Successful managers have employees who are motivated to perform at a high level. Motivation in the workplace is one of the most important aspects within an organization. Motivation can be defined as a process that helps achieve goals through behavior that guides and maintains behavior in order to achieve a positive end result.
According to Maslow’s theory of motivation, there are five levels of human needs, which employees need to have fulfilled at work. Those needs are structured into a hierarchy and that lower level need had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees. For example, an employee how has no money to buy food, she or he will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before worrying if she or he is having a secure job.
As per his theory those needs are:
i) Physiological needs: These are important needs for sustaining the human life. Food, water, air, sleep, shelter, warmth, medicine, education, etc, are the basic physiological needs which are included in the primary list of need satisfaction. Maslow argued that until these needs were satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can operate.
ii) Safety needs: Once physiological needs are fulfilled, one’s attention turns to safety and security in order to be free from the threat of a physical or emotional harm. Such needs might be satisfied by living in a safe area, job security, financial reserves, medical insurance, etc. According to Maslow’s beliefs, if a person feels that he or she is in danger of getting harmed, higher needs will not be emerged.
iii) Social needs: Once a human being has satisfied the lower level physiological and safety needs, higher level needs become significant, the first of which are social needs. Social needs are those related to interaction with other people and may include both giving and receiving love and affection, the sense of belonging, the need for friends, etc.
iv) Esteem needs: Once the first three classes of needs satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. Esteem needs may be classified as internal or external. Internal esteem needs are those related to self esteem such as achievement and self respect. External esteem needs include needs such as recognition and social status. When these needs are satisfied the person feels self confident and valuable as a human being in the world.
v) Self Actualization needs: When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied then the needs of self actualization are emerged. Self Actualization is the summit of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Unlike lower level needs, this need cannot be ever fully satisfied. Maslow describes Self Actualization as a person’s need to be and do that which a person was born to do. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, etc. Self Actualized people tend to have needs such as truth, wisdom, justice, meaning. Maslow argues that only a very small percentage of human beings reach this level.