The Needs Theory: Motivating Employees with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Physiological needs are those needs required for human survival such as air, food, water, shelter, clothing and sleep. As a manager, you can account for physiological needs of your employees by providing comfortable working conditions, reasonable work hours and the necessary breaks e.g. to eat and/or drink.
Safety needs include those needs that provide a person with a sense of security and well-being. Personal security, financial security, good health and protection from accidents, harm and their adverse effects are all included in safety needs. As a manager, you can account for the safety needs of your employees by providing safe working conditions, secure compensation such as a salary and job security.
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Social needs, also called love and belonging, refer to the need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. Social needs are important to humans so that they do not feel alone, isolated and depressed. Friends, family and intimacy all work to fulfill social needs. As a manager, you can account for the social needs of your employees by making sure each of your employees know one another, encouraging cooperative teamwork, being an accessible and kind supervisor and promoting a good work-life balance.
Esteem needs refer to the need for self-esteem and respect, with self-respect being slightly more important than gaining respect and admiration from others. As a manager, you can account for the esteem needs of your employees by offering praise and recognition when the employee does well, and offering promotions and additional responsibility to reflect your belief that they are a valued employee.
Self-actualization needs refer to a person’s need to reach his or her full potential. The need to become what one is capable of is something that is highly personal. While I might have the need to be a good parent, you might have the need to hold an executive-level position within your organization. Because this need is individualized, as a manager, you can account for this need by providing challenging work, inviting employees to participate in decision-making and giving them flexibility and autonomy in their jobs.