Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who was well known for the theory he proposed in 1943
A THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION.
According to his theory, every human being has needs that need to be fulfilled. These needs start from basic survival (needs) to worldly necessities (wants). He believed each need must be met in order to progress to the top of the pyramid. Being stuck at a particular stage may cause feelings of frustration or even depression. Hence, this model of motivation can be used to motivate employees at the workplace to help them progress further and get the best out of them!
1. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS
These needs are the very foundation based on which a human can survive and then progress further to meet their higher needs. While it commonly refers to needs like food and water, at the workplace, these needs translate to money. Employees must be paid an amount that helps them cover their basic needs like rent and utilities. These needs can also refer to having a clean workplace with comfortable seating and having access to basic tools and information that assist them in carrying out their tasks well. A powerful onboarding system can make or break your employee’s future at the company. When executed well, your onboarding system can increase your employee’s tenure in the company. The other four steps can then be used to motivate your employees.
2. SAFETY AND SECURITY
The need for safety and security could easily translate to having job security. This could easily be achieved by noticing and appreciating your employee’s eorts. If they tend to make errors while executing their tasks, you may simply help them correct their mistakes instead of scolding them for it. This not only motivates them to do better but also strengthens their trust in you. Having job security is listed as one of the highest contributing factors for job satisfaction according to multiple surveys.
Make sure you’re practising methods that are fair and practical for both parties. Apart from this, making sure you maintain their privacy will make them feel safe. For example, if someone files a sexual harassment case, hear them out and take them seriously. Deal with such cases with utmost care and have proper policies in place for it. Another way to ensure an employee’s need for security is met is by not only providing them with a salary for basic necessities but also for other expenditure and benefits they may enjoy – monetary and otherwise.
3. LOVE AND BELONGING
The need to belong is innate in humans. At the workplace, this starts with the employee feeling at ease in their role. The company must also have a friendly or at least civil work environment for the employee to bloom. The employees’ contribution to the company must be valued and appropriate treatment must be given. One-On-One interaction with colleagues and superiors can aid the process. If they feel alienated by other people, they may produce bad work. To avoid this, make them feel they are a part of the team. This can also be achieved by using certain technologies that are developed for collaborative work.
Achieving this level of motivation ensures a more engaged work culture. The human resources department or team managers can work on team building activities that act as drivers for motivation and accelerated performance. Whereas conducting activities like badminton, cricket or post work drinking sessions act as satisfiers.
This is listed as one of the highest needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. Individuals can achieve this level of motivation when the contribution is given its due recognition. Superiors must praise their work or provide constructive criticism when necessary. They must also provide them with learning opportunities. An employee will feel they have developed professionally when they feel the work they are doing matters which will also boost their confidence and make them feel worthwhile. If they are lacking when it comes to newer technologies, superiors can foster their growth by mentoring and coaching them.
An employee will experience a boost in their esteem needs when they start meeting and exceeding their personal and professional goals. Elevating employee’s morale by providing them with recognition should be high on an employer’s list.
This is the highest need an individual has according to Abraham Maslow. Employees can fulfil their need for self-actualisation when they feel passionate about their job responsibilities. They should ideally be given meaningful and challenging projects where they can use their creativity. When employees feel they are living up to their potential and have a voice in the company, they will passionately deal with their tasks and will get closer to satisfying this need. The company must provide its employees with opportunities for growth by facilitating mentoring and coaching.
People are also attracted to companies of repute. So, having a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wing will be beneficial not only to the company but also its employees. CSR can help boost employee engagement which in turn will help retain them.
In conclusion, when a particular need is fulfilled, it will stop being the individual’s motivator as only ‘unmet needs’ motivate people. So, an employer must identify where the employees are in the hierarchy of needs and provide them with benefits of that stage so that they may progress further. A motivated and actively engaged employee will definitely foster the growth of the individual and company alike!