Motivating Your Employees - Sound Science
Abraham Maslow devised a Hierarchy of Needs through which he tried to communicate the human's primary concerns and also wants. He focused on several of the most intelligent individuals of his lifetime to base his research. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs consists of five distinct tiers: Physiological, Safety, Love and Belonging, Esteem, and Self Actualization. All of the lower levels have to be reached before a human can experience the greater tiers.
A human being's basic concern is his physiological needs. For survival people should eat, breathe, quench their thirst, procreate and use the bathroom. Without all these they cannot live. The employee's basic needs and comforts should be looked after by the leader to make them use their complete potential. If the work place is extremely cold an employee cannot work fast and efficiently like working in more comfortable work place.
Employees need to feel secure. This is the second level of the hierarchy of needs. An employer should create this security with his workers by conveying that their jobs are safe and financially rewarding. If an employee believes that he is soon to be laid off, he will most certainly not work as hard as possible. He may even go further by disrupting the work of others or sabotaging some aspect of the job simply for revenge.
Feeling like a person belongs and is loved and desired is the third level. Employers can assist employees in making friends with each other. This will help to create a pleasant environment to work in. The employer can encourage these relationships by organizing small group tasks and organizing events.
People have the need to feel as though they are part of a group. This is the fourth level of a person's esteem. In group situations, we have the ability to feel emotions of achievement and confidence. We start to gain the respect of others which in return boosts our self-esteem. An employer can create activities outside of work to help engage his employees. Whether it is a team sport or relay picnic event, co-workers can bond over the activities, have a great time, and boost their confidence in themselves.
Self-actualization, the ability to solve problems and use our creativity, is Maslow's final level. This level also involves our moral compass, and can only be accessed once all of the lower levels mentioned have been achieved. We need self-actualization to become truly mature men and women.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Wilheir is a project management consultant. Learn more about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, effective leadership characteristics, and how to improve your lead by example leadership qualities.