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Maslow’s theory allows managers to fully understand the aspirations and motives of employees. Maslow has shown that motivating people is determined by a wide spectrum of their needs. Maslow has identified five major groups of human needs that are in dynamic relationship and form a hierarchy.
Hierarchy of human needs. Maslow.
The basis of hierarchy of human needs lays in a law that satisfying the needs of one level, the needs of the next higher level come to the first place. Satisfied need stops motivate. People need to meet the needs in a particular order, from lowest to highest. A person reaches a state of complete satisfaction.
Needs of this group are composed of basic, primary, sometimes even unconscious needs of human. Sometimes they are called biological needs. These are: needs for food, water, warmth, sleep, rest, clothing, shelter, etc. In relation to the working environment, they appear as the needs for wages, good working conditions, holidays, etc.
High earnings provide a decent living, such as the ability to live in a comfortable apartment, eat well, wear appropriate, comfortable and fashionable clothes, etc. To pay for basic living needs of employees, they must be motivated with long-term benefits, providing a tangible high-income and adequate compensation, to provide them with work breaks, holidays and weekends to recuperate. If a person is dominated by only those needs, displacing everything else, he has a little interest in meaning and content of work and cares mainly about increasing the income and improving working conditions (Bruce, 21-33).
Needs for safety and confidence in the future. This group is one of the main motivators of life, it includes both physical (safety, health, working conditions, etc.) and economic security (social guaranteed employment, social insurance in case of illness and old age). Meeting the needs of this group provides a person the confidence in the future, reflects a desire to protect himself from suffering, danger, disease, injury, loss or deprivation. Confidence in the future is purchased by the guarantee of employment, purchasing insurance, pensions, ability to store money in the banks by creating potential of Insurance by getting a decent education.
To solve the needs of workers in safety, the employer should:
1) create a safe working environment for employees;
2) provide workers with protective clothing;
3) install special equipment in the workplace;
4) provide employees with safe tools and appliances.
Social needs (the needs of belonging and involvement). This group includes the need for friendship, love, communication and emotional bonds with each other, it means to have friends and colleagues and to be a member of the team and feel the support and group cohesion (Thomas, 8-19).
This is expressed in an effort to warm relations with people, participating in joint activities, and establishment of formal and informal groups. If a person is satisfied with the social needs, he sees his work as part of joint activities.
To address the social needs of employees, management should:
1) inspire employees to create groups and teams;
2) create the conditions and allow the same group of people to work and relax together in order to strengthen and facilitate their relationship;
3) allow all groups differ from other groups;
4) conduct meetings for the exchange of professional issues of interest, to discuss all things and contribute to the solution of professional problems (Maslow, 31-56).
The need to respect (recognition and self-esteem). Needs of this group reflect the desire of people to be strong, competent, confident in themselves and their own position, striving for independence and freedom. It also includes requirements for the prestige, reputation, service and professional growth, leadership in the team, recognition of personal achievements, and respect from others.
Every person likes to feel his indispensability. The art of managing people is the ability to make clear to every employee that his work is very important to overall success. Good job without the recognition of an employee leads to frustration (Baldoni, 46-63).
The need for self-actualization (self-expression). These are spiritual needs. The manifestation of these needs is based on the satisfaction of all preceding ones. Spiritual needs are self-expression through creativity, self-realization.
Person needs to become what he can be. It is indisputable and recognized by all that every person wants the fullest disclosure of himself, to use all his knowledge and skills, implement his own plans, he wants realization of individual talents and abilities to achieve all his goals, to be the best and feel satisfied with his situation. This need for self-expression is the highest of all human needs.
For the effective management employer needs:
1) give employees personally responsibility for fulfillment of production targets;
2) give them an opportunity to demonstrate, realize themselves, giving them a distinctive, original work that requires creativity, and thus provide more freedom in choosing the means to achieve the goals and objectives.
It is important for people to realize that they work well and they are in a way unique (Herzberg, 72-80).
Motivation of staff is extremely important for business. Motivation is one of the main functions of any manager. With the help of right motivation, employers can receive the most effective work and best results, and employees can be satisfied with work and devoted to their company.
Baldoni J. Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders. 2004.
Bruce A., Pepitone J.S. Motivating Employees. 1998.
Herzberg F. One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees? (Harvard Business Review Classics). 2008.
Macey W.H., Schneider B., Barbera K.M., Young S.A. Employee Engagement: Tools for Analysis, Practice, and Competitive Advantage (TMEZ – Talent Management Essentials). 2009.
Maslow A.H. Maslow on Management. 1998.
Thomas K.W. Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement. 2009.
Petri H.L., Govern J.M. Motivation: Theory, Research, and Applications. 2003.