levels.
For example, the money can be strong motivator, but only on the short run. Once the employee got a raise he/she will be motivated, but soon new salary level is not the source of motivation, due to adoption to a new level.
In order to understand the full scope of complexity of human motivation, Abraham Maslow developed theory of hierarchy of needs. This hierarchy of needs, also called Maslow's hierarchy of needs, or simply Maslow's theory, is trying to group the various motivators in different groups.
The maslow's hierarchy of needs starts with the basic needs, like breathing and survival, until the top level needs like morale or creativity. Abraham Maslow developed this hierarchy of needs and graphically he presented it in a form of a pyramid.
Physiological level is the base level of motivators of hierarchy of needs within Maslow's theory. This segment covers breathing, food, water, excretion, sex, and sleep. Except the last two, a working environment that assures that these needs are satisfied can positively influence the employees.
Safety level is the next level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This group of need covers personally safety, employment security, health and property. This segment is very important. If employee is not feel safe in the future of his job, his morale will decrease. Furthermore, if employee feels that his health and life are not safe at work, than it is not reasonable to expect the optimal performance of such employee. The employer needs to take care about basic safety elements, in order to satisfy employee safety needs.
Belonging and love is the next level of hierarchy of needs in the Maslow's theory. This group contains the need of belonging to group, family and sexual contact. From perspective of employer, building of friendly environment that builds the team spirit is the way of satisfying this need of employees. That will raise employee’s satisfaction.
Esteem is the next level on Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It covers self-esteem, achievements, self-confidence and mutual respect. The employee that is appreciated and that appreciate others, the one that feel that his work is contributing to the company and his career will be motivated in his job.
Self-actualization is the top level of hierarchy of needs and contains the morale, creativity, openness and clear mildness.
As we see the working environment of every position is influencing most of the needs from the hierarchy of needs. The employer can directly influence motivators of employee by providing the right environment. On contrary, the employee that does not feel safe, respected and healthy on his position is not the one that will bring results.
The Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs play the important role in the motivation of employee. Therefore, the employer should design every position, office, procedures, processes, culture and future that will satisfy the Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy of needs should be the guideline for building healthy working environment. The Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be a good checklist for design of every position and a way of solving any problem of employee motivation.